Things have changed a lot since 2003. Same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. We’ve had our first black President.
And yet, some things have stayed the same—like Anderson Cooper moderating a Democratic debate.
Tuesday night, Cooper moderated the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential election in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t his first go at the gig. In 2003, Cooper questioned candidates at the “America Rocks the Vote’’ Democratic debate at Faneuil Hall.
Remember when politics were cool, man?
Cooper received high praise for his efforts last night, arguably “winning the debate’’ himself, according to some. He’s a seasoned reporter now. Back when he moderated at Faneuil Hall, though, he was just starting to make a name for himself — literally. Anderson Cooper 360 had only been airing for six weeks at that point.
And that’s basically why he was chosen to moderate then. A 2003 Boston Globe article reported that in that short span, his show drew in 30 percent more 18-34-year-olds to his new time slot. Rock the Vote was all about getting young people to pay attention to politics.
Of course, Faneuil Hall was an interesting choice of venue for appealing to America’s youth. That same Globe article started off by saying:
“Let’s get this out of the way straight off: Faneuil Hall is not hip. It probably wasn’t hip when Paul Revere was in his teens. So it’s with some irony, perhaps, that Rock the Vote — the group that once wrapped Madonna in a giant American flag — has chosen this place to kick off its 2004 election drive.’’
Other things that haven’t changed since 2003: 1. Political candidates vying for young Americans’ votes; 2. Anderson Cooper’s hair.
The 2016 Presidential Candidates