There are so many things about this debate that were incredibly poorly done, I don’t know where to start. Let’s start with the network itself. First of all, it chose Diane Sawyer and George Stephenopolous to host the debate. Upon seeing this, I felt scared and alone and suddenly discovered that this is the exact moment I got a cat for. And I pet the now-pissed-off creature in my lap, refusing to let her go, the debate started. Diane and George (and some other guy) asked questions, none of which transitioned into the next well at all. The questions fit together about as awkwardly as a two virgins’ first time. In the middle of foreign affairs, they decided to cut to a break and come back to contraception and gay marriage, as if those two were somehow has important as how we should deal with China and Iran. I have no idea why those questions were deemed a good idea, other than as a “Gotcha!” question for Santorum. Also, it took them one hour and thirteen minutes to ask any questions on jobs. Why. In. God’s. Name. Did. Gay marriage. Get. More. Airtime.
I think the worst thing, as someone who has had to work behind the scenes of a TV production (yes, university newscasts count, damnit), I think ABC’s crew is probably the worst I have ever seen. The only positive thing I can say about it at all was the fact that Rick Perry gave most of his answers while off-screen. Seriously, this was the worst production of any debate I’ve seen this cycle. Producers who worked this show should be fired. Cameras were everywhere and very unsteady. ABC needs to have a come to Jesus with some folks tomorrow and hand out some pink slips (congrats on doing the opposite of creating jobs, Republicans!).
As to the candidates themselves, there are two things I noted. One is that I missed Michelle Bachmann. Not because she was a solid candidate, but I wanted to hear her input on some of these important subjects (like contraception). The second thing is this: No one answered like their political careers were on the line and they had to make a stand. I like Huntsman, but he was saying every two sentences that he used to be a governor. Rick Santorum was stuttering so much, I almost missed half the incorrect things he said. The rest were no better. No one seems to have taken this seriously. Gingrich had the perfect opportunity, on national television, to obliterate Romney. And he did nothing. He even talked about how he agreed with some things he said.
Romney thinks John Adams wrote the Constitution. Santorum thinks there aren’t really many gay couples. Perry wants to move troops back to Iraq. Gingrich didn’t give any real thoughts whatsoever. Huntsman said the same things over and over, for the most part. This is who we’re putting up against a guy who used two words to win a presidency?
Come on, Republicans. Do better.