Monday, June 11, 2007

The next debate question

Michael Barone perfectly framed the difference between Republicans and Democrats right now: Dems think our biggest threat is global warming and Republicans, Islamic jihadism.

He who defines the issues tends to determine the outcome of the election. When pollster Peter Hart asked a bipartisan focus group which candidate could best protect the nation, several people mentioned Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, one mentioned Barack Obama, and no one mentioned Hillary Clinton. Evidently these people, unlike international elites, see the threat as Islamist terrorism and not climate change.

We know which seems more threatening to Republican and Democratic primary voters. But what about independents, who favored Republicans in 2002 and 2004 and Democrats in 2006? The answer may tell you which side wins in 2008.
In the next presidential debate, the moderator ought to ask this question and not allow any candidate to duck it.

Which of the following two issues do you regard as the greatest threat to America in the coming decade: global warming or Islamic jihadism?

I would love to see Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards squirm trying to answer that one.

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