Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ho-hum debate

I agree with many pundits that last night's debate was a pretty boring affair. Understandably, the candidates wanted to rehash their talking points and often broke into stump speeches, so nothing new came out in the discussion.

It was unfortunate that Tom Brokaw made himself the focus of the questions, getting away from a true town hall environment. Brokaw just didn't get the job done last night, in my opinion, and I hope Bob Schieffer does a better job in the third debate. And I wish the networks would put a timer on-screen so that television viewers could see for themselves when the candidates are going over their allotted time and by how much. Then the candidates would be more inclined to adhere to the time limits, and we wouldn't have to waste more time listening to the moderator chide the candidates.

Getting the campaigns to agree on venues, moderators, formats, etc. was certainly a difficult task and left the media’s hands somewhat tied. I think both parties are worry about their candidate suffering a George H.W. Bush moment and/or of giving their opponent a Bill Clinton opportunity, ala the 1992 presidential debate. But we allow them to dictate the terms and then shortchange us on addressing the issues.

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