Went with baald to tonight’s debate between New Yorker columnist / J-School professor Mark Danner and editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol on the topic “Does America Need a New President?” I thought Danner had a better handle on the facts, Kristol worked more in generalities and was frequently apologetic for certain Bush foibles, which didn’t help his case. Kristol was quicker, if more soft-spoken, Danner more forceful and direct, more energetic. Separating style and content can be a challenge of debate watching — it was for me tonight.
Hecklers were out in force and moderater Orville Schell was the perfect diplomat trying to make certain audience members understood they were there to listen, not to talk. Police finally escorted the worst heckler out, but not until the event was almost over.
Danner made a pretty compelling argument that the past four years have been disastrous in almost every measurable respect. Kristol tried to make the case that anyone in Bush’s shoes would have — or at least should have — made similar decisions in similar circumstances, but for me at least, his points seemed anemic.
Hope all two of the undecided voters in the audience took home something useful.