Lincoln-Douglas / Santos-Vinick

So, Hillary this week graciously offered to debate Barack mano a mano.  No moderator.

Set their own rules.  Ask each other questions and answer them.

Millions of people across the country would be THRILLED to have a debate without moderators.

But can we really recreate the pure raw power of the Santos-Vinick debate (from the final season of West Wing)?  Of course, that was a Democrat against a Republican.

And don’t even imagine it could be anything like Lincoln-Douglas.    I can’t imagine that level of genteel.

Although it sounds wonderful, we probably all know the problem here.  Clinton’s calling Obama out knowing full well that Obama isn’t going to bite.  Obama has nothing to offer if put into an open debate… his whole campaign is smoke and mirrors.  It’s a risky play, though, since if Obama plays along, the current sniping can become an all out war on national TV, something neither candidate should want at this point.

Democrats are completely disoriented… this year’s election has so much complexity and new twists that the traditional analysis of any information lacks credibility.  The bad news is that anything weird can happen in very little time and the Internet and Media are making that possible.  The good news is that candidates can analyze and react almost as quickly, and potential shut down any major voter reaction any number of ways, including disproving, discounting, or distracting attention from the events.  And most people don’t have the time or attention span to track everything that’s going on.  It’s amazing that people even notice some of the things that have come up.

Obama is right, however (for whatever reason has)… there’s been enough debates for the primary.  Let’s just get it done, have the all-out war at the Democratic Party National Convention, and make sure people can see how contentious the party has become.  The Convention will be well-watched, I’m sure, and the biggest benefactor should be John McCain.  We’ll see.

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.


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