Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate has a chance to revitalize and reorient the format.
Although Texas Governor Rick Perry will not join the proceedings until September 7’s meeting at the Reagan Library (which will turn out to be the first “full” debate of 2012 if Governor Palin, Governor Christie and Congressman Ryan remain on the sidelines), the gathering in Ames Thursday night will feature a panel consisting of moderators Byron York and Susan Ferrechio from the Washington Examiner and Fox News anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier. These are decidedly independent voices, and I expect most of the questions to be serious and focused, and the time allocated to answers and conversation between the candidates to be sufficient as opposed to rushed.
Gimmicks, like “show of hands” and one-word answers will hopefully be banished.
When the candidates gather again in Simi Valley, NBC’s Brian Williams and Politico’s John Harris will be moderating. The contrast between these sets of questioners (and those from the first New Hampshire debate led by CNN’s Jon King) will tell many stories about the MSM.