The dilemma of debates

With all of the hype around the Presidential debates lately I have been thinking about the impact that they really have on the public. There are a multitude of political speeches, appearances, and events that have been going on for the past year, but so many people are just tuning in now – and that is what makes the debates so important. After watching the first Presidential debate a week ago and then the Vice Presidential debate last night, hearing all of the contention surrounding it really opened my eyes to the fact that people will really be basing their decisions come November on these performances.

Each candidate’s base (those people who have been following them since they started or are avid supporters of each one’s political party) have things they are anxiously waiting to hear, so the candidate is has a double duty – maybe even triple. He have to make sure his base is hearing what they want, he has to make he are saying what will appeal to voters who are just tuning in, and finally he has to make sure he is appropriately reacting to his opponent. This year’s debates obviously include an incumbent, which makes the scenario a little different. The American people have seen this administration for almost four years. The public can see how their life has been impact by the leadership they have had in the White House. This means it is up to the incumbents to defend their record, and unfortunately up to the opponents to tear it down.

I have definitely been witness to this putting an even greater emphasis on those daily numbers. There is a constant emphasis on which poll is up, which one is down, what comments there are on this poll and that, that’s not even including the additional polls on the debate itself. These include things like who won, who best supported their candidate, etc. Given all this outside analysis I just hope that people take the time to consider all of the issues in the context of their own lives and how their future will be impacted. There is so much at stake in this election and people need to take the time to find out what they think is best for our country – not what the pundits think is best for our country.

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