Debates Present

Friday, June 13, 2008

Transcript

John McCain and Barack Obama say they favor a series of town hall debates, but both campaigns turned down ABC News's invitation this week, saying that no single network should be in control. Ezra Klein of The American Prospect says this might not be such a bad thing.

Comments [7]

Toby

Political debates have devolved from serious political engagement (think Lincoln-Douglas) to a political Kabuki theatre. The traditional Lincoln-Douglas style debate would probably be better from a standpoint of finding what the candidates actually think, but the problem is that it isn't going to make for good television. Having some random people from YouTube ask questions or the absurdity of the "town hall meeting" seem more to aim at generating TV ratings and/or free publicity for the network than any legitimate political discourse.

It isn't like most American politicians are fleet on their fleet with language and policy. Can you think of anyone who could stand the interrogation of question time in a country like the UK or Canada with a more reasonable and representative system of government?

Jun. 19 2008 12:18 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I can't see how they will avoid debating, nor can I see how they can allow for other candidacies to have voice.

Since it is quckly devolving into a typical Republican versus Democratic campaign, they can't really promote the change we really need, a multiplicity of voices suggesting new solutions to age old problems.

The "new" politics looks suspiciously like the old.

Jun. 17 2008 02:15 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I can't see how they will avoid debating, nor can I see how they can allow for other candidacies to have voice.

Since it is quickly devolving into a typical Republican versus Democratic campaign, they can't really promote the change we really need, a multiplicity of voices suggesting new solutions to age old problems.

The "new" politics looks suspiciously like the old.

Jun. 17 2008 02:14 AM
Marty from Tucson

Ezra Klein stated that "For campaign reporters, policy's not their job, campaigns are." That is down right stupid. Their job is to report on the candidates in such a way that the reader or listener learns about the candidate. All too many reports act as he suggests is appropriate and he have nothing but People Magazine news. We don't need campaign news. We need information about policy. He should be removed from is job.

Jun. 15 2008 08:13 PM
Jay from NJ

What really peeves me about the debates and the media is how they pretend that the Democrats and Republicans are the only parties running candidates for president. This story is missing how the Commission on Presidential debates colludes to exclude third parties from the debates. Since Nader they have set up an impossible barrier of a 15% approval rating across selected polls, while the media continues to refer to McCain and Obama as "the presidential candidates" without ever mentioning Bob Barr.

Jun. 15 2008 02:30 PM
Robert from NYC

Good idea, leave the media out of this. They too have their own agenda. After all Time Warner (CNN), FOX Media, inter alia are corporations seeking favor. Just the other day I listened to Blitzer and one of his silly little reporters discuss the lobbyists with full support for what they do ending the "dicsussion" on the report with the words, to the effect, well what they do is legal according to the constitution, people are allowed to lobby congress. Thing is, corporate lobbyists are not "the People" by definition.

Jun. 15 2008 10:17 AM
RF Kidde from Philly PA

These "debates" have not seemed to matter in the last two prez elections. Gore "lost" three debates and had won a plurality of the vote. Kerry "won" three debates and lost the popular vote.

The best idea was the Lincoln-Douglas proposal that Hillary had vs BO. Not that it would change any outcome but it was fun. Look at Hague vs Blair in PM's questions. Blair always got creamed but maintained his power come election day.

It's sad though because if BO was "affraid" to go "man to man" with a "girl" there really is zero hope to see a Lincoln Douglas style exchange this Fall.

Jun. 13 2008 11:25 PM

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