10/03/12 — Great debate: Now is the most important time to pay attention to campaign

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Great debate: Now is the most important time to pay attention to campaign

Of course there will be posturing and political double speak -- there always are in presidential debates.

And sure, there will be "gotcha" moments and times when one candidate will seem to be better than the other, along with times when perhaps a third party choice might be more appealing.

There might even be a slip up or two.

But even allowing for the grain of salt with which you should watch any live performance by a candidate, tonight's debate is an important first glimpse of the men who want to be the president of the United States.

And as tired as you likely are of hearing about the November vote, it is important that you listen to this debate, as well as the others planned over the next few weeks.

We know it has been tough. This has been one of those campaigns where there have been more than a few times when potential voters would have liked to turn off their televisions.

But tonight is a chance to see not only what the candidates stand for, but how they react in a pressure situation.

So here are a couple of tips as you watch:

Pay attention to the content, not just the presentation. The last thing this country needs is a snake oil salesman. One-liners might make for a fun debate, but they won't bring this country back to economic strength.

Watch for inconsistencies and empty promises. Substance is what you need here. If it sounds too good to be accomplished or if it feels like an incomplete plan, it likely is.

Talk about what you hear. There are more than a few people who are still deciding.

And set your DVR. That way, you can judge a comment for yourself, in context.

Tonight is an important first step in the final run to the presidential vote. Don't miss it.

Published in Editorials on October 3, 2012 10:59 AM