Presidential Debates

Presidential Debates

(Ségolène Royal, left and Nicolas Sarkozy, right)

This editorial appeared on ManifestN4. It would be tempting for “Manifest” to throw a coin in the air, assign heads and tales to the current presidential runners and, upon landing, throw its editorial might on the winner of the toss thereby shaping US history for the next eight years. In the interest of keeping the suspense alive, we opt instead for pointing out a few techniques that you should be looking for during the upcoming US presidential-debates.

Framing the debate.

Prior to the second Ronald Reagan / Walter Mondale debate in 1984, much was made of Ronald Reagan’s age. Mr Reagan successfully re-framed the issue by saying: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” All of the sudden, the debate was not going to be about old age, but about experience and lack of it. Twenty-three years later Nicolas Sarkozy gained the upper hand early on when during his debate with Ségolène Royal he framed it in the first few minutes…

—Read the full editorial on Manifest N4

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