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DO I HAVE A CASE?

Presidential Debate Legal Agreement

If you have watched any of the Presidential or Vice Presidential debates, then you know that there is a bit of arguing between the participants. Tuesday’s debate seemed to have more interruptions and moderator Candy Crowley had a hard time getting President Obama and Governor Romney to stop talking or going beyond indicated time limits.

There was some mention of rules. That’s when I found “Time” magazine’s article that lists the rules for all the debates. Among the stipulations: The candidates aren’t supposed to use props. I guess no charts or graphs: The candidates cannot reference specific  individuals in the audience except family members;  and the candidates are not supposed to ask each other any direct questions. I know that rule was broken a few times.

When I watched Tuesday’s debate, it looked like they both were breaking several rules and ignoring time limits. In the heat of the moment, I guess it’s difficult not to directly argue too. It’s the same temptations that all lawyers face in the heat of battle during trial.

During the debate on Tuesday, some of the camera angles looked strange to me. Specifically, it looked like the President was sitting at an angle. Looking at this agreement indicates that the TV networks had rules to follow. Networks were supposed to avoid cutaways that showed one candidate’s expression or visual response to the other answering the question.  I guess you have to maintain a face without shock or anger. Now that is a real public speaking talent.

Everything has rules in politics. To me, it looked like an argument and not like my old college debate days. Maybe that’s why the agreement literally stipulated  that the debate commission would enforce rules and restrictions “to the best of the commission’s abilities”.  The wildness of politics!

For pic o’ day, I went with a cat with a bit of an attitude:


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