Just one debate

Published 3:08 pm Monday, March 31, 2008

By Staff
Come on, Bev. You can do — and must do — better than that.
Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, seeking the Democratic nomination in the North Carolina’s gubernatorial race, was a no-show at the WITN-Inner Banks Media debate Thursday night.
Perdue is ducking debates. That begs the question: Why?
Perhaps she believes she’s the front-runner in the Democratic race that includes state Treasurer Richard Moore and retired Air Force Col. Dennis Nielsen, and as such she has more to lose than gain by participating in debates. No matter how she feels about debating, North Carolina voters deserve to hear her views on issues that affect them. They deserve to hear those views in a debate setting instead of in 30-second sound bites on television and radio. Debates provide more substance than 30-second fluff pieces.
Both her Democratic challengers, who attended the debate, noticed Perdue’s absence. As well they — and the voters — should have noticed.
Moore took Perdue to task for her stand on mental health reform.
Debates are part of American political history. Remember studying about the Lincoln-Douglas debates?
Debates allow voters to see how candidates do when being questioned about their views on important issues and what they’ve done or not done in the past. Debates allow for exchanges of ideas and solutions to problems. In debates, one candidate may ask another candidate probing questions. In debates, follow-up questions may be asked by audience members, candidates and moderators. Debates allow candidates to offer rebuttals to allegations and accusations made against them.
As pointed out before, the Republican gubernatorial candidates are debating one another.
With Perdue avoiding debates, one begins to wonder if she’s worried that debating will reveal a chink in her armor. She should debate Moore and Nielsen. Voters would learn more about them, especially Nielsen who is not as well-known as Perdue and Moore. Nielsen claims to be the candidate who best understands the everyday, average person. A debate could help voters determine if that is the case.
Come on, Bev. Give voters at least one debate. You are asking for their votes. They deserve a substantive debate, not a 30-second sound bite.