Joe Gandelman, 11/29/2011 [Archive]

How to Make the Republican Debates Less Boring

How to Make the Republican Debates Less Boring

Independent's Eye by Joe Gandelman

The Republican Party's stream of debates is coming under fire for being "increasingly intolerable," hurting the Republicans' brand — and becoming boring.

Here are two suggestions on how to liven things up.

Suggestion One: USE HUMOR:Jon Huntsman's campaign has fizzled and many call him dull. Huntsman could gain traction by adding "switched" classic comedy club, Las Vegas style comedy and shtick in debates. Like this:

"So where are you all from? From the looks of this crowd, from Ruths' Chris Steak House.Hey, there's Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Hi, Rick. Make yourself at home. Execute someone.These are the jokes, folks:not what I'm saying (he points to the others), but these people standing next to me.Hi, Ron Paul.If you go to Vegas, place money on Ron Paul getting the nomination. I wonder what the odds are in the "Snowball in Hell" category. And there's Newt Gingrich. Newt invited me to his last wedding. I couldn't go. But I'll go to his next one.

"I gave up my job as Ambassador to China to run with these people. Take Michele Bachmann. Please. And there's Herman Cain. Herman says he's staying in the race even though a woman claims she had an extramarital affair with him on top of the many harassment claims. He needs that like Rush Limbaugh needs a banana split. During an affair a man does to a woman what Congress does to voters.

"Hola, Mitt Romney. I wouldn't say Mitt has changed positions but if they want to put him on Mount Rushmore there might not be room for his two faces. Well, my time is up.If you liked me, my name is Jon Huntsman. If you didn't like me, my name is Barack Obama. I'll be in this race all month.I think."

Suggestion Two: USE HIGH DRAMA. Perry's attacks on Romney for not being a "real conservative" have fallen flat. He should be more dramatic.Imagine Perry holding up a pair of flip flops as the lights dim and he slowly says:

"To Romney, or not to Romney--that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of Rush Limbaugh's mouth

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them. To endorse, to hold your nose and vote

Or to find someone — preferably a governor from Texas -- to head the ticket instead.

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to enduring the debates again and again and again and again.

And again.

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

To risk Romney going moderate

There's the rub:

For in that sleep of acceptance Sean Hannity and Mark Levin might frown

The base may prefer to lose rather than have Romney in office for four or eight years

If we shuffle to this mortal coil.

It must give us pause. There's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

His not trying to repeal Obama care,

His compromising with Democrats once he gets in office,

Him not following the success we've had in Texas.

His insolence of office, his hair that looks better than mine

That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin?

Or does 'bare bodkin' have something to do with Herman Cain?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

Except Romney who holds a manicured finger up to the wind.

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now,

The fair Michele Bachmann! --

Be all of Romney's RINO sins remembered."

On the other hand, maybe I've just watched too many of these darn debates.


Copyright 2011 Joe Gandelman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. CNN's John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at and can be booked to speak at your event at

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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