So, in the interest of full disclosure, I did not watch the Presidential debate last night. One reason is that we don’t have a TV connected to an antenna of any sort, and while the computer is connected to the internet, the kids were using it for homework. But the main reason is that I’ve long felt that the debates aren’t debates. At least, not like I remember debates from school, with carefully crafted arguments and back-and-forth rebuttals. No, the Presidential “debates” seem more like “Q-and-A” sessions: Candidate 1, what do you think of issue X? Candidate 2, what do you think of it? Very little actual debating.
None of which is to say that I can avoid the debate–not even if I tried. Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be another major news issue out there just now. My “usual trick” to see what’s going on–the top five articles on Reddit–shows a handful of articles that would be local news or human interest stories on any other day (the “biggest” one tells of Samsung filing to set aside the recent pro-Apple verdict; not exactly earth-shattering news). Drilling down a bit and going to the Politics sub-reddit shows 4 of the top 5 articles directly about the debate.
What do I think of last night’s debate, then? Well, apparently, no one really shined. It doesn’t appear to have been a game-changer; the consensus is that Governor Romney “won” (whatever exactly that means), while President Obama failed to attack as some felt he should have (Krugman describes him as “Capillary Man”). Will the debate have an impact on the polls? Probably, at least in the short term, but (in my opinion) probably not enough to really affect the race. We, as a nation, have become a bit too polarized; there just isn’t a big enough pool of “undecideds,” and most folks have already settled in their mind who they’re voting for. Still, it’s a month and change until the election; there’s time for a “game changing” event, however unlikely such a thing may be; there are two more Presidential debates, plus the VP candidates, and all of the local ones (which should, almost by definition, be much more fascinating–at least on a local level). Only time will tell…
Did you watch the debate? What did you take away from it?