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The Home Team / Pardon the interruption

Published 10:48 am, Thursday, October 25, 2012
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As we pass the three-quarter pole of the presidential debate season, I think it's high time for me to interview myself on how the performances have gone:

Hank: Who do you think has been the most effective moderator to this point?

Herman: Martha Raddatz, by far. Jim Lehrer looked like he should have been an exhibit in the wax museum. Candy Crowley was way too frantic and apologetic about squeezing both candidates for time, and she was constantly promising to even it up. Which, by the way, she never did.

Hank: What did you think of the questions from the audience?

Herman: I think if you have one line to deliver during a presidential debate on national TV with 67 million people watching -- a line that you yourself have composed -- you might think about memorizing that one line, or at least learning to read it.

Hank: Any other thoughts on the town hall format of this week's debate?

Herman: I'm not really a big fan of the two candidates standing. I think they look kind of ridiculous, bobbing and weaving, like two tough guys in the schoolyard who'd agreed to take it outside. It also strikes me as unseemly for one candidate to be speaking while the other is pacing in the background. In general, it's not a great look for men in business suits to be walking around on stage, gesticulating. I say give 'em chairs.

Hank: What do you think of the squiggly lines at the bottom of the TV screen that indicate the reactions of a handful of uncommitted voters?

Herman: Basically, I don't watch them -- though they're hard to ignore, with my wife commenting on them every other second. When I do become aware of them, I find them distracting. Sort of like the "bottom line" on ESPN. And besides, what kind of person is still uncommitted at this point?

Hank: Having seen two presidential debates so far this month, what do you think is Gov. Romney's most annoying speech pattern?

Herman: That he constantly says, "I know how to make that happen." You do? Then tell us.

Hank: And what about President Obama's?

Herman: The way he repeatedly refers to everyone as "folks." I don't know, it just sounds weird. Like he's trying to be "folksy."

Hank: What annoys you most about the behavior of the moderators?

Herman: That they can't seem to give the two candidates equal time. I mean, how hard is that? We see the time clock constantly. Can't they?

Hank: What do you think about the fact that the candidates can say whatever they freakin' please, true or untrue, and it doesn't get "fact-checked" until later?

Herman: I think it's freakin' absurd.

Hank: Can you give us your overall impression of the concept of the presidential debate, as we've seen it so far?

Herman: Okay. You've got no real rules. No equal time. The candidates don't have to answer the moderator's questions. They don't have to answer each other. They don't have to tell the truth. Other than that, great.

Hank: So far you've watched every minute of the two presidential debates and the one debate between the vice presidential candidates. What do you think of the choice of Bob Schieffer of CBS as the moderator for next week's final debate, and will you be watching every minute of that one, as well?

Herman: Who's on Monday Night Football next week? Lions vs. Bears? Hmmm...

"The Home Team" appears every other Friday. You can also keep up with Hank's adventures with his dog, Ricky, on his blog, "Beagle Man," on the Westport News website at http://blog.ctnews.com/beagleman/ To reach Hank, email him at DoubleH50@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @BeagleManHank.