This Was a First for Presidential Debates

As social media plays a greater role in how Americans get their information there is also an effort to incorporate social media into the political process such as the debates and build more of a direct connection between voters and the presidential candidates.  Mike McCurry, Presidential debates co-chair and former press secretary under President Bill Clinton, discussed the use of social media during the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

McCurry first weighed in on the town hall format of the second debate and how it gave Americans more of a voice in the political process.

“Real citizens get to ask some of these questions and they asked some great ones.  That question at the end about, you know, ‘what do you see in the other person that you would compliment them on?’  That brought a cheer to everyone both in the media center and in the hall and probably across America too,” McCurry told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

McCurry then talked about the addition of social media.

“We did something new in this debate, we incorporated lot from social media.”

McCurry then explained the process for integrating some of the social media content into the debate.

“We worked with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), we worked with some of the other social media companies to really just go through what is the conversation happening on the internet, what are people tweeting about on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).  What do they really want to see discussed.  And so, a lot of that information is being fed both to Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz and they, as you saw, they worked some of that into the debate.”

McCurry expected they would improve and expand the use of social media during the next presidential debate.

“But this was the first kind of experiment in how do you make social media more relevant in these debates and we saw some of that play out last night.  Certainly, you know, when we do this next time around we’re gonna try to do more of that because it’s such an important way in which Americans get their content and their information now.”