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Wednesday, September 29

Debate Debate: Open Thread

Discuss what you think will happen at the debate here.

Hoping for some zingers in the Bush-Kerry face-off?
Not with these rules of engagement

By Gersh Kuntzman Newsweek

Looking forward to the presidential debate? Don’t bother. There isn’t going to be one.

Oh, sure, George W. Bush and John Kerry will stand on the same stage on Thursday, but any similarity between that and a debate is purely a function of the power suits they’ll be wearing and the stump speeches they’ll be spitting out in 90-second chunks.

...But in reality, the candidates don’t stand face to face, they are under no obligation to answer questions and they are forbidden, by the very rules of the debate, to respond to each other.

I can say that because I’ve just read the debate’s 31-page "memorandum of understanding" hashed out by the Kerry and Bush campaigns (if you want to see the full text, hunt around on or Thanks to this lawyerly document, the rules of engagement prevent almost all engagement. It should be called a debase rather than a debate. Read whole thing at newsweek

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