- Slides: 18
The Presidential Debates How do Presidential debates influence a politician’s political narrative?
Who are these two candidates? Based on this photograph, what is your perception of these two candidates?
Debates: An American Tradition The earliest presidential debates were broadcasted in 1928 (half hour debates by NBC radio once a week preceding the election) The first general presidential debate was broadcasted on television in 1960 when Kennedy (Senator from Massachusetts) was challenging VP Richard Nixon Kennedy won the first debate and the election (and changed how elections are won!)
Nixon/ Kennedy Debate! https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=h 1 Zk 9 Ri. FRHw
How did the Nixon/ Kennedy debates change future presidential elections?
Lincoln-Douglas Debate In 1858 Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated one another for the Illinois State Senate Considered true, face-to face debates! - No moderators! - Candidates took turns to open each debate with a onehour speech! - The other candidate had an hour and a half to rebut! - The first candidate closed with a half hour response!
Are Presidential Debates Broken? Glorified press conferences? - Essentially the debates are more two concurrent interviews given by the candidates to one journalist No cross-examination - Candidates do not have the opportunity to discredit their opponents views No burden of rejoinder - Candidates do not have the opportunity to answer the arguments presented by their opponents! SIDE-BY-SIDE - Candidates do not face one another!
Types of Presidential Debates - Town hall format: candidates sit on stools and field questions from audience members - Standing: candidates field questions from a moderator and stand side-byside at podiums - Sitting: candidates field questions from a moderator and sit across from one another
Minor Parties are Shut-Out! The debates were originally organized by the League of Women Voters founded in 1920, the league sponsored regular debates between candidates for a variety of offices) . "We were advised to limit the debates to the major party candidates. We were urged to set a threshold higher -- or lower -- than the 15 -percent mark we established for independent or minor party participation. " - League of Women Voters chair Ruth Hinerfeld How does this make it difficult for third parties/minor parties to compete?
The Commission on Presidential Debates Commission took over the organization of the debates in 1987 from the Women Voters League Theoretically the commission was supposed to be a non-partisan organization BUT in reality the two parties set the guidelines on who gets to be on the big stage! Candidates need to gather AT LEAST 15% of the electorate in order to participate! This means that third parties are likely unable to attend.
DISCUSS Should third parties be supported by the Commission on Presidential Debates? Why or Why not? If yes, how should the rules be changed to accommodate these parties?
Do Now: Take out your homework and discuss the following question in your groups: What is the difference between “active spectatorship” and “active citizenship? ”
Have the viewers become more superficial? - John F Kennedy was more attractive and glamorous than Richard Nixon! - Barack Obama was more hip and cool than Mitt Romney! - Ronald Reagan was more cool, calm, and collected than Jimmy Carter!
What else gives them an advantage? - Anticipating the question - Sticking to Familiar Territory (tested materials) - Zingers - Riffs - Having a central question - Remembering to answer the question - Avoiding getting too personal - Conveying that you are ready for office
Political Gaffes Presidential debates are more often lost than won. The gaffe costs more than exposition gains. It’s easy to practice your kicking; it’s harder to brace yourself for getting kicked. - Jill Lepore, New Yorker Analyze this quote: Why are the debates costly to candidates?
Gaffes! https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=4 Y 8 SZDH 3 B_4
Candidate Preparation for the Presidential Debates “It’s a 24/7 event for months. ” - Republican Judd Gregg - Ohio Senator Rob Portman played the part of Obama to prepare Mitt Romney - Current Secretary of State John Kerry played the part of Mitt Romney to prepare Barack Obama - George W. Bush conducted a dozen mock debates to prepare for the 2000 election against Al Gore - Al Gore insisted that the debate room be replicated (down to the positions of the podiums and the room temperature!) All candidates have a briefing book (candidate’s policies) and a position book
Monday’s Debate Clip! https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=qzak. D-vu 8 Yg