I thought the last debate got started on the wrong note with an awkward rendition of the national anthem. I used to work as a fundraiser for an opera company. The singer was so bad that I thought CNN would be better off featuring a member of the audience at random.
As CNN looked more and more inept, Speaker Gingrich displayed the verbal skills, and intelligence which allowed him to lead the Republican effort to take back the House in the 1990s. Gingrich dramatically skewered the goofy Congressman Paul, on the need for the Patriot Act: “Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That’s the whole point.”
To me this looks like a pattern that Gingrich has perfected. He blurts out a quick, short statement, the sort of thing that makes you scratch your head, then he backs it up with a longer explanation that helps you understand what he is talking about.
The total effect is quite impressive. It is a technique that he is honed over the years that helps him show off his rich understanding of what is going on in U.S. politics.
Ron Paul's goofiness is so over the top that I got curious about how he ever managed to win election in Texas. It turns out that he is a obstetrician who ended up helping many of his constituents birth their children. I guess his goofy obstetrician/goofy gynecologist stick helps his female clients more relaxed at crucial life and death moments. As a presidential candidate, however, this goofiness just does not work.
Regarding Gov. Jon Huntsman, I'm getting the impression that he does not understand that most of us really do not care about his service as an American ambassador. He would be better off stressing the good things he did as governor of Utah.
I also did not care for the awkward, sinister, jerky sounding music CNN used in the background during the breaks. It would seem to me that simple patriotic music would be more appropriate. After listening to their national anthem offering, however, I suspect that the folks at CNN have a tin ear when it comes to appealing to mainstream sensibilities.
CNN made other cringe worthy mistakes including their mis-identification of the former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark as a Republican during their pre-debate coverage. Game show failure, Wolf Blitzer referred to Herman Cain as “Congressman Cain.” Sadly, our traditional national media is largely in the tank with the Democrats and also failing at its original job.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.