October 4, 2012 |
President George W. Bush became an object of scorn and near-pity eight years ago for some voters watching his first debate with Democratic challenger John F. Kerry. Sitting amid a group of 100 swing voters who assembled to watch the debate at a college auditorium in Pennsylvania, I heard some laugh. Others shook their heads in dismay, as the president smirked or stammered and groped for words - particularly as he tried to defend the troublesome war in Iraq. The crowd had been given portable dial-rating devices to instantly register their feelings about the two presidential contenders.
September 22, 2012 |
In next month's three presidential debates, President Obama and Mitt Romney will be asked a wide range of questions crucial to the future of America. But if history is any guide, they are unlikely to answer many of them. Even worse, most of us won't even notice. Listen carefully to the questions and responses and you'll understand. A candidate is asked a specific question: "How will you balance the budget?" The response is typically along the lines of: "Balancing the budget is critical to America's future, which is why I am committed to it!"
September 1, 2012 |
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - While President Obama rallies his supporters at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Mitt Romney plans to spend much of next week preparing for the fall debates. After his rallies in Cincinnati and Jacksonville on Saturday, Romney is headed to his lakeside vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H., for Labor Day weekend. He has no public events planned Sunday or Monday. The Democratic convention will hold televised proceedings Tuesday through Thursday, with unofficial gatherings on Labor Day. Romney may hold events later in the week; his aides previously said the Republican nominee would likely campaign in swing states during the convention.
February 13, 2013 |
So, I asked the candidates Tuesday night: How many mayoral debates does this one make? Forty-two and a half, Eric Garcetti said, in a bemused tone. A half debate? Maybe that was one where some of the principal candidates weren't there. Or a debate so stricken with debate fatigue that it seemed like only half a debate. ENDORSEMENTS: Los Angeles City Elections 2013 Never mind. The actual number is "more than 30,” and I added one Tuesday night, moderating a debate sponsored by civic and residents' groups in Northeast L.A. Four of the five principle candidates were there; Wendy Greuel was out of town.
February 25, 2012 |
A hue and cry is growing across the land ... for an end to the Republican presidential debates. The field of GOP hopefuls, in its various permutations, has participated in 20 candidate forums, starting in May 2011 and continuing, for a time, at a pace of two a week. The most recent was Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz. From the Romney perspective that's more than plenty. Introducing her husband Saturday at a campaign stop in Troy, Mich., Ann Romney joked that she "should do all the talking and let him just stand here and watch me. " "I've also decided, no more debates," she continued.
September 7, 2012 |
The recently concluded Republican and Democratic conventions accomplished something important, even if they were long on vague goals and short on detailed plans to get there: They sharply defined the differences between President Obama and his Republican rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Anyone tuning in for even an hour would come away understanding how the two tickets' approaches to government clash. For Republicans, federal spending and regulation are a millstone around the neck of the economy; for Democrats, they're an essential part of the effort to promote growth and an expanding middle class.