Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Presidential Debate Number 3 . . . Better Late Than Never




Some of you are involved in a Social Work policy class that is requiring you to watch the third presidential debate. Therefore, we have decided to incorporate that activity into our evaluation research class. What I want you to do is to evaluate the process of the debate. Start with the moderator and how they say the questions are developed . . . how did the moderator address each candidate . . . did the moderator, in fact, moderate or control the debate. Did the candidates respond respectfully or talk over each other. I want you to evaluate the process of what you watched, and perhaps suggest ways you would improve upon the process . . . what would you take out . . . what would you add . . .

P.S. Try not to talk about your own personal politics here, just focus on the process of the debate.

Hooray, they re-enabled the coding!

59 comments:

Stu J. said...

I am highly biased in favor of Obama and know that this bias influences my ability to watch the debates and my efforts to try to listen to and watch McCain.
As I watch, I perceive McCain as focused on trying to label Obama as having run a smear campaign, and trying to tie Obama to ACORN’s alleged fraudulent voter registration campaign. On the other hand, I see Obama as trying to stay on substantive issues. I further note, McCain’s frequent interruption of Obama as he attempts to use his “allocated” time. McCain digs far removed from topic, eggs Obama to respond to his misdirection.
I found the content of the 3 presidential debates repetitive and began losing interest midway through the second debate. As I said earlier, my vote has been long established, and my ability to watch and listen to McCain is limited.

Anonymous said...

I was not able to view the entire debate, however, for the most part, they are very entertaining. For the most part, I recall the debate that was held in maybe Tennesse. I thought it was unique that everyday citizens were chosen and given the opportunity to ask specific questions. However, there is not way to determine how these participants were chosen, and it does not address whether this population gives an accurate depiction of a random sample of the general public.

V Holloway, Tuscaloosa

ojwashington said...

Josh, before I post my comment I have to speak with Joe the Plumber to see how he would first evaluate the debate since he represents most people in "Middle America"! Just Kidding!


The debate process was one hour and a half with nine minute segments. A question was asked at each segment and the candidates were given two minutes to respond to the question. The segment allowed for the candidates to ask each other questions and if they did not ask each other questions, then the moderator, Bob Schieffer, would ask them follow-up questions. The debate topic was domestic policy and Bob never stated if the questions were taken from people in the audience or online, so I assume that he came up with the questions. What I found interesting about the process of the debate was the candidates were allowed to sit closely together, in effort to allow them to engage each other. In previous debates, seating arrangements appeared to be an issue with one of the candidates addressing the other. I feel that the moderator, who addressed both candidates by Senator, really wanted them to engage each other. In my opinion, the moderator did a wonderful job in moderating the debate and did not have to control the debate, because the candidates were respectful of each other allowing the other to make their point during each segment. Although the candidates were very respectful to each other in their verbal exchanges, the thing that I noted was the difference in their nonverbal responses when the other candidate was speaking. For the sake of not being political, I will not post my opinion of their separate nonverbal responses and body language, but would ask for each person to make their own determination.

I believe this format was effective because the candidates did respond to one another, as well as “Joe the Plumber”. I believe that this format allows for the country to get to know the candidates views on issues, as well as to get a sense of their temperament and ability to think on their feet. I really noted the difference of opinion between the media and the people watching the debate concerning the outcome. Many in the media felt that Senator McCain won the debate by making his points. In contrast, the polls showed that the society felt that Senator Obama won the debate, because he looked more presidential, more confident and his nonverbal cues were not as negative as Senator’s McCain’s.

Anonymous said...

Over the final presidential debate, in my opinion, the moderator addressed each candidate equally. Initially, he clarified the rules and guidelines for the debate and encouraged each candidate to ask the other follow up questions. The moderator made a strong attempt at guiding the debate and encouraging parties to move on to the next question / topic. The candidates (of course) were not so respectful of each other both candidates made dramatic facial expressions when the other was speaking and often spoke over one another. I understand that this was in attempt to get their points across but it was some what child like and immature. The candidates argued their points to exhaustion. I would encourage the candidates to make new points instead of continually repeating the same ones that we have heard since the campaigning began. I am not sure that the debate process could be improved unless the candidates are willing to follow the moderators lead.
Heather M.

chadknight said...

