Author Topic: Presidential Debates  (Read 6549 times)

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Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #195 on: October 01, 2020, 05:04:33 AM »

Online ozgod

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Chris Wallace says he was "sad with the way things turned out", in an interview with the NYT. I'm posting the full article in case people can't read it as it may be behind the NYT paywall.

Quote
Chris Wallace Calls Debate ‘a Terrible Missed Opportunity’
The veteran anchor conceded he was initially “reluctant” to step in during the Trump-Biden matchup. “I’ve never been through anything like this,” he said.

By Michael M. Grynbaum
Sept. 30, 2020

“I’m just sad with the way last night turned out.”

Chris Wallace, the “Fox News Sunday” anchor and moderator of Tuesday’s melee of a debate between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr., was on the phone Wednesday from his home in Annapolis, Md., reflecting on — his words — “a terrible missed opportunity.”

“I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did,” he said.

In his first interview since the chaotic and often incoherent spectacle — in which a pugilistic Mr. Trump relentlessly interrupted opponent and moderator alike — Mr. Wallace conceded that he had been slow to recognize that the president was not going to cease flouting the debate’s rules.

“I’ve read some of the reviews. I know people think, well, gee, I didn’t jump in soon enough,” Mr. Wallace said, his voice betraying some hoarseness from the previous night’s proceedings. “I guess I didn’t realize — and there was no way you could, hindsight being 20/20 — that this was going to be the president’s strategy, not just for the beginning of the debate but the entire debate.”

Recalling his thoughts as he sat onstage in the Cleveland hall, with tens of millions of Americans watching live, Mr. Wallace said: “I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this.”

Mr. Trump’s bullying behavior had no obvious precedent in presidential debates, even the one that Mr. Wallace previously moderated, to acclaim, in 2016. In the interview, the anchor said that when Mr. Trump initially engaged directly with Mr. Biden, “I thought this was great — this is a debate!”

But as the president gave no sign of backing off, Mr. Wallace said, he grew more alarmed. “If I didn’t try to seize control of the debate — which I don’t know that I ever really did — then it was going to just go completely off the tracks,” he said.

Asked what he was feeling when he called the debate to a temporary halt — instructing the candidates that “the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions” — Mr. Wallace said, “The answer to that question is easy: Desperation.”

Asked directly if Mr. Trump had derailed the debate, Mr. Wallace replied, “Well, he certainly didn’t help.”

Care to elaborate? “No,” Mr. Wallace said. “To quote the president, ‘It is what it is.’”

In the spotlight, Mr. Wallace was keenly aware of the complexity of his task: ensuring an evenhanded debate, avoiding taking sides, allowing candidates to express themselves while keeping the discussion substantive.

“You’re reluctant — as somebody who has said from the very beginning that I wanted to be as invisible as possible, and to enable them to talk — to rise to the point at which you begin to interject more and more,” Mr. Wallace said. “First to say, ‘Please don’t interrupt,’ then ‘Please obey the rules,’ and third, ‘This isn’t serving the country well.’ Those are all tough steps at real time, at that moment, on that stage.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates said on Wednesday that it would examine changes to the format of this year’s remaining encounters between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, a clear sign of its frustration with the results of Tuesday evening. The commission also took pains to praise Mr. Wallace for his “professionalism and skill.”

The suggestion that moderators be given the power to mute the candidates’ microphones — popular on social media in the hours after the event — did not sit well with Mr. Wallace.

“As a practical matter, even if the president’s microphone had been shut, he still could have continued to interrupt, and it might well have been picked up on Biden’s microphone, and it still would have disrupted the proceedings in the hall,” he said.

And he noted that cutting off the audio feed of a presidential candidate is a more consequential act than some pundits give it credit for. “People have to remember, and too many people forget, both of these candidates have the support of tens of millions of Americans,” he said.

Steve Scully of C-SPAN is set to moderate the next debate, in a town-hall format where Florida voters will ask many of the questions. Kristen Welker of NBC News is the moderator for the final debate. Mr. Wallace’s advice: “If either man goes down this road, I hope you’ll be quicker to realize what’s going on than I was. I didn’t have that advance warning.”

Mr. Wallace flew home from Cleveland on Tuesday night. At an airport there, he accepted a glass of champagne from Lachlan Murdoch, whose family controls the Fox Corporation, and Suzanne Scott, the chief executive of Fox News, both of whom had been on hand for the debate. (“I didn’t feel much like celebrating,” Mr. Wallace admitted.)

Back in Annapolis, “I’ve been involved in a certain amount of soul-searching.”

“Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don’t have any second thoughts there,” Mr. Wallace said, in conclusion. “I’m just disappointed with the results. For me, but much more importantly, I’m disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be.”

Michael M. Grynbaum is a media correspondent covering the intersection of business, culture and politics. @grynbaum

A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 1, 2020, Section B, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Moderator of Debate Regrets ‘Missed Opportunity’. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/30/business/media/chris-wallace-debate-moderator.html

Personally, I think Wallace did as well as could be expected...there's only so many times you can tell someone to shut up on national TV. If they're planning not to what can you do. If he struggled, I doubt that Steve Scully or Kristen Welker will be able to do any better.

