Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Discouraged, but not dissuaded on debate prospect

As some of you are aware, Blogs United has partnered with the Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press, WHRO, and Virginia Talks to provide citizens of the commonwealth a chance to engage with the gubernatorial candidates, Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell, in a forum at Christopher Newport University in late September.

Approximately two weeks ago, the McDonnell campaign accepted our offer to participate. Today, the Deeds campaign listed ten debates they would participate in, and ours was not one of them.

As vice chairman, Vivian Paige, notes on her blog, Blogs United is not out of the mix yet because the campaigns could agree to do more than the five mutually agreed to today, and ours could be one of the ones chosen in this "tussle."

I would note that Blogs United is not the only on-line venue that the Deeds campaign did not accept. They also declined to participate in the YouTube/Politico proposed debate.

Regardless, while I am initially disappointed that the Deeds campaign has turned away from the online community, and its increasingly growing readership, I am confident that other campaigns and speakers will be interested in participating at our venue.

I also remain hopeful that the Deeds campaign will reconsider their decision.

We know that the McDonnell campaign, at least, is still interested:

"We still want to do this debate," wrote Tucker Martin, McDonnell spokesman to the Deeds campaign and the Board of Directors via email.