Jerry, will it make a difference if they triple dog dare you?
What exactly do Tim Kaine and Russ Potts have to do to get a rise out of Jerry Kilgore? Kilgore, having refused again and again to participate in a debate that includes Potts, must either: (1) possess the inner strength and peace of Mahatma Gandhi; (2) have an enormous ace up his sleeve for Sunday's debate or; (3) be precisely the gutless, spineless wimp Potts has outright said he is and Kaine has sortakinda said he is.
Potts doesn't mince words. He's called Kilgore a "coward," "pathetic" and "Casper the Ghost." If this were California, I guess "girly man" wouldn't be far behind. I suppose Kilgore can take the high road and ignore an arguably fringe candidate but the man he is neck and neck with — Kaine — hasn't been much kinder, only subtler in his choice of words.
Now, Kilgore is possibly threatening to pull out of Sunday's debate unless he gets an agreement that no portion of the debate will be used in TV and radio ads. I guess that means he's pretty sure he won't be saying anything so great he'd like people to hear it over and over. And of course he must be terrified that people will actually burst into laughter again at some of his answers as happened at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate with Kaine. If that happens, you can be sure Kaine's campaign will just play the statement and the laughter in every ad from now til Nov. 8.
What exactly is Kilgore's problem? Really, why won't he debate with Potts? The excuse that Potts has no chance to win and therefore shouldn't be heard is the lamest thing I've ever heard. At what point does a man — even a gentleman — stand and fight? Hasn't he been called enough names? Should they triple dog dare him? Call him yeller? Replace the duck suit with a chicken?
If this were real life, a person who refused to stand up for himself again and again would be laughed right off the playground or soccer field or out of the corner bar. But this isn't real life, it's politics — where a person who refuses to stand up for himself again and again just might end up governor.