I think for the most part, the candidates were respectful of each other. I would like to know more about how the questions are developed and who all has input into the questions. I'm sure there would be evidence of some bias. The moderator was not in complete control of the situation. It would have been nice to have a moderator who would stop the candidate who ignored the question and started rambling on some unrelated topic. That happened too much.

Kristie R said...

The process and format this debate was carried out in was interesting although I don't think either candidate adhered to the "1 minute" rule. But, then again, how can someone discuss issues such as alternative energy sources, retirement, and the current state of the economy in a matter of a few minutes or less? The moderator was gracious and took questions from the audience, emails, and other questions allowing those who could not attend the debate to ask in person a chance to participate. This was beneficial for both voters and the candidates. In general, the debate process was informative but unlikely to tackly all of the major issues facing this country because the structure simply did not allow for much discussion.

Anonymous said...

The questions are developed in different ways (usually posed by the American public or in response to what one canidate has said about the other) but they are usually based on the hot topic issues of the country.In the third debate I thought the moderator was somewhere in the middle he controlled(time) and moderated the debate. I also thought when he asked if either canidate was willing to say to the other's face what he had been saying in ads-was a form of contolling the debate. I thought the canidates were much more respectful in this debate than they were in the second one. Donna A.

LaTasha T. said...

I think that the debate was nothing different from the two previous debates. The moderator was very respectful to both candidates as he addressed them by their name. When I think of the debates that I have seen that were non-presidential related, the person is asked a question and encouraged to stay on topic. During the presidential debate, it seems as though both candidates were continuously off topic. At times, I was confused about what was going on. They were asked to discuss one policy but were criticizing one another's . I think that the moderator could have done a better job at keeping the candidates on topic. I would have opened up the debate and informed both candidates that they are to be respectful to one another during the process. I do not know if they are getting messages from their campaign people who tell them how to conduct themselves during the debate or what. However, I was very sickened by the way John Mccain conducted himself. However, I praise Barack Obama for being respectful during the entire debate. There were many moments when he appeared to want to lose his composure, but he remained calm. I am sure that there were many families watching this program with their children. He was a good example for those families and children.

David L. said...

I personally viewed the three different presidential debates between Senator Obama and Senator McCain, and I believe the third presidential debate was conducted in a more respectful and controlled manner. The moderator asked specific questions and was clear in presenting each candidate with the exact question in return. The moderator did a good job of directing questions toward each candidate and reminding them of their time limits to answer questions. In comparison, to the two previous debates the moderator established control of the format in a more effective manner. In previous debates, senators were exceeding their time limits and was not as engaging as they were in the finally debate. There were fewer events when the candidates were attempting to over talk one another in the debate. Overall, this was the better of the debates because it appeared to flow better and the presidential candidates presented their plans and opinions in a more respectful and structured manner. Furthermore, the moderator did a nice job of keeping both Senator Obama and Senator McCain on course.
David L.

Stacey L said...

To be honest I have never really been a fan of presidential debates. For one thing it is a long drawn out process. I feel that the questions were great questions that allowed you to hear the response of the candidates. Just wondering if the same questions could have been answered with shorter response, it was like both candidates were talking the question in the ground. I feel that the Moderator handled the debate very well and addressed both candidates in a very professional manner and it appeared he had control of the debate and he did not let the exchange between the two candidates get out of hand. At one point in the debate the moderator stated we are running a little behind, so we need to move on. I feel that the candidates were respectful to each other, but also at the same time would throw a few negative comments at each other. What was really funny was watching their expression when the other candidate would be talking and something was said that seemed to have touch a nerve, the candidate that was not speaking, would smile a little, make a few notes, then continue to listen to what the other candidate was stating. Overall the debate was very professional; questions that were asked were meaningful questions that affect each and every one of us. Stacey L

Gina Smith said...

http://www.experienceproject.com/group_media.php?g=143966&t=video&gclid=CMOC99qh3JYCFQ0xawodZBkI4A

This is the address to a website that allows you to watch all the presidential debates. I was unable to watch debates even after we got out of class early so today I was trying to google to find information that might help me complete this assignment. Just thought I would share for others that were in my same position.

