McCain and Obama Reject Exclusive, Moderated Debate

Obama McCain Debate The campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama have rejected a proposed opening debate proposed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that would have been broadcast exclusively on ABC and hosted by Diane Sawyer. While Obama has accepted in theory McCain’s suggestion that they have ten, unmoderated, town hall-style debates while suggesting that they be of the longer Lincoln-Douglas style, both teams apparently agree that the debates “will be open to all networks for broadcast on TV or Internet like the presidential commission debates, rather than sponsored by a single network or news organization” and that “any sessions between the two would not be moderated.”

We’ll see if those conditions hold. If so, it would be welcome, indeed.

While I’m not absolutely convinced that demonstrating the ability to be glib and think on one’s feet is necessarily indicative of ability to be president, which mostly involves weighing choices presented by competing bureaucratic factions, anything has to be better than watching candidates regurgitate rehearsed remarks and pre-planned gotcha lines when given the slightest opening.

Photo: KPCC Election 2008

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.