The beauty of living in a democracy is that every citizen is allowed his or her say. We can argue semantics and get into the influence of money in politics and why Citizens United is a bad, bad thing later but the point is that we have the pleasure of hearing our candidates out before electing them to represent us. Something that we often take for granted as we become inundated by emails and robo-calls and a BREAKING! NEWS! national poll every other night that the two candidates are neck and neck. It's tedious. Hence my absolute glee last week during and after the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Post-debate I told everyone I encountered that it was not only solid on policy and good for my wonkish ways but hot damn! That was some good television. The antithesis of the first Presidential debate during which the the President attempted to be polite, Mitt Romney smirked and I found myself sleeping but with my eyes open.
Now that we've come to our second debate I expect less to be lulled to sleep by the dulcet tones of Candy Crowley but more oomph from the President. Come to think of it that's what the first debate lacked: President Obama being Presidential. Remember during the Democratic National Convention when he made his acceptance speech and pundits - of the armchair and CNN variety alike - oohed and ahhed over his speech? It was because he stood his ground and not only reaffirmed his commitment to his country and his job but that he not simply a candidate running for President but He *IS* the President, damn it!
My hope is that he takes charge this evening and leaves the pleasantries and politeness to the end of the evening.
My other hope - and God, this often seems like a tall order - is to hear more about education. I know that we get the same talk of Pell Grants and the President's Race to the Top program and his changed on teacher evaluations but is that really all? Is there nothing more to education? Which many would agree that there is. I continue to go back to the fact that education is the foundation of a successful society and while we can debate the economy, debt ceiling, deficit, sequestration* and jobs, why cannot there be a stronger discussion as to how education will greatly impact the future of this economy? People in poverty are there by unfortunate circumstance and it is education that can often pull them from the wreckage. The President is going to use tonight's debate to speak directly with the American people about his plans for moving the country forward. AS HE SHOULD. I just think that education needs to be a bigger part of that conversation as opposed to a talking point lopped on towards the end. But that's just me.
Below I've included video from both the President and Mitt Romney's appearances on NBC News' Education Nation. So tell me, there are three hours until this debate: What do you hope to see?
*I'll explain sequestration next week. Promise.