Needed for the Democrats—a Process of Elimination

With more than two dozen Democrats likely to declare for president, how on earth do they stage debates? We all remember what happened with the Republicans in 2016. With an immense field, there was no discussion of issues; it quickly turned even more nasty and personal than usual, paving the way for the most negative and outrageous candidate to win the nomination.

Uh-oh. With a field this large and more than 15 candidates onstage, anything could happen. Supposed charisma could crowd out content. Almost anyone could be declared the winner.

Maybe the Dems should emulate the World Cup, or one of the major tennis tournaments, and use elimination rounds. For the Wall Street Democrats, Booker against Gillibrand. For the geezers, Biden against Sanders. For the progressives, Warren versus Brown (or maybe Sanders). For the dark horses, Landrieu against Castro.

Or we could decide this by coin toss. Or maybe by race or gender, God help us. Then the winners of the quarter-finals go to the semis, and then we get a one-on-one debate in the final.

Sound far-fetched? Give me a better idea. Or just wait and watch the real thing—and weep.

By |2019-01-08T12:20:45+00:00January 8th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

About the Author:

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect as well as a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. He co-founded the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and serves on its executive committee.

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