The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Series Of Substantive Presidential Debates #YouDidntBuildThat

Posted on | July 26, 2012 | 10 Comments

by Smitty

Three debates? That’s it? And only one for the Veep? The WSJ, formatting and emphasis from me:

  • The first, which will focus on domestic policy, is set for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver in Denver, Colo., the city that hosted the 2008 Democratic convention.
  • A second meeting in a town-hall format will take place Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and
  • the final meeting, focusing on foreign policy, will be held Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mallor on moderators: “we’ll probably end up with Wolf Blitzer, Diane Sawyer, Gwen Ifill, and Bob Schieffer.”

Not Chris Matthews, Christiane Amanpour, George Stephanopoulos, and Rachel Maddow?

Let’s face it: these debates are going to be so lame, rigged and devoid of life as to pass for an SNL cold open. Thanks in advance, Commission on Presidential Debates, for giving us prompt, sufficient, and informative debates that will enliven the national discourse and leave the electorate enriched. You guys are swell.

Vaguely related: timeline of #YouDidntBuildThat

Update: linked by Hogewash.


  • John

    If Team Romney can’t negotiate better moderators with the Commission, what chance will they have with world leaders?

  • smitty

    Good point. I guess you pick your battles. Lousy moderators would signal that the Romney campaign doesn’t esteem these debates as highly as other campaign priorities.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    I am from the area where Hofstra is located and still have a lot of people there,  I wonder if I can wrangle my way into the audience for that one?

  • smitty

    There should be a way to get tickets or something. Do you have the gear to liveblog or tweet it?

  • Mike F.

    Ah, so the Commission on Presidential Debates was brought in to organize these debates on behalf of  The Committee to Re-Elect the President?

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  • jwallin

    Good grief dude. Debates haven’t been about . . . debating since  Reagan said “there you go again” to Carter.

    No debate since then (except a few party nomination debates) has ever been about revealing one’s beliefs or actually debating (there’s that word again) the issues.

    No. It’s been about maximizing the Media’s return on investment and the candidates showcasing their talking points.

    Only accidentally and coincidentally have the debates resulted in any up bumps or turnarounds due to what a candidate said or didn’t say. And few ads are created afterwards about them.

    In fact one could say that the presidential elections are more about funneling (laundering) money to the entertainment industry in the guise of public responsibility. (yeah right like the Media thinks about it’s responsibilities to the electorate. Hah!)

    I’m glad there’s only 3 we have to listen to and the hype about them before during and after.

  • Adjoran

    The “panels” ask banal questions and try to spring “gotcha” traps to enhance their own standing with their peers.  The modern “debates” are more like parodies of a joint press conference.

    If we want to find out about the candidates, sit them at a table together and let them talk about issues, with an off-camera timekeeper to keep the time even – but no artificial limits on a given answer: each may take as much of his half of the total time as he wishes on any given statement or response BUT when his time is up, the opponent may speak uninterrupted until his own time runs out.  They could reserve a few minutes for closing statements, but otherwise just the candidates run the debate.

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