The debates are drawing near, and I’m not talking about the pay-per-view spectacle that will be the Stewart v. O'Reilly. No, these are the real debates about real issues that will likely decide the victor of the 2012 presidential election.
Although there are some doubts as to the effectiveness of the debates in changing the minds of the public, Governor Romney will need to use these debates to strengthen his likability among the public and refine and elaborate on his policies. However, even the Romney campaign admits that it will be extremely difficult for him to hang with one of the “most talented political communicators of modern history” as they seek to lower expectations of the governor’s debate performance.
Current polling averages show that President Obama leads by 4 points and so Governor Romney will have to do far more than attempt to meet expectations in his match ups with the president. Romney is right when he says that he needs to convince the “five to ten percent in the center,” but continuing to be vague on his policies and simply staying afloat in the debates will do little to reassure those voters that a “President Romney” can deftly maneuver the halls of the White House, much less the vastly more complicated currents of world policy.
As an independent voter prepared for the chance that Governor Romney will win, I would like to (most importantly) see clarification on the economic policies that will create jobs and curtail government spending, while simultaneously increasing military spending and reducing military cuts. On a related note, I think independent voters are very curious about Romney’s specific plans to disarm Iran and North Korea PEACEFULLY, as well as elaboration on his plans to encourage American values in oppressive states like Russia and China.
The games will begin on October 3rd at 6:00 pm PT. The first of three debates between President Obama and Governor Romney will be hosted by the University of Denver and will focus on domestic policy, with Jim Lehrer of PBS’s NewsHour moderating.
Vice President Joe Biden will then square off with Congressman Paul Ryan on October 11th in Kentucky. Centre College will be hosting, and Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent) will moderate this debate, focused on Foreign and Domestic Policy. Tune in at 9:00 pm ET.
Next, Obama and Romney return to the ring at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York to answer undecided voter’s questions on both foreign and domestic policy in a town hall format. Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent for CNN, will moderate this debate which begins at 9 pm ET. Finally, Bob Schieffer, the host of Face of the Nation on CBS, will host a traditional style debate on foreign policy between Obama and Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. This final debate begins at 9 pm ET as well.