Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Debate on the Debate

New Orleans along with 16 other cities applied to be one of the sites for the 2008 Presidential Debates to be sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commissions selected these cities;
  • Oxford, MS,
  • Nashville, TN
  • Hempstead, NY
The Times Picayune got its panties in a wad over the decision. I don't know why everyone is upset we didn't get picked. New Orleans is too much of an issue and a distraction to be picked. The only place less likely to be picked is Bagdad.

What angers me is that they lied about it. They said we weren't ready. That is clearly a lie. The list of events the city has and will handle before this debate dwarfs the list of similar events in all of the selected cities combined (including Ole Miss home football games and the Grand Ole Opry). That lie may cost the city some much needed business. We should probably sue them for defamation.

It is possible our bid wasn't as good as some other cities, I don't know. I doubt is was much worse.

The real reason is of course politics. I just wish they had been honest and said so. The Paper published a long list of people who said they were in favor of it, including;

Seven presidential candidates -- five Democrats and two Republicans -- had signed letters to the commission expressing a preference that one of the debates be held in New Orleans, and that preference was shared initially by the commission's nine board members and two co-chairmen
... the backing of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden and Republican candidates John McCain and Sam Brownback. Brownback, a Republican senator from Kansas, has since dropped out of the race.
I think at least some of the candidates are lying. Of course if any of the major Republican candidates objected strenuously we would be rejected. I notice Giuliani, Thomson and Romney aren't listed as supporters of New Orleans, which may or may not be important. The only candidate I'm sure wanted a debate here is Edwards.

Update - Ashley has some information indirectly from the horses mouth. It seems the other end of the horse locally may not have been all that competent in putting the proposal together. This is a very plausible explanation might have been helpful if publicly stated.

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