October 17, 2012

Debate #2 - Moderator takes center stage

Last night's second presidential debate probably helped Obama a little bit.  Was it enough to change the Mitt Romney momentum?  Not likely enough to reverse it, but maybe enough to slow or halt Romney's ascent.  But Romney did well as well.  He didn't put the election away, but he didn't hurt himself.  It was about as close to a draw as a debate could be, especially since both participants were pretty lively.

Wait, did I say both participants?  I forgot about the Candy Crowley favoritism.  She was lively too.  Obama got far fewer interruptions than Romney and 3 more minutes of talk time.   And then there was this:


Is that what passes for a moderator?  She hopped in and offered observations on behalf of the president and then had to backtrack by mentioning Romney was fundamentally right, but chose the wrong word.

Here's the list of issues with that:

(1) Defending what Obama said is Obama's job, NOT hers.  If Obama wasn't going to do it, she should have let it stand.

(2) Her self-correction that Romney was fundamentally right was far less audible, and she did not balance it out properly.  Since she interjected herself, she should have had a proper exit strategy that included some level of clearing up the issue cleanly and clearly.

(3) She say Romney chose the wrong word.  Is this a Grade 6 grammar class? Is it her responsibility to superimpose her opinion on that point?  No.  That's not a moderator, that's a pundit.

The biggest issue in that debate was Crowley.  Obama and Romney both did passable jobs from a debate and influencing perspective.  I don't think this changes much of anything, other than hopefully some people's perception of the media's vested interests and inability in the main to be impartial and serve as moderators.
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