Medicare Enrollment Information: Part 1 – The Basics
Medicare Enrollment Information: Part 2 – Medigap

Live Elder Commentary Tonight During Second Presidential Debate

I am moderating a discussion with several other elders during the presidential debate tonight. To watch the ABC News/Yahoo! News Elders Response Hangout live at YouTube or to view the archived video later when you have time later, click this link.

You can also watch right here:

category_bug_politics.gif From Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, tonight President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney have a second go at explaining themselves to the American voter.

The moderator is CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and the debate, in the format of a town hall meeting, will cover both foreign and domestic issues. Questions will come from audience members:

"There are strict time limits and rules," explains The New York Times. "After the audience member asks a question, his or her microphone will be immediately shut off.

"The candidate will have two minutes to answer. The other candidate is then given two minutes to respond. Then the moderator will be able to pose a follow-up question of her choosing, with each candidate allowed one minute to respond.”

That audience will consist of 80 people/questioners selected by the Gallup Organization from residents who live near Hofstra on Long Island – all of them to be undecided voters.

Undecided voters. Much has been made of them during recent weeks of this presidential campaign. In fact, some say they are the only ones who count which is why millions in partisan dollars are being spent in the so-called swing states.

But as much as these voters are courted, they are also much maligned and I admit that I am of the second camp. What more does anyone need to know?

It's not like there isn't a vast difference in the candidates' world views. And it's not as if there is any other news being reported in the U.S. these days (to the shame of the media).

Given that and the information overload environment we inhabit, it's damned hard to be a low-information and/or undecided voter unless perhaps you are living off the grid entirely and I don't believe there are enough of those to make a difference in the election outcome.

Here is the Saturday Night Live take on undecided voters:

It will be fun to see if any of those will be questioning the candidates tonight.

Also fun, at least to me, is that I, along with several other elders, will be commenting online during the debate.

Last week, ABC-TV asked me to participate in and moderate a conversation with elders during tonight's debate in a live, video presentation. It will be available online, if you care to watch, although you'll need a TV nearby to also see/hear the debate itself.

Four or five minutes after the debate begins, at 9PM eastern time, 6PM Pacific, I will post a link at the top of this story to the YouTube site where you can view the elder discussion and I will also embed the live video stream here. I'm giving you two choices because live streams, as we know, can sometimes be a bit dodgy.

So if you're interested in the reaction of a bunch of old folks to tonight's debate, please join us. Among some others and me, elderblogger Frank Paynter, who some of you may know, will participate.

If you arrive here tonight and don't see the video or the link, give it a couple of minutes because the internet address and video are not generated until we go live and it will take me a minute or two to get them posted.

The Medicare series begun on Monday will resume tomorrow, Wednesday.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary Hertslet: A Twice-Written Memoir


Do you know if the elder commentary stream will be archived and available afterward? Our campaign will be phone banking and I know I'll be too busy to watch or listen -- have to check in later.

Ronni, I'm thrilled that you, Frank, and elder associates will be commenting live online tonight. Here, in Tel Aviv, I'll be sound asleep during the debate... and not from boredom;-( However, would you know whether ABC-TV will capture the content for post-debate visitors to follow? Also, would you post on TGB the YouTube link(s) after the debate, when convenient?

Ronni, that sounds so exciting. Will I be able to watch your conversation on you tube later? Our family will be three generations watching the debate tonight and I know I will not be able to follow the debate, your elder conversation, and the family. The younger generation is a sixteen year old and we consider her attention to this election as an important part of her education.

Yes, the YouTube video will be permanently archived at the URL I'll post at the top of this story right after the debate begins.

Personally, I think it's thrilling that ABC asked and that you and others said yes. Professionally, as a writer, I'm supposed to have some insight into human nature, but I'm totally stumped by why the anti-Medicare Romney should be leading in the latest poll in, of all places, Florida?

How was your group selected?

Very cool!

This is exciting. I won't be able to watch this live but will view it later on. I'm glad you can archive it.

OMG, this is soooo exciting! And believe me when I say that because I have found this election & the process tideous, tiresome & extremely troubling. But if I can hear some intelligent elders add their 2 cents, all I can say is "it's about time!" Here in OH we have been so inundated with policitcal ads that stomachs I use the mute button or turn the TV off........looking forward to seeing all of you......hurray for our side! Dee :):)

How great that you were selected to be an online commentator, Ronni. No one could do it better. I hope that elders' voices will be heard in some other context than as "greedy geezers". We care about the world we'll be leaving to the generations that follow. Most elders want a fairer, more compassionate world, not some Ayn Rand vision of rapacious individualism.

If Romney wins, I will be convinced that the wisdom that supposedly comes with age has gone south to stay. Elders who vote Rom-Ry are voting against their own best interests as well as those of the next generations, who will inherit a rich man's world in which they have little say and less opportunity.

I have no idea how I was selected. I received an email from ABC News Digital last week inviting me.

ABC asked if I had any suggestions of others and I sent an email request to about a dozen people. One declined, Frank accepted and no one else responded.

ABC booked the other participants.

I can't see the link. Is that because I'm in Canada?

OMG and LOL Ronni. I'm always self-conscious when I see what I look like on TV (thin hair and all) or hear my recorded voice. Thanks for the invitation and the opportunity to join in last night. I looked at the YouTube capture and I think it might have some value if it was edited down and merged with cuts from the debate or the transcripts. I wish there had been more debate content relating to elders' immediate concerns... Medicare, Social Security, inflation, safety, nutrition, and so on. I know that President Obama offers more to address our concerns and meet our needs than does Mr. Romney; but, the "town hall" debate was skewed away from our generation's issues. None of the old people you might expect to find down at the town hall were present last night.

Hi again, Frank...
Don't be put off by yourself on TV. You're handsome, you have a great voice, you're smart and well-spoken.

Me too about the lack of elder issues in the debate and of course, there no opportunity in the last debate next week because it is all on foreign policy. Actually, I'm furious about that - the near total absense of elder issues - and I'll have more to say about that on TGB Friday.

Nevertheless, I had a good time with you and everyone Tuesday evening. I'm glad we did it.

I'm glad you did it, too! I'm with Frank's suggestion (and it's never too late!) on editing down the capture and merging it with cuts from the debate or the transcripts. A word about the panel composition. Members were from the coasts, and I wish other geographic regions had been represented. I also hope that four years from now, such a panel will include people of color. Way to go, all of you! (P.S. Ronnie, I love your laugh!)

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