Reporter's Note: President Obama receives a letter from me every day. I’m sure he would prefer a pizza, or perhaps cookies, but we must take what we get…even the president.
Dear Mr. President,
I assume you are busy preparing for your next debate, and who could blame you? I won’t offer any advice on what you need to do or how you need to do it. I can see on the Internet that you are getting plenty of those comments from all quarters, and even without the kibitzing I’m pretty sure you’d have a solid game plan.
I will, instead, wish you and Mitt Romney each the best of luck. I hope each of you does as well as he possibly can, for two key reasons.
First, America deserves a good debate. With all due respect, your first meeting was no fun to watch. It was as dull as dishwater. If it were a boxing match, you would have been leaning on the ropes the whole time just taking punches. In terms of sheer, political theater, I’m pretty sure most voters would much rather watch opponents actually tear into each other; to scrutinize their reactions (see: Biden-Ryan) and to wonder which one is going to stagger away as the victor.
Second, America deserves a good debate. Sure, it sounds like I’m making the same point, but I’m not talking about entertainment this time. How are we supposed to make an informed choice about which one of you will make a better president, if you do not engage in an open, candid discussion about your views? The problems facing our nation right now are serious, and they deserve serious discussion. I know that you know that, but you have to show it. With respect, firmness, and thoughtfulness, you and Mr. Romney have to compare your ideas and let the voters choose. Because while ads and news reports are important measures of your aspirations, nothing quite compares to seeing two individuals nose to nose arguing over who offers the nation a brighter future.
So again, the best of luck to you and your foe. For the all the promises that both of you are making, start by giving us something simple: A good, honest debate on the real issues.
And on another front…did you watch the Nationals fold on Friday night? So painful.
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