Debate #2 of the 2012 election: Obama and Romney answer town hall style questions from undecided voters. Personally, I think I have better chance of convincing Aretha Franklin to give singing lessons to Lana Del Rey than I do of having even one of my questions answered, but here they are anyway.
Oh, and if style, body language, and poise are intended to trump substance, don’t worry – I’ve got that covered too.
Question #1 – Mr. Obama – Reuters is reporting today that a CIA captive and Guantanamo prisoner wrote a note criticizing NBA star LeBron James’s 2010 decision to leave the Cleveland Cavs for the Miami Heat. The note was treated as a top national secret for two months. If these are the kinds of headlines the Guantanamo Bay detention camp generates at this point, don’t you regret your failed pledge to close the camp within your first 100 days in office?
Question #2 – Both men – Yes or no: According to Foreign Policy magazine, in 2010 the top 1% of Americans captured 93% of our national income gains in the first year of recovery. Does this suggest to you at all that there is an ever widening economic divide in America?
Question #3 – Both men – Two minute answer from each, eyes closed, and please refrain from continuing if you open your eyes: You two knuckleheads have only yourselves to blame for having to try so hard to prove you’re not “detached” or “out-of-touch.” What do you think would happen if you decided to appear like the regular guy we all know you must be instead of trying to be so presidential? Time starts now.
Question #4 – Both men – Yes or no: When you ascend to a certain rank in Washington politics, are you intrinsically beholden to big banks? Is there some X-files cigarette-smoking man waiting to tap you on the shoulder when you start to do or say something not in the service of the financial industry? Never mind, you’re lying; next question.
Question #5 – Both men – One word answer: Since 1980, California has built 1 college campus and 21 prisons. Proposition 36 would change the state’s three strikes law to impose 25 years-to-life sentences only when a third conviction is serious or violent. How would you vote – for or against this?
Question #6 – This question has no right or wrong answer; we’re just interested in the dance. Two minutes from the President, and two from the candidate: This is the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, 13 days in October that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. We now know that Russian missiles were moved to Cuba at least partially as a reaction against a United States sponsored invasion of Cuba by CIA-trained Cuban exiles. Please explain how the scenario with Iran and American-backed Israel will end differently.
Question #7 – Both men – Yes or no: When you ascend to a certain rank in Washington politics, are you intrinsically beholden to big oil? Is there some creepy Wall Street speculator overlord whispering energy policies into your ear as you eat? Never mind, you’re lying; next question.
Question #8 – Two minutes from President Obama and two from Candidate Romney: Define “American Exceptionalism.” We only want your opinion or personal belief. Time starts now.
These questions are strictly subjective and represent only my personal interest in watching both men squirm. I like the wildcard idea of having at least one or two questions answered with eyes closed – just to crash their equilibrium. Think about it: two minutes with your eyes closed, answering a tough policy question before 60 million people. Man, that would really screw somebody up! All that strategy and practice, all those hours of rote training –all gone– and just long enough for us to catch a glimpse of the real man. I can’t help but wonder if such pressure would strip a man of his excuses or allow him one.