Talking Points

You can’t get enough of my amateur punditry, right? Good news for you: I have some further notes on yesterday’s third Democratic Presidential Debate, which I scribbled down after realizing that I hadn’t said everything I wanted to say in my last post.

  • Enough, Al
    After his lively performance in the second debate, I was looking forward to Al Sharpton’s appearance yesterday, but afterwards, I came to the conclusion that his clever showmanship has worn thin. That is, I found his comedic commentary rather tiresome, and an unfortunate distraction from the fact that a lot of what he said is on the money. If he could just refrain from the scene stealing, I think his message would actually get heard.
  • Miss Congeniality
    By far, the most articulate, even-handed and reasonable person on the stage — the only one you could imagine having a nice chat with sitting on a park bench — was Carol Moseley-Braun. She’s been consistently watchable and engaging since the first debate, and yet she’s also been consistently overlooked. She answered every question directly and clearly, without evasions or double-speak.
  • Survivor: Iowa
    There was an unmistakable game show quality to the way the debate was staged, hosted and broadcast by MSNBC, and the results were much less dignified than the way the Fox News Channel handled the second debate a few weeks ago. From the Jeopardy-like ding of the time warning, to the rather sensationalistic “Battle for the White House” production graphics, everything felt distinctly cheesey. I half expected moderator and MSNBC anchor Brian Williams to ask the audience to vote candidates off the stage, one by one.