I’m sick and tired of hearing about debate challenges. Why can’t campaigns contact each other and work things out?
It’s not shocking to see Scott Brown challenging Elizabeth Warren to go on Dan Rea’s show to debate. Dan was promoting Marisa DeFranco just before the Convention earlier this month and my jaw dropped when he admitted on air that he was a friend of the Browns and a huge supporter of Scott Brown’s candidacy. Rea spends as much time as possible (seems like almost every show now) bashing Elizabeth Warren, so I can’t blame her for not going on his show. Scott Brown plans to debate an empty chair if Warren doesn’t show up.
It also wasn’t shocking to see Marisa DeFranco challenge Elizabeth Warren to debates on the cover of the Herald shortly before the convention. It was an act of last-minute desperation and it was sad to watch Democrats do it. Sam Sutter is doing the same thing to Congressman Bill Keating right now.
The Keating/Sutter thing has been in the news today because Sutter challenged Keating to a radio debate with Phil Paleologos, a right-wing talker out of New Bedford. Instead of reaching out to Keating’s campaign Sutter put out a press release saying he was going to be at the radio station every day and would debate an empty chair if Keating doesn’t show.
Scott Brown chose Dan Rea because they share the same views and Rea is a friend of Brown and foe of Warren. Sutter’s choice of Phil Paleologos is weird – the guy is the Chairman of the New Bedford Republicans, a supporter of anti gay marriage activities in Massachusetts, and a former Republican candidate. Safe to guess his listeners lean to the right so I’m not sure what Sutter gains from this, while it’s obvious what Brown gains from Rea.
Ultimately all big (and many small) campaigns have debates and forums. I ran for a local office recently and attended a forum with my opponent. Brown and Warren will debate (and Warren and DeFranco would have debated if she got her 15%) and Sutter and Keating will debate. I just don’t see how trying to publicly shame your opponent into debating on a right-wing radio show is going to help anyone make up their mind. Voters are smart enough to see these challenges for what they are.
That’s my rant. I just hope the candidates will act professional.