Let us think of the presidential debate cycle as a four-act play, a miniseries with a distinct beginning, middle and end. We have seen the first three acts -- now comes the denouement.
Right now, the debates are forums in which the worst impulses of the candidates, pundits, and voters all come together to encourage us to do the wrong thing for the wrong reason. So let's remove the distraction.
On the whole, students at the University of Tampa seem wicked smart, energetic about learning, and engaged with the world and breaking news. That is why the video below is so sigh-inducing.
It may finally be the case that "gay" has turned a corner and is no longer the wedge issue it once was, or that we may at least be close to seeing both sides of the aisle realize that they need to accept what the majority of the country already accepts.
We're living in an impatient, impulsive, instant gratification world. Interrupting, interjecting and talking over others has become the new norm. Seems everybody wants to get a word in edgewise.
Mitt Romney is a multi-tasker. All those pundits lambasting Mitt for his lack of specifics, or for his herculean ability to completely change his mind in the space of, if not a moment, then most certainly an election cycle, are missing the point of the man.
After the first presidential debate, which gave Romney a four-point bounce, nobody is doubting the debates' importance. But as we ready for tonight's round two, I'm wondering: What exactly are the debates teaching us about the candidates? As they're presently constituted, they don't give an accurate idea of what a candidate might be like as a president. Take the prohibition on notes -- when is a sitting president ever going to be faced with a situation in which he's going to need to make an important decision without availing himself of any outside information? It's fun to see how a candidate responds to a zinger, but it'd be much more instructive to see how a candidate goes about seeking information that he doesn't know. So what about at least one debate that is structured to resemble the decision-making process a president would actually go through in office?
The president has big shoes to fill, with much riding on his ability to shed the urge to stay above the petty fray that is Washington politics.
Both parties believe they win every debate and, without exception, try to make the best of spinning the results to influence the voters. But, spin was not necessary to explain the first two debates nor could it change what occurred.
As the American public's disillusionment with fighting the war deepens, the precarious support base in Congress and mainstream policy circles is dwindling. The administration cannot afford to dawdle any longer.
Should we have a greater integration between church and state? Which is more important in terms of public policy -- abortion control or ensuring social justice?
Two reports reveal that immigration is not a top issue for immigrant communities. Nonetheless, politicians and political parties should not take these numbers as an indication that immigration is not important to communities of color.
While there were indeed things that Raddatz did right, this debate could have been much more useful for voters than it was. Her performance as moderator, and the debate's overall structure, deserve further scrutiny.
At a time of crisis, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan make claims and counterclaims, and fail to address the issues facing America honestly.
Romney and Obama have each muddled their views -- but Romney does it in a way that helps him, while Obama's muddling helps the Republicans. Let me explain. Romney began as an old fashioned moderate Republican, then had to reinvent himself to win the support of his party's right-wing base. And then in the general election, he feinted back towards the center but without disavowing his new-found conservatism. So he is now trying to be all things to all people.
This Tuesday the presidential candidates will meet with voters face-to-face for a town-hall style debate. Let's hope the voters will ask the questions the media haven't.