MR. LEHRER: Excuse me, one sec — excuse, me sir. (Laughter.) We’ve got — we’ve got — barely have three minutes left. I’m not going to grade the two of you and say you’ve — your answers have been too long or I’ve done a poor job —
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You’ve done a great job, Jim.
Jim Lehrer is an icon of the American news media, and his career is far more distinguished than most journalists could dream of aspiring to. Unfortunately, on this night, he simply wasn’t up to the task of moderating this debate.
Lehrer let himself get steamrolled by Romney repeatedly, and at times by Obama as well. He was deferential to the point of meaninglessness. He simply lost control of the debate. When he did manage to reassert himself, it was often only to get the candidates to admit to differences between them — which both candidates had been glad to do.
Now, there may be something to the idea of two candidates going on stage with no moderator, and simply debating. This debate had a moderator, however, one who simply failed to moderate.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey
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