Monday, December 31, 2007

Debate Criteria:Only Candidates who can win

Upcoming New Hampshire DEBATE SPONSORS ARE BEING CRITICIZED for the criteria for lesser candidates to be included.

In a world where we all reflect on our past failings, as a culture we are very hesitant to make important judgements about other people. This is a crucial weakness in our society. We need to acknowledge our own flaws, develop a plan to improve, and move on in an attempt to perfect our nation.
This neurotic tendency actually displays itself in Presidential debates during the Primary season. Right now there are numerous candidates in both political races who are irrelevant for a variety of reasons. Yet, we as a public, and those in power feel inhibited from telling them so. Especially in preventing them from taking the stage in the debates. So even though we will ignore them before and afterwards, we tolerate listening to non-sense without any purpose. It is an idealist urge to give everyone a fair and another chance to make their case. However, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Bill Richardson should not be in the debates coming up this week. On the Republican side the lesser achieving also should be excluded.

Here is what the rosters should be:

Guiliani, Huckabee, Thompson, McCain, Romney
Clinton, Edwards, Obama

The above article describes how the debate sponsors tried to use objective criteria such as electoral performance, local poll standing, national poll standing, etc. They could have also used campaign funds, offices opened, or whatever. I applaud their effort to define relevance. They didn't go far enough.

The 1st debate 8 months ago, is different from the one on the Saturday before the first primary. Time is precious now. At best there will be 90 - 120 minutes to make a judgement on numerous candidates. In the past these debates have become parallel press conferences in 30 and 60 second soundbites because the moderator is rushing to get everyone involved. For what? So Kucinich can repeat his same lines that haven't and won't catch on.? So Biden can demonstrate his mastery of the issues and attack the President? Chris Dodd is not winning the election. If he even comes close it would be the story of 2008. Bill Richardson could catch fire, so let him do so without this debate.

Everyone in the 2nd tier looks back on John Kerry last time, and says that could be them this time. But Kerry was a former frontrunner. Also, he began moving in the polls by this time in the last campaign cycle. At some point we need to make serious choices. For the Democrats that means: Clinton (yes), Edwards (no), or Obama (no). The criteria should be simple, in your judgement do you see any reasonable way that __________ can win the nomination? If yes, they are in, if not they are out. True, the judgement could be wrong, but its' worth the risk. Give all the candidates time to make their case early on , and then as we get closer to voting, give the ones with a chance to win the nomination , time to make their case.

No comments: