Only in Florida can a campaign be sidelined by Mother Nature – and campaigns are trains that, by themselves, are forces to be reckoned with. After Ernesto cancelled the debate for Tuesday, the Davis/Smith campaigns have had a field-day regarding whether or not to commit to another debate.
As reported in the Miami Herald, the Smith campaign decided not to commit to another debate because of the planned campaign stops in Northern Florida. The Davis campaign got a chance to give a shot about Smith’s connections with US Sugar. It was reported in the Palm Beach Post that Davis was ready as of 2pm Wednesday to be at the debate, but by 4pm, the Smith campaign decided that it would not work to be in West Palm Beach and still handle the campaign schedule they had already planned.
Is this horse-hockey?
Being on campaigns now for a bit of time, the time for prep and getting all of the practice in is extremely demanding on a campaign. I can speak to the stressors and efforts put into the Kerry and Deutsch campaigns to prepare for their debates – especially trying to get all of the advisors ready and to agree on what is the best spin on a topic. But, Rod is a natural orator. He was materful in the previous debate – and impromptu has never been his weak point.
Could it be that the efforts of ads, mailers and the previous debate (that is more than likely replying over and over again on PBS) was enough that Rod does not need any more visibility? With the Strategic Vision Poll out (reported by FLA Politics) yesterday, is it suprising the Rod is feeling the momentum that precludes a showing on local television? The amount of votes Rod is going to gain from this North Florida run that he has not already won is miniscule – compared to what exposure he might get given a focus on a West Palm debate. Think about the additional coverage he would get from WSVN and other local stations in a rich Democratic region like Broward County… Or could it be that Labor Day Weekend is not the best time to expect people to see candidates on television – especially since they would be heading out for a holiday with the family, and not sitting in front of the TV.
Truth be told, the race is almost over. After Labor Day, the decision will be made. The people coming out more than likely have already made their mind. The question is – who do you support?