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My letter to Bob Schieffer

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Dear Bob:

I know you are terrified that Wednesday night’s debate will be a repeat of last week’s debate which allowed the candidates to simply respond with talking points. I therefore “know” you have been waiting for my list of questions for Wednesday night’s debate. I have left the economic crisis questions for you as I believe every possible question has already been asked and answered with respect to the candidates’ views on the economy. I also bow to your experience on international issues.

Below is my list. The questions are in no particular order.

The candidates will not be inviting you over for any social events very soon if you ask these questions, but you would be doing a great service to Americans who would like to know what the candidates think and not whether they can successfully couch an answer into a non-answer. My list is one which I would feel comfortable if the candidates saw the questions in advance, but you must insist on the specific crisp answers required. A specific response by a candidate that he is unwilling to answer the question based on the required brief answer is acceptable. A “no answer” would tell Americans a great deal about the candidate. As most of the questions should be responded to with a single word answer or a very crisp reply, you will still have time to cover all subjects in which you have personal interest:

1. Cabinet: Assuming they would be willing to serve, who would you favor to be your Attorney General of the Untied States and Secretary of State? Just the names of individuals who would be able to serve, not legendary deceased politicians, no discussion.

2. Energy: Are there any events that would encourage you to drill in Alaska? If yes, specifically and concisely, what events would cause you to favor drilling?

3. Guns: (a) Do you believe that every American, an adult and not previously convicted of a felony, should be able to own a handgun. (b) Do you believe that these Americans should be able to own a rifle or shotgun? (c) Do you believe that these Americans should be able to own an automatic weapon of any kind? Yes or no to each question.

4. Immigration: Regardless of any other Congressional actions taken to impact immigration, do you approve of and will you guarantee that to the best of your ability, the wall at our southern border will be completed by 2010? Yes or no. Please do not bore the listeners with a discussion of virtual walls.

5. Presidential Integrity:

Mr. Obama: Assuming a scenario of Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, name a single piece of legislation that would likely come from that Congress which you would veto?

(What likely Democratic Party issue do you find yourself disagreeing with your party?)--- Please simply identify the issue.

Mr. McCain: Assuming a scenario of Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, name a single piece of legislation that would likely come from that Congress which you would veto? (What likely Republican Party issue do you find yourself disagreeing with your party?) --- Please simply identify the issue.

6. Abortion: Assume that to end the abortion debate for time eternal, it was your decision and your decision alone to determine the last date, if any, that abortion should be allowed to be performed legally. Assume that a woman’s physical health would not be impacted by the abortion. What is the latest date you believe an abortion should be legal? Just the last month in which abortion should be legal, not a discussion of abortion or the physical condition of the child. (If you believe that under any circumstances it could be permissible to allow a living baby outside the womb not to receive necessary medical help, please so state.)

7. State Government Financial Crisis: Assume State X has been spending more than its revenues for years and has now reached the point where the private markets will not lend them additional funds unless they reduce spending. Would you approve long term financial bailouts for such states and if you would, what steps would you require such states take to insure that the Federal government is repaid?

Thanks Bob ------- Hank

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