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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Headin' to Iowa

I leave tomorrow to begin working with Joe Biden's campaign in Iowa, but today, frantically grading exams with CNN on in the background, pondering which Merle Haggard song best sums up my exam grading experience....  (I really appreciated the Buck Owens renaissance we experienced recently on this site.  I downloaded "Under Your Spell Again" and "Where Does the Good Times Go"[sic] -- who said law professors can't inspire action.... )  Choosing the same style of song Michael chose, I'd offer "Sing a Sad Song" -- there really is just something depressing about wading through these things. 

Sitting here, I just realized that I arrive in Iowa just hours before the 48th Democratic debate.  I have suggested earlier that all of these debates are really causing less information to get out there.  There might be a public appetite for a few debates, but with so many, no one watches any -- and the moderators are gunning for the gotcha moment, the insult or the gaffe that makes their debate famous, because otherwise they (like the candidates) will be overlooked.  And, working for a lower-polling candidate, who is (in my humble view) a great debater, I would have preferred to have seen fewer debates. 

Thursday's democratic debate (and today's Republican debate) mixes things up a tad -- they are at 2 pm on CNN.   So we've now had debates for Spanish speaking audiences, debates that are audio only, and now television debates at a time when everyone is at work.  (I suppose a debate using smoke signals in an isolated national park is next...) 

Maybe in this world of multiple debates, more people will pay attention to this one.  This debate is in Des Moines -- and we're really close (obviously) to the caucus.  Since no one watches the debates (and I can't blame them), only the highlights, which are old news by the next day, no one has any idea what happened in the debates.  Maybe, just maybe, more of the substance of a 2 pm debate will get air-time -- and become part of the decision-making process.  The clips won't be too old for the evening news, or Wolf Blitzer's "Sitation Room". Working for a guy who has something to say, but no one to hear thanks to the style of the media's coverage of these things, I sure hope I am right.  I'll keep you posted on what I see.

Posted by Wes Oliver on December 12, 2007 at 12:06 PM in Law and Politics | Permalink


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Biden will make a great Secretary of State. I agree re: his debating prowess; his line about Guiliani -- noun, verb, 9/11 -- was one of the best political punch lines I've heard in a while.

Posted by: Calvin TerBeek | Dec 12, 2007 12:43:06 PM

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