In today’s Charlottesville Daily Progress, Bob Gibson writes on debates, and Jerry Kilgore’s unwillingness to speak before the public:
Democrat Kaine is saying yes to a number of invitations – nine more at last count – and independent (and almost banished Republican) Potts is not shy about accepting whatever invitations come his way.
Kilgore is another story. The Republican front-runner is more carefully guarded by his campaign staff, which likes to present him in environments with supportive Republicans and is very cautious about allowing the former attorney general to share a stage with any opponent.
Potts said Friday he knows why Kilgore is not yet accepting more Virginia debate appearances. “He’s afraid to,” the veteran Republican state senator from Winchester asserted.
Everybody agrees that Kilgore’s Southwest Virginia accent is a positive attribute. Kilgore and his supporters insist that Kilgore has oodles of ideas and Kaine has none. They likewise insist that Sen. Russ Potts only hurts Kaine, not Kilgore.
So…what’s the problem?
And while Kilgore does speak publicly while campaigning, he does so only for paying audiences. Voters can’t question him. This is looking more and more like President Bush’s terror of public appearances, in which the only questions are those that are carefully-scripted, and the only attendees are those who have been carefully vetted, removing anybody who might ever have had any qualms with any aspect of the Bush administration.
Call me partisan, but I can’t favor ostrich-styled leadership. It’s hard to follow an ass.