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Deconstructing Debates

Deconstructing Debates

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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In the latest issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows, a national correspondent for the magazine, deconstructs the 47 primary debates from this campaign. (That's right, there were — count 'em — 47 debates.)

"Recently I did what no sane person would," he writes. "I watched the entire set of presidential primary debates, in sequence, like a boxed set of a TV show."

Fallows, who is based in Beijing, has agreed to join us from our bureau there to talk about how the presumptive nominees for president performed, and how a debate between the two of them might go.

(For extra credit, read this brilliant Fallows article, "When John Meets George.")

In the online version of his article, he includes a few highlights.

Barack Obama v. Alan Keyes:

And Sen. Hillary Clinton, responding to a question about drivers licenses and illegal immigrants:

We found this clip, of Sen. John McCain, talking about federal spending:

Looking back on those 47 debates, is there a moment that stands out to you? What do you think your candidate has to do in the three official presidential debates?

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