Saturday, September 16, 2006

Debatable Formats

Monday will see the debates for Governor and Lt. Governor respectively. I have doubts about the format for both.

For the Lt. Governors debate, I worry that Senator Jim Holt is being led into a trap. I have never seen a debate setting that is so slanted against one candidate. It will take place in Little Rock at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service, run by Clinton man Skip Rutherford. The questions will be submitted by the audience, which will be law school students from the Clinton School of Law, Lyons College, and UALR. It will not be open to the public, but will be packed with people from groups who tend to be far more secular, elitist, and liberal in their thinking than the average Arkansan.

So what about the debate moderator? That would be Don Elkins, who is a fair man and a likeable one, but he is also more secular and liberal than the average Arkansan. Even if he is trying to be fair, he will only have a choice of questions from a group that is slanted one way- and it is his own slant so he may not even see the bias that would be obvious to a Christian conservative. For example, will he get even one question about the Democrats five point plan to legitimize homosexual marriage? And if he gets it, will he think that it is one that needs to be asked?

Did team Holt get snookered on this one, or does Holt hold Democrat Bill Halter in such low regard that he is willing to debate him regardless of how stacked the deck is? Stay tuned.

The other issue is the Governor's debate. At least the Lite Gov. debate will be a true debate with a back-and-forth format. Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson will just have a forum- basically they will take turns giving short speeches. Beebe's team successfully excluded two other candidates for Governor, independent Rod Bryan who has been surprisingly good from the little I have seen of him, and Jim Lendall. Team Asa went along with it to get the debate. I think most of us would like to see at least one debate with all candidates on the ballot included. We are not going to get it. Nor are we going to get a true give-and-take debate where we can measure the mettle of the two men against one another. That is only happening in the Lite Gov debate, and it is not open to the public!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I understand Halter and Holt have already been at a debate type format. They were supposed to speak only three minutes each and then take questions. Holt spoke his 3 minutes give or take a few seconds, then the moderator let Halter speak 8 to 10 minutes. Then Halter said "I know I still have enough time left but I will yield the rest of my time." The crowd laughed. But during about 3/4 of Halter's time he spent it trying to blast Holt. After Halter was finished the moderator said that they didn't have any more time for questions and Holt was left without being able to respond. From what was told to me by one of the audience members, Holt went up to Halter and said "Bill, this is going to be a lot of fun! A lot of fun!!!" Holt now knows what Halter is going to try this next debate and Holt will nail him. Question is will he do it? Holt has a tendency to try to be on the nice side of debates. At least he was to his opponents for the primary. But it did make his opponents looks slimy.

10:53 AM, September 16, 2006  
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