- On the one hand, I agree with Ed: we’ve had a godawful amount of debates so far. They’re exhausting to cover; I can only imagine how grinding they are to the people actually doing them. From Mitt Romney’s point of view, a debate must be much like how Tom Wolfe portrayed physical examinations as being for fighter pilots. Which is to say, the best that Romney can hope for in a debate right now is to not have a campaign-ending disaster.
- On the other hand, I also agree with Ed: we’re actually starting to see things that look like debates, instead of an extended poking of Republican candidates with sticks to see whether they’ll attack the bars. Also, as Byron noted, the debates are popular (the ABC News poll had 6.25 million viewers).
- And on the gripping hand: well, this is probably not a good time for Mitt Romney to quit debates anyway. Yesterday was… not optimal: Romney got punched hard by Santorum, frankly evaded his way through the question of whether he’d release his income tax statements, and spent most of the debate agreeing with Rick Perry. I would seriously recommend that Romney quit the debate schedule when he’s in a slightly better pole position.
I think that this is a reasonably fair take on the subject.