My latest submission to the Chicago Tribune assisted by the JKVC media center.
While it would be a gross overstretch to compare the latest Presidential debates to the Lincoln/Douglas debates of old, the debates were a refreshing reality check that helped break through the obscuring smoke of the campaign. After the most expensive Presidential campaign ever waged, where misrepresentation was rampant and personal attack ads masked the issues, the choice between the candidates has never been clearer.
John Kerry, who had been portrayed as weak and a flip-flopper in millions of dollars of campaign ads, left no doubt that he has the strength and character Americans need in a commander in chief. George Bush's simple sloganeering and continued pretending that problems don't exist, proves he refuses to level with the American people. Kerry's well-reasoned arguments and steady demeanor contrasted with Bush's annoyance at tough questions left no doubt that not only does John Kerry understand the seriousness of the challenges faced by the American people, but he is eager to accept the difficult job as President.
So I applaud our American ritual the debates. After all serious times require a serious President, not 30-second ads and a soundbite.