notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How to Judge a Debate

Just kidding. I don't know how to judge a debate. Do you?

I thought the first McCain-Obama debate went to Obama. The day after I was reading that it was a tie, and I was also reading that Obama won. I thought that Biden beat Palin, which was pretty universally accepted, but I did not think that Palin was impressive in the least. I did not think that she held her own. The media analysis claimed otherwise.

Then there was last night's debate. Round two of McCain vs. Obama. I thought it was a great exchange, with both men turning in solid performances. In fact, though I agreed more with Obama and found him to be more likeable, I thought the debate was a tie.

Clearly, I was in the minority.

So while my record of siding with the pundits and the masses isn't bad, it's not exactly spot-on either. The reason behind this discrepancy is obvious: judging a debate is a subjective experience. But while deciding on a winner can and should be left up to a voter's powers of judgment, can we not agree on a standard set of criteria by which to do the judging?

Personally, here's what I look for in a master debater:

-Substance: facts, details, and specifics backing up clear policy agendas

-Relevance: at least make an effort to answer the question before diving into stump mode

-Truthfulness: don't go slinging mud if you can't get your facts straight

-Likability: basically a vague quality of sincerity and intelligence

-Creativity: this sounds odd, but if I'm hearing the same "I'll make them famous" line over and over again I begin to seriously doubt your ability to think outside the box

-Sense of humor: if you aren't funny, please please don't try to be.