Yesterday afternoon I was at a meeting when one of the participants flatly declared s/he wouldn't watch the debate because s/he knew for whom s/he was voting. No need to go through the trauma of watching! I was dismayed. But thinking about it today, I did wonder if the debates are anything more than a punching bag for the media (including dotCommonweal). Moderator Martha Raddatz has been declared the real winner of last night's debate and she certainly kept her cool and herded the VP candidates with poise and calm.Last evening's dotCommonweal commentfest was fun, but in the light of day, it looks surreal. Canada? the Navy? John Kennedy? What was it all about?So did you watch the debate? Will you watch the next two? Are they worth it? If so, what did you learn? intuit? decide? 

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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