Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Presidential debates: Then and now

If you watched the Presidential debate yesterday and are following all the points being debated, you’ll find the above video interesting. This is from 16 years ago, when Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton were debating. Notice how remarkably similar the topics of then are to the topics today. The same rhetoric about a burgeoning national debt, no jobs, and the need to improve the healthcare system: nothing seems to have changed.

The only difference, then, between the two debates is how they were conducted. Both were town-hall style affairs. But notice how insistent the questioner is in the Bush-Clinton video; she pointedly asks Bush Sr. to give a clear answer; and she was allowed to follow up. In yesterday’s debate the audience was dull, hardly part of the discussion; or perhaps they were asked to be that way, to be mere props while the candidates could go about repeating their already well-known views ad nauseum.

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