Thursday, August 12, 2010

New rule: If you don't have to debate, don't.

IT'S BEGINNING TO appear that Ohio's Republican candidates are so confident of victory in November that they are reserving their presence for the friendliest of partisan audiences. A case in point is Mike DeWine's decision to reject an invitation from the Bliss Institute and Akron Press Club to debate Atty. Gen. Richard Cordray. You'd think that a former U.S. senator, lawyer and seasoned GOP soldier would not hesitate to cast himself before a mixed audience, no matter his opponent. But then, who is more confident than DeWine of returning to office under the radar from his imposed retirement after his loss to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2006?

On another GOP front, Tom Ganley's 13th District congressional campaign manager now says no decision will be made on a similar Press Club/Bliss invitation until at least the end of August. By then, of course, program dates should be filled for the hosts. As one who spent years as the Press Club's program chairman before stepping aside two years ago in merciful relief, I always interpreted these long delays as a "Thanks, but no thanks."

And speaking of confidence these days, there's Ganley's campaign manager, Jeff Longstreth. "We're just positioning ourselves to win this." he cheerily told me on the phone . "And right now we're in such good position today that I wish the election was tomorrow."(That projection against Ganley's campaign opponent, Rep. Betty Sutton, does seem a trifle euphoric at this moment, even with Ganley's millions that will be funneled into TV ads. But one of the essentials of a campaign manager is to be euphoric.)

One long-held theory is that the only candidates who accept invitations to debate are those who are running second or worse. The late congressman from Akron, John Seiberling, dashed that theory by accepting all comers even though he was heading for another landslide victory. But Seiberling stubbornly believed in the public's right to know about the candidates who sought their votes, no matter the probable outcome on Election Day. Obviously times have changed for some of today's candidates. And not for the better when a flood of television hyper-ads are created to make a stronger case for you.


John said...

The guys on the Right have to take their licks
The Steelers and Bucks have been his picks.
When he married aunt Nan
I fell in with this man
The Rush Limbaugh of left wing politics.

Happy Birthday Abe

Grumpy Abe said...

Rush Llimbaugh of the left? Whoa there, Tonto. You had better come in from the California sun and be cool.
Only defensive right-wingers have called me that. But there are two major differences: I have an aversion to lying, and I'm not quite up to his pay scale. You may be written out of the will.

Mencken said...

The Party of No extends its philosophy to "no debates" as well.