I have long hated the current presidential debate format. It is either fawning adulation or gotcha shenanigans, depending. I get nothing in the way of actual knowledge from them, other than to see how the candidates perform under stress, which is useful, I admit. I was glad to see it all come to a head over the CNBC debate. I was very happy to see the candidates speaking out at the absurdity of it all. I was even happier when the candidates got together to plan a debate format among themselves. Unfortunately, The Donald decided he benefitted from the current format, so that idea is a no-go. At least for now.
I still believe both the candidates and the country would benefit from a wholly different format. My criteria are as follows:
– Allows them speak in paragraphs. Or not, depending on what’s called for.
– Allows them to debate a few topics, known to them ahead of time and mutually agreed on.
– Allows them to question each other’s solutions and approaches. Some actual reasoned debate.
– Employs a neutral moderator whose job is to monitor the format and keep things on track. Think C-SPAN-ish.
In fact, I think C-SPAN would make an ideal venue. And the neutral hosting approach left as a legacy by Brian Lamb would serve us well.