At this point in the presidential race, students like myself do not have time to sift through crooked statistics and tired rhetoric. We have enough of those things on our plate already, considering that we’re reviewing for midterms.

Romney and Obama could have saved us the trouble. Most of the students I spoke with at New York University, which I attend, were already informed about the policy issues addressed during the televised train wreck. And those who were undecided said that they were still thinking through both policies because the debate offered little to them.

“I thought both candidates did an excellent job at talking their way around some key issues,” John Facey, a junior studying creative writing, said.

The candidates were just picking on each other like boys in the school yard. One friend likened Jim Lehrer’s authority to that of a high school substitute teacher: only after the fifth warning did the kids eventually settle down.

And just like almost every American who watched the debate on Wednesday, the student voter population was left scratching their heads once Lehrer finally called it a night.

Read More

Bring on the hot wings and beer. My favorite contact sport event is coming up October 3. I hope it’ll inspire tailgate parties all over the country.

No, I haven’t become a football fan after years of avoiding it. I’m talking about the first presidential debate. It should be required watching for all voters—that would be a far better qualification for voting than requiring picture identification.

What if you were the debate moderator, what do you think would be the most important question you’d ask?

Politico’s Arena, where I post regularly, asked about that yesterday, and also quizzed the panel on whether voters should expect fireworks or calm, polished debate. I wondered, what fun would it be without some fireworks. PBS’s Jim Lehrer will moderate this debate, the first of two debates between the presidential candidates.

I’m sure there will be many questions about their respective economic plans, as there should be. But in my response, I addressed the way questions are asked as well as the content.

Most of the time when I’m cheering and booing from the debate sidelines, I’m annoyed with the moderators’ softball questions that have too little follow up to get the candidates beyond their talking points.

Read More

Last night’s presidential debate on CNN was some of the best theater I’ve seen (watch clips). It had everything–a room packed with celebrities there to see our hottest political performers, snappy scripts well delivered, a spectacle much like top flight tennis players volleying at the height of their game, lights-camera-action.

Finally! Wolf Blitzer opened with the question that I’ve been giving the answer to since the campaign begain when he observed that Obama and Clinton look like the American dream team. It wouldn’t have been too seemly to ask who’d be on top, but the implication was obvious. They both gave the only answers they could, which was to say how much they respected one another and “here’s why I should be president”.

Obama is better with facile phrasemaking and people love that; nevertheless, Clinton got the best line–and biggest laugh–of the evening when asked whether the Bush-Clinton sequence should continue, she said “It might take a Clinton to clean up after a Bush again.”

Read More