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This is Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch

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Last night’s debate: the unasked question

Last night, Amy and I watched the second in a series of mostly uninspiring presidential debates (I won’t even get into the VP debacle…er…debate). I was less concerned with the content of their answers – we’ve heard it all before – and more concerned with how they handled the format of the debate.

The two candidates agreed, in writing, to certain rules, such as the length of time each would be given (two minutes to answer a question and one minute to give a rebuttal) and the role of the moderator in the debate. I was frustrated by the lack of respect both candidates had for the rules and for Tom Brokow, who basically got walked on for 90 minutes by both Obama and McCain.

About halfway through the debate, I decided there was one question that needed to be asked that I knew no one would pose, but one for which I desperately wanted an answer.

Q: You both agreed in writing to time limits for your answers, which were created specifically to allow representation of a broad range of topics during the allotted time. Both of you have consistently broken that agreement by not honoring time restrictions, and neither of you seem able to make your point within the budgeted time, even though you had weeks to prepare. Considering you can’t abide by your own agreements, and you’re unable to effectively manage your time in a simple debate, why should the American people have confidence you will manage the country any more effectively?

[insert blah blah blah response here]

I wonder if the candidates would be able to answer that question in the time allotted…