Thursday, October 14, 2004


I find it increasingly incomprehensible with both on-air and online pundits fascination with who "won" a particular debate.

As if each debate were a state with Electoral College votes that, if won, could be applied to some larger contest.

Were I to watch the debate, which I tried for a few minutes then went upstairs to get away from it, I would look for the answers I wanted to the questions I had. I would want to see which topics each candidate was familiar with, had confidence in their positions for, and could stand up to scrutiny. I don't keep a running tally in my head..."Ok, Bush has successfully handled 10 questions and only flubbed 3, for an adjusted score of 7, while Kerry handle 9 questions well and screwed up only 2, but I'm iffy on another one so his adjusted score is about a 7.5....Ok, looks like Kerry is the winner by a nose."

If that's the way you are judging the debates, you're going at it wrong. Each successive stance on an issue, each proposed solution to a problem, each turn of the head, each lift of an eyebrow, each nauseatingly crooked frat-boy smirk - they are all part of a mosaic that should be pieced together as a whole.

Consider it this way - do I care which team "won" the 2nd quarter of a football game? No, not really, since it's the sum total of all quarters that determines the winner.

So don't obsess over who won the debate, concentrate on how the answers contributed to the big picture.

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