When I wrote my post about substance marking the gubernatorial campaign I guess I forgot to knock on wood. One of the things I most enjoy about these campaigns are the debates. Getting to see two candidates go face to face matching wits and intelligence. Though some argue that debates are too often press conferences and talking points, they also give us a chance to see how candidates might react to the unexpected. It is also an opportunity for candidates to really lay out and contrast their plans and policy to average voters that are not always paying as much attention to the issues as the process.
So I was rather disappointed to find out Ned Lamont is skipping the traditional New London debate thus leaving us without one this cycle. Now this is not just some avoidance of Dan’s debate challenge by Lamont. I remember going to New London for the debate in 2006 (back when it was Malloy v. DeStefano) and getting to see not just the debate but the huge number of supporters that turned out before the debate to support their candidates. I thought it was a great rallying tool for both campaigns, so I don’t see why Ned Lamont doesn’t want to debate.
However I can come-up with one idea. After the last debate Bob Englehart published this cartoon to describe the outcome:
So maybe Ned Lamont is afraid he won’t do so well against Dan Malloy again? Is he concerned that his momentum is waining? If Ned won’t debate Dan anymore, will he still have the courage to debate Foley in the fall, or will we just be watching TV commercials constantly?
That being said, I think it’s too bad they cancelled it. I think they should “hold” it anyways and if Lamont doesn’t show-up they could just have Dan take questions from the audience and YouTube town hall style.