Mark Baden's Forecast
PJH: THE DEBATES ARE FOR THE VOTERS, NOT THE CANDIDATES. The debates of the presidential cycles since 2008 have been shockingly superficial. One serious and important criticism of the debates is that the candidates act as though they are superior to the task of asking Americans to put their trust in them in the highest office in our Government. Exceeding their allotted time to answer and rebut, dodging questions and using their minutes and seconds to in effect air impromptu campaign ads for themselves is a disgrace and IMO should be grounds for disqualifying candidates from the election. As for this first 2016 presidential debate, nothing has improved. Once again the moderator did an abysmally insufficient job. I don't know who or how Lester Holt got the job but that was a mistake. Judge Judy or Marilyn Milian would have been much better choices and that is not a joke. The debates demand a moderator that keeps a tight rein on the candidates and cuts them off when they go over their allotted time and especially when they do not answer the question asked. The responses from the candidates should be directed at the audience, THE DEBATES ARE FOR THE VOTERS BENEFIT, PERIOD. No back and forth or interruption should be tolerated and if we need to enforce with consequences try this, interrupt and you cede your time to your opponent for that question. Fail to answer the question put to you and/or deflect your answer to another issue, cede your time on the question to your opponent. Cut off the mic of the opponent of the candidate answering or rebutting. Three strikes and you are out and your opponent gets the rest of the questions and all of the remaining time to answer and rebut any comments you made challenging him or her. The bottom line is this, the debates are for the voters. The debates are not entertainment for the voters. The candidates are job applicants and the voters are their potential employers and that job interview (the debate) should be entirely under the control of the voter's appointed moderator.