Lincoln-Douglas Debate Proposal… From Obama

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Obama team responds, sorta, to McCain’s proposed joint town halls:

“As Barack Obama has said before, the idea of joint town halls is appealing and one that would allow a great conversation to take place about the need to change the direction of this country. We would recommend a format that is less structured and lengthier than the McCain campaign suggests, one that more closely resembles the historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. But, having just secured our party’s nomination, this is one of the many items we will be addressing in the coming days and look forward to discussing it with the McCain campaign,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

As I understand it, McCain’s proposal had the structure it did — which isn’t much — only because they feared Obama would not agree to what they really wanted, described by one aide as “two mics and an audience.” Honestly, it’s hard to imagine how the format could get much looser. No moderator? Unlimited time? It sounds a little like Obama wants to eliminate the audience Q&A portion of the idea, which, if anything, is a way to more firmly control the content. Would welcome thoughts from readers as to what they’d like to see.

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