Almost A Real Debate

I wrote this post back in late January but before I posted it I came down with a man cold. Seemed silly to just toss the post, so here it is.

Out of morbid curiosity I watched the first half of the SC Democratic debate on CNN. The presidential debates aren't debates by any measure of the word. They are typically nothing more than an opportunity for the front runner candidates to get some TV face time.

But for a brief moment the SC debate was different. Clinton and Obama had been focusing on each other's campaign techniques and an hour of presidential debating had passed with the substantive value of reality TV...

And then it happened...

Wolf Blitzer (the moderator) apparently went on a five minute break just when Edwards pointed out the fact that he and Clinton had a different health care strategy than Obama. Obama then began to explain the reasoning behind his plan.

It was like there was a momentary laps of reason and the candidates came very close to almost thinking about the idea that maybe they should consider the possibility of discussing, and to a lesser degree debating, the premise and validity of their health care plans.

I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. The candidates had clearly gone crazy! They were dangerously close to debating a policy plan based on it's merits! Now Obama has been known to explain the details of his positions in his podcast, but what was happening here was unprecedented. The hair on my arms stood up. I was holding my breath... There was ringing in my ears but that was unrelated as I have tinnitus from years of playing in loud bands...

But seriously, the idea that this "debate" could contain an actual debate of policy had me dizzy with anticipation. I've never heard of such a thing happening.

Unfortunately, someone in the CNN control booth caught on to this monumental occurrence and prompted Wolf to get the candidates back on message. He quickly launched a new question at them and they got back to talking about campaign strategy. Pivotal moment in history averted.