Saturday 16 December 2017

Rupert Cornwell: Thanksgiving? No one's giving thanks for this dull debate marathon

Yes, it's Thanksgiving week. Which means turkey and cranberry sauce, visits from in-laws you can just about put up with once a year, a televised NFL game featuring the Detroit Lions – and this year, it goes without saying, a Republican presidential candidates' debate. Or rather two of them.

They were at it over the weekend in Iowa, and Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and the gang will be at it again tomorrow evening, a political hors d'oeuvre ahead of the real gastronomic event on Thursday. Alas, to paraphrase Winston Churchill (who wouldn't have been seen dead at one of these events), never have the same small group of individuals gathered so often to impart so little.

This is not to suggest that American presidential primary debates should be scrapped. On the contrary, they offer candidates a wide public platform, allow issues to be aired and give voters the chance to assess the individuals seeking the most powerful and most gruelling job on earth. But matters are now surely out of hand.

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