November 5, 2007

Debates Losing Focus of Meaning

With officially less than a year until the Presidential elections, things are starting to get serious. That is of course everything but the political debates. Last Tuesday the Democrats held another political debate in Philadelphia, the birthplace of democracy. There have already been a handful of debates, but this was by far the most annoying.

Although, Edwards and Obama started targeting Clinton, and there was serious talk about Iraq and Iran, I cannot help but feel frustrated by the last 30 minutes of the debate. Tim Russert, from Meet the Press, and Brian Williams, host of the Nightly News on NBC, held what they called, a “Lighting Round.” Perhaps, you are not familiar with this, but it is when the candidates are giving thirty seconds to answer a question. Besides the fact that they never stay in within the time limit, this is not an adequate amount time to answer a question. Another problem that I have with the “Lighting Round” is that the questions given during this time are always the same. There is always and environmental or social security issue addressed during this time. Both which are very important to many voters. I do not understand why they cannot mix up which topics receive the main focus in each debate. Devoting only 30 seconds to the environment does not allow the voter to make an informed decision, let alone solve the problem of global warming.

One other thing that truly bothers me is the attempt in the closing minutes to lighten up the mood. While I do not think that is a bad thing the questions and comments made here are inappropriate. On Tuesday, Dennis Kucinich was asked if he really saw an UFO, after it being reported in a book that he did. Then Obama was asked what he was going to on Halloween. While, these questions are fun and entertaining they belong on Oprah and Larry King.

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