Does it seem to you like we just watched a Republican debate?
You’re right. It was just five days ago. And there’s another one tonight on CNN.
It will be held in Florida, a key swing state, and home of many retired citizens. Social Security could be a major talking point tonight.
Various news sites have lists of things we should watch for tonight, including:
* Should Perry and Romney come out swinging?
* Will Paul continue his attacks on Perry?
* Can Bachmann stay relevant?
* Will this be a breakout moment for Cain?
I believe in taking a different approach to the debates. Instead of focusing on personalities and political attacks, I like to consider candidates based on their character, skills, experience, accomplishments, voting record, and their guiding principles.
Too often elections are won and lost based on how good candidates can look and sound on TV. We want to believe what they say. We watch the attack ads they pay millions of dollars for and believe them. Then we pay a heavy price after the election for being gullible.
We need to do our homework better. Debates are important, but we should continue our research after the debate to evaluate other things that matter. Maybe we should keep a notebook for the 2012 election and create a section for each candidate we think is viable. We can evaluate them on the things we care about, being sure to include important indicators of future performance like:
- Guiding Principles
- Voting Record
- Past performance
- Significant accomplishments