So speaking of debates, the Dino Rossi gubernatorial campaign (Prefers People Not Know He’s a Republican Party) has apparently ditched a scheduled Oct. 13 debate in Vancouver because of a measly half-hour scheduling conflict. Reporter Kathie Durbin writes at The Columbian’s succinctly named Politics Blog:
Gregoire’s campaign said the governor adjusted her schedule twice to accommodate Rossi, finally agreeing to an 11 a.m. -to-noon televised debate on the 13th. The Rossi campaign initially agreed, but then changed its mind, notifying organizers that Rossi had to be finished by 11:30 a.m. so he could make it to a noon fundraising lunch.
Rossi accused the governor of trying to back out of debating at the last minute.
Of course, since Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, says she will be ready to debate anyway, Rossi is rather bizarrely “pulling a McCain” on this one by being a drama queen about a half hour difference.
Nothing like emulating the erratic and ridiculous behavior of a fellow Republican to ensure Republican loyalty among the Republican faithful. It’s a sure way to get nominated for Miss Congeniality of The Republican Party. Because Republicans are nothing if not congenial.
As usual, a Republican is playing dumb games trying to squeeze any tiny competitive advantage out of a situation. According to a news release sent yesterday by the Gregoire campaign, the time period Rossi (the Republican) seems to be trying to avoid is the noon news cycle.
You know, the noon news, when regular people might be watching during a child’s nap or a quick lunch break from work. Otherwise the only people who will see the debate in real time will be those folks who can go downtown or work downtown during the workday. For instance, this would include developers and firms that cater to them, which apart from the thriving criminal justice system seems to be the main type of business in downtown Vancouver. (Note to nitpicky types in the Comments Cesspool: even if the debate is at a hotel over by the mall, the same principle applies. Most regular folks can’t go hang out at the Heathman at 10:30 AM on a Monday.)
And let’s face it, most normal people just don’t watch government access channels, so while replays could certainly be made available, that’s kind of like sitting down to watch Oregon State manhandle USC when you already know it’s over.
Despite Gregoire agreeing to an 11 AM time, the Rossi campaign has seemingly concluded things could potentially spill over into the noon hour, carrying the risk a reporter might say the dreaded words, “Dino Rossi, Republican.”
Things are so bad for them that even in Clark County, which the Republican Party has steadfastly claimed as a bastion despite real-world evidence (such as election results) to the contrary, they can’t risk people turning on the tee-vee only to hear and see Dino Rossi described for what he is, a Republican. The unique media blackout we live in down here, in this instance, works in favor of Republican Dino Rossi.
I happened to be in Seattle during last weekend’s debate up there, and while I only caught the tail end of it on television from a hotel room, I can’t say I really blame the Rossi campaign. I’d try to hide him too.
Of course, I could be wrong, and Dino Rossi could prove me wrong by showing up for a live televised debate in Clark County on Oct. 13. I’m sure the wait staff at his fundraiser can keep his developer pals well plied with food and beverage for an extra half hour.
Where is Rossi’s fundraiser? According to the Clark County Republicans, it’s at the Red Lion at the Quay, right in downtown Vancouver. If the debate organizers were able to secure the Vancouver Hilton, that would be about a two minute drive for Rossi. Even if the debate were held over by the mall, it would likely be a fifteen minute drive mid-morning.
And what is Rossi doing in this oh-so-crucial half hour between 11:30 AM and noon that he couldn’t possibly debate Gregoire? He’s having photos taken with supporters.
At $500 per person.