Debate foolishness (updated)

Former governors Allen & Kaine - from the Richmond Times Dispatch

All of those involved, especially the Associated Press and the candidates, have literally bumped their heads in scheduling a debate between presumptive party nominees for Senate George Allen and Tim Kaine.

Oh, sure – the press covered their backsides by saying “eligible participants include any declared candidates that average 15 percent or better in published, non-candidate primary polls and have raised at least 20 percent as much money as their party’s frontrunner by the end of October.”

And, as expected, the candidates deny placing any restrictions on who could participate in the debate.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh – perhaps it really is the responsibility of the press to pick and choose winners. After all, this isn’t the first time.

Look – will Allen and Kaine be their party’s nominee? Probably. But until the process plays itself out and the voters have spoken, which means after the party primaries, this debate should not be taking place.


For the record, there are five Republicans and three Democrats vying for their party’s nomination. The Republicans are Allen, Jaime Radtke, E. W. Jackson, Tim Donner and Dave McCormick. The Democrats are Kaine, Julien Modica, and Courtney Lynch.

UPDATE Fri am: The Virginian-Pilot editorial board weighs in on this in favor of inclusion. Um, when your own members are against the proposal, don’t you think yo need to reconsider?

And I loved Walt Taylor’s cartoon in the paper this morning.


5 thoughts on “Debate foolishness (updated)

  1. You pre-empted what I planned to write about today. I agree completely. This is totally presumptous of the press. I fully expect that Kaine and Allen will be the nominees of their parties. But it’s not the media’s job to presume that before it happens. Nor is it our job to decide “oh, we’re bored with the primary, lets just move on to the general election already.” Once the candidate selection process has run its course, there’s plenty of time for general election debates. That’s the way it’s always worked in the past, why change this year?

    1. Anything is possible. Candidates are, of course, concerned only with themselves so I’m not surprised that they would jump at the chance to be in front of a group of journalists, regardless of who else wasn’t invited.

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