Gina Smith/Gadsden

Stu J. said...

In reply to Kristie, I appreciate your words both in favor of this debate format and acknowledging the limited time for responses. I appreciate the use of different formats for each of the debates to try to maintain viewer interest and to allow each candidate to shine in the format(s) that work most effectively for them.

Destin C-Gadsden said...

This was a very well controlled debate. In the previous debates both of the candidates were addressing what the other candidate was doing wrong and their faults when the US only needs to know what they as the candidate can do for our country. So, both candidates have been at fault with the blame game, which is a dissappointment. This has been very influential for making a presidential choice but....there is not a another candidate to choose from. Both appear to be of great service to this country but as President? But,you really did not want our political view. The candidates were given two min. often not addressing the ques. completely or then would exhaust the topic. I have found myself exhausted following the debates because of redundant points.The moderator Bob Schiffer did an appropriate moderation of this debate. He addressed each candidate equally and for the most part it maintained the course. Hopefully our President will remain true to his oath and be productive in leading this beautiful country.

Destin C-Gadsden said...

In response to Otis:

Great critical review of the debate. I completely agree of your review of the debate and you made some excellent insightful observations.

STACY said...

Before evaluating this debate there is a lot of unknown information that I would need. First of all, who comes up with these questions (I think that is a very important aspect of the debates as there is an entire country focussed on the answers) and as far as both senators engaging each other, is that something that they are directed to do or not to do? I mean lets face it folks, the image of these candidates is vital to the election outcome. In order to truly evaluate the structure of the debate I would need to know who is truly behind the scenes making the important decisions, because in the event of a presidential campaign it is not really the candidates that make all the important decisions. These guys are scripted and they practice their speaches (as they should) and they are carefull how they dress and how they respond to the media. These candidates were chosen for a reason and not because they just woke up one morning and decided to become president. Sorry, I suppose that is just my political views coming into play. I liked this debate more than the other ones because it seemed friendlier (due to the seating being so close, and well they were sitting and not standing, and they were engaging each other) but I think that is all planned out too as the earlier debates are meant to constru your vote towards one candidate and away from the other and the final debate (i believe) was meant to make these candidates seem more like real everyday citizens that are professional and knowledgable enough to lead our country. Honestly, regardless of format or anything else that we the public are informed on, there is too much unknown information behind the scenes for me to truly evaluate this debate. I could go on about my opinion but it isn't relevant and so I leave my comment wanting to know more about how our government chooses a presidential candidate and how and why the campaigns are structured the way that they are. Above all, I thought this election was the most exciting one of my entire life and I am glad I got to be a part of it.
STACY C

STACY said...

I would like to respond to kristie r's comment about how can anyone discuss such great world issues as the economy or any other topic discussed in any of the debates in a matter of a few minutes. I agree with that statement and feel that it only backs up my remarks about how the debates (and the entire campaign really) are really more about image than about issues. I realize that if individuals want to find out what the candidates stand for and how they plan to implement change that information isn't hard to find with a little research and people should do that before they cast a vote so at least they know what they are voting for. The truth is that most of America does not do that and most citizens base their vote primarily on what they see on television. It is true that we are a country of image and that is not all bad, but many people just draw an opinion of what kind of person each candidate may be and vote based on that. Its like America's Next Top Model, well your picture sucked so your out!!!
STACY C

Linda B said...

I think that this debate's format was more effective than the previous two debates regarding the seating arrangement of the candidates and moderator, and the method in which the questions were presented and answered. I feel that the moderator was very effective in keeping the process moving smoothly, and in limiting some of the excessive rambling by the candidates. Unfortunately, there is no way to control a candidate's facial expressions or body language that indicates disrespect of the other candidate's opinion.

Linda B said...

Addressing Stacy's comment: I am also not a fan of political debates. I feel that it is nothing more than a show-case for a candidate's speaking talent and charisma. While these talents are important in a presidential candidate, I think that there are very seldom any new political revelations made during a political debate, but one small mistaken will be butchered by the media, and could be political suicide.

jefN gadsden said...

