In the South Carolina GOP Primary debate last night, John King, exhibiting the lowest common denominator of journalism, asked Newt Gingrich about his ex-wife’s statement that he had asked for an open marriage. This kind of stuff is interesting to us only in prurient ways, but has nothing to do with a Presidential Candidate’s ability to hold the office.
Newt responded as only he should have. The issues of divorced people are usually messy, and political campaigns are not the place to air them.
Last night Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain spent 90 minutes debating their versions of entitlement restructuring. The debate was at The Woodlands, Texas, a community just north of Houston, and was billed as a Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.
Lincoln – Douglas style debate? Fagettaboudit! Like lots of things coming out of Texas, this debate was bigger and better. Now, that’s style!
The format was thrown out early, as the contestants agreed to be able to talk as long as they wanted, and reply as long as they wanted. The moderators did keep things moving, but the problem was that both Cain and Gingrich agreed on pretty much everything.
It was obvious that Gingrich had a better command of the issues, but Cain was just as strong with his business experience in relating to the Washington problem.
Some will say that there was no debate because Cain and Gingrich agreed on almost everything, but, it is the format that was important. I am of the opinion that the traditional television network style debate is not adequate. We need to give the candidates unlimited time to articulate their positions and visions.
I don’t want to see another network style debate. I don’t care how much time it takes, but the American people deserve better.
My advice to the media is to take the time to do it right, and respect the candidate’s desire to articulate, fully, their vision for our country. Cut out the ridiculous time limits on answering questions and responding to opponents.
We deserve better media coverage than what we are getting.