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Keller @ Large: The Big Winner? Debates

BOSTON (CBS) - I hope you enjoyed last night's first U.S. Senate debate on WBZ-TV.

I was honored to moderate it, which turned out to be a relatively simple task because Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are both articulate, impassioned candidates who obeyed the rules and seemed to relish the opportunity to debate their contrasting ideas and positions.

Listen to Jon's commentary:


What a novel concept!

Instead of short sound bites, TV and radio ads, and the other heavily-packaged fast food of the modern-day political campaign, these two actually discussed and defended their views at length without teleprompters and handlers.

They'll do it again a week from next Monday in Lowell and two more times after that before election day.

I found it more informative and useful than just about everything that came before in this campaign, and I suspect many of you did too.

Judging from the huge audience and the enthusiastic response we're getting, people really latched onto the debate as a way to inform themselves, watching it with friends and family.

And even the online discussion, at least some of it, was focused on the issues at hand instead of cheap shots and character assassination.

I'm sure the remaining debates will be meaningful as well, and a presidential race that's been a grim procession of spin, attack ads, and overblown gaffes will surely benefit from the onset of their debates in early October.

It all goes to show that while modern technology and political techniques are doing their best to destroy our political culture, there's some useful life left in one of the oldest political institutios we have.

The more debates, the better, I say.

And maybe we could just dispense with practically everything else.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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