<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Zara Kessler</p> <p>Tonight's debate is scheduled to last 90 minutes, with more than an hour devoted to "conversation" between the candidates. The format would seem to allow Barack Obama and Mitt Romney plenty of time to delve into the issues, detail their positions or <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/gaffe-checking-the-debates.html">pretend to be offended</a> at something their opponent has said.</p> <p>What the format does <em>not </em>allow for is enough time for all of the media's questions. If moderator Jim Lehrer happens to be surfing the Web this afternoon, he might click over to Politico, which has <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81682.html">five for each candidate</a>. Or Forbes, which has <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2012/10/03/heres-10-health-care-questions-for-obama-and-romney-for-tonights-debate/">10</a> just on health care. The L.A. Times thoughtfully winnowed its list to <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-presidential-debate-questions-20121002,0,2447657.story">eight</a>. The Heritage Foundation has <a href="http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/03/morning-bell-10-questions-for-the-first-presidential-debate/">10 queries</a>. The New America Leaders project has taken to the Huffington Post to ask <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sayu-bhojwani/five-questions-on-immigration_b_1929321.html">five on immigration</a>. At the National Review, Veronique de Rugy posted some <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329218/questions-id-ask-during-debates-veronique-de-rugy">28 questions</a> before concluding: "That's it for now."</p> <p>Of course, none of this accounts for the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of questions that have been posted in the time it has taken to write this. With 10 hours to go until the debate, <a href="http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/send-in-your-questions-for-the-debate/">the New York Times editorial page editor called</a> for readers to post questions on his blog, specifically requesting "unsafe, inspired questions," and promising, "We'll post a selection later, along with questions from The Times editorial board."</p> <p>As we breathlessly await the Times's questions, we can keep busy with Washington's Newspaper of Record. The Washington Post has <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/thinktanked/wp/2012/10/03/presidential-debate-7-questions-that-should-be-asked-and-probably-wont/">seven questions</a> "that should be asked … and probably won't." Then it has <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/obama-debate-questions/2012/09/27/cf08656e-0890-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_blog.html">12 more</a> just for the president. Then <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/your-answers-mr-obama-and-mr-romney/2012/10/02/c1ac7902-0ca8-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html">another 17</a>. If that's not enough, here are <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/harold-meyerson-35-questions-from-the-99-percent/2012/10/02/9533250a-0cc7-11e2-bd1a-b868e65d57eb_story.html?hpid=z4">35 more</a>.</p> <p>We here at Bloomberg View are not immune. Do you have a question you'd like to see asked? Leave it in comments! Oh, and Mr. Lehrer, if you're still reading, I have a suggestion: You may want to practice your <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Talk-Faster">speed-speaking</a> skills.</p> <p>(Zara Kessler is an assistant editor and producer for Bloomberg View. <a href="https://twitter.com/zarafk">Follow</a> her on Twitter.)</p> <p>Read more breaking commentary from Bloomberg View at <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/view/the-ticker/">the Ticker</a>.</p> </body> </html>