Presidential Debates 2012

Bob Schieffer Prepares List of Subjects to Avoid at Tonight's Presidential Debate

A limited view of foreign policy.


Earlier this month, moderator Bob Schieffer announced the subjects he intends to cover in tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy:

Don't blame me, I voted for the clavicle.

* America's role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism—I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism—II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

The list, he noted, was "subject to possible changes because of news developments." And "tomorrow's world" is a phrase that could conceivably cover a lot, though in practice it is likely to cover little.

But think about how much is missing here. Dan Drezner has posted a list of absent topics, and while some of them were bound to be excluded from the evening no matter what—hardly anyone will base their vote on what the candidates have to say about India, no matter how important India may be—it really wouldn't be a bad idea to ask the candidates a question or two about the Eurozone. And Russia. And North Korea. And the violence raging right next door in Mexico. I'm sure that China and the strip stretching from Libya to Pakistan will give the candidates plenty of opportunities to pretend that their differences are deeply substantial, but surely it wouldn't hurt to let them grandstand on a new subject.

NEXT: LA Porn Condom Measure Fails to Draw Voter Interest

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Other topics that won’t be covered:

    – Killing brown people
    – Killing brown children
    – Killing brown(ish) citizens
    – Bin Laden: burial at sea or body on display on a hook on the Mall?
    – Killing women standing near Bin Laden
    – Best methods for ignoring congress
    – Drones: Great law enforcement tool or GREATEST law enforcement tool?

    1. also, First!

      wow, I finally get to say that…

      (also, fried chicken).

  2. Not watching the “debate”, not voting for either of these douchefucks.

    And….Bob Schieffer, and Candy Crowley? And the idiot Jim Lehhhhruh? We don’t have any better moderators in this country. (see, that’s a statement, not a question)

    Fuck this whole process. Voting for myself for Pres, and all “minor/third party” candidates for everything else. The US is dead – long live the US!

    Hope I’m dead before we descend to complete dictatorship/chaos.

    1. There are plenty of better moderators. The debate committee just refuses to utilize them.
      Howard Stern, Geoff Peterson, Norm McDonald, the kid from the VW ads.

      Who allowed the presidential debate commission to have a monopoly on presidential debates anyhow?

      1. I’m on record recommending Stern.

        “You know, with this debate being on foreign policy, let’s start with foreign tail–which is the best?”

        1. Too easy, latin america is the obvious answer.

          1. Ima have to disagree with my under-tanged opponent.

            Who doesn’t want some Eastern hoo ha? That’s right I want it ALL – Japan, Thailand, Korea, China….all of ’em.

            1. Eastern Europe.

      2. Dennis Miller. Seth Meyers. Amy Poehler.

        Yeah, any of them, plus tons of others.

        1. SNL people are totally biased.
          Dennis Miller is funny, but a republican shill now.

      3. The TEAMS did when they decided they didn’t want anymore unwashed “third party” candidates sneaking in the door and embarrassing them.

    2. Jim Leher actually let the candidates do most of the talking, so I don’t see how he was bad. Lefties only hate him because their Messiah couldn’t take advantage of the speaking time.

  3. This debate should be particularly putrid. Obama is horrific on foreign policy, as I think anyone outside of the hardcore Obamaniac will acknowledge, and Romney seems pretty weak on the topic as well. Though he wins again by not actually appointing inexperienced people and presiding during the various screw-ups.

  4. It would be interesting to hear an answer from the incumbent about the War Powers Act and lack of deference to constitutional separation of powers. But honestly, there’s too much to attack Obama on foreign policy-wise that you can’t also hit Romney with (because he hasn’t done anything yet) so Schieffer will likely have to leave most of it to the voters’ imaginations. For balance.

    1. He could ask Romney how he plans to abuse the additional power Obama had to take for the executive branch to function properly.

    2. Romney supports most of Obama’s foreign policy actions. The rhetoric is the biggest difference

  5. I bet $10,000.00 that Schieffer will be acting as Fact Checker in Chief because he knows he will get good press from it.

  6. Tomorrow-morrow land?
    Captain Walker?
    Who run Bartertown?


      *turns page*

      “MISSUS WALKER!!!”

      My favorite part.

  7. They should have combined the foreign policy debate with the town hall debate…I bet the questions would have been awesome.

  8. At least Bob Schieffer isn’t as visually unappealling as Candy Crowley.

    Yeah, I said it, and I dare you to call me a liar.

    1. +1 Trudat

  9. I look forward to finding out which candidate hates Chinese people more and who will do more to defend virtuous Americans from rapacious and inscrutable Asian conglomerates. Also, it’s important to hear about who is more passionate about defeating our dishonorable foreign trading opponents in this “trade war” I keep hearing about; who is more committed to destroying our worthless foreign enemies in the battle of commerce?

    Everyone knows Democrats are pacifist and cosmopolitan, so Obama will prove it by talking about the Arabs he’s murdered and how much he hates Chinese workers taking our jobs. And everyone knows Republicans are capitalist and laissez-faire, so Romney will prove it by talking about how low product prices are cheating and how much he hates Chinese workers taking our jobs.

    Ninety minutes of saber-rattling and trade-war provocations, insulting the rest of the world as either murderous or thieving, followed by ninety seconds at the end where we all pretend not to understand why other countries might not understand what a loving and generous benefactor the US government is. And then Romney and Obama lay out their plans to force foreigners to understand that the US government loves them.

  10. Wait, four out of six topics are about the Muslim world, but nothing about Greece or the euro? Shouldn’t we at least tie down the candidates to some promise that they will or will not intervene in European debt? I’d love to get Obama on record saying he won’t intervene, even if like any politician he has no compunction about doing a 180.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.