Friday, March 28, 2008


I don't personally care whether Bev Perdue agrees to do debates or not. For any race other than President they don't do much good for anyone but the chattering classes, and it's unlikely that any meaningful number of people would watch them and use them as a barometer for deciding who to vote for in the primary.

But I think it's time for her to just agree to do one traditional network television debate with two or three moderators and let it be run in every market in the state.

If the debate issue was going to go away I would understand the refusal to debate. But this is getting brought up over and over and over again in media coverage of the campaign. And it's not making her look good.

I think where it's going to be the biggest problem is when newspapers across the state start doing their endorsements. Those editorial boards aren't going to like a candidate who won't debate. Now I don't think newspaper endorsements count for much these days. But candidates still want to get them, and I imagine Perdue will be sorely punished for her reluctance to engage when those start coming out. Some of the statements made by papers in endorsements about this issue will doubtless appear in future Richard Moore campaign ads.

The damage being done by not debating is worse than anything that could be caused by a debate. Just agree to do one, sooner than later, and get this issue off the table.

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