Tonight, with less fanfare than we have seen for previous presidential debates, MSNBC hosted a “Democratic Candidates Format.” The candidates were Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. The questioner was Rachel Maddow.
The event did not use the rules for presidential debates that I recently suggested, but it was, I think, a civil and useful enterprise. The candidates were questioned individually. Only one appeared on the stage at once. Both the questions and the answers were intelligent and interesting.
The format reminded me of Inside the Actors Studio, which uses a similar format to interview actors. It is a format that is invariably interesting and illuminating.
Perhaps MSNBC has figured out how to give Americans the measure of their presidential candidates. I think that maybe MSNBC got it right.