I think the newspapers want a debate

The state’s major newspapers have set up a debate for October 19 at 7 PM on the University of Texas campus. They will make the debate available to television stations. The newspapers have backed their plan with a long line of editorials calling for Rick Perry and Bill White to debate.

Maybe the state’s media should go one step further and institutionalize debates. Every election we see candidates and their campaign staff attempt to negotiate times, locations, and formats for debates. Campaigns should accept that debates are not simply extensions of campaign strategies and that their primary function is to serve the information needs of voters. Any candidate interested in putting their campaign strategy above public service doesn’t deserve the office they’re seeking.


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