Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain Discovers He's Actually Not Good at Town Hall Debates

Tuesday's debate looked like a rerun of the first debate, except this time they were walking as they were talking. After standing in the first debate and walking in the second debate, will they lay down on a recliner in the final debate?

McCain did so much walking, I was exhausted by the end of the 90 minutes.
McCain seemed to be saying, "My policies may be tired, but walking around in circles during a town hall debate isn't tiring at all."

After watching McCain huff and puff and mumble jokes that got no laughs, I wondered why pundits said the town hall format worked in his favor. What better way to endear yourself to a voter, than by saying "You've probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac." At least McCain was able to sway an undecided voter-over to Obama. When Tom Brokaw asked a "question from the internet", McCain looked unsure how to answer it. And when McCain pointed his finger at Obama and said "That one!" it had the tone of picking someone out in a police lineup.

They need to scrap these unproductive debate formats, and put both candidates at a table from Ikea they would have to assemble together. After that bonding experience, they could have a 90 minute conversation with reporters and tons of follow up questions that discourage canned responses. And instead of just fact checking what Obama and McCain say, those reporters should discredit all the horribly false forwarded email rumors out there once and for all. Which would mean Sarah Palin wouldn't have anything to talk about. Palin is now that nutty person who sits at home all day emailing rumors that are as removed from reality as the person sending them.

But what we really need is "Palin-Couric 2: This Time It's Personal." Of course, Palin would complain about Katie's "gotcha questions". But a "gotcha question" is merely a question a candidate needs to give a great deal of thought. We could have used a few more of those at Tuesday's debate.

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