In his column today, E. J. Dionne has a proposal. “Democratic presidential candidates should join in an informal union (they are pro-union, aren’t they?) and agree to stop answering ‘raise your hands’ questions in debates. Inevitably, they are forced later to say that this or that issue is complicated, that the question they were asked was not exactly the right question — and the more they explain themselves, the more slippery they look.”
I had a memory of the 2008 cycle, on the GOP side. It was the final debate before the Iowa caucuses. The moderator asked for a show of hands on climate change. (It was basically, Do you think global warming is real and caused by human beings?) Ex-senator Fred Thompson said, “I’m not doing hand shows today. You wanna give me a minute to answer that?” (The moderator said no.)
I admired Thompson’s crotchety independence.