Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Debates’

Hillary Clinton as the more effective evil

September 27, 2016


In last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton demonstrated that she is more fit to be President than Donald Trump in terms of temperament, experience and understanding of the issues.

She is able to rule her emotions.  She has the background knowledge required of a world leader.  She would not be a national embarrassment to the United States on the world stage.

But I don’t think these qualities will, in fact, make her a good President.  They will make her a more effective evil.

Compared to Trump, she would face fewer obstacles in leading the United States into war, and she would be better able to defuse opposition to Wall Street and the monopolization of wealth by a tiny elite.

Trump, by reason of his inexperience, ignorance, lack of self-control and lack of allies in the Washington establishment, would be easier to stymie—which is not to say that a Trump administration would be harmless.


The USA needs real presidential debates

November 10, 2015

The so-called Presidential debates are not debates.  They are televised group press conferences.

The so-called US Presidential debates are not debates.  Going back to the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960, they are televised group press conferences.  The American voting public would be better served by actual debates.

An actual debate would be over just one question, selected in advance.  Candidates would be given time to speak their minds, and then to rebut what the other candidates said.

The role of the moderator would be to enforce debate rules.  Any questions would be asked by the candidates of each other.

The press conference format measures the ability of the candidates to think on their feet and to memorize and remember information.  A debate format would measure the depth and breadth of their thinking, and give an idea of what they would do if elected.

Such a format might not be commercial enough for the major networks, but I am sure PBS and C-SPAN would be willing to host a real debate.

Obama’s and Romney’s secret debate rules

October 16, 2012

The Obama and Romney campaigns, in addition to the public rules laid down by the Commission on Presidential Debates, have agreed to other secret rules to keep things from getting out of hand.

Mark Halperin of Time magazine made the rules public.  The agreement begins with this rule, which among other things effectively freezes out Jill Stein, Gary Johnson or any other third-party candidate from appearing on radio or TV with Obama or Romney.

“The parties agree they will not (1) issue any challenges for further debates, (2) appear at any other debate or adversarial forums except as agreed to by the parties and (3) accept any television or radio time offer that involve a debate format or otherwise involve the simultaneous appearance of more than one candidate.”

Here are some more rules.

“To the best of the Commission’s abilities, there will be no TV cut-aways to any candidate who is not responding to a question while another candidate is answering a question or to a candidate who is not giving a closing statement while another candidate is doing so.”  …

In the town hall debate tonight, Candy Crowley “shall select the questioners, but she may not ‘coach’ the questioners.”  Questioners must submit questions in advance, and ask the questions exactly as submitted.  If a questioner tries to ask a follow-up, they will cut off his or her microphone.

“No props, notes, diagrams or other writing or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate, and, prior to the beginning of the debate, the Commission shall verify as appropriate that the candidates have complied… ”

“The candidates may not ask each other direct questions… ”

“The Commission shall use best efforts to maintain an appropriate temperature as agreed to by the campaigns.”

Click on The 2012 Debates: Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns for the complete memorandum revealed by Mark Halperin of Time magazine.

Click on The lame rules for presidential debates for Glenn Greenwald’s reaction.  [Added 10/17/12]

Click on The Secret Debate Rules Obama and Romney Agreed To for Elspeth Reeve’s summary on The Atlantic Wire.

Two more candidates join the debates

October 6, 2012

Democracy Now broadcast an expanded version of the Presidential debates, with the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein answering the questions asked of the Democratic Party’s Barack Obama and the Republican Party’s Mitt Romney.

Click on Green Party for more about the Green Party and Jill Stein.

Click on Justice Party for more about the Justice Party and Rocky Anderson.

Click on Libertarian Party for information about the Libertarian Party and its Presidential nominee, ex-Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico.

Which is the real Mitt Romney?

October 4, 2012

Which is the real Mitt Romney?  The ruthless Bain Capital financial operator?  The moderate and competent governor of Massachusetts?  The radical right-winger of the Republican primaries?  Or the compassionate conservative of last night’s debate?

Poor President Obama was at a loss, because he was debating the positions Mitt Romney took a couple of weeks ago, not what Romney was saying last night.   I am old enough to remember the New Nixon, supposedly a kinder, gentler version of the previous Richard Nixon.   Now we have a New Romney.   As I did with Nixon, I wonder how long this will last.