Even before the economy is dissected by the presidential candidates there are other pressing questions: What suit will they wear? What color tie? Will he be called Mr. President or Barack? Will he be Mitt or governor?
Style versus substance is all part of grading a presidential debate.
Newton Minow is the Vice Chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates and has played a role in every single televised debate since the first one in 1960 says “I think you’ll see both of them be very respectful of each other.”
Minow wonders if today perhaps too much emphasis has been placed on the debates "the press is so in love with the excitement. I think they over do it."
While you could hear the audience in Boston at the senate debate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, there will be strict rules in place in Denver. Minow notes “we have one absolute and that is the audience will not be allowed to react with applause, or boos or jeering, or whatever. The audience must remain quiet or they’ll be thrown out of the room.”
As for his recommendation for both candidates, Minow says “people ask me what advice I would give candidates and it’s very simple, think before you speak.”
Published at 6:54 PM CDT on Oct 2, 2012