More Debate Nonsense
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 :::
The hoo-ha over the ground rules for the televised debate between Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine continues apace. Ace TD blogger Jeff Schapiro made note of the confusion and wondered if:
...both candidates are attempting a retreat.
But the guessing is this is nothing but a lot of mind games and that viewers this weekend not interested in the baseball playoffs can tune in a political smackdown instead.
Well, the collective brows of the campaigns furrowed even deeper with the latest release from the Kilgore campaign. In a letter to Larry Sabato, Ken Hutcheson makes, among a raft of other points, a few that stick out, namely:
the no-use requirement you have imposed is hardly novel. To the contrary, it is standard practice. Not only did Mr. Kaine himself make such a promise in prior debates, but every Virginia gubernatorial campaign debate in memory has adhered to such a rule. Indeed, in 1989 and again in 2001, when their opponents sought to avoid making a no-use commitment, two of Mr. Kaine’s fellow Democrats – Douglas Wilder and Mark Warner – flatly refused to debate unless a no-use agreement was adopted.
And this -- which is most interesting:
Perhaps Mr. Kaine planned to invite Russ Potts to attend the debate as his guest and then invite him onto the stage, creating a dramatic moment ripe for misrepresentation in a Kaine (or Potts) TV ad. It is apparent that Tim Kaine and Russ Potts have more in common than just their enthusiasm for higher gas taxes; they seem to be in cahoots on debates, too. Although unilaterally inviting Mr. Potts to participate would violate debate rules that Mr. Kaine himself has agreed to, we have already seen that Mr. Kaine and his campaign are little constrained by their commitments.
I don't know if this is true. And I doubt it is. But Potts mastermind Tom D'Amore has been promising a "surprise." If this is indeed the sort of thing the pot-bangers have in mind, then what they are aiming for isn't so much a political surprise as it would be a World Wrestling Federation "surprise" -- you know, the one where a guy rushes in from off camera and brains the wrestler being interviewed with a chair?
Hey...Jesse Ventura used to do that all the time when he wore the tights (and feather boa). Maybe ol' Russ has similar delusions.
I wonder what color his boa might be?
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/05/2005