Commission-Presidential Debate

Commission-Presidential Debate
1200 New Hampshire Ave NW #445
Washington ,  DC   20036
United States
Phone: (202) 872-1020
Item added by Automatt. Added on 07/12/2010
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Commission-Presidential Debate 2

In just a few months, the Presidential debates, which are sponsored by this group, will be upon us.

My problem is not that these debates are largely vapid exercises in personality and body language assessment, combined with gotcha zingers and deliberate dodges. It has nothing to do with informing the public about the political process or what these candidate's plan to do once in office. The problem is that they simply matter less and less with each campaign season. As I pointed out the other day, $3 billion in advertising goes to swing a couple hundred thousand voters in a few states. The bulk of the campaign's attention is geared towards these voters, and so are the debates.

Even the schedule of the debates makes a mockery of their relevance to a huge section of voters. By the time the third debate wraps up on October 22, an enormous number of voters will already have turned in their mail-in absentee ballot, and early voting will already be underway in most parts of the country. That's not to say the debates can't sway the election. They most certainly can. That's bound to happen in a country so evenly divided that a victory with 53% of the popular is considered a landslide.

But it is remarkable that such a grandiose spectacle of democracy is being put on for the benefit of so few voters who may actually change their minds after witnessing the whole thing.

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