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Thread: Non Partisan Thoughts on the Debate Format

  1. #1

    Non Partisan Thoughts on the Debate Format

    Winners and losers aside I must say that IMO the format they used for last nights debate was fantastic. The moderator threw out a topic and let both candidates go to town on it. I thought the answers from both candidates were much more detailed then anything I'd heard in previous presidential debates. I loved the back and fourth between the candidates as well. I thought Jim Lehrer did a great job as well. He didn't come with the usual off topic gotcha questions that we are all used to seeing. The questions and the debate itself was as substantive as I can ever remember a debate being.

    Curious as to what the board posters thought on both sides of the spectrum.

  2. #2
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    I agree. The debate was about the candidates, not the moderator. I don't understand all the outrage towards Lehrer today. He let them go at it. Both candidates stood on topic.

  3. #3
    The topics should not be limited to 15 or 20 minutes. The job interview for POTUS should be longer than 3, 90 minute sessions.

    The moderator has been doing his thing here for over a decade now. Let (the candidates) them fly

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    I agree. The debate was about the candidates, not the moderator. I don't understand all the outrage towards Lehrer today. He let them go at it. Both candidates stood on topic.
    The problem with Lehrer as moderator was he didn't enforce the time limits at all, and it led to certain issues getting less coverage than others, as well as unequal allocation of time (Obama actually got 4 more minutes than Romney). That said, other than the 1 or 2 times where the candidates just refused to allow the other to have the last word and dragged out a segment by repeating points they'd already made, I preferred that style to the locked down, "sorry, we're out of time, the fact that you are still making and responding to new and interesting points is irrelevant" format you often see.

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    Personally, I did not like the format.

    It was very unorganized, almost seemed like a free for all on the stage. Also, the questions were very weak. Every question amounted to "what are the differences between the two of you?" Very general and bland.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    Personally, I did not like the format.

    It was very unorganized, almost seemed like a free for all on the stage. Also, the questions were very weak. Every question amounted to "what are the differences between the two of you?" Very general and bland.
    You prefer the alternative format where each candidate gets 2 minutes to answer a question while the other gets a 30 second rebuttal? Then they have that buzzer that sounds when they go over 2 minutes.

    I find in the "2 minute" style of debates the candidates have to compress their answers in to quick sound bytes that lack substance and detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    You prefer the alternative format where each candidate gets 2 minutes to answer a question while the other gets a 30 second rebuttal? Then they have that buzzer that sounds when they go over 2 minutes.

    I find in the "2 minute" style of debates the candidates have to compress their answers in to quick sound bytes that lack substance and detail.
    There are many different potential formats. In my opinion, this format was too open and disorganized.

    As stated previously, every question was "How do you differ from (insert opponent's name here)?" It was too vague of a question and as a result, the debate steered away from specifics in most areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    The problem with Lehrer as moderator was he didn't enforce the time limits at all, and it led to certain issues getting less coverage than others, as well as unequal allocation of time (Obama actually got 4 more minutes than Romney). That said, other than the 1 or 2 times where the candidates just refused to allow the other to have the last word and dragged out a segment by repeating points they'd already made, I preferred that style to the locked down, "sorry, we're out of time, the fact that you are still making and responding to new and interesting points is irrelevant" format you often see.
    I agree this format is not perfect and it will likely always lead to losing segments BUT it is much better and there is more substance to the debate. Quality > Quantity. Let them finish their points.

    It wasn't perfect, but I thought it worked. Last night should have been longer. They should have went into overtime. 90 minutes is not enough. Let them battle it out.

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