Tuesday, August 14, 2012

There's Nothing Like a Good Debate...

...We should try it some time.  A couple news items about the upcoming Presidential (and Vice Presidential) Debates.  First, the moderators (probably) have been chosen.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has decided on the moderators for this year's debates, sources confirm to POLITICO.

PBS's Jim Lehrer will host the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 in Denver, Colo. CNN's Candy Crowley will host the second, town-hall debate on October 16 in Hempstead, N.Y. CBS's Bob Schieffer will host the third debate on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

ABC's Martha Raddatz will host the vice presidential debate on Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.
As a commenter points out, they get points for diversity:
...a network liberal, a cable liberal, a PBS liberal and a female liberal.
The second piece of news is that Democrats  have requested that the moderators not as ask any questions about the Simpson-Bowles Budget Reduction Commission:
In the original letter, Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joe Lieberman, (I-Conn.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) asked the debate commission to devote “specific and extensive attention to the question of how the candidates would get our nation’s fiscal house in order during the first debate dedicated to domestic policy.”

“Specifically, we request that you ask the presidential candidates which of the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform they would adopt as part of their plan to reduce the deficit,” they wrote.

But that caused Reps. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to cry foul, writing in their own letter to the debate commission on Tuesday that although the Simpson-Bowles commission’s plan “may contain proposals helpful to our recovery…to hold it out as the only pathway to fiscal responsibility and economic success is foolish and wrong.”

“We urge the [Debate] Commission to fight any effort to unnecessarily narrow such an important debate by placing disproportionate attention on one set of proposals over another,” they wrote, adding that such a question would “cheapen the debate” and “thwart the candidates’ ability to explain alternative proposals.”
I'm sure if they think about it a little harder the Administration can find many other topic they'd rather not discuss, like unemployment, Solyndra, the (non)closure of Gitmo, the auto bailout union buyoff, the stimulus, Fast and Furious etc.

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