Tonight is the first of three Presidential debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney - and I just can't get excited about the prospect. I still don't have television service, so I sit at home in the evenings and listen to NPR while I write or do household chores. Tonight the local NPR station, an exceptional outlet called KJZZ, is putting its nightly jazz offering on hold and bringing the debate to the Valley. Fortunately, I am involved in reading the draft of a first novel from a very talented young author, and I will use that as my escape from the political theatre that is being referred to as a debate.
Judging from the "debates" of the past few presidential campaigns, this one will be opening comments, carefully crafted answers to easily anticipated questions, and closing comments. All of that is followed by campaign workers and national political figures trying to "spin" the results and convince the public that their candidate won. The news people also chime in with their impressions of who won the evening - i.e. who gave the best canned answers to the anticipated questions without committing some mortal verbal blunder.
Four years ago many of the pundits tried to tell America that McCain was the debate winner, but a quick "snap poll" of the public revealed that the actual voters disagreed. It would appear that in the age of instant information and rapid responses, the voices of "professionals" are not as mighty as they once were.
Okay, the debate is starting and the announcer has cautioned the radio audience to stayed tuned after the broadcast for the live analysis. Can you say "spin?"
My head is already spinning.