Dems would be wise to adopt a new format, one that will inject some excitement into the race. Presenting the Democratic SmackDown!
The ongoing campaign to choose the Democratic Party’s nominee for President is as boring as it is seemingly endless. Months have passed and there are still plenty of candidates, many of whom are unknown to the average voter.
The debates are impossible to follow and the TV ratings are anemic. If the Democrats don’t do something soon, Donald Trump may well win re-election by default.
Before it’s too late, the Dems would be wise to adopt a new format, one that will inject some excitement into the race. Here are just a few suggestions to increase viewership and voter interest:
The DDW Network: Democratic SmackDown?
Based on the WWE, the Democratic Debate & Wrestling Network will combine the best of political debates and professional wrestling. It’s the perfect model to excite voters and shorten the primary season.
What better way to topple America’s television President than by televising the first prime time Democratic SmackDown? Each week, two competitors enter the ring but only one survives.
Based on current polling results, the first place candidate will take on the last place candidate and so on. Combining the arts of debate and pro wrestling, miked competitors battle one another week after week until there’s only one left standing and/or speaking.
Taking its inspiration from the popular long-running reality TV show The Bachelor, The Nominee features two dozen Democratic candidates vying for the love and affection of the Democratic Party in the person of former President Barack Obama.
Each week features one-on-one and group dates with Mr. Obama in an attempt to win not just his love and affection but, more importantly, his endorsement. Each contestant/candidate will jockey for as much face time as possible with the ever-popular ex-President.
Look for some competitors to express their love for Obama face-to-face while later distancing themselves from him in hopes of also winning the support of others. A weekly Rose Garden ceremony will quickly winnow down the hopefuls in twelve short weeks instead of months.
Actual Primary Races
It’s fine to test the debating skills of the Democratic candidates through actual debates but there are other characteristics that need to be tested, too, like speed, stamina and perseverance. That’s why each state primary will now be decided by an actual race.
Some might say that this process will favor the young and fleet of foot but steps will be taken to even out the odds.
Although septuagenarians like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders may be at a disadvantage, handicapping any foot races can be achieved by making younger candidates wear weighted vests. To further ensure fairness, different primaries will feature races of different lengths with everything from a marathon to a 100-yard dash. Consideration might also be given to automobile, sailboat and snowmobile races depending on the primary and the weather.
Jeopardy – All Candidates Edition
Assuming Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is OK with the concept, we could look forward to a new version of the popular TV quiz show.
Over the years, Jeopardy has expanded to include special editions of the show including the Teen Tournament, the College Championship, the Teachers Tournament and the Tournament of Champions. Why not expand the lineup to include the All Candidates Tournament?
A round robin, knockout format would give every candidate a fair chance at the ultimate prize: the Democratic nomination for President.
Jeopardy tournaments have the decided advantage of being over in weeks. Plus such a show would help weed out candidates with a weaker knowledge base. Some are saying that if the Republicans had adopted such a format back in 2016, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.