On the Upcoming Presidential Debates
If you want to save some time speculating, I can tell you the results now.
In debate #1, Romney will stick tightly to his script. Obama will be dull and professorial. The debate will be a snoozefest—and after some equivocation, the pundits will say that Romney maybe won because saying that the debate was a pointless snoozefest does not make good television.
In debate #2, Romney will be feisty and combative. This will be because he’s far enough down that he needs to rock the boat a bit. Obama will be restrained, dull, and professorial. This is because he has little to gain from taking chances. The pundits will say that Romney carried the night.
In debate #3, both candidates will be aggressive. They’ll largely talk past eachother. This is because it’s both candidates’ last chance to land some blows. The pundits will say Obama won because they said Romney won the first two charades.
Or, to put it slightly differently, why do we have these debates again? Both candidates have had ample opportunity to lay out what they believe. What are we going to learn? The debates are really spectacle.