Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keep This in Mind While You Watch the Debate Tonight

John Cook at Gawker informs:

Time's Mark Halperin has made himself useful for once by obtaining, and publishing,a copy of the 21-page memorandum of understanding that the Obama and Romney campaigns negotiated with the Commission on Presidential Debates establishing the rules governing this month's presidential and vice presidential face-offs. The upshot: Both campaigns are terrified at anything even remotely spontaneous happening.
They aren't permitted to ask each other questions, propose pledges to each other, or walk outside a "predesignated area." And for the town-hall-style debate tomorrow night, the audience members posing questions aren't allowed to ask follow-ups (their mics will be cut off as soon as they get their questions out). Nor will moderator Candy Crowley.
Most bizarrely, given the way the debates have played out, the rules actually appear to forbid television coverage from showing reaction shots of the candidates: "To the best of the Commission's abilities, there will be no TV cut-aways to any candidate who is not responding to a question while another candidate is answering a question or to a candidate who is not giving a closing statement while another candidate is doing so." The "best of the Commission's abilities" must be rather feeble, seeing as how almost every moment of the two debates so far was televised in split-screen, clearly showing shots of a "candidate who is not responding to a question while another candidate is answering a question."
(ht Travis Holte)


  1. Reading through that document makes you wonder, with that many coin tosses going on, where are the regulations covering the coin type, weight, color, diameter, material, propulsion mechanism and so on.

    Anyone think they used a silver eagle or a lowly quarter?

  2. The debate? I think Mitt Obama and Barack Romney are up against Honey Boo Boo. Even that family has a higher IQ than those two a--clowns.

  3. The rest of the presidential campaign is kabuki theater. Why would the debates be any different?

  4. We won't get to see the other candidate's reaction? So we will only get to see half the story.