So, do you suppose the Republican presidential candidates are deep into debate perparations for Thursday night's Fox extravaganza, boning up on policies, researching issues, memorizing facts and figures? Guess again:
The first debate, to be hosted by Fox News on Thursday in Cleveland, will present an important opportunity for Republican candidates to introduce themselves to a wider swath of potential voters than any forum to date. But it won’t pose a daunting intellectual or rhetorical challenge.
Instead, the test will be of “who can craft the best one-liners and deliver them at the debate,” said Rick Santorum, who participated in the full calendar of Republican debates during the 2012 presidential election, and, despite being the runner-up for the nomination that cycle, won’t make the cut for Thursday’s prime-time stage, which is reserved for the top 10 candidates in an average of national polls. Instead, the former senator will spar among the six lowest-ranking candidates a few hours before the main event.
“All the candidates know that giving any kind of substantive answer is a mistake,” Santorum said. “And all you have to do is have zingers.”
So while we're waiting for the sound bites one-liners zingers and hoping for at least a substantive morsel or two and anticipating how Donald Trump will crazy up the event, what exactly are we supposed to get out of this? How will this help us winnow the candiddates. At this point I'm still committed to watching the stupid thig because of a sense of duty to my profession, but I'm really beginning to thing it will be a big, fat waste of time.