My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Continuation of Revising and Extending 

My brother, who is very smart, disagreed with me on a few points from last night's post. His complete remarks are in the comments, but I thought it worth the time to answer a few of his remarks.

It isn't win-win if the candidate essentially says that CNN is the reason for a non-appearance at a debate, in much the same manner that conservatives clamored at the pull-outs of all the Dem candidates from the Fox-sponsored debate. It's even worse, in fact, because right now the only people who remember the Fox debacle are staunch conservative bloggers; with CNN as the bullhorn reminding everybody within earshot that "the GOP didn't want to debate on our stage"

Well, to begin with, I'm not really sure just what a bullhorn CNN is, and if FoxNews' influence is confined, how much more so is CNN's? Secondly, if the candidate wordsmiths it well, saying CNN is the reason will encourage other media to shine some scrutiny onto CNN. In the meantime, CNN has lost its top draws to their event.

At least in the debate a candidate will not be in the continuous spotlight on the stage--like he would be if he won the job to which he aspires.

Personally, if I were a candidate, at this point, I WANT THE CONTINUOUS SPOTLIGHT. I want every opportunity to convince the American people that I belong on this stage and deserve to be on it for the next four years. This townhall format limits the opportunity for the small candidates to waste our time (Paul/Tancredo/et al. will be trying to stick to free media--how much fun would it be if CNN got left with only Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Anderson Cooper on stage?), while miximizing the opportunity for the big guys to really talk and really engage.

I have a feeling we'll hear from Thompson before this thing comes down the pipe. What better way to kick-start your campaign than being the guy who dared tread where Romney and Giuliani didn't? Assuming he performed well, he essentially would be taking the leadership role of the party in one night.

This is a brilliant point. Thompson could certainly do himself some favors with a huge, bold move like my brother suggests. And, if he performs well, it certainly would vault him to the front of the stage.

But I remain unconvinced. If the threshhold is survival, I see very little upside for Romney or Giuliani. Rather, these guys should be swinging for the fences and doing everything they can to shake up the business as usual of American campaigns.

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