Wednesday, October 3, 2012

_______________ wins debate!

OBAMA: Too cool for his own good?
Be honest!

The bulk of you have already filled in that blank in your own minds. Nothing that is actually said (or not  said) or done on Wednesday when President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney face each other in debate will make one bit of difference.

WE ALSO SHOULD be honest and admit that the political operatives have already written their responses to the first presidential debate performances by their preferred candidates – and are spending their time rehearsing them so as to try to make them sound spontaneous and un-rehearsed.

If you’re getting the impression that I am skeptical we will learn anything of substance from this first take of a campaign ritual, you’d be incredibly observant.

I find it totally pathetic, yet utterly believable, to read reports in recent days that say Romney is trying desperately to come up with a “zinger” – as in that comical line meant to put Obama in his place while making everybody else laugh and think of himself as an incredibly witty guy.

The problem is that Romney himself may have such a stiff personality that his attempt at a joke could come across as phony. I don’t know that Romney is as much of a stiff as Al Gore, but he’s not that far removed from the ‘lacking a funny bone’ segment of society.

IF ANYTHING, THAT is going to be “the story” of the debate to be held Wednesday night in Denver. Did Romney successfully tell a joke?

That’s not exactly something I think is all that essential to learning whether someone is qualified to work in the Oval Office in a role other than a custodian who runs the vacuum cleaner through the room once a week.
ROMNEY: GOP take on Al Gore?

The problem is that these debates have become so rigidly structured to fit within the confines of a television program – which is the way that most people who bother will learn what happens.

Too many answers will get cut short, and most candidates will ignore the questions they are asked so that they can take pot shots at each other. Then the opponents will ignore their questions so they can respond to the pot shot that was just taken at them.

ALL IN ALL, it will be a whole lot of nothin’.

Which really s a shame, because I am a big fan of the concept of a candidate debate. I think it is one of those high points that ought to define a campaign cycle.

Both candidates in the same room, face to face, with a single moderator putting equal pressure on both of them. We get to judge how the two candidates faced an identical situation, and figure out for ourselves who did better.

It really is more informative, if done right, than these “town hall”-type meetings that the campaigns seem to like to stage.

THE PROBLEM WITH those events is that they devolve into a batch of hand-picked people asking questions that are planted on them.

What is supposed to appear to be a gathering of “real” people confronting the candidates is nothing more than staged nonsense.

Although the debates of modern-day campaign cycles aren’t always much better. The problem often comes across in the moderator, particularly if there’s only one.

I have seen “debates” that seemed more like a moderator trying to show us their “exclusive interview” with the two candidates. As though the show is about them showing off their intelligence in dealing with the two nitwits who are delusional enough to want to be U.S. president.

EVEN IF THERE turn out to be more moderators, they often come across as a competition. Who can ask the question that provokes the “idiot-like” response that gets the 10-second snippet on that night’s newscasts?

And sometimes, it just becomes egos run amok, with the would-be voters losing out because we don’t learn anything more than we already know!

So I have to admit, a part of me isn’t going to be bothered by the fact that I’m going to miss the televised broadcast of the event. I have a work-related assignment at the same time. The high school pre-homecoming celebration I'm going to write a cutesy feature about will likely be more interesting.

Which means I likely will be more in touch with the majority of people in this country – who also won’t be paying any attention to the latest round of political blather.


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