Sunday, September 28, 2008
As a matter of pure speculation (I have no proof of anything, of course)I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama campaign were running one of those focus groups where the participants have a knob that they turn up or down depending on whether they like what they hear, and were signaling Obama somehow when something he was saying was positively or negatively received. All it would take would be two cell phones set on "vibrate," one in a left pocket and the other in a right pocket, and all the campaign operative would have to do would be to dial one or the other to signal the candidate that something was or was not working. If the candidate prepared for the debate using such a scheme, it would not be distracting and he would be able to keep talking without missing a beat, just the way the news anchors do when someone's talking to them in their little earbud that they all wear.
I have no idea what the rules of the debate were, but I'm willing to bet that the candidates had to be unassisted during the debate, to be certain that their statements were really off-the-cuff, or at least rehearsed/memorized, as opposed to prompted by external "helpers."