Facing Actual Voters Can Be Tall Order

Candidates won't be as easily able to duck pointed questions in tonight's debate format
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2008 2:20 PM CDT
Facing Actual Voters Can Be Tall Order
Riggers lift scaffolding into place in front of the Curb Events site at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Oct. 6, 2008, as preparations continue for Tuesday's presidential debate.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

The presidential candidates will be walking into a lion’s den tonight, forced to face those most dangerous of creatures: undecided voters. The town-hall debate could be a “snooze-fest,” writes John Dickerson on Slate, but there’s also a chance “Ponytail Guy”—the town-haller who famously befuddled George H.W. Bush in 1992—will show up. If that happens, John McCain could be in trouble.

The original Ponytail Guy’s question was a little silly—he said voters were symbolically the president’s children—but its message, a criticism of Bush’s negative, character-driven campaign, resonated. Voters have lots of material to ask pointed questions about—and when one pins you, you’re in trouble: “They can’t be ignored as easily as journalists,” Dickerson points out.
(More Election 2008 stories.)

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