The first of the presidential debates starts this week. Well, there are not debates, but actually glorified new conferences with the parties setting the rules that give the candidates plenty of opportunities to continue there taglines.
Odds are very good that the candidates will provide an answer without answering the question. After all, Mr. Romney has previously stated to a moderator, “You have the right to ask the questions you want to, and I have the right to answer them in a way I want to.”
What if I was running the event? If so, here are the six rules in the A Frank Angle interview format.
- The moderator (me) is in charge; thus asks the questions, exercises any rule at any time, and can re-ask questions until answered.
- If the candidate does not answer the question, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
- If the candidate strays from the question, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
- If the candidate stresses the faults of the other candidate’s position over emphasizing their position, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
- If a candidate cuts off the other, turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
- When in doubt, see Rule 1.
Better yet, here are some questions that probably will not be asked on the televised events.
To Mr. Romney
Let’s assume you win, but face a divided Congress. How will you navigate the non-compromising segment of your party?
Was President Obama born in the United States? Is President Obama a Muslim? Besides some horseshit answer like “They are entitled to believe what they want to believe”, explain yourself to the people who do believe it.
If the US Supreme Court is for all Americans, would you favor one in the mold of the other conservatives or one of independent mind?
(Follow up) There are taxes, penalties, and fees. You repeatedly state that you want to lower tax rates After the Supreme Court ruling regarding the Affordable Car Act, you happily accepted the mantra that penalties are taxes. With that same thought, aren’t fees also taxes?
There are many in your party who advocate the teaching of various explanations of Biblical creationism in a science classroom. Why have you not taken the stance that the US Supreme Court ruled against that over 40 years ago?
To President Obama
One aspect of your 2008 message of hope and change focused on bringing the two parties together as much as possible. On the other hand, a hard-driving Rahm Emmanuel’s (your chief of staff) is a direct contradiction to your message. How do you explain the difference between what you say and what you do?
Afghanistan continues to be a trouble spot. Although the American public supports the military, the majority does not favor this conflict. When are you going to make the decision to stop nation building and get the heck out?
Why did you not immediately embrace the recommendations from the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission?
The financial sector is the foundation for our economic system. Because Dodd-Frank continues to allow banking deregulation, why did you not support returning to the regulation established by Glass-Steagall?
Outside of the stimulus, the economy didn’t become the focus of your presidency until year three. Why?
Each of you frequently mentioned the importance of small businesses. What is your definition of small business?
(Follow-up) Why did you ignore the Federal Government’s own definition as per the Small Business Administration? Now, given statistics from the SBA and IRS, let’s examine your claims.
To Rep. Ryan
What is 1+1?
Good, you can add. Here’s a calculator, a pencil, scrap paper, and your budget. Because your numbers do not add up and need more explanation, go over to the side to work on this and we’ll get back to you.
Two Interesting Reads
- This recent George Will column has excellent questions for the candidates
- John Donvan Washington Post’s column about turning the event into a debate