Monday, October 13, 2008

Time to Make Up Your Mind

During the last three debates I haven't been able to take my eyes off the rising and falling lines at the bottom of the screen during CNN's broadcasts. The graphics supposedly show the instant reactions of a handful of undecided Ohio voters who turn a dial depending on their feelings about the candidate's responses. For some reason, I have paid more attention to those spikes and dips than the candidates themselves.

But with all due respect, why should I care what those people think? Yes, I know about the importance of undecided voters, independent voters, swing state voters, etc. But honestly, with 3 weeks until Election Day what are these people waiting for to make a decision? This has been the longest election season in history. What could Obama or McCain possibly say or do at this point besides personally finding a cure for cancer that would better help these "not sure yet" voters to finally make up their minds?

Still, there's one more chance for those who still don't feel they fully know the candidates to get a better look. On Tuesday night, PBS's FRONTLINE will air "The Choice 2008," a two-hour in-depth look at the candidates, their policies, and their worldviews. It kicks off the fall season of FRONTLINE, perhaps the best current issues programming on television. From the press release:

It has been called one of the most historic presidential elections in our nation’s history--Barack Obama versus John McCain. It is a race that pits the iconoclast against the newcomer, the heroic prisoner of war against the first African American nominated by a major party. FRONTLINE's critically acclaimed series The Choice returns this election season to examine the rich personal and political biographies of these two men in The Choice 2008, airing Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).

The Choice 2008, part of "PBS Vote 2008" election coverage, draws on in-depth interviews with the advisers, friends and those closest to these unlikely candidates, as well as with seasoned observers of American politics, who together tell the definitive story of these men and their ascent to their party's nominations.

FRONTLINE has an online archive of almost all of their programs from the past few years, available free and on demand. The videos are accompanied by a website with extended interviews, in-depth analysis, and commentary on the issues from each program. Here are a few of my favorites worth checking out:

News War (2007)
The Insurgency (2006)
The Storm (2005)
A Company of Soldiers (2005)
The Man Who Knew (2002)

For more on "The Choice 2008" click here.

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