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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Throwing out the first pitch, er, question 

    The second presidential debate is in the hands of Missourians and that worries Ohioblog. Missourians, particularly those in the St. Louis area where Debate No. 2 will be held tonight at 9 at Washington University, are not to be trusted. This is because of baseball.

    St. Louis loves its baseball. So its voters could be distracted by the National League Divisional playoffs, which their beloved Cardinals lead two games to none over the dastardly Dodgers from the blue state of California. (Those Dodgers are probably all Democrats.) Since the town-hall format offers voters their one and only chance during the three debates to question President Bush and Sen. John Kerry directly, those uncommitted people representing us must their collective eye on the ball - the political ball.

    Chosen by the Gallup polling organization from a random sample of St. Louis area voters not so committed to a candidate that they might not switch, they will have the chance to ask the questions
    that Ohioans might.

    Moderators can be tough but they are also known quantities. So this will be an audience unlike most the candidates face - especially the president whose town-hall events are carefully screened. That won't be the case tonight when audience members submit their questions to Charles Gibson of ABC and cannot deviate substantially from them. If they do, Gibson will cut off their microphone. So there.

    As important as domestic issues are in Ohio, particulary the economy, this will be the last chance to force the candidates face up to Iraq, terrorism and other foreign policy concerns. The third debate, on Wednesday, will be restricted to domestic policy so this is important.

    Here are two questions, one for each candidate:

    For Kerry - If Iraq is not the center of the war on terror, as you said in the first debate, what should be and how does the United States fight such an amorphous enemy?

    For Bush - You took us into a war with a leader who you said was an imminent threat to the United States and that proved not to be true. How can we trust your decisions if they are based on false information? And, for that matter, how can you trust them?

    ...Ohioblog takes a road trip

    'Blog will be in Cleveland tonight to observe a group of Ohioans watch and react to Debate No. 2. This will delay initial reaction to the debate but will provide some bonus coverage Sunday to complement a Knight Ridder Newspapers story.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 1:16 PM

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