"Minute to Win It." Pose some silly tasks à la the TV game show, just step it up, like piloting a drone to grapple-hook a Medicare prescription bottle and deliver it to a senior in row seven. Isn't there a Constitutional right to know the Klutziness Quotient of whoever's in the White House?
Please ask a math question. These guys claim to know how to juggle gazillion-dollar budgets, but we have doubts. So, Mitt, ready? How much is 14 times 17? Hey, Barack, if the deficit grows from 5.4 bajillion to 6.2 bajillion what's the percentage jump? Do they bob and weave? Smile and stammer? Risk asking for paper or calculator - and still getting it wrong?
Go Where No Debate Has Gone Before. Ask a Star Trek kind of question: "Which is more likely in 50 years - intelligent machines take over the world, à la Terminator, or Manhattan's underwater because of global warming. à la A.I. - and how much will your policies matter then?" Cue the spooky space music. Foil hats, anyone?
"Wipe Out!" Find out who's really tough enough for the world's toughest job - and humble enough to handle a little humiliation. American Gladiator's a bit extreme, but getting bonked by a cushioned battering ram into a pool of water would at least teach them a lesson for agreeing to appear on late-night talk shows.
Ask an Unanswerable Question. "What is the meaning of life?" "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" "Why do we drive on a parkway and drive on a parkway?" "What do women want?" "Will the Eagles ever win a Super Bowl?"
Ask a "Dear Abby" question. "How do I handle a rude, judgmental vicious gossip of a mother-in-law who breaks into my house and redoes all my laundry?" Gives folks a an idea if candidate's got a shot at handling Iran or North Korea.
Welcome to the "Shark Tank." On the spot, candidates must concoct a sales pitch for America that impresses the ABC show's panel of filthy rich investors, including Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary, who's always arguing for producing goods cheaply overseas. Whoever gets the Sharks to invest the most hard cash probably . . . well . . . is the one who's already gotten the lion's share of their campaign contributions.
"So You Think You Can Dance?" Get ready to rumba! Let's see your moves, Mitt and Barack. We'll bring out some pro partners as you boogie to whatever music you choose. Can't think of anything? Then it's . . . "Gangnam Style"!
This is "Jeopardy!" Time for a little trivia, boys. Clue: "The leaders of India, Yemen and Iceland." Make your wagers and write your questions. Pose more facts every president should know. Like military hardware. The science of stem cells or nuclear fission? How about Bible characters? Flubs are sure to generate gasps and headlines. (No buzzing in. We don't want a Prez who's too fast on the nuclear trigger.)
Test of "Survivor" skills. No munching bugs, but how about one of those beach obstacle challenges that includes assembling pieces to a puzzle that has to be put together? Test of wits and fitness. Winner gets immunity from being kicked off the ballot in Rhode Island.
Bring back "Lie Detector"! OMG, would this revolutionize politics. During the debate, contestants, er, candidates, would be hooked up to polygraphs, as a monitor shows their needles swinging from "He Actually Believes It's True!" to "Waffling Like a Pancake House" to "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!"
The next day's highlights might even be enough to get folks to watch CNN.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or email@example.com.