Tag: Presidential Debates

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A New Format for Presidential Debates

 

I posted a draft of this on Ricochet three years ago. This version appeared in American Thinker. I’m posting it again because it’s still pertinent.

There has been widespread dissatisfaction with previous presidential debates between the Republican and Democratic candidates. In 2012, Candy Crowley stated shortly before the second debate that she would not abide by the contract she signed. She then interfered in the debate on the side of Obama. In 2008, the vice presidential debate moderator, Gwen Ifill, was completing a biography of Obama. One can easily surmise that financial considerations alone gave her a bias favoring Joe Biden. Clearly, her book had the potential to sell more copies if Obama won the presidency. One may ask why the Republicans didn’t insist that these biased moderators be removed. This tacit agreement to participate in a process that was biased against them may partially explain why they lost both races.

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The last couple of weeks have been a strange but eventful stretch for the 2016 presidential campaign, and we seem to have reached yet another new low for the GOP. Recent developments, even some that many may have seen as at least somewhat positive, have only made me sadder about the state of conservatism and […]

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The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last Monday night was highly anticipated and watched by a very large number of viewers. Many commentators have already weighed in with their opinions about how things went for the participants and what impact the event might have, but I’d like to add a few […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Good News and Bad News in Gary Johnson’s Polls

 
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Gary Johnson’s campaign for President has lately had a mix of bad and good news in the polls — more on that in a moment — but the poll on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post definitely is one he will be talking about. Using SurveyMonkey online methodology, the survey measured voter opinion in each of the 50 states over the past month. And it finds the Libertarian candidate to be a serious factor in the race.

The headline finding for Johnson is that he reaches 15 percent of the vote or better in 15 states, and 10 percent or better in 42 states, that is, all but eight. The states where he makes the strongest showing are his own New Mexico (25 percent); Utah (23 percent); Alaska, Idaho, and South Dakota (19 percent); Kansas (17 percent); Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, and Washington (16 percent); and Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Wyoming (15 percent).

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Pre-Pre-Debate Debate

 
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Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

With both the Republican and Democrat conventions over, the general election has begun in earnest, meaning that we’ll know which doom our future holds in fewer than 100 days. Part of what will determine said doom are the august (well, September and October, actually) presidential debates, and the less-august vice presidential debates. Already, controversy is swirling around them. The debates are organized by the Presidential Debate Commission, an ostensibly non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that has been doing this since 1987. The current controversy has to do with the dates and times of the debates, which will apparently overlap with the the observance of America’s national religion (football). This post though isn’t really about the scheduling of these debates — it’s probably impossible to find a time slot that doesn’t overlap with something that will draw complaint — but about who should be in the presidential debates.

As you all probably know, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not the only two candidates seeking the presidency: Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party have also thrown their hat in the ring, though their presence at these debates hinges on their performance in the polls. In order to be invited under current rules, each needs to appear on enough ballots to win 270 votes and earn at least 15 percent support in national polling. I want to approach this from two angles. First — from a simple non-partisan, first-principles angle — what rules should we employ to design a series of debates meant to allow presidential nominees to be seen and judged by the electorate? How can they be fair, but not just also be an invitation for any crackpot that can get on a single ballot either? Second — and from a purely partisan angle — what debate rules and formats would be the best interest of either of the two major party nominees? I’ll give you my thoughts and I look forward to reading yours in the comments. 

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Serious Statesmen of a Serious Country in Serious Times

 

Nixon/Kennedy Debates 1960On the “Why Aren’t the Debates Debates?” thread, I posted a comment with a link to the first Nixon/Kennedy debate in 1960. Here are links to all four debates. I used what I could get: Only two have video, and one of the videos has Italian subtitles. If you have the four hours, listen to them, and consider that this was a serious time, and that both of these candidates spoke at length, in depth, about issues ranging from foreign policy, economics, agriculture, energy, civil rights, defense strategy, and numerous other topics, without notes and without repeating briefing-book talking points. The correspondents who questioned them asked substantive questions about serious policy points, and the candidates responded in kind.

Update: Thanks to ctlaw in comment #6, here are links to C-SPAN.org videos of the four debates. These videos cannot be embedded here, but are clean kinescopes of the original broadcasts. Click the links to play the videos. (2015-11-01 20:12 UTC)

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Missing Words: What the GOP Candidates Didn’t Debate or Talk About is Telling

 

091515debateAmericans are pretty interested in these Republican presidential debates. Last night’s at the Reagan Library appears to be the highest-rated event in CNN’s history. So whatever else the debates are for the GOP, they are an opportunity to present to millions of voters a modern vision about growth, opportunity and shared prosperity in a changing US economy. And talk about a news hook. The Census Bureau yesterday released new figures — whatever their flaws— showing continued middle-class income stagnation.

Yet the “middle” class was mentioned just four times vs. 10 times for the “Middle East.”

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In early 1990, as I was preparing to leave the Air Force, I was associated with a social group that included a woman who was a mucky-muck in the Maryland chapter of the League of Women Voters. Those of my vintage may remember that public opinion of the League around that time was pretty positive: […]

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