In Defense Of Jim Lehr’s Debate Moderation
There’s a lot of criticism and scorn being heaped on the back of last night’s debate moderator Jim Lehr. The Associated Press has a round-up, and most of the criticism seems centered on Lehr’s inability to “keep control of the campaign’s first direct exchange between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.”
I thought that was a positive rather than a negative.
While you don’t want a debate like this to degenerate into a shouting match, nor do I think it’s a good thing for a moderator to impose his/her iron will onto a contest like this. Too often the personality of the moderator overshadows the debate itself. Lehr was noticed only for the fact that he was willing to let the candidates drive the debate.
And I thought the debate was better for it. This was about the candidates, not the moderator.
In related news, the best part of the debate was Mitt Romney talking about cutting funding for public broadcasting right in front of a long-time news anchor for…public broadcasting.