I must have dosed off during the discussion of the development of questions. The moderator was respectful and he did moderate the debate, at times it may have appeared to get out of hand, but it is a debate (however weak), not a hopscotch match (although hopscotch would demand more respect on the playground than this debate would).
The candidates made some attempt to respond respectfully to each other, but they did talk over one another throughout the debate.
The process was well thought out and I am sure that the candidates were prompted on what would be asked. The issues of the day were addressed from the economy to ACORN to the average American earning $250,000 a year.
It is not perfect, but it is what we have. I would have preferred that the moderator cut the overly excited one off instead of letting him ramble. I would have added the element of surprise, I would have not told them what was going to be asked and I would have brought an air horn to blow when they strayed from the issues. I would have queued video and audio clips of the two candidates, to refute and expose the BS and flip-flopping that they have done over the last year and we they answered one of the surprise questions differently than they did two months ago, I’d play it on the 100’ megatron. That would improve the next debates four years from now, by holding them accountable for what they say.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams, original post to the presidential debate

I felt that the candidates were as respectful as one could expect under the circumstances. The questions were developed well, but I would like to have more information on how they were formulated. I wonder how much bias exists with the development of the questions. The moderator could have been a little more in control of the situation. The moderator allowed the candidates to dance around some of the questions. But, overall it was a good debate.

Anonymous said...

Conteria Williams, response to Kristie R.

During the debate I found it to be silly to place a 1 minute rule on the topics. Because, just how thoroughly can one answer a question in such a short period of time. I agree that allowing the individuals from the audience and email was good stratification. This allowed other’s ideas to spread a little light on the candidates. But, overall I enjoyed the debate and I’m glad that the long process is finally over.

Walter L. said...

Walter L. agrees with stu. I am biased in favor of Obama. Obama reminds me of President Kennedy a young man trying to move the country in a new direction, away from hard line politics that was hard on the America people. Politics that divided the country when the country needed to be held together.

Walter L. said... what I saw in this debate was one man prepared and another man not prepared. Obama addressing the issues and McCain side-stepping the issues. If you are not prepared for a debate to win the job of leading America, how prepared are you to lead America. McCain used the same republican tactics which has been for the last three decades to when the White House, smearing the other person. The American people has stated with their vote, they need answers to their problems.

David L. said...

Stu, I could understand your stance on the debates completely. It was very difficult to watch the debates simply because it appeared that the McCain camp was focused on highlighting charter flaws in President elect Obama, instead of addressing important issues such as our children’s healthcare problems and the economy. I am extremely proud of how our President elect presented him self with respect and grace during the debates and the tremendous example he is to our nation and the “charter” he posses to unite and create a sense of pride to America.

Gina Smith said...

Side note: I think that Joe the Plumber should have voted for Obama since he is the one that put him in the position that he is now. He is now a household name, joining a watchdog group that is promoting his upcoming book "Fighting for the American Dream," and might soon become a country music star. Who would've thunk it???

Bob Schieffer appeared to do a good job moderating the debate. He did, on occasion, refocus the candidates and move forward. I know that the questions appeared to center around major issues that were, and still are, on the minds of all Americans. Sometimes I felt like neither candidate answered the question that was asked, but danced around the topic a bit. I must admit that I was somewhat lost at times and not quite sure who actually knew where their leadership was going to take America. I think I would have like to have less moderation and more spit fire and enthusiasm from the candidates. I think you can tell alot about a person from the way they handle a heated debate. I watched the body language and facial expressions of the candidates closely. Though each candidate was drilled and advised and practiced on the proper responses, sometimes there is no way to prepare your body and face on how to react, or not react, when placed in tough situations.

The footrace is run and it is now time for the marathon. America has spoken and it is time to cheer for the President elect. It is going to be important to remember that when all is said and done, we are "one nation under God" and that we should join together for the prosperity and protection of the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

Gina Smith said...

Response:

I share similar thoughts as expressed by Chad. Though the questions appeared to address pertinent issues, it would be interesting to know how the topics were narrowed down and how the specific questions were formed.

