What if they gave a debate and nobody came?
What if the media-political complex announced a presidential debate, hired a hall, sent out invitations, lined up 200 folding chairs for the press, and then the major candidates said: "Stick it in your ear. We're not coming."
That could happen this year for one good reason: Major candidates are complaining that too many states are planning too many debates too early.
There are a lot of ways to look at this. From a strategic standpoint, this is an advantage for Hillary more than Obama. Hillary is a household name and has been for years now. If he's not already there, Obama is headed that way, in a warp speed. And because the senator from New York is already on record with so many things, she stands to lose more than she can gain. She can continue to plug along, taking soft-ball interviews until someone ( Democratic or Republican) forces her to do otherwise. She is in the "driver's seat", Obama is the one that needs these things early to get some kind of bounce in the recognition department.
But, as is pointed out in this referenced article, Obama is possibly willing to skip the early part of the tour, as well. That alone, tells me some things.
1. Both are not having trouble with money. Both appear to be out in the fund-raising world, garnering support, making short stump speeches that the media can use in their short sound quips, for whatever their agenda they want to drive, at that moment in time.
Their fundraising efforts come first and foremost at this stage of the game. Plus, it is free publicity in a formal, but friendly setting. It's safe, because most people that you are encountering are paying money to hear them. Those that do not like them would never pay the $5000 a plate fee, to hear them say things that they know, they already do not like.
2. Both may be looking forward to combining their raised reserves in a Clinton-Obama ticket.
From what I am reading and hearing from Democrats right now is, they want this "dream team". I, personally, think that if Hillary wins the nomination (which she probably will), she would do better with Bayh, because of his ability to take a red state. But, it is more likely that she will be pressured to swing further to the left with Obama, thus creating less surety for her chances in 2008.
3. By avoiding the debates early, they have more control over the agenda and the direction their campaigns want to go, ideologically. They can act, not react. If they are fielding questions which are often tougher in a debate setting, they are on defense, not offense.
As I have said before in earlier postings, a lot can happen between now and the time the voting begins. World and national events often dictate reactions, even when the person running may want to be in control of the action. The less time spent under the microscope, the less chance there is to screw something up. So while they are able, they are content to go about their ways, taking donations, passing the political offering plate around, and soaking up all of the free and favorable publicity that is offered to them.
But at some time in the future, they will be called upon to justify their views and stances. At some point, they will have take their cases to the American people. They will have to answer tough questions, because the American people will expect and demand it. Half the nation will be ready for this so-called new direction, but the other half will not. If their goal is to get elected, they will have to react under pressure. They will have to persuade and convince. Then, and only then, will we all see just what kind of mettle, they are all made of.
Eyewash looks good. But, is it clean under the surface?