- November 11, 2011
I’ll be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find me watching a political debate that was not Auto-tuned or accompanied by commentary from John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. This is not to say that I am not concerned with the political climate in our country; I just don’t necessarily think watching Rick Perry make a fool of himself on the topic of climate change does much to impact my opinion of him or his presidential prospects.
Politilines by Periscopic, a great interactive visualization of words used in recent Republican polical debates, lets you see what the candidates talked about each night. The tool was created through a combination of manual and automated curation, using data from the American Presidency Project.
Admittedly, this is no perfect tool for understanding a political candidate and their stance on topics, but it can uncover some interesting insights and questions. (e.g., Why was Michelle Bachman the only candidate to mention Immigration during the 11/09/11 debate?) The tool also serves as a great starting point for more bringing more accountability and transparency into the actual content of these discussions.