It wasn’t the first ‘real’ debate, rather NBC’s “Commander in Chief Forum” was a much-anticipated but bizarrely way-too-short – and at times, simply jaw-dropping – glimpse into the presidential candidates’ approaches to national security and their plans for the US military.
The staging of the event – on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid in New York – appeared to be an acknowledgement that the notion of America’s place in the world should be an important distinguishing factor between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – at least, that was probably the intention when network executives planned this broadcast.
Yet Clinton and Trump had just 30 minutes each to respond to questions from service personnel in the audience as well as moderator Matt Lauer. And it soon became clear that there was a severe disconnect between the seriousness of the issues and the format for their consideration.
Lest we are tempted to appear in any way smug or superior…