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The power of incumbancy on display. From the Washington Post.

bswivbswiv Senior MemberPosts: 8,475 Admiral
And we thought money was the problem.




"Across the country, in some of the most competitive contests for Senate seats and governorships and some of the least, incumbent office-holders are refusing to meet their opponents in front of television cameras.

The dearth of televised debates isn’t for lack of trying: Media outlets have proposed dozens of televised forums. But this year, more than ever before, candidates have squabbled over venues, hosts, dates and formats for debates – and as a consequence, all but a small handful of the faceoffs, rare opportunities for voters to weigh two candidates against each other, have been canceled."

The rest of it is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/09/28/in-big-races-debates-few-and-far-between/

Replies

  • phlatsphilphlatsphil Senior Member Edgewater, FLPosts: 14,632 AG
    IMHO, for several reasons candidates are realizing that debates do more harm than good to their campaign.

    I'll suggest a few:
    • there's no such thing as an impartial moderator
    • there's never a debate winner. Fox always says the republican won, and all the other media always says the democrat won.
    • no matter the topic, all candidates do soft shoe acts avoiding their real position on said topic
    • all candidates know the audience knows they didn't answer the question

    I could go on and on. Debates are a waste of time.
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Senior Member east of the river, west of the woodsPosts: 5,282 Admiral
    It's a shame because I look forward to observing candidates side by side, but lately the 'debates' have become very dissatisfying.

    The article mentioned two problems with modern debates - dubious impartiality of moderators and very short time limits. An incumbents stand and/or action on issues is easy enough to see. It may be a disadvantage for a relatively unknown challenger to miss out on free publicity, true.

    They're really not debates anyway, as the last sentence in the article states - “Debates are not debates. They’re joint press conferences. They’re dueling one-liners designed to fire up your base"

    If a university, a news outlet, or a community group wants to sponsor a debate, they should just set up the time and place, send out invitations and let whomever shows up speak. In Al Franken's case, let his opponent have the entire air time, bet weird Al shows.
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • bswivbswiv Senior Member Posts: 8,475 Admiral
    Grady-lady wrote: »
    It's a shame because I look forward to observing candidates side by side, but lately the 'debates' have become very dissatisfying.

    The article mentioned two problems with modern debates - dubious impartiality of moderators and very short time limits. An incumbents stand and/or action on issues is easy enough to see. It may be a disadvantage for a relatively unknown challenger to miss out on free publicity, true.

    They're really not debates anyway, as the last sentence in the article states - “Debates are not debates. They’re joint press conferences. They’re dueling one-liners designed to fire up your base"

    If a university, a news outlet, or a community group wants to sponsor a debate, they should just set up the time and place, send out invitations and let whomever shows up speak. In Al Franken's case, let his opponent have the entire air time, bet weird Al shows.

    What you suggest here is a interesting, proper and free means to the end. Do have to wonder WHY none of the national/regional/state/local news entities have not put this out there.

    I mean, "If you don't show we'll just let your opponent talk on whatever subject he see fit for the whole time......and it'll cost him nothing."

    You're right.....they will show.
  • Big BatteryBig Battery Senior Member Central NCPosts: 22,850 AG
    Its why they fear the Libertarian candidate at the debate. ..it upsets the charade.
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