The 2016 GOP Presidential Debates
The Second debate on CNN
The discussion on the debate can be broken in two parts: The Venue and the Participants.
This post discusses The Venue.
Summary: Too long, too many, too off-point.
A three-hour debate by two participants is a strain on the bladder, but between eleven simply makes no sense and conveys less than no information. What can you learn about a candidate when he has less than nine minutes to respond to challenges on at least four or five issues? Candidates were not cut-off midsentence and had to force their time in order to finish a thought. There was no buzzer.
I suspect that someone must have had a “Catheters-R-Us” concession out in the lobby of the Reagan Library. If not, they missed an opportunity.
Then, for the first hour, there was little to no air conditioning.
Furthermore, what can you learn about the legitimate issues when the majority of the questions and challenges to the candidate are more related to what Donald Trump said, or didn’t say about one’s face, hair, or butt size. CNN attempted to make this whole thing a sensation over substance, but the candidates, for the most part did not fall for it.
CNN’s objective was obvious to anyone except other members of the media, trash the GOP by throwing them in a ring together for a fight to the death. The moderator pitted one against the other for a kind of Roman Circus. The only things missing were the starved lions.
What about the moderators? Yes, “moderators,” that’s plural. Yes, there were supposed to be three, but Hugh Hewitt, asked only four questions, as I recollect. Where was Dana Bash, on a coffee break? Jake Trapper seemed to be obsessed with the time keeping that he didn’t notice the candidates were speaking at will, whoever “Will” is.
It would have been so much better to have a weeklong series of debates, with each aired at two different times of the day and with three or four candidates at a time. There should be some kind of rating system and at the end of the week; there is a debate among the finalists. The issues to be addressed should be clearly stated at the beginning of, or before each session. This idea that the POTUS has to respond to issues extemporaneously has always been an ill-conceived idea. It’s not reality. This would take the sensation and name calling out of the equation and provide a better platform for substantive material. Amen.