The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Debating the debates

The race for the next governor of the Commonwealth has turned into a debate, over debates. The political advisors for republican candidate Jerry Kilgore appear to be carefully guarding their candidate from a "you forgot Poland" type moment. There appeared to be some speculation that Kilgore wouldn't even debate the democratic candidate Tim Kaine, due to polls showing an early lead by Kilgore.

I believe that even some of the most ardent Kilgore supporter would tell you that Kaine has everything to gain from a series of debates, because Kaine would likely win. Plus, a televised debate would give more voters exposure to Kilgore's bizarre lispy southwestern Virginia accent (This is not intended to denigrate a southwestern or southern accent, but Kilgore's accent is very unusual. Trust me, if Kaine had an obvious northern accent, it would be a major issue to some). But when you consider the abysmal turnout for the recent state primaries, Kilgore probably doesn't have too much to fear, because hardly anyone will likely be watching!

Though you know my personal opinion on ducking debates, Kilgore recently agreed to debate Kaine, but insisted that that the moderate independent/republican candidate, Russ Potts, be excluded. Though Mr. Potts collected enough signatures to be included on the November ballot, Mr. Kilgore feels that the senior state senator doesn't have what it takes to be governor of the Commonwealth. Obviously Jerry Kilgore feels qualified to make this decision on behalf of the 7.3 million residents living in the Commonwealth. Thanks for thinking about us Jerry!

There is no mystery why Kigore doesn't want Potts involved in the debates, and Kaine is more than happy to accommodate Potts, because Potts can create major problems for Kilgore's all but guaranteed victory in November. Kilgore is right, the maverick centrist republican Russ Potts isn't likely to win, but the native of Winchester can siphon off votes from the republican rich Shenandoah Valley, and potentially tip a close race in favor of Mr. Kaine. Thus becoming the Commonwealth's version of Ross Perot. As uncomfortable as Kilgore might be with the realization he has to debate Kaine, he is probably even more uncomfortable with the thought that Potts might be included in these debates.


  • At 6/27/2005 2:06 PM, Anonymous Omar said…

    You have really done some good research here Ligon and have made some insightfull comentary! I am curious about one comment you made, however. Do you think that Russ Potts is more of a liability to Kaine or Kilgore? It seems to me, and I'm no expert on Virginia politics, that the moderate/republican Potts who wishs to run on an independant tickt would do more harm to Kaine than Kilgore. I think that more people who might vote for Potts think along the same lines as people who would vote for Kaine thus harming Kaine's campaign. It seems like Potts is a republican, spolier version of Ralf Nader and will not have much of an impact on Kilgore. What do you think?

  • At 6/27/2005 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd say Potts totatly hurts Kilgore. Most of Potts' support will come from the Winchester/Shenandoah Valley of Va (elsewhere he will not do very well, due to lack of exposure, hence the debate controversy) I wouldn't be surprise if Potts can take 15 - 25 percent of the vote in the Valley, which historically is a republican strong hold. So this has to help Kiane in the long run.


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