Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hillary's Good Idea

Probably the best idea she has had in the last six months was her proposal to hold a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Barack Obama. If she had made the suggestion in February, back when it mattered, she might have changed the election. Unfortunately, now it just looks like a gimmick because that is all the offer is.

Moderator-focused, parallel press conference, pseudo-debates have become a staple of modern politics. I hate them. A year ago, June 2007, I urged abolishing the current debate format and replacing it with something based on the academic Lincoln-Douglas format. Since then a parade of incompetent, preening, self-important, anchormen (from the Ted Baxter/Ron Burgundy school of journalism) have made a mockery of the presidential debates.

Hillary's proposal should not be lost. It was a good idea. Obama should not dismiss the idea but shelve it temporarily and insist upon a series of one-on-one, no moderator debates with John McCain before the general election.

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