Aug. 13, 2008 | When in tarnation will those blasted presidential debates arrive? This excruciatingly long hiatus between the end of the primary season and the national conventions feels like running in mud. The electorate desperately needs to see and compare the two major candidates operating together in an issues-oriented forum. Both Barack Obama and John McCain are being diminished by their helter-skelter jumping around like grasshoppers. And campaign ads on both sides have seemed rote, slick or silly.
As a supporter of Barack Obama, I've been alarmed by the steady tightening of the polls. And as a longtime listener of talk radio who witnessed the ruthless whittling down of John Kerry in the 2004 campaign, I have an increasing sense of foreboding. Obama is twisting slowly, slowly in the wind like a tempting piñata for right-wing cudgels. Given how new he is as a national figure (despite his bestselling books), this protracted summer delay is allowing opponents to fill the gap with a grotesquely distorted caricature of him.
And whose fault is it that we don't have enough debates this early for the voters to make an informed decision? McCain challenged Obama to 10 townhall debates (One a week) after the dem primaries were concluded, but Obama rejected it outright, in an effort to play it safe from now till denver.