Let’s switch the debates

I’m going to commit FP editor blasphemy right now and say that if tonight’s debate does happen, which is looking more likely today, I hope that they put off the foreign-policy questions for another night and focus solely on the financial crisis and the U.S. economy. The economic debate was scheduled for Oct. 15, but ...

I'm going to commit FP editor blasphemy right now and say that if tonight's debate does happen, which is looking more likely today, I hope that they put off the foreign-policy questions for another night and focus solely on the financial crisis and the U.S. economy. The economic debate was scheduled for Oct. 15, but with this week's headlines, Americans will tune in tonight anxious to hear about how the candidates plan to stave off an economic meltdown. Questions about Iran or Russia, important as they may be, will seem like non sequiturs for many voters right now.

It's almost certain that moderator Jim Lehrer will devote a good portion of the debate to the economy anyway, so why not just switch the two debates and give important foreign-policy questions the full night they deserve on the 15th? I know that the candidates have been preparing for tonight with the assumption that they'd be asked solely about foreign affairs, but that's called thinking on your feet and it should be a requirement for anyone who wants to be president.

Update: It's on!

I’m going to commit FP editor blasphemy right now and say that if tonight’s debate does happen, which is looking more likely today, I hope that they put off the foreign-policy questions for another night and focus solely on the financial crisis and the U.S. economy. The economic debate was scheduled for Oct. 15, but with this week’s headlines, Americans will tune in tonight anxious to hear about how the candidates plan to stave off an economic meltdown. Questions about Iran or Russia, important as they may be, will seem like non sequiturs for many voters right now.

It’s almost certain that moderator Jim Lehrer will devote a good portion of the debate to the economy anyway, so why not just switch the two debates and give important foreign-policy questions the full night they deserve on the 15th? I know that the candidates have been preparing for tonight with the assumption that they’d be asked solely about foreign affairs, but that’s called thinking on your feet and it should be a requirement for anyone who wants to be president.

Update: It’s on!

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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