I don’t plan to watch the Democratic candidates’ debate this evening. I’m tired and it will go on long past my bedtime. Tell me how it comes out.
Two hours is 120 minutes. If they were to give each candidate the same amount of time that would be 12 minutes per candidate. If they allow each candidate a two minute opening statement, ask a question of each candidate in turn three times, and allow each candidate a two minute closing statement, that would be the entire two hours including transitions. If they allow audience questions, it will be chaos.
Most of the candidates are long-time professional politicians not radio broadcasters. Two minutes would be barely enough time to let them clear their throats. I anticipate an exercise in futility.
Other formats are possible and I presume that the network would prefer them. “Warren and the 9 Dwarfs” is one possible story. “Gang Up On Warren” is another. Yet another story would be to pit all of the candidates against the person not in the room: “Is Trump an Idiot or a Villain?” or “Tell us why we should vote for you and not for Trump” which is really the question, isn’t it? I presume that the network would prefer drama and it’s darned hard to get drama with so many candidates in such a limited timespan while remaining fair. I doubt it will make for riveting television.