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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Calling To the Bench

In my last post on the Des Moines Register‘s Republican candidate debate, I allowed as how there had been some grumbling about moderator (and Register editor) Carolyn Washburn’s handling of the event. That seems to have been an understatement.
There’s a general feeling that the debate format and moderator behavior made the debate meaningless. But some went further: viz., Dean Barnett of the Weekly Standard, whose post on the debate was subtitled “Why Carolyn Washburn should keep her day job.” If that wasn’t clear enough, Barnett said Washburn–or “Nurse Ratched,” as he called her–had “ruined” the debate with “her idiotic rules.” Wolf Blitzer must be very relieved.
In any event, it makes you wonder how or whether the Register will adapt before tomorrow’s Democratic candidate debate, which given the close three-way contest in Iowa, will be a truly big deal. Could there be a call to the Register‘s bench, where the columnist so often treated by fawning politicians as the God of Iowa Politics, David Yepsen, along with the Register‘s chief political reporter, Tom Beaumont, are waiting?

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