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Thursday · September 30 2004

The Prez debate should be a snoozer

By the time any given debate is over, viewers may conclude they have just watched a puppet show, not a policy argument by the two men who want to be president for the next four years. The 32-page guidelines for the debates — negotiated by the Bush and Kerry campaigns along with the Commission on Presidential Debates — limit follow-up questions, restrict audience participation, and prohibit even certain camera shots. Candidates may not move about the stage as they orate, nor may they question each other. Basically, each debate will unwind as a series of 60-second statements and 30-second rejoinders. During the lone “town hall” debate, all questions from the audience will have to be submitted beforehand and reviewed by the moderater, ABC's Charles Gibson. No audience member may ask a follow-up question.

Why don't we just put them in different rooms and pre-record the whole thing? I heard that the podiums had to be a certain distance away from each other to counteract Kerry's 5 inch height advantage over Bush. No doubt, the immediate follow-up news analysis will focus on appearance and speaking style more than content. If you're looking for sparks to fly tonight, I think you'll be disappointed.

Also via waxy: Top 10 secrets they don't want you to know about the debates

And via The Morning News: Rules of Engagement - rules that didn't make the cut

Archived: Political » September 2004
What you had to say:
September 30 2004

At this point, I've tuned out of everything the candidates say. I know who I'm voting for because I genuinely believe that a gang of brain-damaged chimpanzees would be more deserving of the Oval Office than it's current occupant(s). (since I vote in a state that Kerry has no chance of winning, I may decide to write in "A Band of Brain-damaged Chimpanzees" just to make a statement).

The part of my brain that thinks about the world outside my own life has now shifted to trying to deal with the very real possibility that we may be stuck with at least four more years of this situation. It's like something from a dystopian sci-fi movie. I can't really get my brain around that, so I'm just trying to find ways to convince myself that it wouldn't really be *that* disasterous. Haven't entirely succeeded on that front either. Any suggestions?

September 30 2004

"so I'm just trying to find ways to convince myself that it wouldn't really be *that* disasterous"

Elisabeth Kubler Ross's 5 stages of grief are applicable to so many things: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

You are still in the bargaining phase, Reed. Depression should set in Nov 3, and you'll accept soon after. You're not alone, though. I'm on the same plan.

September 30 2004

I plan on indulging and watching the debate on Comedy Central. You never know- one of them may get off their leash.

September 30 2004

That's uncanny. That's exactly my progress. This summer I was optimistic about Kerry's chances, then I went through a phase of near hysterical frustration and anger, and now I'm just trying to get around the problem.

September 30 2004

I was wrong about this being a snoozer. Unless, of course, you get bored watching Kerry eviscerate Bush on virtually every question in content and demeanor.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz