WASHINGTON, July 29, 2012 — A hundred days from today, November 6, the Presidential election will decide the path America takes over the coming four years. The next most important dates are when the presidential debates are held.
The conventions are interesting and entertaining, and they sometimes get highjacked, making them more interesting and entertaining, but for the most part they are a set-piece side show, a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing much.
However, the debates have been pivotal in making, breaking or cementing candidates’ chances. A gaffe during the debates is much more serious than a “misspoke” in London. Often deadly. It is a time when voters can size up the two men side by side, comparing their words, their grasp of foreign and domestic policies, their vision for America’s future, and their personalities. The latter is very important.
Just look back to the 1960 debate when a jowly Richard Nixon, sweating profusely under his pancake make-up ably debated John F. Kennedy who stood cool, never breaking a sweat under the hot lights. The sweat doomed Nixon.
Or remember when candidate and then California governor Ronald Reagan upended President Jimmy Carter’s attack on his Medicare stance when he quipped, “There you go again.” At that moment Reagan won. (See video below)
Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney are truly warm personalities, far from being warm and fuzzy guys. Both are intelligent but rather cold fish. However, Obama has one advantage, his mega-watt smile that lights up rooms and auditoriums. Sorry, Mitt, your smile is weak and forced. So Romney will need to turn on the charm offensive as he launches his ideas during the debates, showing he is ready to be president while making Americans want to have a root beer with him. Not an easy task.
Vice-president Joe Biden will debate Mitt Romney’s running mate (unknown at this point) and that should prove to a fun debate as Joe is known for being perhaps loose-lipped but also witty, thinking fast on his feet. This time around, unlike when he debated Sarah Palin, Biden won’t be walking on the proverbial eggshells. Biden can now unleash the inner Joe.
If you think October is still far off, it’s not. July is about wrapped up and August arrives on Wednesday, which means it is only two months until October.
Here’s the debate schedule to clip and put on your refrigerator:
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SCHEDULE
October 3, Wednesday:
9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, University of Denver, Colo. - Topic: Domestic policy
October 16, Tuesday:
9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, Hofstra university, Long Island, N.Y. – Topic: Foreign and domestic policy
October 22, Monday:
9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla., - Topic: Foreign policy
VICE-PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SCHEDULE
October 11, Thursday:
9-10:30 p.m. EDT, Centre College, Danville, Ky. – Topic: Foreign and domestic policy
Tickets for the 2012 debates, which are administered by the Commission on Presidential Debates, are limited. The host university’s students and faculty get most of the tickets via a lottery, with the rest of the tickets going to friends and family of the two campaigns and the rest to the media.
The Committee will also decide if any third-party candidates will participate in the debates. Moderators and TV stations broadcasting the debates are to be announced.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.