Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Tonight, the first of three presidential election debates, will focus on domestic policy -- issues affecting only the United States itself. The debate will take place in Denver, Colorado, which is a "swing state" (one of your recent election terms). The moderator, Jim Lehrer, will ask the two candidates questions about the economy, health care, and the role of government in American society.

Watch at least thirty minutes of the debate to get a sense of the candidates' perspectives and how a debate works (several major networks and cable networks will carry the debates--it's worth switching to see the ways in which different channels choose to broadcast the event). As you watch the debate, ask yourself the following questions. Answer the questions in several complete sentences each on this blog.

1. What makes for a strong response to the questions, in your opinion? Support your claim with an example from the debate.

2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the debate format? How does the format of the debate shape the discussion? Support your answer with an example. How would you change the debate format?

3. What "domestic policy" questions did not get discussed, that you think were important?

Please remember to be respectful of others. This forum itself is not a debate forum, nor is it a time to explain your own views on the candidates. It's a chance for you to reflect on the format of the debates, and the benefits and limitations of that format.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A strong response for Romney was talking about how Obama didn't really help the U.S. and Obama talked about how Romney's plan couldn't pay for the money wasted in wars and tax cuts

The main weaknesses about the debate format is that both Obama and Romney use more time than they're given. Also, the 15 minute segments were taking more like 20 minutes each. The format makes both candidates get more to the point, even though they did go over 15 minutes. If they go over time, I'd just drop the topics that are basically repeats, such as the second one, part of which was basically the first topic.

The topics that weren't mentioned were those about technological investments (Silican Valley) and also costs of all the different things you would buy from store. They didn't talk about groceries, or the stores, or the factories that the stuff came from.

Elbert Du
Doyle 1/2

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Directly answering the question and starting with the answer. Sometimes when the candidates get asked a question they stall or make a joke. Romney just said before he spoke "Wel actually that's a lengthy description" which he did not need to say at all. Both candidates have done this.

2. The debate format asks the questions guiding the conversation. If the moderator didn't ask a question the candidates might steer the conversation in two different directions so they an talk about something that they know more about or would be in theire favor. To change the format I wouldn't give the candidates a time limit to talk. For example when obama was trying to finish and the moderator stopped him early, but then he got extra time. The fact that he got extra time is unfair to the Romney.

3. Wellfair reform. They haven't discussed it and it is a very important topic.

Megan Moran

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I think that a strong response needs a lot of specific ideas. You need to really say something concrete about what you are going to do. Also, for a presidential debate, you need to counter what the other person said. Another important aspect is to make sure that you explain how you agree, and disagree with the other candidate. A strong response would also say why you think your approach to the issue is preferable. One example was Obama’s response to what Romney spoke about in his first two minutes, while discussing the differences in how Obama and Romney will go about creating jobs. I thought this was a strong response because he gave specific things that Obama thought they needed to do. He said specifically that he wants to improve the education system, including improving the training of teachers. This shows that he has a concrete idea in mind. Also, he gave very exact numbers to support this. Obama also discussed what Romney and him agreed on, and what they disagreed on. Obama also spoke about what he would add on to Romney’s plan. Another thing that made his response strong was that he made sure to tell everyone the bad stuff about Romney’s plan. This is a smart way to attempt to be chosen, to counter, or show up your opponent.
2. I think that there are a lot of up sides to the debate format, but also a lot of down sides. The fact that each candidate initially has two minutes to make their point, and then they can discuss, is a good idea, but also a bad idea. It is good because it limits them, so that one candidate cannot just take up the whole debate. This is also bad, though, because if a candidate is in the middle of something, they still have to stop. Both Romney and Obama, several times wished to keep speaking, but were stopped. I think that to fix this, they should give more time, but still limit them. Maybe three or four minutes might be better. Also, I think that Jim Lehrer needed to be stricter. Both Romney and Obama kept interrupting each other, and this did not help the debate. Also, several times, Jim Lehrer would try to speak, but Obama or Romney would speak over him. In general, I think that the candidates need to have more respect for each other, as well as Jim Lehrer. For instance, at one point Jim Lehrer cut Obama off, because his two minutes were up, but Obama just said that Jim Lehrer had used up his last five seconds, and kept on speaking. In general, I think that the debate format was good, but it needed a little bit of tweaking.
3. One “domestic policy” question that I think should have been brought up is gay marriage. Both Obama and Romney have very different views on this matter, and it is very up in the air right now. I think it would have been interesting to see how each one backed up their opinions. I think this is an important matter to discuss because it is in the news a lot right now, and many states are changing their state laws to allow gay marriage. This is one of the big issues that Democrats and Republicans fight about, so I feel that it should have been brought up. Another issue that was not brought up is abortion. This is also a very big issue. People will always argue about this, and it is a very good debate starter. Again, this is something that Obama and Romney have different opinions about. I think that if the matter of abortion had been brought up, it would have created a good discussion.