Otis touched on the non verbal language of the candidates. I believe that even the most practiced responders can be surprised or astonished by comments of others and cannot always refrain from showing their inner emotions.

Latasha commented that she felt the candidates were not able to stay on topic for each question and I agree. There were times when I had forgotten what the original question was by the time the candidates completed their answers.

And, finally, I agree with Stacy in that the debates were long and drawn out. However, the issues were so important and the state of the economy and the country is such that an hour and half doesn't seem sufficient to have voter's concerns addressed by the candidates.

Anonymous said...

-ORIGINAL

In a sense, the moderator’s job is to guide the process of the debate. For instance, in the previous debate the moderator tried to get Obama and McCain to engage each other, but they just refused. There needs to be some element of control. When a candidate makes what some perceive as a loose association just to get in a jab or make a point, they need to be redirected. Maybe some form of consequence needs to be enacted to help them comply. A point system or mild electric shock could do the trick. Another example is not answering/dodging the question posed by the moderator. In the vice presidential debate there was several instances where one of the candidates totally blew off the moderators questions and went rogue. In that example I thought the moderator should have been more aggressive in making the person accountable for this. From watching all three debates I thought the moderators did a pretty good job of being diplomatic, that in itself takes some skill. From what I read, the topics of the debate came from various sources including, college professors, political think tanks, and the general public. I would like to know how the location of the debates is chosen.

Matt G.

-RESPONSE: Latasha T.

I agree with your observations for the most part. One of the candidates demonstrated why we need to be aware of our body language/facial expressions, tone of voice, etc.... This person can be seen shifting impatiently in his seat, smirking, and blinking continuously while listening to the others response. Maybe it is a growing problem and not a going problem. (just kidding) When we lack substance, we resort to name calling and the frustration is clearly evident. It is the same in other areas of competition and most people can pick up on that. Also, when we repeat words, people begin to count and lose focus on whatever else is being said, whether it is a metaphor or a single word. One word of caution, When referring to a vice presidential nominee, be careful not to refer to them as “bresh of freth air."

Matt G.

Anonymous said...

In response to Stu, I am in strong agreement about loosing interest mid second debate due to the repetition of answers, despite an attempt at different questions. I think I am the only person who did not feel the candidates were completely respectful of each other (sorry). I do not have a strong bias for either candidate, but again, like Stu noted there was some interruption and I felt this was a form of disrespect as the other candidate had to speak over his opponent to get his point across. Responding to this section in retrospect, I think the candidates speaking abilities and respect for their position was taken into account when it came to the polls, and I think that it made a difference in voter’s opinions on the 4th.
Heather M.

Anonymous said...

This final debate I feel was the better of the three debates. The moderator was able for the most part to adhere to the time limit for each question. One thing I found interesting was that the candidates were almost childlike at times with their responses. Senator McCain was interrupting many times and Senator Obama smiled at inappropriate times. Joe the Plumber sure was the focus of each candidiate. It was the moderator's job to keep the candidiates on topic, but they strayed often, but overall I think the moderator was respectful and well educated.
Angel P-Tuscaloosa

scarlett holt said...

In response to Heather M:
I agree that the moderator was fair in his approach with each candidate, and that he attempted to let each know when it was time to stop "beating the dead horse."
I too felt that the body language, including facial expressions, were somewhat immature, but I guess we are all human and may not realize that we are doing this (of corse we are not all competing for the position of U.S. Presidency, either).
Yes, perhaps new points could be made, or at least put new perspective on points already addressed. After all, there were many "Joe the Plumbers" out there losing interest while waiting to see what is next, or to have clarification on what is happening now.
Scarlett Holt

Anonymous said...

in reference to Linda B.
I too think the seating arrangements had something to do with making this a good debate. It forces them to look at one another and really respond. Can't really do anything about the facial expressions and body language, but the seating arrangements help create this. Makes them communicate and I guess, in this case, act childish.
Angel P-Tuscaloosa

Stacey L said...

