AR-Sen: [Breaking] Halter Agrees to June 3rd Debate

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    The Bill Halter campaign released word this afternoon that Halter has agreed to participate in a debate next Thursday, June 3, that would be co-hosted by the Arkansas Times and KARK 4.

    Whether Blanche Lincoln will also agree to participate remains to be seen.  Neither answer would surprise me, though my guess tends to lean just slightly toward her saying “yes,” if only because “no, I have to [insert weak, transparent excuse that she hopes idiots will believe] instead” just looks so much worse than an underwhelming debate performance.

    Details such as location have yet to be determined.

    (h/t The Tolbert Report)

    UPDATE: Per Max Brantley:

    We are not prepared to announce such a debate, though we have been working on finding a time and place in the days remaining that will be agreeable to both candidates.

    UPDATE REDUX: Mo’ Max:

    I  should add before closing what I know about where things stand on our effort with Channel 4 to arrange one more debate (they’ve had three) between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

    Halter, who closely trailed Lincoln in the first round of voting that produced a runoff after a third candidate took 13 percent of the vote, has said he would like to debate. The Lincoln campaign has said, so far, that it is unable to schedule an appearance June 1-8 because she’ll be on her “Countdown to Victory Tour then,” meeting with voters statewide.

    We’ve asked the Lincoln campaign if any time in the interim might be possible, understanding that time is short and that the Memorial Day weekend lies ahead.

    Oh, that makes total sense. If she is out, “meeting with voters statewide,” there is absolutely no way that she could get back to Little Rock for a debate at any point whatsoever. I mean, if only there were some kind of invention … that could fly … and carry people from one place to another in much less time than they could otherwise travel. THEN she would be able to make it from the farthest reaches of this incredibly massive state. Heck, if that invention were fast enough, she could even make it from Washington D.C. — even with a delay in Atlanta — to Little Rock in time for a lunchtime debate.

    Snark aside, I have a real question: If the “Countdown To Victory” tour is so jam-packed, so amazingly tight on time that she cannot spare part of one day for a debate, even if the Arkansas Times, KARK 4, and her opponent let her name the time and day, can we safely assume that there is no chance that Lincoln will be needed in Washington vis-a-vis her seat on the Financial Reform Conference Committee? After all, she’s made abundantly clear (by, for example, voting against protecting Arkansans from exorbitant credit card interest rates) that her singular purpose is to get her awful derivatives-reform package through. Or, you know, pretend like she is going to fight tooth-and-nail to get it through until after the runoff is over and her brethren rightfully boot it from the bill.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I have a second question: if the purpose of the “Countdown To Victory” tour is to generate maximum exposure, reach undecided voters, and spread your message as broadly as possible, wouldn’t a televised debate that would conceivably be accessible to every potential voter be more effective and efficient than shaking hands at a small, private event? (Hint: Yes, it would.)

    In the end, I guess I was wrong; it looks like she is opting for the “no, I have to [insert weak, transparent excuse that she hopes idiots will believe] instead” option instead.