The moderator of Monday night’s debate, Bob Schieffer, gave an interview to Politico today. And guess what?
Schieffer said he had 200 questions in his binder when he stepped on stage last night, informed by five weeks of extensive conversations with foreign policy experts. He only had time to ask six, and if there is a criticism of his performance, it is that he focused too much on the greater Middle East and ignored other issues ranging from climate change and the Eurozone crisis.
“Obviously there are only so many you can get to,” he said. “I had questions about climate change to talk about. I had a question in there about the Eurozone. I had a question about the fiscal cliff. I was hoping we would have more of a discussion on how we manage our relationship with China. I wish there had been a way to talk about those because they’re all extremely important.”
(Please note: This is basically the same thing Candy Crowley said, but less condescendingly.)
Anyway, “they’re all extremely important.” China (raised in each of the prior two debates) and the fiscal cliff (components of which had come up previously) were equally important to cover as a discussion of climate change.
But ultimately, Schieffer said, “people are not voting for a candidate based on foreign policy, they’re choosing on the basis of character. People judge the candidates based on who makes them feel safe in a time of crisis.”
I mean, he’s not wrong! Maybe it would be helpful if members of the media were to elicit information from the candidates that might potentially broaden the perspective of voters. Maybe?
Or maybe next time we’ll just get Joe Rogan to moderate, and see which candidate has the cojones to get the job done.