Jeff I am with you, I must have missed where the questions came from. I agree with several of my classmates that it would have been nice to have the candidates talk off of their head and not had the questions ahead of time. As stated in a post, it is hard to know what the candidate really believes when it is probably writers that are giving them the answer. I feel that you could really get a feel for a candidate running for any position if they are placed in front of every day voters and the voters ask the questions and no one will know the questions ahead of time. You would still need a moderator to keep a time limit, but you would get a feel for the candidate based on the unscripted response and by their body language. As a side note I personally know “Joe the Plumber” and he is my dad, although his name is Robert. He is an electrician and plumber that is self employed. He has owned this business for 30 plus years and he is a one man show. It is hard to be “Joe the Plumber” so any break he can get (tax breaks, healthcare coverage, etc) would be greatly appreciated for “Joe the Plumber” that I know and love. Stacey L

Tysie Baker said...

I had the chance to watch all three debates and I must admit that the 1st debate and the 3rd debate were my favorites. I found in the 3rd debate that the moderator controlled the debate very well. He was very respectful to both candidates as opposed to Tom Brokaw who moderated the 2nd debate. I say that Bob Schieffer was more respectful because it did not appear that he was getting on to one candidate more than the other, which is what Tom Brokaw did in the second debate. I was outraged because he always called Barak Obama out on the matter of time.
Now, when it comes to whether or not the candidates were respectful to each other that is a different story. I found that McCain made noises when Obama would speak, and he also tried to over talk Obama on numerous occasions. For the most part I take the presidential debates very seriously (should have majored in poly sci, ha, ha, ha!)and I enjoyed all three of the debates. I wish there would have been one more vice-presidential debate!

Tysie Baker said...

I must agree with Stu J., I am highly biased as well in favor of Obama. I did not like the fact that McCain continued to try and link Obama to fraudulent voter registration. As I stated earlier, I was surprised at McCain’s continuous noise making strategy, didn't his campaign managers tell him this would work against him?

amyh-gadsden said...

In my opinion, the moderator did a good job moderating the debate and the candidates were respectful of each other allowing the other to make their point during each segment. I noticed the difference in their nonverbal language to include body language when the other was speaking. Overall this seemed to be an effective method for the debates.

amyh-gadsden said...

In response to Chad: I would also like to know more about how the questions were developed, but also agree that the candidates were respectful of each other.

Anonymous said...

I think the moderator did a decent job of handling the debate. In the beginning he set the ground rules of how each segment would be broken down, how long each candidate will have to respond, follow up questions, discussions, and topic to be discussed. There were times when I noticed McCain trying to over talk Obama, interrupted, and often fired several questions at one time that would be impossible to respond to with the time constraints imposed and I think this was one of McCain's tactics. For a person not astute about many political issues I think people watch the respectfulness shown between candidates, body language, appropriate eye contact, and ones ability to stay on topic without attacking the opponent. At times I found myself asking why the moderator didnt request that the opponent stay on topic or hold comments until your opponent has finished his statement, but I think it is very important to sometimes let the discussion flow to see how, when engaged in a "vigorous debate", a candidate will maintain his poise and I think this was the determining factor in the way that many Americans voted. We want to see a calm, thoughtful, analytical, poised, intelligent candidate and I really feel that Senator Obama did a wonderful job and the moderator handled the debate effectively.
C.Paulk

Anonymous said...

Re: Linda B.
I agree with you Linda because that is what stood out in my mind was the facial expressions of both candidates when trying to express their perspective points of view. The moderator again, I believe handled the debate decently in trying to keep each candidate on topic.
C. Paulk

LaTasha T. said...

Response to Stu:

I agree that all of the debates have continued to be repetitive. I believe that the moderator could have done a better job of keeping the candidates on topic. This debate appeared to be more of a fight for attention than a debate.

S.Ray said...

I found the moderator was very clear in his expectations of the candidates and the rules of the debate. I think the candidates were respectful of each other and the moderator kept control of the proceedings. I do not feel the two minute response time was long enough for each question. I would like to know how the questions were developed and it would be interesting to know which questions did not make the cut!

S.Ray said...

