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Presidential candidates can develop own 2-minute drills

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Things you probably won’t see during the next presidential debate

There are two more presidential debates coming up between Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney — Tuesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

Many of you already know whom you’re voting for and why. I do. But we watch the debates as invested spectators at a sporting event rooting our favorite team on and enjoying the talent and athleticism in both teams. In the process we learn about both teams and about ourselves.

In my research for the next two debates I came upon a rule that states: The candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. And being an overzealous political pundit I immediately thought to myself: What can these two men do in the two minutes while they wait for the other guy to finish?

I know, great question, right?

I continued my exhaustive scientific research to reveal what a candidate (or viewer watching the debates) can do in two minutes. My hands-on investigative study disclosed that in 120 seconds, one can:

  • Sharpen 5.5 pencils using a battery-operated sharpener. (Obviously, this would be loud and distracting to the presidential nominee who is trying to speak, but the humor value for the pencil-sharpening opponent could not go unnoticed.)
  • Crack and eat seven walnuts. (Again, this is loud and obnoxious, especially if you use an aluminum nutcracker to break the shell near the debate microphone. This aids the nonspeaking debater, because we all know that eating walnuts is a debater’s secret weapon as they are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and are one of the best plant sources of protein.
  • Delete 20 emails, write a few checks, sort your mail pile and make an appointment. Of course, we all know that making an appointment can actually take much longer than two minutes, and it would be quite embarrassing for one of our presidential nominees to put someone on hold until the next two-minute break. But sorting through the mail pile would work.
  • Sit down on the floor and do a 30-second hamstring stretch, a 30-second butterfly groin stretch, a lying quad stretch and calf stretch. Studies show that major stretching benefits include increased blood supply and nutrients to joint structures and reduced muscular tension.

After two minutes, we would instantly see a much-more relaxed debate; and the two opponents could take turns leading their 67 million viewers into two minutes of stretching. The whole country would be healthier and more relaxed.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s 23 days until the election. Be relaxed and vote.

Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters.

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