Archive for Saturday, August 13, 2011

Televised debates play important role in presidential race

August 13, 2011


Fifteen months is a relatively short time — depending on the situation, it can transpire fairly quickly or seem to take ages to come about.

In 15 months, Americans will be preparing to vote for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, a number of U.S. senators and the president.

In 15 months, those votes will determine whether this country continues on its downward socialistic spiral of bigger and bigger government with greater control over the lives of all Americans or voters say the country cannot continue with President Obama’s desire to fundamentally change the United States.

The nation’s economy is tanking, jobless numbers remain high, private business is handcuffed with ever-increasing government controls and restrictions, entitlement programs will run dry unless there are major revisions, and Obama and his sidekicks claim the only solution is to raise the national debt and call for higher taxes.

Even Obama’s loudest cheerleaders should acknowledge that this country is in serious trouble and that their hero has been unable to demonstrate much leadership, aside from being able to raise record millions of dollars for his re-election effort.

This country cannot afford to drift or be allowed to sink under Obama’s dream and plan for “change.” His changes are not in the best interests of America and its citizens.

This being the case, who is the best-qualified individual to move into the White House in January 2013, if voters turn out Obama?

Americans got a good chance Thursday evening to take a close look at a number of Republican candidates for the presidency. The televised “debate” in Ames, Iowa, showcased most of the serious contenders, other than Texas Gov. Rick Perry and possibly former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Which of these contenders is most likely to face off against Obama in November 2012 and possibly win the election? Who will voters favor?

Bob Goodwin of Washington, D.C., is extremely knowledgeable and experienced on presidential debates. He played a major role in George H.W. Bush’s debates in 1988, which led to a win over Michael Dukakis in the presidential election.

Goodwin recently wrote, “Why are the debates important? Because the average voter is lazy and isn’t going to take the time to go back through old copies of newspapers to find out the candidate’s views on the issues. They are going to take the easy way out … and one way is by watching televised debates. Most voters are convinced that the ‘two-minute answers’ and the ‘one-minute rebuttals’ will inform them about the candidates on enough subjects so that they can make ballot decisions. It is important to remember that primary, and, later, general election debates remain the single most sustained doses of candidate exposure that candidates will ever have so they take on immense importance for the candidates, the media and the voters.”

He added, “The fact that politics is perception and atmospherics is never more true than it is in televised debates.”

Although Thursday’s debate is past tense, Goodwin offered the following advice relative to what a viewer should watch for in future debates:

• A well-prepared candidate will have a goal for each debate in which he or she participates. Goals may vary from candidate to candidate and from debate to debate.

• A candidate should not participate in debates thinking he or she can simply repeat his or her standard stump speeches, press releases or policy statements. A candidate who prepares and does well stands to gain voters, volunteers, money, media coverage and endorsements. (Michelle Bachmann’s first debate appearance proves this point.)

• Forensics play an important role in presidential debates. As a general rule, ALL other things being equal, a candidate who projects a pleasant personality and a sense of humor goes a long way toward dominating a debate.

• Focus groups have shown that those who watched debates with the sound off came to about the same conclusions as those who watched with the sound on.

It is interesting to reflect on these suggestions and see how they mirror what took place Thursday evening and which candidates did well and who failed to deliver.

This writer believes there were several winners, along with those who didn’t measure up to the expectations of their supporters. However — and this is a good thing for the United States — all Thursday night debaters displayed more leadership, ideas, specific answers to specific questions and a commitment and pride in this country than President Obama does.

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann made the strongest presentations with Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman falling behind. This writer believes Gingrich is, by far, the most able to deliver a powerful and effective exposure of Obama’s failed agenda.

Another winner was the Fox News network, which staged a far better and more meaningful debate that what ABC, CBS and NBC have done in the past.

The nation needs a powerful, forceful, visionary leader who is proud of this country, what it has accomplished in past years and how it can and will be the world’s leader in the years to come. It’s fairly easy to talk the talk, as Obama has demonstrated, but far more difficult and important to be able to deliver on the talk.

Which one of the current crop of GOP candidates stands the best chance of being a sound, honest, experienced and visionary president?

Did Thursday’s debate identify such an individual?

Americans have 15 months to select a strong, powerful candidate. It is frightening to think what he or she may inherit.


Liberty_One 6 years, 8 months ago

"Americans have 15 months to select a strong, powerful candidate"

Or they could choose Ron Paul and fix the economy.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 8 months ago

Sure, because he would get such cooperation from Congress...

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Right. It's so educational watching a bunch of know-nothings taking swipes at each other.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 8 months ago

"This being the case, who is the best-qualified individual to move into the White House in January 2013, if voters turn out Obama?"

May I suggest the following? "This being the case, who is the best-qualified individual to move into the White House in January 2013, if Democrats turn out Obama and nominate Hillary Clinton?"

overthemoon 6 years, 8 months ago

The posing of random questions does not make a 'debate'. There is no discussion in these sound byte/photo opp events. It's just a beauty pageant without the swim suits.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 8 months ago

"This writer believes Gingrich is, by far, the most able to deliver a powerful and effective exposure of Obama’s failed agenda."

This writer got a good laugh at this one.

When will the Newtster be making his move? Perhaps he's been too busy racking up the bill at Tiffany's to pay for his latest whore.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 8 months ago

Bachman's biggest achievement as she stated in the debate was to introduce the freedom of lightbulb act. What a joke.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

And she wins the Straw Poll.If that poll was an indication of who the winner will be in 2012 we're in for a world of hurt.

George_Braziller 6 years, 8 months ago

Gingrich? What are you smoking Dolph?

In early June more than a dozen of his top aides and advisers on his presidential campaign team resigned on the same day. Even the co-chair for his campaign resigned because they knew he didn't have a chance.

The three marriages and admitted extra-marital affairs he has had doesn't give him a lot of credibility as he continues on his moral high road.

I'd vote for J. Edgar Hoover first. He was corrupt and is now dead but he has a better chance of being nominated.

beatrice 6 years, 8 months ago

Another attack against President Obama.

Stinking liberal media.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 8 months ago

Perry has to be the big front runner now. If they can not let him win Iowa, he will not win N.H., that's why he was in South Carolina today. So looking at three different winners early. And then Ron Paul has his base, and Palin is lurking in the shadows. Just saying it might get ugly.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 8 months ago

Debates for either party would be fun, if they ever had one. These 'events' are staged, canned press conferences where each candidate gives their stump speech in various forms. A debate on the issues could be enlightening, but we'll never see one. At a minimum, they should be on radio only so we aren't judging hairstyles, body language and mode of dress. Newt still makes the most sense, but he's toast.

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