f the endless string of Republican presidential debates is supposed to produce a strong nominee to take on President Obama, it's not working, says former Bush administration speechwriter Matt Latimer in The Daily Beast. The more voters see of the candidates, the less they like them. "Why else would the only person with any momentum in the race be the one voters know the least," Herman Cain? Instead of showcasing savvy and wisdom, the debates feature endless, unchallenged platitudes spouted by apparently vapid politicians. "Maybe President Obama has an election strategy after all: Let the other guys keep talking." Here's an excerpt:
Witness Tuesday night: Rick Perry tried to question Romney on his health-care proposal, noting that one of Romney’s own supporters said it was identical to Obamacare. Romney responded with several self-congratulatory sentences while totally avoiding Perry’s original query. This was considered the perfect answer; no reporter pressed Romney on substance—nor did any other candidate....
The president has already talked the country to death with endless "major speeches" and a multitude of "major press conferences" — now it's the Republicans' turn. Let the country take a long, hard look at the bland, überpolitical talking heads pretending to be contenders for the most important office in the land. Let the other side issue its canned talking points, its unimaginative, simplistic policy positions ("create jobs," "cut taxes," "help our kids"), and its "gotcha" attacks on every cable channel in America. Then maybe a bored-out-of their-minds electorate will take a look at President Obama and realize he ain't that much worse. Come to think of it: If the White House can manage it, they ought to sponsor the next GOP debate themselves.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- The Democrats have a mega-donor problem
- When will the Big One strike California?
Subscribe to the Week