Matt Towery

Let's face it: There are just too many boring presidential debates with boring presidential candidates this go-round.

First off, could we please see at least one debate in which the moderator or questioners don't try to dominate the airtime? Seeing an endless sea of middle-age to darn-near-dead white men on a stage is bad enough, but having to listen to the "journalists" interact as if it were a talk show makes these debates excruciatingly painful to watch.

Second, isn't it time everyone owns up to the fact that -- had he not been labeled "a nut" by the establishment early on -- Ron Paul is by far the most interesting candidate in the entire GOP field? Don't these other guys get it that repeating the same old tired phrases about "economic growth" and "free markets" is just driving their most conservative base into fits of rage?

I have never seen a bigger cast of one-inch deep characters in my life as we have in both parties this time. Hillary is so far ahead that it makes no sense for her to throw even a five-yard pass, much less a Hail Mary. Barack Obama seems so wrapped up in his charisma that he's lost the concept of having any real substance. For my money, Joe Biden has been the only one on the Democratic side willing to take a few risks or venture into any degree of opposing viewpoints.

As for Fred Thompson, will someone please give this guy a test and see if he's alive? Don't get me wrong: I like Thompson personally, but muttering semi-Reaganesque terms such as "indexing for inflation" is so out of date that the bored audience is left in the dark as to what he's trying to say.

As for the Mitt and Rudy show, what a battle over nothing. Romney looks like the Ultra Brite toothpaste pitchman, and Rudy looks like a character out of the Harry Potter series. They split hairs, as they all propose basically the same policies and dodge their pasts, either personal or political.

And here's the real kicker: Our surveys show that virtually no one is watching these little gems. So all the rooms filled with spinmeisters and all the column inches wasted on these non-debate debates are a relative waste of time.

So here's the bottom line, candidates and pundits. We all started this presidential season way too early. Think about it. John McCain has crashed, burned and come back to life at least twice before the first primary. This isn't a race for the nomination as much as it's a battle to see who will still be alive by the time the caucuses and primaries are held!

As for the issues -- the boneheaded Republicans (for the most part) won't admit that Iraq is a huge mess and that even most Republicans want us to accelerate the removal of troops. The Democrats, on the other hand, have to take a virtual blood oath of complete withdrawal to gain the approval of their base.

When it comes to the economy, it's clear none of the candidates has a clue. The Democrats want to "tax the rich," but by their definition, Oprah Winfrey and a regular working couple earning a decent wage are treated one and the same. And why are we even having debates, primary or general, when we all know that Hillary will likely outperform any of these guys in a "fancy speak" contest?

The Republicans clearly don't realize that many in their base, particularly in "red" southern and southwestern states, are suffering from the results of their beloved free trade and a housing market that continues to head south. They spout off the right words, but it's clear that they are just the same old "steady as she goes" GOP, beholden to huge corporations and their longtime "establishment" ways.

Get it clear, you guys: People don't like your president or your party. They think you sold us out to globalism and cronyism. Repeating the same junk we have heard the last six years won't cut it.

So here's a challenge to all "debaters" in these snore-a-thons. Use the old debate technique of doing everything in threes. In other words, if asked what your plan is on energy, say, "I have three major ideas or points" and then state clearly what they are.

That way you might say something innovative or at least confirm to us that you have nothing to say at all.

Under those rules -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- Ron Paul would likely eat everyone's lunch. That's a statement that would send shivers up the spine of Washington's self-appointed political elite.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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