Inexplicable candidate Jon Huntsman will debate Newt Gingrich, Lincoln-Douglas style, in New Hampshire this month. He will not, however, attend Donald Trump’s inexplicable debate just before the Iowa caucuses. Whatever I think of Huntsman, he made the right choice.
For Huntsman, debates have been an exercise in futility. The current front-runner, the previous frontrunner and Romney generally get the attention from the media. A one-on-one debate with the current frontrunner is the kind of attention Huntsman needs. Plus, Newt will debate anyone at any time. He loves to talk about anything.
Trump will moderate a debate on the ION network. This is a series of affiliates who used to air family friendly programming, but is now reduced to airing second-hand reruns. Right now, they’re showing an old Criminal Minds episode. I suppose this is good publicity for ION, since very few people know what it is. It’s like that debate Bloomberg Information Television almost no one could see.
I see this as a sort of dividing line. If you have a chance as a candidate, you really need to skip this debate. If you just want to be on TV, go ahead. I hope you like your portrayal on Saturday Night Live a few days later. Romney may drop out. He couldn’t even handle a Fox News interview. I can’t imagine what sparring with Trump will be like. Perry should drop out of the race, but definitely the debate. I know Gingrich will show up. I don’t think Cain will be a factor by next week.
Maybe we’ll end up with a debate between Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer and whomever else I’m forgetting. It would also be a good place to air a draft Sarah Palin ad.