I just finished watching the first debate of the 2012 presidential campaign. CNN hosted the event set in New Hampshire with the seven declared candidates for the Republican nomination. How fitting that the debate took place in the state that is first in the nation to have a primary contests in the election year. It was a most fascinating display of political skill and should portend an interesting election season.
Most notable among the candidates was the similarity of their positions on the issues. They all took a far right stance in response to most questions. What I found fascinating was the candidates’ consistent ability to dodge the question and speak to a different issue of more importance to them. This was a direct violation of the rules that were set out at the beginning of the debate. The moderator kept reminding them that they should stay on the topic at hand, but they frequently ignored his pleas.
From my perspective, it would be refreshing indeed to find a politician that could give a direct answer to a direct question. I was impressed with the quality of the questions, both from the moderator and from those in the audience. They were specific and to the point. However, the answers where anything but specific and frequently missed the point of the question. Hopefully someone will give the candidates coaching on how to give direct answers to direct questions. The American people deserve politicians who can do so.