Presidential Debates & Lie Detectors
So, League, let me ask you… If you could ask any of the candidates anything in tonight’s debate and know that you’d get an honest answer, what questions would you ask, and to which candidates?
Some quick background on how I came to ponder this question for myself:
I fully intend to watch tonight’s GOP primary debate; this is the first time all year I have had a strong desire to do so. There are two reasons why I am so on board for the debate. The first is that I listened to the last debate while I was multi-tasking in my office after hours, and was surprised to find it so thoroughly entertaining.
The second is because I’m curious to see how the other candidates are going to handle the scandal that had enveloped (but not beaten!) the frontrunner. Common sense would seem to say that this is the perfect time for the pack to subtly bring up both Cain’s
ability to compare female stature history of sexual harassment, and cut into his standings in the polls. But this is the 2011 GOP, so who’s to say where common sense lies? The base they are pandering to wants to believe that sexual harassment is simply uppity women with no sense of humor, and it tends to reward politicians that blame the media for everything. So do Perry, Bachman, et al go after Cain for being a slimeball – or the media for falsely reporting that Cain isn’t the greatest human being ever? Also, which strategy will the audience choose to back? (Mitt won’t go there, of course. He wants Cain to be the last man standing against Camp Romney.)
Last night, a reporter asked Cain if he would be willing to take a lie detector test to back up his categorical harassment denials. In classic Cain fashion, he said of course he would – providing anyone could give him a good reason to take one. (Umm… ’cause you’re here answering all these questions?) But this presser question, asked on the eve of a debate night, has led me to wonder:
What would I ask the candidates if I knew that they had to answer honestly, openly and in detail?
As I’ve said before, I can’t see myself voting for any of these people – with the possible of exception of Romney and maybe Hunstman. (I say Huntsman not because I like him, but because I literally know nothing about him except that no one knows who he is.) So I would have all of my questions be questions that I was really, truly curious about.
Here’s what I would ask each candidate:
Romney: You seem to play to whichever audience you’re trying to win. But if you were a voter, and had to choose between the Mitt Romney running in this election, or the Mitt Romney that ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2003, who would you vote for and why?
Gingrich: Why are you running, really?
Bachmann: Why do all of your chiefs of staff and managers seem to quit, with little to nothing positive to say about you afterwards? Please give both your belief about their motivation, and what they identified as their motivation in private when resigning.
Santorum: What do you really think of Jews, Mormons and Muslims? As a people, how trustworthy and moral are they?
Cain: Why are you running, really?
Paul: Which of the other candidates on stage do you respect most, and least? Why?
Perry: What was the primary motivation for your switching parties?
Huntsman: This is probably the only time I’ll get to see or hear you, so in five minutes tell me what kind of President you would be, and be very specific with where you stand on issues such as taxation and any cultural issues you feel so strongly about as to change public policy.
So those are mine. What are yours?
UPDATE: In the interest of fairness, I should probably add this, even though he clearly won’t be present tonight:
Obama: So honestly, how much of the whole “Change” thing did you really mean at the time?