Just some quick points on last night’s presidential debate.
- The fireworks I expected were largely not present. The mud-throwing that erupted in the last few days did not carry over into the debate. There were frequent references to their opponents’ record, but the personal stuff was kept out of it.
- I didn’t like the debate format – there was no allocation of time for rebuttal, except when the candidates basically broke the rules. This means that fabrications and BS could remain as the last word unless the other candidate responded as part of their response to the next question, which Obama did a couple of times.
- Brokaw did nothing to reign either candidate in on time, aside from whine about it once or twice.
- Like Gwen Iffil last week, Brokaw did nothing to see that the candidate actually answered the questions asked. For the majority of questions, the response tactic was to repeat the question, emphasizing it’s importance, and then segue into standard policy points, related and relevant or not. It’s too bad, because some of the questions were pretty good. I would love to see a real discussion of policy between the candidates, but I realize that in this day and age where every word is parsed, digested and weighed for nuance, real discussion is impossible.
- For some reason, the media seems okay with the candidates not answering the questions, as the commentary afterward seemed to ignore that as de rigeur.
- I’m not sure whether it’s open disdain for his rival or just the heat of battle, but it’s pretty obvious that John McCain does not like Barack Obama.
What did you guys think?