In the course of my work I got to a lot of candidate forums.
Most folks think candidate forums are an opportunity to learn how much
candidates know – their policy knowledge, or understanding of the community –
but really it’s an opportunity for the audience to decide how likable each of
the candidates are.
In a candidate’s forum, the most likable one wins. That’s
who people remember and vote for. Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. It was true in junior high, and it is true as an adult.
For this reason, the question and answer period in a forum
takes a backseat to the opening and closing statements.