Jim Lehrer: Inside the Presidential Debates

Monday, December 26, 2011

As Republican candidates continued the fight for the nomination this week in another early Republican primary debate, former PBS News anchor Jim Lehrer, no stranger to the moderator's chair, joins us to discuss his career as an interviewer and his new book, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.


Jim Lehrer
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Comments [6]

jgarbuz from Queens

The whole development of the party candidate selection process, called "primaries," came into being mostly after WWII, to democratize the process as compared the earlier way of the candidates being essentially selected in "smoke-filled" back rooms by party functionaries and bigwigs who controlled certain urban areas. The idea of primaries was to go through this long and tedious series of public debates in different regions, and let the party members vote for the candidate of their choice.

The downside is that while this has been a boon for the news business, it has made the whole presidential election period way too long and tedious for the public to bear anymore.

Dec. 26 2011 11:26 AM
carolita from NYC

The debates aren't really there to help anyone positively, but rather they're just there for us to see if a candidate is capable of speaking in public under pressure without making an utter fool of him/herself. We all know they're lying through their teeth and staying "on message" no matter what." It's HOW they do it that counts for something. When we all saw McCain being such a jerk, it didn't matter what he said. He was all washed up after that. I don't even remember any of the content of the debate, just McCain walking around not looking at Obama, and that "this one" comment. The rest is just a blur of political rhetoric.

You just want to see who conducted themselves badly enough to be eliminated. It's just like a very sophisticated game of musical chairs.

Dec. 26 2011 11:22 AM
Joe Corrao

sorry frozen out of certain debates

Dec. 26 2011 11:17 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Robert of NYC

answer: "e" or none of the above.
correct answer: They are half brothers, with same father but two different mothers, like Isaac and Ishmael.

Dec. 26 2011 11:16 AM
Joe Corrao

How do you feel about Ron Paul getting out of certain debates

Dec. 26 2011 11:09 AM
Robert from NYC

Lehrer quiz...

Is Jim Lehrer Brian's...

a. dad
b. son
c. brother
d. all of the above
e. none of the above

Dec. 26 2011 10:03 AM

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