Political theater at its finest! It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, but if you live in California or even if you don’t, you will want to follow the upcoming governor’s race in the Golden State. California has long been a trend setter in the country and a barometer for things that move east.
Today attorney general Jerry Brown proposed an unprecedented bipartisan debate with his GOP rivals, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner. Typically, these debates happen closer to the general election after the GOP and Democratic nominees have been chosen. Since Jerry Brown isn’t facing opposition on the Democratic side, this could make things interesting.
Steve Poizner has already agreed to accept Brown’s invitation to debate, while Meg Whitman issued a statement that she was “considering” the proposal. I would definitely like to see more debates between the candidates and fewer commercials. We need dialogue, interaction, and solutions, not more fancy ads and repeated soundbites.
Today at the state Democratic Convention, Brown proposed the debate by focusing on the existing commercials and money being spent by his GOP rivals:
“Campaigning and democracy is not about buying hundreds of millions of dollars of 30-second TV ads,” Brown told the delegates, vastly exaggerating her spending. “When we live in a democracy, we’re not consumers of advertising. We’re agents of democratic choice. We’re actors in a historical drama.”
Alluding to commercials aired by Whitman and her fellow Republican Steve Poizner, who trails her in polls for the June 8 primary, Brown said: “Come out from behind those glittering poppy fields, those beautiful car crashes over the mountain. Let’s set up some honest debates.”
I definitely try not to be a consumer of advertising, but I think that many of our brothers and sisters who obtain most of their information from the television, instead of alternative sources of media, do. And I’m glad that Steve Poizner is game. Meg Whitman’s hesitancy to respond to the debate challenge is telling. Usually, politicos jump at these chances, at least those who really live for the game and who are eager to engage with their opponents. Really, Meg Whitman should have jumped at this opportunity.