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Debating Politics

Friday, September 26, 2008

WNYC's political director, Andrea Bernstein previews tonight's presidential nominee debate and introduces us to some voters who haven't made up their minds yet.

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Andrea Bernstein

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Comments [17]

Pam from Qns.

Wrong Bernstein! Give me my LENNY!!!

Sep. 26 2008 08:52 PM
anita Spivak from Rockaway, NJ

I think that those people who can remember the 1930s or even remember their parents describing those horrible years are more willing to have the government bail out those who cause the economic mess we are in.

Sep. 26 2008 08:23 PM
a woman from manhattan

You know what else has been bothering me about this so-called bail out package flap?
I'm absolutely certain that they proposed such a ridiculous solution knowing full well nobody would sign it without a lot of questions and mediation. It was just a stalling measure.

And meanwhile, all those people who lost our money are squirreling away all their money, making sure they won't have anything left to show for it when it comes time to pay the piper, IF that time ever comes. Which it never seems to do, for these people.

Sep. 26 2008 11:50 AM
a woman from manhattan

Tonight Obama should start out by saying, "Well, Senator McCain, I guess the economy is fixed, since you're here!"

Sep. 26 2008 11:29 AM
seth from Long Island

#12 NPV
My biggest gripe with McCain was his statement that Obama "would rather lose a war than lose an election". As an Obama supporter, I feel my patriotism is being questioned

#10 mc
I'm not familiar with Maggie Mahar but if you vouch for her, that's good enough for me.

Sep. 26 2008 11:01 AM
NPV from Sea Cliff, N.Y. 11579

Seth, You make some very valid points in your four comments. This approach is much better than your vicious attacks on John McCain. The upcoming debates will determine who will become president and hopefully voteres will make a wise decision. This election is as important as the election before the Civil War. Our county needs a major course correction to benefit every American. All of the vitriol and rhetoric is folly. Now we will now get to bottom line. NPV

Sep. 26 2008 10:52 AM
Josh Banks from Brooklyn

There is no reason why McCain should not show up. A president needs to be able to do more then one thing at a time. Bottom line is, its a political ploy to avoid tough questions. For some who claims to be above business as usual in Washington and will take the high road, has been quite hypocritical. All he has is negative ads against Obama, and no direct answers for anything. he blew off David Letterman to go on CBS news with katie Couric. He's afraid to talk to anyone to ask him real questions.

Sep. 26 2008 10:51 AM
mc from Brooklyn

seth,
While you're at it draft Maggie Mahar to ask questions about health care.

Sep. 26 2008 10:50 AM
Alex from brooklyn


The Mason-Dixon line was between MD and PA. But Lincoln surrounded the MD statehouse when MD voted on secession. So, MD was in the Union.

But Northern Virginia is not at all like historic Virginia. There were plantations in 1776. Now, it's a high-tech corridor.

In fact, VA is like many other states -- including MA, NY and IL. The population is heavily concentrated in one part of the state, along with the highly educated and higher income portion of the population. It is unusual in that the city around this population is focused (DC) is not actually part of the state.

So, the modern Mason-Dixon line that separates the North from the South-- as opposed to the historical one -- keeps moving south along I-95 as the DC exurbs expand. 20 years ago, it was just 20 minutes south of DC. Now, it is more like an hour, maybe even more.

Sep. 26 2008 10:49 AM
barry from Manhattan

Wait...wait Seth has something to say....
Go ahead Seth we are all ears..

Sep. 26 2008 10:49 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

The Mason Dixon Line is the southern border of Penna/the northern border of Maryland, also the border between Delaware and Maryland - Delaware is "above" the line.

All of Maryland, Va., WVa AND Washington, DC are below the line.

Sep. 26 2008 10:45 AM
Larry from Queens

Virginia is well below the Mason-Dixon line which is the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania/Delaware. I do think the current line between north and south does run just south of the DC 'burbs as you dicussed really changing Virginia politics.

