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Monday, October 15, 2012
Brief guide to the second presidential debate of 2012
Or "Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama, the Rematch: The Tussle in the Town Hall"*
You've got questions. I've got the answers.
Q: When is the second presidential debate of 2012 again?
A: The second presidential debate of 2012 takes place on Tuesday, October 16th, at 9 p.m. ET -- and goes until 10:30 p.m.
Q: And who will be moderating this debate? I hope it's Martha Raddatz again. She kicked vice-presidential ass at the last debate.
A: Sadly, only one debate per moderator (which, in the case of Jim Lehrer, is a good thing). This debate, which is being held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (aka Long Island, or Lawn Guyland), is being moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley, an award-winning political reporter and host of State of the Union with Candy Crowley (who is not to be confused with conservative Fox News babe Monica Crowley).
Q: So what's the format of this debate?
A: Per the Commission on Presidential Debates: "The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in
which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and
domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and
an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The
town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the
To which I say, Did you people at the CDP and Gallup not see the Saturday Night Live skit about undecided voters?
Q: Where can I watch the second presidential debate?
A: Really? Do you have electricity? Do you own a television, or a computer with Internet access, or a smart phone? Then you can watch the presidential debate. FWIW, my favorite way to watch the debates is via Twitter. The commentary is brilliant, and it provides near instant fact checking (see below).
Q: What if I don't want to watch, or can't stand watching, the second presidential debate? Is there anything else on?
A: Well... there is Chopped over on the Food Network, which seems somewhat appropriate... King of the Hill over on the Cartoon Network (again, appropriate)... The World Series of Poker over on ESPN... The Men Who Built America over on History (do you sense a theme here?)... and something about Alaska over on the Discovery Channel... as well as reruns of House and The Real Housewives of New Jersey (check your local listings!).
Q: Any drinking game suggestions for this debate?
A: It depends, how snockered do you want to get? If you want to get good and drunk, take a sip (or a shot) of booze every time you hear the words tax cuts, the wealthy, the deficit, Benghazi, Libya, Iran, and Obamacare. Of course, you'll probably be passed out by 9:30, or in an emergency room due to alcohol poisoning (hope you have good health insurance!).
Q: Will there be fact checkers at this debate?
A: Like most voters care about facts. (That would be sarcasm.) While there will not be fact checkers present at the debate to taser the candidates when they lie (though Martha Raddatz did a pretty good job of keeping the veeps in line with just a look and a word), the usual, non-partisan suspects -- Politifact, FactCheck.org, and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog,
as well as many news outlets -- will be reviewing all statements made by Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for accuracy and reporting in via their websites and Twitter.
Q: So how do you think Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will fare in this debate?
A: It's just a hunch, but I'm guessing Mitt Romney won't act like he just snorted coke (seriously, did you see the man's eyes last debate?), or BBQ sauce , though you never know. And President Obama will not look quite so bored or disinterested, though I don't expect anyone to say he killed it, unless by "it" you are referring to Osama bin Laden.
*H/T to Chuck Todd for the "Town Hall Tussle" reference