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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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Readers Blog

Lowering Expectations

I, like many others, tuned in to watch the debate between two national politicians as they rallied to demonstrate they were worthy of being voted second in command of the United States.

Though entertaining, there wasn't much to learn. It is thrilling to finally have a case for media hype, however, as the constant attention to this debate gave the kind of play to informative politics that rarely happens. Yet, one of the rare times even "Joe Six-Pack" is tuning into to a political discussion of issues affecting our country, there wasn't much discussion.

 We are often fed our ideas or told what they key issues are and in busy, reduced-to-headlines lives, we often leave it at that.

I was expecting the debate to actually expose some of the intricacies of what these two candidates are dealing with, what the next four years may look like and to actually learn more details on the issues.

But instead, as is expected and coached, they merely touted their candidate and gave soundbites of information. If you missed "energy independence" you weren't listening.

I had higher expectations for political debate--I thought issues would be negotiated, discussed, unpacked. Rather, catch phrases were uttered over and over and post-debate analysis covered the lack of gaffes.

To hear one debater praised for an ability to "debate well" and by "debate well" they meant "was able to dodge tough questions" was sad. I don't want my candidates dodging tough questions as a means of keeping from being fodder for Jon Stewart.

It appears I have to lower my expectations of information delivery yet again and continute to rely on my own ability to research and learn.

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smg521 | Oct. 3, 2008 at 2:09 p.m. (report)

I agree with your assessment, at least in part, as it relates to Sarah Palin. In my opinion, Joe Biden was the clear winner of the debate. At least his answers had some substance behind them. And although he may have not laid out specifics on every point, his knowledge and understanding of the issues appeared to be more sound. Sarah Palin did better than I expected her to, but that is not saying a lot because my expectations were very low. There was no substance behind anything she said. She basically recited well-rehearsed speeches and catchphrases without actually directly answering the questions that were asked. Her "folksy" demeanor and her casual approach were frankly insulting. Just because she comes across as this likeable and down to earth average small-town mom, that doesn't qualify her to be vice president. The American public needs to expect more out of their elected officials. When you look for a heart surgeon, do you look for someone who is skilled, experienced and competent, or do you look for a nice down-to-earth guy who you can get a beer with? People need to wake up and realize that the concept of Sarah Palin as "a heartbeat away" from running the country is truly a frightening concept. And, seriously, if she uses the word "maverick" one more time in reference to John McCain, I think I will vomit. I like that Biden made reference to the falsehood of that statement.

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