Sep. 26 2008 10:42 AM
Cynthia from Manhattan

The Mason-Dixon Line is in Maryland.

Sep. 26 2008 10:42 AM
seth from Long Island

My format for VP debates

4 debates with each one running for 3 hours and questions posed by 4 to 6 panelists comprised of think tank experts and print reporters whose beat is the topic of that evening’s debate.
Candidates have 7 minutes to answer questions and about 3 minutes for rebuttals
1st debate – Taxation, Govt Spending, Debt and Deficit, and all other economic issues
2nd debate – Foreign Policy in relation to Terrorism and Homeland Security
3rd debate – Energy and the Environment
4th debate – Healthcare

1 Vice Presidential townhall event running for 3 hours with questions from ordinary voters on any issue whatsoever.
Candidates have 7 minutes to answer questions and about 3 minutes for rebuttals.

Sep. 26 2008 09:58 AM
seth from Long Island

Presidential and VP debates should be intellectually rigorous and demanding.

Presidential and VP candidates need to be challenged, cross-examined, pressed, grilled, pushed, and put through their paces on economics, foreign policy, the environment, healthcare, etc. Celebrity journalists and ordinary voters lack the detailed, in-depth knowledge of these subjects to accomplish this task. Only think tank experts and beat reporters who cover foreign affairs, economics, etc. have the expertise to give candidates the interrogation they deserve.

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer are poster boys for STENOGRAPHER JOURNALISTS.
As long as voters tolerate debates where the candidates are questioned by EMPTY SUITS like Lehrer and Schieffer, the debates will be TOOTHLESS, FECKLESS PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES.

Sep. 26 2008 09:43 AM
seth from Long Island

My debate format

Presidential Debates

9 debates with each one running for 3 hours and questions posed by 4 to 6 panelists comprised of think tank experts and print reporters whose beat is the topic of that evening’s debate.
Candidates have 7 minutes to answer questions and about 3 minutes for rebuttals.

1st debate – Taxation, Govt Spending, Debt and Deficit, and all other economic issues
2nd debate – Foreign Policy in relation to Terrorism and Homeland Security
3rd debate – Foreign Policy in relation to Trade, Foreign Aid, etc
4th debate – Energy and the Environment
5th debate – Healthcare
6th debate – Science and Technology Policy
7th debate – Education
8th debate – Immigration
9th debate – Executive Privilege, Unitary Executive, Federalism, Judicial Appointments, Congressional oversight, other general governance issues, etc.

2 Presidential townhall events each one running for 3 hours with questions from ordinary voters on any issue whatsoever.
Candidates have 7 minutes to answer questions and about 3 minutes for rebuttals.

Sep. 26 2008 09:42 AM
seth from Long Island

Presidential and VP debates will be a joke and a fraud as long as they held hostage by the CULT OF CELEBRITY JOURNALISM.

TV news anchors and talk show hosts should not be allowed to ask debate questions. They lack the basic knowledge to ask intelligent, probing questions.

Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer and their colleagues who moderated the party presidential debates KNOW NOTHING about economics, healthcare, energy policy, foreign policy, etc.

Questions for Party Presidential debates, General Election Presidential debates, and VP debates should be posed by a panel of subject specialist experts on economics, healthcare, foreign policy, etc. chosen from liberal and conservative think tanks and foundations such as the Brookings Institution, AEI, IPS, CSIS, Ctr for American Progress, New America Fdn, Kaiser Family Fdn, CFR, etc. as well as print reporters who cover these beats.

I’d like to see a debate on foreign policy where the candidates answer questions from Steve Clemons, Steve Coll, Flynt Leverett, and Anthony Cordesman.

I’d also like to see a debate covering executive privilege, judicial appointments, the unitary executive, and Congressional oversight where the candidates answer questions from Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

Sep. 26 2008 09:40 AM

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