Monday, September 20, 2004

Snarkiest debate question imaginable 

In the absence of an unexpected bombshell (either literally or figuratively), the next big moment in this election will be the debates, particularly the first debate. According to Frank Luntz, "there is no example ever that the candidate ahead after the first debate eventually loses." I have no idea whether or not that is a true fact, but there is no question there will be a huge audience for that first debate.

Of course, there will be tremendous pressure on the various moderaters to keep the whole thing on the up and up, ask questions about the "issues that concern ordinary Americans," not dwell on the past, be serious and so forth. This will trigger an avalanche of empty soundbites from our two candidates, who will be playing to avoid a gaffe or a gotcha moment. God, that will suck.

So here's to hoping that the questioners slide into snarkiness. And if they are so inclined, here's the question that TigerHawk would ask both candidates:

In January 1977, as his first act as President, Jimmy Carter pardoned the Americans who had fled overseas to avoid being sent to Vietnam. Do you support President Carter's pardon of the draft dodgers, or do you deplore it?

Which candidate would squirm more? For sheer bi-partisan snarkiness, it is hard to imagine a tougher question.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 20, 10:13:00 AM:

Here's another interesting question:

In response to the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran in 1979 by supporters of the eventual regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, then President Carter authorized a failed rescue mission. The 54 hostages were eventually released, after over 400 days in captivity, upon Reagan's ascension to the Presidency.

As President, how would you react to a similar circumstance?  

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