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Debate Commission

Presidential Debate Stage
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Sometimes presidential debates can be helpful. But the Commission on Presidential Debates is not helpful. I was thinking about this the other day and then came upon a commentary by Newt Gingrich with a similar concern.

He persuasively argues that the “time has come to recognize how arrogant, biased, and obsolete” the debate commission has become. The members of the commission decided recently to require a virtual debate after no consultation with the Trump campaign. That effectively killed the next debate. Gingrich asks, “what can you expect from the arrogance of a collection of establishment figures averaging 73 years of age?”

The bias was there long before the recent presidential and vice-presidential debates. He mentions “the Candy Crowley moment in 2012” in which she injected her comments into the debate against Mitt Romney. There are many other examples, but that one stands out even more than the most recent examples.

Consider that the commission picked “a registered Democrat, a friendly biographer of Nancy Pelosi, and a Biden intern as the first three moderators.” Nearly all the moderators in the last few election cycles have been Washington insiders and left-of-center members of the media.

Here are some suggestions. Let the two candidates agree on a few topics with no moderator. This would resemble the famous Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas Debates. Don’t think this would work? One idea would be to open the microphone for one candidate for two minutes until the microphone goes dead. Then open the microphone up for the other candidate.

If you think we need a moderator, Hugh Hewitt has a suggestion. Each candidate is allowed to name his or her moderator. Moderators would alternate questions and let the candidates speak for ten minutes. He concludes “Who knows what would happen? A debate might break out.”

It’s time for a better format for these presidential debates.viewpoints new web version

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