I’m going to be honest here. I’m not a huge fan of town hall debates but they aren’t going to go away anytime soon. I’m not fond of canned folksiness. By this time of the election cycle, most folks have made up their minds. It’s like the playoffs before the Super Bowl. You pull for a team but there are still a few leftover folks that won’t make up their mind until the fourth quarter.
In many ways, we are in that fourth quarter and the clock on the board is ticking down.
We’ve seen three national debates thus far, and each have had their own style. If you would have asked me 20 years ago if I wanted to be a debate moderator, I would have said “Hell to the Yes!” That was then, this is now because the rules and media have changed. Jim Lehrer was steamrolled, Martha Raddatz kept things on task and Candy Crowley factchecked on the spot but debates are different now.
Crowley was playing referee. It’s not easy to keep things moving along but also to cut off a political Shakespearean monologue. I think she did rather well considering.
One thing I keep reminding my IRL friends is that the problems in this country can’t hinge on two men’s words. Those words have to be followed with action that many times the president doesn’t have control of. The House and Senate are part of this big old process and their inaction is part of the overall problem. Head House Republican Mitch McConnell said on the eve of the mid-term elections in 2010 that his number one objective was to make President Barack Obama a “one-term president.”
That being the main goal doesn’t really help average Americans. What has McConnell sacrificed?
Down-ticket is just as important as the top in this day and age. We need congressman and senators who will work to help the average American. We need elected officials who are respectful to all Americans.
Just a few thoughts as we head toward the homestretch on this first day of early voting.