"At this point, six rounds into a seemingly endless and interminable election cycle, the Democratic debate routine appeared to be set," says Caroline Framke. "An assortment of candidates would take the stage to battle each other, the president, and the same spate of questions over and over again. For a primary that’s about as wide open as they get, the dance was nonetheless starting to feel awfully stale. The December 19 debate, held jointly by PBS and Politico, provided a surprising and welcome change of pace in the mere act of asking new and relevant questions, even as the candidates still found choice moments in which to go at each other’s throats. (This designation does not include the final question in which candidates were tasked with giving a hypothetical gift or 'asking for forgiveness' from another candidate, because the less said about novelty debate questions, the better.)"