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In next month's three presidential debates, President Obama and Mitt Romney will be asked a wide range of questions crucial to the future of America. But if history is any guide, they are unlikely to answer many of them. Even worse, most of us won't even notice. Listen carefully to the questions and responses and you'll understand. A candidate is asked a specific question: "How will you balance the budget?" The response is typically along the lines of: "Balancing the budget is critical to America's future, which is why I am committed to it!" It feels like an answer; after all, the budget was mentioned in the question and the response. But parse the words and you'll realize that you still have no idea how the candidate will balance the budget.


Rogers, Todd, and and Michael I. Norton. "Presidential Debates: Why Don't They Just Answer the Question?" Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2012.