So after the last Democratic debate, I asked a communications strategist for one of the Republican candidates for his assessment. He pointed out that since very few people watch the entire debate, compared to the number of people who watch the coverage of the debate afterwards, so that the real contest among the candidates was the battle to have the “line of the night” – the one funny comment or sharp exchange that gets played over and over again, and result in the line that everyone remembers: “I will not make an issue of my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” etc.
I can’t imagine we’ll see many lines of the night. I’m skeptical that any of the non-frontrunners will go after Hillary that hard. She obviously won’t be seeking any tough exchanges with any rival, lest she elevate any of them to her level. I suspect we’ll get platitude after platitude, “I don’t like Bush… I don’t like the war… I like the environment… I like diplomacy… I like jobs…. I like health care.”
Robert Zimmerman, Ed Rollins, and Michael Goodwin, the talking heads on CNN, just noted that there’s so little difference in the positions among the candidates on the Democratic side. I concur, which is one of the reasons I suspect tonight’s debate will be b-o-r-i-n-g.
Arrgh. Just saw that this debate is commercial-free. I, for one, wouldn’t have minded some bathroom breaks.