I agree with Linda's comment about political debates. There is usually nothing new expressed by candidates because they do not want to be front page news the next day for the wrong reasons. The candidates seem so rehearsed and nothing is off the cuff or from the heart.

Tiffiney Brittingham said...

The moderator was fair and tried to keep both candidates on the topic or issue at hand. I have never really been able to watch any presidential debate. No matter which party I perfer, I always feel as if I am being told what I want to here.

The setting of this debate was more personable than others. Both candidates answered each question and addressed each accusation and thorough as possible. However, they failed to move on to the nex topic when it was time. The moderator seemed to have control for the most part.

The only thing I would change about future debate is smear campaigns and false allegations. Candidate should only discuss facts and future goals for the country.

Tiffiney Brittingham said...

I agree with Stu J., My vote has been established a long time ago and all the presidential debate were repetitive.

I would love to know who makes the final decision about what questions to ask and the format of each debate. The topics were exhaustive and redundant.

amanda said...

The presidential debate....
Each candidate had 2 minutes to respond to the questions and then ask the other candidate follow up questions. If no questions were asked, then, Bob Schaefer would ask follow up questions. I thought Bob's voice tone was odd during the introduction of the candidates. I would also like to how the questions were formed, i thought most of the questions were of interest to the US people. I think that the one question about the negative campaigns was absolutely ridiculous. For one i do not care how your feelings were hurt, for the love, you are running to become the President of the US. Your feelings will be hurt several time of the next several years, you must be able to handle it. With that said i do not think the question should of been asked in the first place. I do not not think that the negative campaigns adds should not be allowed anyway because people should want to know where the candidates stands on certain issues, not how well their team can dig up information on the other candiate. I thought the host attempted to keep the candidates on topic, however the candidates still managed to go off topic several times.

Amanda H

amanda said...

I agree with Chad. I wish the moderator would have cut off the person who was answering a complete different question.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so long on posting this one Josh. I had made me some notes that night but didn't need them. I clearly remember how everyone behaved. The moderator, Bob Schieffer did an outstanding job. First, he explained the rules up front & was very patient and continued to redirect the debate back to the topic. I really became discusted at how McCain presented himself. This has nothing to do with my voting preference but he was just rude. He continued to talk over the other canidate regardless of how many times he was called down by the moderator. There were also some very nasty nonverbal gestures being exchanged. I don't know what could have been done differently but there should have been more respect given and not so many interruptions by McCain to the other canidate. Obama did remain calm and respectful through out the entire debate. Also, I didn't notice the facial gestures from him, as with McCain. Honestly, no Bias (even though I voted for Obama) but I hate to see rudeness, especially by grown men.
Faye

Anonymous said...

I agree with OjWashington on the numerous non verbal cues. They were entirely to obvious from McCain, as Obama was speaking. He also interrupted to much. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Faye

Kristie R said...

I would have to say that I also agree with Stu. It is difficult to watch a debate and remain objective when you bring with it your own biases and favors.

chadknight said...

Jeff: That's a great idea of debunking the candidates via jumbotron! How easy it would be, too. I felt the need for a buzzer the moderator could press when a candidate started lying, but a blow horn would work as well.

T M Morgan said...

I agree with Heather about the candidates repeating themselves. I get soooo sick of hearing them "beat a dead" horse and just longed for something new- some tidbit of new information or a grain of a new idea.

T M Morgan said...

Surely there must be a better way to find out about the candidates than to go through this dog and pony show. I say we show up at their homes on a Saturday morning and get them to tell us about their philosophies for running the country while they fix us brunch. Anyone can get up there and answer a bunch of pre-formulated questions. I want to see how they think and act on the fly when 20 people show up unannounced for breakfast.

scarlett holt said...

Original Post: (Re-post :))

I am not sure of where the questions came from, but felt that they were fair and reasonable. The moderator seemed to direct the debate in a respectful manner, as he informed the candidates of the rules and patiently redirected the candidates when necessary. The candidates could have been more mindful of their body language and would have benefited from following the example of the moderator in waiting to speak his peace patiently.
Isn't is funny how so many people can view the same debate, but have different perspectives on what they have observed?
Scarlett Holt

Karen P said...

