Here’s Why I’m a Bad Debate Watcher

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Not that anyone cares, but I think I realized tonight why I have such a hard time judging political debates. There are two reasons:

  • The candidates frequently drift off into mini-stump speeches. When that happens, I tune out. I’ve heard it all before. But for ordinary viewers, this might very well be the part of the debates that makes the most sense to them.
  • The big “moments” also don’t do much for me. But that’s the stuff that ends up on a 24/7 loop the next day on cable news. By not paying much attention to these highlights, I’m missing out on the things that drive a lot of the post-debate reaction.

This is all in addition to the obvious fact that I react more to policy stuff than to affect and demeanor. Put it all together, and I’m hopelessly out of touch with the common man. Sad but true.

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate