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The Candidate Mashup is Live: Slice-and-Dice the Debate, Create Your Own Video


HuffPost's first-ever online-only Candidate Mashup is now live on Yahoo! If you haven't checked it out yet, go ahead -- and see how it feels to be able to shape the debate.

This is Phase Two of the Mashup. For a little color on Phase One (the Charlie Rose interviews), click here or read John Dickerson's account on Slate.

You can also see how the event has been covered by the BBC, the New York Times, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters, among others.

Phase Three of the Mashup, which is also ready to go, makes all of the video available on Jumpcut, and allows you to remix it however you please and to embed your personalized mashups on other sites. Maybe you'll come up with the next online sensation (if a guy weeping over Britney can get 4 million hits in 3 days, who knows what your candidate mashup can do). Send us your mashups at mashup@huffingtonpost.com and we'll feature the best ones.

As for what the candidates had to say, there were definitely some standout moments.

Hillary Clinton made news when she took a hard swipe at Barack Obama and John Edwards as "inauthentic" for slamming her for taking money from lobbyists while they accept money from the people who employ those same lobbyists.

She also touted Monday's release of her new plan to offer universal health coverage: "I hope the headline will read, 'Hillary is back and we're going to get it done this time."

The money moment from Obama -- both figuratively and literally -- was his handling of Rose's question about the role money plays in today's politics, particularly in light of the Hsu scandal. "You know, Charlie," he said, "money is the original sin of politics. And when you're running for president you're going to do some sinning when it comes to raising money, because otherwise you can't compete." But he also stressed that despite his record-breaking fundraising, he wouldn't be beholden to campaign donors. The question he said, is "Are you able to unify the country and overcome the special interest-driven agendas in order to actually get something done. And I think that is where I've got the biggest advantage."

Edwards
' highlight was his two-fisted attack on drug companies and insurance companies: "I know some of those who are running on my side, the Democratic side, argue that you should give them at seat at the table, you should negotiate with them, compromise with them... The reason we don't have universal health care is these people have absolutely no intention of giving away their power voluntarily."

Many of the most compelling moments of the mashup came as a result of the "wild card" questions asked by Bill Maher.

He asked Obama: "If the Ten Commandments constitute our greatest source of morality, why is it there no Commandment saying do not rape, do not torture or do not commit incest - yet there are commandments against swearing, working on Sunday and making statues to other gods?" Obama replied, "I think [Maher] rightly points out some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of people who mix religion and politics sometimes," which then led to a firm rebuke of the religious right.

He asked Chris Dodd: "Can you give me a good reason why, in a free and fair society, marijuana should be illegal?" To his credit, Dodd addressed the hot button issue head on, saying that America's war on drugs was "cluttering up our prisons" and that he would "decriminalize, or certainly advocate as president, the decriminalization of statutes that would incarcerate or severely penalize people for using marijuana."

He asked Joe Biden whether a terrorist attack, air polluted by coal, or high fructose corn syrup would most likely contribute to the death of an average American. The Senator's deadly ranking: polluted air, corn syrup, terrorist attack. "That does not in any way diminish the fact that a terrorist threat is real," he explained. "It is not an existential threat to bring down the country, but does have the capacity still to kill thousands of people. But hundreds of thousands of people have their lives shortened because of coal fired plants and because of corn syrup."

And he asked Hillary: "Sen. Clinton, all the senators here, except Sen. Obama, voted for the Iraq resolution in 2002, saying that their decision was based on intelligence that they believed to be accurate at the time. In other words, George Bush fooled you. Why should Americans vote for someone who can be fooled by George Bush?"

To see how Hillary handled that one -- and to slice-and-dice the rest of the candidates' answers -- go to Yahoo!'s mashup page. Then go to Jumpcut and have at the video -- re-cutting, re-mixing, and re-imagining it as you see fit.

We can't wait to see what you come up with.

For some behind-the-scenes photos from the Mashup, click here.

Follow Arianna Huffington on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ariannahuff