We Need a Debate Breather

As the campaign winnowing starts, the stage will get smaller and the information better.

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There could have been a collective sigh of relief that the early presidential debates are over for the holidays. The voters in Iowa as well as the rest of us need a breather from these contests.

The final debates in Des Moines this week were noteworthy because the quarreling and sniping of earlier debates were absent.

Democrats were especially cozy in their answers. Perhaps they perceived that voters were tired of the barbs and negativity to make a few points.

On the Republican side, all the candidates except Sen. John McCain seemed intent on proving how tough they are on immigration. McCain stands out as a class act compared with his rivals, who want the far right to know they would probably build a fence themselves on the Mexican border.

After Iowa votes on January 3, we will have more debates. But the stage will be smaller in both parties. Some hopefuls have to take the hint that it is time to quit wasting more money and effort.

Perhaps we will get more meaningful information with fewer candidates on the stage. The fewer sound bites, the better for all of us.

All the candidates have professed their deep and abiding love for Iowa and Iowans. However, they will flee on the first jets out to New Hampshire for the primary four days later.

Then the Granite State will be loved as much or even more than the Hawkeye State.