This is pres­i­den­tial? They bicker, inter­rupt, talk over the moderator.

To some, the Obama-​​Romney rematch was squirm-​​inducing. But shed­ding some dig­nity prob­ably won’t cost the can­di­dates much. Since both Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and chal­lenger Mitt Romney came out swinging, nei­ther was likely to claim a deci­sive advan­tage among viewers who thought the debate smacked of the wrong type of reality TV. And many backers who were already lined up on the two sides of the super-​​heated race were looking for a scrappy face-​​off.

Alan Schroeder, a jour­nalism pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity who wrote a book on pres­i­den­tial debates, said plenty of them over the years have been down­right dull — and this one was lively, even when it ran over the sched­uled 90 min­utes. So there’s nothing wrong with turning up the heat a bit, he suggests.”

I think debates should be enter­taining,” he said. “It’s polit­ical theater.”

Read the article at NPR →