I hope that the blowback that Trump got from his fans at Fox, including the Fox & Friends hosts and Laura Ingraham (obviously excluding the all-in opinion hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity) that his constant interrupting actually bailed Biden out on a number of occasions, will convince the President to take an alternative strategy for the next two debates. 
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #196 on: October 20, 2020, 12:11:47 AM »

Online ozgod

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So for this Thursday's debate, Kristen Welker will be able to mute President Trump and Vice President Biden if they keep talking when they're not supposed to. It's unclear as this point if the mics will be automatically muted when they are not supposed to be speaking, or if Welker will have the latitude to mute and unmute as she sees fit.

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The Commission on Presidential Debates said Monday night that it will mute Trump’s and Biden’s microphones during parts of Thursday’s presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville.

The 90-minute debate will be broken up into six 15-minute segments, each with a different topic. The commission said it will give Trump and Biden two minutes apiece to speak uninterrupted at the start of each segment. A period of “open discussion” will follow until the next segment begins.

Trump’s campaign has repeatedly opposed the idea of granting the moderator the power to shut off a candidate’s microphone — an idea that has been floated in the aftermath of the first debate, during which Trump repeatedly interrupted and jeered at Biden.

But in a statement Monday night, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien suggested the president still plans to participate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/19/trump-biden-live-updates/
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #197 on: October 20, 2020, 12:44:13 AM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Trump agreeing to this?

Haha not holding my breath.

If his mic is muted I'd guess he will STILL try to talk over Biden and the Moderator. Man has a booming voice.

I'm willing to be proven wrong but we'll see.
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Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #198 on: October 20, 2020, 01:53:14 AM »

Online ozgod

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Trump agreeing to this?

Haha not holding my breath.

If his mic is muted I'd guess he will STILL try to talk over Biden and the Moderator. Man has a booming voice.

I'm willing to be proven wrong but we'll see.

Apparently so, albeit under protest. He's desperate though, the walls are closing in:

Quote
But in a statement Monday night, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien suggested the president still plans to participate.

“President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate,” Stepien said. He did not provide evidence to back up his accusation that the nonpartisan debate commission favors Biden.

“This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the President still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether he’s been compromised by the Communist Party of China,” he added.

The statement echoes other suggestions by campaign officials in recent days that Trump plans to grill Biden on his son’s business ties as well as his foreign policy record as vice president and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/19/trump-biden-live-updates/

As for him interrupting, I'm sure he'll find a way to interrupt, it's clearly a strategy of his to distract. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump tries to get the moderator to mute him numerous times just so he can accuse Welker and the MSM of bias to toss yet more red meat to his base.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 02:49:15 AM by ozgod »
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #199 on: October 20, 2020, 11:21:25 AM »

Offline KGs Knee

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I honestly don't understand what the point of having further debates even is.

How many undecided voters are even left out there, and are any of them going to actually be influenced by anything said? It's not like either candidate is going to talk policy, they're both just going to regurgitate the same talking points they have been while one slings the most audacious insults possible and the other tries to land more subtle, clever insults.

And besides, these debates are a total sham anyways, given the continued and unjust exclusion of the libertarian party from these debates. It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #200 on: October 20, 2020, 11:26:38 AM »

Offline JohnBoy65

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I honestly don't understand what the point of having further debates even is.

How many undecided voters are even left out there, and are any of them going to actually be influenced by anything said? It's not like either candidate is going to talk policy, they're both just going to regurgitate the same talking points they have been while one slings the most audacious insults possible and the other tries to land more subtle, clever insults.

And besides, these debates are a total sham anyways, given the continued and unjust exclusion of the libertarian party from these debates. It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

I don't know how many undecided voters there are, but I do think there are 'loose' supporters. I think there are people that lean Trump and watch him debate and flip to Biden. I truly feel Trump did more harm in the 1st debate to himself than Biden did. I think the Trump campaign wants a this debate to try and get an infamous 'Biden gaff" something that did not happen in the 1st debate.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #201 on: October 20, 2020, 11:29:16 AM »

Offline jambr380

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I honestly don't understand what the point of having further debates even is.

How many undecided voters are even left out there, and are any of them going to actually be influenced by anything said? It's not like either candidate is going to talk policy, they're both just going to regurgitate the same talking points they have been while one slings the most audacious insults possible and the other tries to land more subtle, clever insults.

And besides, these debates are a total sham anyways, given the continued and unjust exclusion of the libertarian party from these debates. It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

I agree that it is pretty useless. Everybody watched the 1st one, but I don't think people are dying to tune into this one.

