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Alan Schroeder
Alan Schroeder is a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston. Schroeder is the author of several books, including Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV (Columbia University Press, 2008) and Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House (Westview Press, 2004). Schroeder has also written for Politico, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
More from Alan Schroeder on Le HuffPost

Entries by Alan Schroeder

Rumble on the Cuyahoga: The First 2016 GOP Primary Debate

(57) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 12:50 AM

Now that was a debate. Back in 2012 it was the live audience that got rowdy at the presidential primary debates. This time it was the folks onstage, candidates and moderators alike. And somehow it all stemmed from the presence of Donald Trump, the spiritual epicenter of this event, whose...

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The Undercard: First Impressions From the Second-Tier Republican Debate

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 10:55 PM

A few initial reactions to the not-ready-for-prime-time "kids' table" debate that just aired on Fox...

First, there is a reason this was the undercard debate. Though some participants fared better than others, not a person on that stage delivered a performance so commanding that it merits promotion into the top...

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4 Tactics for Debating Donald Trump

(36) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 6:36 AM

How do you debate a body slammer like Donald Trump? On August 6, at the first primary debate of the season, Trump's competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will find out. The question is, do they find out the hard way, or will any of the nine others concoct...

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5 Questions About the Republican Presidential Debates

(44) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 4:25 PM

The idea was to prevent chaos. Instead, efforts to control this season's Republican presidential primary debates have injected greater uncertainty into an already volatile process. With the first debate just a couple of months in the offing, and with somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 candidates jockeying for position, the...

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What American Voters Can Learn From the Brits

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 10:17 AM

As I sat in the auditorium for the last big set piece of the 2015 British election--a televised town hall Q&A featuring the current prime minister and his two leading challengers--I found myself wishing that our American campaigns included equivalent opportunities for sharp, skeptical questioning by informed citizens. Thanks to...

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Stars Versus Supporting Cast: Reviewing the ITV Leaders' Debate

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2015 | 9:54 AM

Like situation comedies, multi-candidate debates follow well-established contours. Each genre hinges upon a diverse cast of characters in which two or three individuals dominate, with the others relegated to supporting-player status. By definition the front-runners get the starring roles, while the fringe candidates pop up as needed to supply one-liners,...

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Rick Scott's Epic Blunder

(38) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 12:33 PM

The dust-up over Charlie Crist's portable fan at the Florida gubernatorial debate has degenerated into a war of words over which side violated the pre-negotiated rules. The truth of who plugged in what device, and on whose authority, may forever remain lost in the murk of Sunshine State...

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The Senate Prospects of Ashley Judd

(35) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 5:08 PM

Does Ashley Judd have the chops to defeat Mitch McConnell in next year's U.S. Senate race in Kentucky? Already the possibility of a Judd-McConnell matchup has spawned a mini-tornado of media speculation, not to mention a Karl Rove-sponsored attack ad. If and when Judd actually tosses her hat into the...

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The Dramatic Arc of the 2012 Presidential Debates

(52) Comments | Posted October 20, 2012 | 2:00 PM

Presidential debates are often likened to boxing matches, which makes sense if you view each debate as an individual event. Yet a different analogy merits consideration, particularly as we head into the final Obama-Romney showdown on Monday night. Let us think of the presidential debate cycle as a four-act play,...

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Veep Debate Post-Mortem: What the Pundits Missed

(433) Comments | Posted October 14, 2012 | 12:20 PM

A few lingering thoughts about the vice presidential debate...

Although I am a veteran debate observer, I often have difficulty discerning a clear victor when I watch these programs. Not this time. Joe Biden's performance may have been over-exuberant, even borderline obnoxious, but in two key ways Biden won this...

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Massachusetts Senate Debates, Round Three: Warren Over Brown

(344) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 9:55 PM

The third debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, candidates for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, accomplished something their two previous matches did not: it produced a winner. Professor Warren had her best night in the debate arena thus far, delivering a performance that was focused, confident and energetic. Although...

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Round One: A Post-Debate Post-Mortem

(20) Comments | Posted October 7, 2012 | 10:35 AM

Now that the first Obama-Romney debate has had a few days to germinate, it's time to consider the event from a production standpoint -- because in presidential debates, production decisions have political consequences.

STAGING AND VISUALS: The original proposal by the Commission on Presidential Debates called for a format...

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The Professor and the Jock: Elizabeth Warren Debates Scott Brown

(500) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 9:30 PM

The opening debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, candidates for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, at times felt like the classroom dynamic between an earnest, soft-spoken high school English teacher and the defiant jock who plants himself in the back row and makes sour faces until the bell rings....

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A 2012 Debate Prep Checklist

(110) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 10:44 AM

With the first Obama-Romney debate just around the corner, the presidential and vice presidential candidates are hard at work preparing for combat. What should each of them be concentrating on?

BARACK OBAMA. Debating does not come naturally to Barack Obama, the way it did to Bill Clinton and Ronald...

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The Challenge of Selecting Presidential Debate Moderators

(196) Comments | Posted August 18, 2012 | 11:10 AM

Who should get to moderate a presidential debate? The recent announcement of moderators for the upcoming Obama-Romney and Biden-Ryan debates plants this question in the public arena. Legitimate concerns are being raised about the lack of racial and ethnic diversity among the four journalists selected for the honor....

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Political Olympics Preview

(5) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 3:58 PM

Schedules and venues have been set, formats have been selected, and competitors have begun strategizing for victory in America's upcoming political Olympics: the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates, now only two months away. Let us scrutinize the recent announcement of formats by the Commission on Presidential Debates...

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Now Is the Time for More Republican Presidential Debates

(13) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Can it really be the end of the line for the 2012 Republican debates, just as the presidential primary season kicks into its final, crucial months? A long-scheduled March 19 joint appearance in Oregon now appears unlikely to materialize, and no further debates loom on the horizon. Yet...

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Final Four: The GOP Arizona Debate

(79) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 10:11 PM

Scorpions in a bottle, or comrades in arms? The GOP presidential debate in Mesa, Arizona, was really two separate events: a first half in which the candidates spat venom at each other, and a second half in which they agreed on most everything -- all except contrarian Ron Paul. The...

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Back From Hiatus: Return of the GOP Debaters

(101) Comments | Posted February 19, 2012 | 11:33 AM

After nearly a month-long hiatus, the reality television series known as the GOP presidential primary debates returns to the small screen on Wednesday, February 22nd. The cast of regulars, reduced to a final four, will step back onto the stage against a vastly altered political backdrop. As the players reassemble...

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New Hampshire Double-header: A Tale of Two Debates

(47) Comments | Posted January 8, 2012 | 1:17 PM

Saturday night and Sunday morning. Two back-to-back Republican presidential debates featuring the same cast, the same issues, the same New Hampshire setting, and the same basic format. Yet despite a separation of only 10 hours, the events felt as different as night and day.

Saturday's debate on ABC was largely...

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