Friday, October 12, 2012

Last Night's Debate Winner? The Moderator

Last Night's Debate Winner? The Moderator, ABC News' Martha Raddatz keeps the candidates in check while sparking lively discussion. Who won the vice presidential debate? Martha Raddatz-and the voters, Well, that debate produced as clear a winner as any I've seen-a winner who was composed, tough-minded, clear, eloquent.

But enough of Martha Raddatz.

Actually, not enough about Martha Raddatz. What America saw Thursday night was the model of how a political debate should be conducted, with a format that encourages direct interaction, and a moderator who can summon details to inform a question.

I know, I know, the question before the house is, "Who won?" OK: In purely atmospheric terms, Joe Biden's smile now threatens to replace the Mona Lisa's as the single most analyzed facial expression in history. (I have noted elsewhere that there are times when Biden's smile is only slightly less unsettling than the one Jack Nicholson flashed in "The Shining.")

In purely political terms, the debate was likely a better night for the Democrats, if only in providing them a dose of enthusiasm and passion that was missing in action last week.


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