There’s a good reason MPR’s Gary Eichten is in Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame. After five Senate debates, three presidential debates, and one vice presidential debate, only Eichten got a candidate to answer the question: If you had to, what of your campaign’s agenda would you give up?
Begrudgingly, Al Franken answered the question in last night’s debate, no doubt knowing that it could easily be turned against him. He said Early Childhood Education. Dean Barkley didn’t answer the question, even though he could have said he’d sacrifice elements of his health care plan, or his energy plan, both of which likely would include some government expense.
Norm Coleman said he’d be willing to give up his congresisonal pay raise; a poor answer considering that giving himself a pay raise isn’t part of his agenda on which he’s running.
At the heart of the question is the old adage that politics is the art of compromise. Of course, an old adage of poker is you don’t show your hand.
The politicians clearly aren’t interested in answering this sort of tough question. Are you?
What part of your candidate’s agenda, would you be willing to give up if you had to? Don’t answer unless you have an answer.
(Update: I’ve removed answers that don’t answer the question. If you believe it to be a bad question, don’t answer it. )