And while I do understand your plea for 3rd party candidates to have more of a voice, the only way this will ever work is if we have two elections. One where the winner of each party is on the ballot. And then another where the top two face off. Elections like 92, 00, and 16 where the 3rd party candidate greatly influenced the election aren't helpful. It should always be a 1 on 1 Final imo.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #202 on: October 22, 2020, 10:46:11 PM »

Online SparzWizard

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Biden went on the offense tonight, sounds like he did pretty good. Trump didn't make any big statements. It's like two little kids arguing with each other, fun.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #203 on: October 22, 2020, 11:29:18 PM »

Offline keevsnick

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I thought Trumps "performance" was better than previous debates, but I also thought Biden had the strongest performance i can remember from him. All in all slight win to Biden, more importantly it didn't feel like the debate will change the current trajectory of the race.

Its shocking watching Trump how often he just decides to stake out an unpopular position. Whether its Covid, healthcare, ect he also seems to be on the wrong side of opinion polling.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #204 on: October 23, 2020, 09:23:39 AM »

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It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

Should be criminal.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #205 on: October 23, 2020, 09:43:00 AM »

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Low bar but it was better than watching that football game last night.

I can't imagine last night's debate swayed many people one way or another.  I did think it was better than the first and Trump managed to be composed for most of the debate which was a huge improvement for him from the first debate. Biden did what he had to do not to blow things.  No big "gotcha" moments for either side.  I already voted last week so really just watched out of interest and the possible entertainment value.

I thought the moderator did a much better job than Wallace did in the first debate last night.  Thought she managed things pretty well.


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Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #206 on: October 23, 2020, 10:42:01 AM »

Offline KGs Knee

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It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

Should be criminal.

I wouldn't be against prosecuting everyone involved with the DNC and RNC under RICO laws. They're both clearly criminal enterprises who conspire to defraud the public for the purposes of consolidating their power. They're no better than any common gangster.

Everyone loses when dissenting voices are silenced. At the very least there needs to be a law that any candidate that is on the ballot in all 50 states is included in the debates. Of course, neither the Dems nor the Reps have any interest in loosing their grip, it's one of the few things they agree on.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #207 on: October 23, 2020, 10:47:30 AM »

Offline BitterJim

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It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

Should be criminal.

The bar is 5% of votes in the previous election, or polling at 15+%, isn't it? That doesn't seem unreasonable.

If you changed the criteria to just being on the ballot in 50 states, the Green party would definitely push to get onto the last handful of ballots (they were on 45 of 51 in 2016), so that's 4 people up there. I would think that the Lincoln Project would have been pushing hard to have someone on there as well, and would probably get the required signatures for each state without too much trouble if they started early enough (and made being on the debate stage a big part of their push for getting onto the ballot).

A 4 or 5 person debate wouldn't be an upgrade over what we have right now, it would be a mess (especially since the moderator would, for good reason, give most of the time to the Dem and Rep candidates, which would upset the other candidates). It'd be nice to have more 3rd party recognition/representation, but it'd have to start with them getting more votes (which is all the more reason to push for things like Ranked-Choice voting, so you can vote for a 3rd party without it just being a waste)
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Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #208 on: October 23, 2020, 11:03:08 AM »

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It's not even a valid debate when a party on the ballot in all 50 states isn't even allowed on stage to share their perspective and views.

Should be criminal.

The bar is 5% of votes in the previous election, or polling at 15+%, isn't it? That doesn't seem unreasonable.

If you changed the criteria to just being on the ballot in 50 states, the Green party would definitely push to get onto the last handful of ballots (they were on 45 of 51 in 2016), so that's 4 people up there. I would think that the Lincoln Project would have been pushing hard to have someone on there as well, and would probably get the required signatures for each state without too much trouble if they started early enough (and made being on the debate stage a big part of their push for getting onto the ballot).

A 4 or 5 person debate wouldn't be an upgrade over what we have right now, it would be a mess (especially since the moderator would, for good reason, give most of the time to the Dem and Rep candidates, which would upset the other candidates). It'd be nice to have more 3rd party recognition/representation, but it'd have to start with them getting more votes (which is all the more reason to push for things like Ranked-Choice voting, so you can vote for a 3rd party without it just being a waste)

I'm in favor of ranked-choice, but otherwise you can't expect third parties to garner more votes despite being excluded. Rather, allow them to debate and see what their numbers are. Their exclusion contributes to them not being seen as viable, which lowers their numbers. Alternative choices need to be seen as legitimate.

I don't buy that debates can't handle 4-5 candidates. That's silly. The process for narrowing down to 2 candidates is built on the campaigns and debates of more than that in the primaries.

Re: Presidential Debates
« Reply #209 on: October 23, 2020, 11:05:46 AM »

Offline KGs Knee

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Quote
A 4 or 5 person debate wouldn't be an upgrade over what we have right now

Obviously, I don't agree.  The more voices, the better.  The general public is kept in the dark as to these dissenting views for good reason, the people with the power don't want you to know there are other choices.  In fact, they fear you being exposed to these differing views.  You have to give them a stage to get their message out, otherwise they'll never get the votes because too many are ill-informed or unaware.  That's the whole reason these hurdles have been put in place.  It is absolutely not in the best interest of anyone but the political parties themselves.

But yes, RCV please!