I’m a fan of debates – I think they help give candidates exposure and allow Americans to get a good idea of all their options. It allows voters to compare the candidates side-by-side and, in some cases, submit questions of their own to be answered. The prime example of this is the upcoming CNN/Youtube debate on September 17th. Unfortunately, at least two candidates are currently not going to attend. Even more unfortunately, one of these candidates is Mitt Romney.
While I agree that CNN does need to be mindful of the situation – and perhaps a little more professional in the questions they choose, I do not think that anything excuses skipping a debate. Debates are not designed to be beneficial to the candidates, they are designed to be beneficial to the public. The reason debates exist is for the public, the voting, American public to be able to compare their choices.
To criticize the Democrats for skipping the Fox debates, while refusing to participate in the CNN debates, is hipocritical and unacceptable.
If you want to help save the debates, you can visit this site to sign a petition to encourage the candidates to participate. You can also contact Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani directly to encourage them further. I have done both, and encourage you to do the same.
If you own a blog, I encourage you to post these links, as well as the widget form of the petition (does not work with WP) on your site. As proven with the Amnesty Bill, large grassroots movements can accomplish big things, hopefully this will be another example of that.
I’m tacking this to the top of the blog for a while, so don’t forget to scroll down to check for new posts.