Three Jeers For Martha

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 12 2012 @ 11:05am

Josh Barro disagrees with the praise for Raddatz:

I thought her topic selection was terrible and led to a debate that was much less useful than it could have been. Raddatz asked a lot of foreign policy questions, which was fine, but Libya, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria each got their own question, with no discussion of China, Latin America or Europe. It was like a bad replay of 2004, when we acted like the Middle East was the only part of the world that mattered.

And the last 20 minutes of the debate were given over to silly questions: an abortion question (fine) framed not around policy but the candidates’ religious views (silly); an "is this campaign too negative" question that predictably led to each candidate repeating their own negative attacks; and a "what makes you unique?" question that Paul Ryan couldn’t seem to believe he was being asked. This is time that could have been spent discussing other issues that have thus far been neglected in the debates: immigration, monetary policy, housing policy, unwinding the fiscal cliff.

The result was a muddled debate, much of it spent on issues of little importance to voters, and it’s no surprise that the network focus groups showed a draw.