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Here's the Biggest Lesson You Probably Missed From the Democratic Presidential Debates

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01.07.2019

If you're like me, your parents probably taught you that interrupting while others are speaking is rude. But sometimes it's necessary and there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. In the second Democratic Presidential Debate, Kamala Harris demonstrated exactly how to do it right.

Imagine you're one of 10 people in a debate, fighting for a bit of the spotlight to make your point, make your name, and try to convince viewers they should support you. What's the best way to achieve that goal? Should you scrupulously follow the rules of the event, waiting for your turn and demonstrating what a good team player you are? Should you jump in and grab whatever time you can, interrupting other candidates to do so, and ignoring the moderators when they call for you to stop? The right approach lies somewhere in the middle--but in presidential debates, interrupting often works to a candidate's advantage.

The first Democratic presidential debate took place over two consecutive evenings to accommodate a crowd of 20 candidates. As always, the journalists who moderated them laid out the rules at the beginning of each debate. Candidates would only have so much time to speak, they said. They would be ruthless if necessary, they warned.

All of that was a lie, which was no surprise to anyone with a history of watching political debates. Candidates tend to jump in and interrupt each other, talk over each other or even shout each other down........

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