by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Why do I call this a beauty contest? Because 20 is still too many to conduct a credible debate. Supposedly, the groups will be split up into two sets over two nights. But even ten on the stage for a debate is way too much.
Assuming it’s a two-hour debate, that means each candidate will get about 8 to 10 minutes of speaking time, counting for commercial breaks, bumpers, announcer blather and moderator questions. And assuming none of them goes over their alloted time limits.
That’s scarcely more time than a Miss Universe candidate gets to answer her randomly drawn question about world peace. And given how Democrats have run things in the past, you can bet some questions will be leaked for tighter, glibber sound bites for some.
What’s the value of this absurd specter then? Why, as a beauty contest. Voters will make their choices based on candidate looks and poise, same as the reality-T.V. stars, designers and pop singers do as judges in the Miss Universe pageant, and what happens, happens. It’s not really going to be about a debate, it’s going to be about looking at the candidates and judging them that way until one of them takes the crown.
Doesn’t sound like a serious forum for debate actually. It works fine for a beauty contest, which is about looks, but for Democrats, it just shows how shallow they’ve gotten.
They dropped themselves into this pickle, of course, because they cheated on the picking of their candidate, putting their thumbs on the scale for Hillary Clinton at the expense of Bernie Sanders. Now they’re overcompensating by making the field as wide as possible.