“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment & The CNN Las Vegas GOP Event

I haven't written anything regarding the Communist News Network's recent Las Vegas "event" for GOP presidential candidates for several reasons.

First, I didn't watch it. I have zero respect for Anderson Cooper and couldn't conceive of him being anything but combative to a group of candidates which Cooper's network so loathes.

Second, I figured, as later video clips proved, that the event- it wasn't a debate, so no use pretending on that score- was constructed by CNN to damage the entire GOP field and help Wonderboy. So there would be no value for me in seeing yet another staged screaming match between the candidates.

Third, as I wrote in this post, I don't care what the candidates say about each other- only what independent voters think about them,

"I think what would be more meaningful to me would be something like the following. A network provides a weekly two-hour slot for its 'candidate of the week.' One of the GOP presidential hopefuls sits on a set with one or two moderators and answers questions from online feeds and a live audience. Moderators provide follow-up questions and/or fill in background on the candidate's prior remarks on the topic. Or contrast their stance with other candidates, etc.

And, for good measure, the original audience/online questioner gets a few minutes of give-and-take with the candidate, so if the latter evades the question, the questioner can complain about that and note it for everyone else.

I really don't care so much what Mitt thinks about Rick. Or what Newt thinks about anyone. Or what Rick (Santorum) does to try to look relevant.

In the end, I care more about how these people interact with prospective voters than how they fence with each other. I don't expect them to agree with each other, so what's the surprise in these bear-baiting formats?"
 I spoke with a liberal friend/squash partner earlier this week about the now-famous video clip from the Las Vegas event where Perry and Romney engaged over immigration and the former's bad debate performances.
I contended that the entire event, but especially Cooper deliberately letting the two look petty by shouting over each other, was calculated to hurt the entire field and help the president. My friend responded that Cooper isn't that smart. I said it wasn't Cooper, but the guys talking into his earpiece, directing him to let the catfighting continue.
Then Cooper smirked and said something smarmy, to the effect,
'I didn't think Republicans behaved like that.'
Which brought me to this thought.
Why aren't the top 8 candidates coordinating how they will control so-called debates at which they appear? Didn't anyone's communications directors or campaign managers realize that attending a CNN event was to invite disaster and humiliation?
Perhaps the RNC should get between the candidates and the networks, brokering formats so that the focus is on moderator or audience questions, not candidate-to-candidate criticism. Honestly, voters are smart enough to figure out what they want to know from each candidate. They don't need other candidates to help them on that score.
Networks want to create newsworthy events, which typically means force in-fighting and embarrassing gaffes. The RNC and the candidates should all want to provide voters with opportunities to learn more about each candidate's positions, not how the candidates feel about other candidates' positions.
I would really love to see the RNC chair now step forward and take control of future candidate events, mislabeled as 'debates,' and enforce formats that minimize violations of Reagan's 11th commandment, i.e., Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican.

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