Years and years ago I interviewed a “car salesman” for a sales job in another profession.
I remember his hesitation to leave his profession of selling cars.
It was way before the Internet. Even then rarely did anyone pay the full sticker price for a car. What lured him to stay in the profession was the chance that on any day someone would walk into the car dealership and pay full sticker price.
I remember asking him how often this happened. His love of the chase had little to do with actual statistics. What kept him as a car salesman was the one in one hundred or one in one thousand percent chance that on any given day it could happen.
I feel the same way about political debates. Rarely is there that defining moment. Rare is the Ronald Reagan – Walter Mondale moment “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience”.
Yet I keep watching. Chances of a defining moment at a debate are probably as good or bad as someone paying full sticker price.
Still I watch. Five things to look for in the third Democratic debate;
- How Elizabeth Warren handles Joe Biden. Does she choose to ignore him and talk to the American public? Does she take him on ala Kamala Harris?
- Does Joe Biden put blinders on and speak straight to the voters or does he get in playground scuffles with the other candidates?
- National numbers mean little in the primary season. The numbers that matter the most are the polls in early primary states. A voter in a later state may like a candidate who doesn’t make it to later primaries.
- If a candidate can create a defining moment they can gain momentum. You can prepare for a defining moment but you can’t make one happen. They are priceless when they do occur:
The vice presidential debate between Lloyd Bentson to Dan Quayle “Senator you’re no Jack Kennedy”.
- How prepared are the candidate’ staff for the day after. The staffs have to be ready for every political show. How will they “spin” their candidate’s performance? Mayor Pete’s staff is much bigger than Kamala Harris. Will it matter?