The US Candidates’ Non-Debate

Whether Americans like it or not, with Europe, China, and India largely consumed by domestic politics, international leadership and stewardship of the world’s problems will remain firmly in US hands. And yet the ongoing US presidential election campaign promises to leave most observers wondering whether any country is in charge.

DENVER – For the uninitiated, especially foreign observers, the United States’ presidential election campaign can seem like an epic narrative in which the protagonists pass through various trials en route to salvation, with the US media’s nonstop coverage resounding like a Greek chorus. Now that the made-for-television Republican and Democratic conventions are over, the odyssey of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, continues with three face-to-face encounters in October.

The first debate is scheduled to take place here at the University of Denver on October 3. Both candidates received some (well-deserved) criticism during the conventions for appealing to peoples’ emotions instead of addressing facts and policies. In the debates, that should change as they confront each other directly while making their case to voters.

But October 3 is only the beginning. The vice-presidential candidates will square off on October 11, while Obama and Romney will meet again on October 16 and then for the last debate, on October 22.

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