During Debate #3, the candidates were seated (unlike the previous "town hall" meeting format). I felt this was more engaging. Additionally, there was a double screen to see the candidates’ reactions (limited view of the moderator). I noticed that the moderator provoked the candidates more aggressively to tell the audience about things that they haven't heard and challenged them to explain specifically why their individual plan for a given issue was better and/or more effective than their opponent's plan. The moderator prompted the candidates to provide SPECIFIC answers (e.g., numbers, percentages, etc…). I also felt the moderator was fair in providing the candidates an opportunity to challenge one another’s responses. He allowed them amble time to respond and then counter their opponent’s response (if desired), and the moderator remained unbiased.

In regards to how the candidates interacted with one another, I felt that Obama’s demeanor was overall calm and restrained, yet firm. McCain appeared to be impatient, easily agitated, and in some regards condescending. The moderator made a great effort to keep the candidates on target (not deviating from the questions), but unfortunately, the candidates did at times go over their allocated time limit for responding. The moderator also challenged the candidates to take responsibility for their negative campaigning through face-to-face dialogue over the issues versus ad campaigns.

Other questions posed by the moderator were related to the candidates’ choice in running mates (why was one better than the other), Roe vs. Wade, and key issues that interested the public, such as health care, the economy, energy, and education. I don’t recall there being much discussion on foreign policy during this debate. Overall, I felt it was the best debate out of the 3, but I don’t feel there was anything necessarily profound about it that could change people’s minds about who they were voting for (or leaning towards), I feel it probably strengthened the confidence in their decision.

Karen P said...

Response to S. Ray:

I too think a 2 minute response time limit does not provide an adequate time frame to respond to the type and nature of in depth questions a presidential candidate is expected to address. I suspect that is why they went over the time limit the majority of times (smile).

Karen P.

nikkig said...

Starting with the moderator, and the way questions were presented, I think the moderator did a good job of ATTEMPTING to have both candidates stay on task and answer the questions within the alloted time frame. Since I have been asked to respond to the debates as it relates to process evaluation, I have to say that the process allowed both candidates to get their points across, whether valid or not. However, I think I might have revamped the debates such that the moderator could interject and redirect comments that were not directly related to the question that had been asked. This might prevent the candidates from going over the alloted time with responses that did not help to demonstrate their stance on the issues.

nikkig said...

In response to Chad,
I agree with you that the moderator was not in control of the debate. The moderator did attempt to control the direction of the debate, but should have done more to redirect responses that did not focus on the issues or question that had been posed. But I wonder. Is the moderator allowed to do so, or do they have to let the candidates respond as they wish as long as it is within the alloted time?

SWilliams said...

I was impressed with the debate. After awhile one gets tired of the campaigning and wishes that the elections would get here faster. While the moderator did a good job in controlling the situation, there have been debates in the past where I did not feel that this occurred. I always wonder while watching the debates, who created the questions and do the candidates know what the questions will be even before they begin. Overall, I think that both candidates respected each other and did a good job in their own ways of getting their views across to the public. How effective they were will be determined on Election Day

Anonymous said...

Overall, I thought the debate was handled very well. I have watched all of the debates. I taped them. The first two I felt that McCain did not respect Obama. The reason I feel this way is because during one of the debates he would not even give OBAMA eye contact, and in the other debate he wouldn't even shake his hand. I understand that these debates are extremely controversial, however, respect is respect.
I do not feel bad about McCain and even though the third debate was more respectful. I still do not feel sure about McCain. I am praying that God gives me guidance as to who to vote for because I do not want to be caught up in the stigma that black people vote for their own. I want to vote for who will better this country.

Kim B.

Anonymous said...

In response to C. Knight,

I also feel that the canidates responded to things that were not relevant to the issues. I also feel that the moderator should have had more control in the issues.

I also feel that given the issues that candidates felt the need to go beyond the norm and express themselvces more effectively in order to address all of the needs that needed to be addressed.

Kim B

Debbie Walker said...

To Healther:
I agree that the debates could be improved if the candidates would follow the direction of the moderator to stay on track. Also, I agree that the negative facial expressions could be replaced by solid information