Presidential debate secrets finally revealed

The basic agreements that govern the televised presidential debates have long been held
secret from the American public. But this year the “2004 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING"
has been published by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It shows how thoroughly limited
and controlled are the parameters for what amounts to a joint press conference. Neither side wants
any surprises. The fascinating 30 page memorandum along with a history of the debates and other
materials can by found on the Bill Moyers NOW web page.

However, it turns out that some of the agreements covering these events are still highly confidential.
I have come into possession of an interesting piece of paper that the Commission has not released.


1. The Commission shall guarantee that no spontaneous, thoughtful, free-speaking citizen will be
permitted within forty miles of the debate site. Any citizen whose question departs from the
assigned script will be forcibly ejected from the room.

2. Neither candidate shall employ photos, charts, videos or a central nervous system during the debate.

3. Both candidates will remain seated at all times. If a candidate needs to go to the bathroom, he should
raise his hand and ask permission from the moderator.

4. Prior to the debate each candidate shall have his blood removed, temporarily replaced by
a corresponding amount of embalming fluid.