By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Debate dilemma solved!

Here’s a possible solution to balancing the desire (OK, my desire) for a one-on-one debate between Deval Patrick and Kerry Healey with the reality that two other candidates are on the ballot: a series of one-on-ones featuring everybody.

If it were up to me, I’d pair them like this: Grace Ross versus Christy Mihos; Mihos versus Healey; Ross versus Patrick; and then, finally, Patrick versus Healey.

Mihos’ major critique is with the Romney-Healey administration’s management of the Big Dig, so it makes sense that Mihos gets to take Healey on directly. As for Patrick, it would be interesting to see what his progressive supporters would think of his performance if he’s challenged by a genuine lefty.

My preference would be four one-hour debates. But I’d settle for a prime-time, two-hour extravaganza, with a half-hour for each segment.

What about it, folks?


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11 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    In the end, will Don King handle the promotion for the one unified debate belt?

  2. Anonymous

    So crazy, it just might not work.

  3. Anonymous

    question: why not have ross debate healey?as an aside, i like your train of thought. though probably won’t happen.

  4. Rick in Duxbury

    Brilliant! (Presuming sodium pentathol is not allowed)….

  5. Lenny Harris

    Sounds like speed-dating.

  6. Anonymous

    Ross v. PatrickRoss v. MihosRoss v. HealyPatrick v. MihosPatrick v. HealyMihos v. Healyone hour each.

  7. Anonymous

    Wake us when it’s over.

  8. tony schinella

    I don’t think anyone should be excluded from the debates but admittedly, I’m biased since I have been excluded from debates before. However, there are ways of fixing this without excluding anyone from the debate. The key is to create some structure which allows for a bit more give and take and for more structured answers. In addition, there is no reason why it can’t be more than an hour. Who set that rule? Unlike radio, which is hard to program in half hour intervals, TV is easy to program in half hour intervals. So, it shouldn’t be a problem to hold a 90 minute debate. If Patrick was smart, he would refuse to debate unless all the candidates are included. As it stands now, Kerry Muffy Healey has about as much a chance of being elected as Grace Ross does. So, maybe Healey should be kept out of the debates!

  9. Peter Porcupine

    IS there some reason why an ADDITIONAL debate cannot be scheduled?Let everybody do the debates already committed to – just have one more two-person debate.

  10. neil

    Re anonymous 1:13– and it’s extensible! Formula for the number of one-on-one debates needed for n candidates:(n*(n-1))/2Four candidates, six debates, as above.Five gets you ten. Six…How about speed debating, like speed dating. Four candidates debate each other one-on-one, 20 minutes a go, 2 min break. Recorded and webcast as discrete units, or 2 hours 10 minutes total for the junkies.Ready, set, go! You’ll raise taxes! No, you’ll raise taxes. No, you’ll raise taxes! Switch! You’ll raise taxes. No, you’ll raise taxes!You can learn a lot from debates.

  11. Anonymous

    Ms. Healey is already backing down on the issue. She’s even denying she demanded a 1×1 debate. Too bad it was the first thing out of her mouth in her post debate interview.

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