Doyle 1-2

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. A strong response would be one that gets straight to the point and has evidence or data to back it up. Many times the different party representatives would back up their statements with scientific or mathematical data or history from past presidents and their solutions/problems. Obama used more examples of history evidence where as Romney used more scientific data.
2. The format of the debate allowed both parties to have equal amounts of time to respond and answer the questions. The formats strengths are that the different parties have to prove themselves to the swing states in the given amount of time. The weaknesses were that you could either take up the defensive state or an offensive state but not switch. Obama tended to aim particular sentences at Romney (offensive). When Obama did this Romney tended to barge in to defend himself(defensive). Even though Obama took up the offensive side he didn’t seem that aggressive in his points and arguments besides pointing out what the two representatives had in common or what was wrong with Romney’s plan. Unlike Romney who pressed “too hard on the gas pedal” sometimes. Some other weaknesses are that there are a lot of important questions that aren’t asked. In order to have more questions the time should either be cut down by 30 seconds that way you only can state your point, or add some more time and have two questions thrown out at the same time.
3. Both politicians talked a lot about small jobs and it is agreeable that that is important but what are they going to do about the big industrial jobs and companies?

Rachel Schonbaum Humanities 5-6 10/3/12

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Election Debate

A strong answer to a debate question is when you have a strong opinion and you provide the facts to explain why you’re right. For example when Obama asked Romney how he would lower taxes without raising the deficit, Romney replied that he would help the energy and small business industries grow and then the workers could pay taxes that would help the economy.
The weakness of the debate format is that neither president says everything they want to say in the time that they are given. So when they run out of time and the moderators tell them this, they just keep on talking which makes the time allotment for both candidates uneven.
The things they didn’t talk about, were gay marriage, in-depth conversation in green energy, and the occupy Wall Street idea.

Adrian Morrison
Periods 1+ 2

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.I feel that what makes a strong response is when you have a sentence that has detail and support from your evidence and actually response to the question asking and not to go off topic and are is an assertive and orderly manner but not aggressive. Such as when Romney uses a strong response about ten minuets in and he talk about how he does not have a taxes cut of 5 trillion dollars and he has watched the taxes go higher in gas and manufacturing companies and that the middle income people were having the most trouble.

2.The debate was set up in almost a perfect shape. The Moderator had full vision over both Obama and Romney. While Obama and Romney both had to think on there feet because they do not know what questions they are going to be ask which puts a lot of pressure on them because that is what the president has to do.
3. Some topics that was not discussed was gay marriage, stores, abortion, and there was not much talk about eduction and immigration and most importantly Climate Change.
Doyle 5-6

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. A strong response was generally to the point, and simplistically answered the question given. It also gave reasons why a viewer should pick the person speaking, not just not pick the other person. Many people thought Romney won the debate, because Obama did not talk very much about how his financial plan would work, he talked much more about how Romney's plan would not work. However, Romney was confusing, considering his plan up until the debate had been tax cuts for the wealthy. He then changed his plan entirely at the debate, saying that there was never a plan for tax cuts. Both candidates were confusing, and talking about the other person, not their self, and changing plans did not help them out. Talking about their own ideas, avoiding being longwinded, and sticking with their plans helped them.

2. The debate format did not work very well for various reasons. The candidates would start their answer on topic, then gradually go into a rant/speech, depending on the question. This may have been to show all of their good points in one explanation, but their distraction made the questions less effective. Also, while delivering their rant/speech, they took much longer than the time allotted, leading to some topics not being explored. The debate format was not very effective mainly because the candidates chose not to follow it.

3. I thought that they covered most of the important domestic policy questions, but should have gone into more depth about various subjects. One of these subjects is energy. They spent about 5 minutes on this subject. They should have spent about 15. Also, the subject of military funding was not discussed enough. Another subject that should have been discussed more is global warming. While this may not seem like a question of domestic policy, they may have at least wanted to discuss what the United States will do about it. They discussed insurance and healthcare for too long. While important, the debate should be stopped if each candidates response to the other is essentially, "You are wrong", "You are lying", "That's not what you said before", or something along those lines. In other words, if the debate is not going anywhere, the question should conclude and another more relevant question should be asked. Overall, the questions were given an amount of time not correct for the importance and depth of the question.

John McKee
Doyle 1-2

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humanities Debate Question Responses.

1. A strong response is made when the person talking doesn't go around the topic. He/she just goes right to the point and is confident, and is showing what the difference between him/her and the other candidate. When President Obama talked about Mitt Romney’s plan. Mitt Romney responded like this, “First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am.” This was a strong response because he said this confidently and got right to the point.

2. A strength of the debate format is that they all get asked a question and the candidates have time to answer. A disadvantage is that the people only get 2 minutes to answer each question. Because of this, the candidates may not have time to answer the entire question. The questions are also very broad and do not always have an exact answer. At one point, the moderator called two minutes to Mr. Obama and Obama’s response was this, “No, I think -- I had five seconds before you interrupted me...” I would change the debate format by making the response time about 5 minutes only if the candidates needed the extra time.

3. One major domestic issue that did not get discussed was gay marriage and women’s rights. Gay marriage is important to talk about because gay marriage is very important to different people. Obama also recently supported gay marriage and he could’ve discussed why he did this. They could’ve also talked about how Mitt Romney did not support gay marriage. Women’s rights were important because some people believe that abortion is right and some people think the opposite. Both of these issues affect the country and it is important to hear what the candidates think about these issues.
Sam R.
Margaret (Peggy) Doyle
Period(s) 5-(6)

6:29 PM  

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