Uncategorized | 9:00 am | January 5, 2008 | By Thomas Kaplan

Heading to New Hampshire, where a Facebook debate awaits

NEW HAVEN, Conn., 9:00 a.m. — The candidates that survived Thursday night’s Iowa caucus have all arrived in New Hampshire, and the News will soon be there, too.

We will be live from the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., beginning Saturday evening, with ongoing reports from the site of the primetime presidential debates sponsored by ABC News, WMUR-TV in Manchester and the social networking Web site Facebook. (Yes, that Facebook. We’re not sure what they could possibly have to do with a presidential debate, but we’ll do our best to figure it out and let you know.)

Charles Gibson will moderate the debates, and we will be here to live-blog them for you.

The Republican debate begins at 7 p.m. and will run for about 90 minutes, with the Democratic debate following at 9 p.m.

The debates, we should add, come with a twist. Candidates were required to meet one of three criteria to prove themselves worthy of appearing before Mr. Gibson, and, by extension, the American electorate:

  1. Place fourth or better in the Iowa caucus.
  2. Receive at least 5 percent of the vote in one of the last four reputable polls conducted in New Hampshire as of late.
  3. Receive at least 5 percent of the vote in one of the last four reputable polls conducted nationwide as of late.
  4. Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter and Democratic candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel failed to meet any of those standards, so they will not be allowed to participate in the debate.

    “In previous debates where the stage was more crowded you had to make sure all of the candidates got fair time,” said David Chalian, the political director for ABC News, The Associated Press reported. “Here you will have more time to go in depth on the issues.”

    — Thomas Kaplan

Comments