The responses to the RPV’s decision to stage three debates next year among the U.S. Senate candidates are rolling in. But they are remarkably different in tone and outlook.
Consider this one, from Jamie Radtke, which says in part:
The great news is you’ve helped me win a CHANCE [caps in original] to confront George Allen at three Republican debates about his record of higher debt and spending in the U.S. Senate.
Right now, though, I need your help in meeting the criteria to join those debates as soon as possible. Please read on so I can explain.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) announced it will hold three Republican U.S. Senate debates before next year’s June primary. This is great news, but we have two challenges before us to ensure a real opportunity to hold George Allen accountable for turning his back on Republican principles in the U.S. Senate.
For one, we want to ensure the format that will permit a real debate about Allen’s horrible record (more on that later.) The more urgent priority for our campaign is to meet RPV’s criteria for being in the debates, which will require our state-wide organization to gather several thousand petition signatures to get my name on the ballot. This is an expensive, state-wide, time-consuming process. I need your help right now to begin that activity.
It then becomes a fundraising appeal. And another opportunity to beat George Allen about the head and shoulders.
But then we have this from Tim Donner’s campaign:
“I welcome the opportunity provided by the RPV, which will at last give the citizens of Virginia a chance to decide for themselves who should be the party’s standard bearer, rather than being spoon fed by the media,” Donner said. “I certainly hope that George Allen will also participate, so Virginians can see for themselves the difference between my specific plans for authentic conservative leadership, as opposed to his senate record of expansion of the size and scope of government.”
That’s the bulk of the notice. No pitch for funds, no anti-Allen slant.
Then we have this from Allen’s camp, in the form of a letter to RPV chairman Pat Mullins from campaign manager Mike Thomas:
This upcoming 2012 election will be pivotal in determining the future of our country. George Allen believes it is essential for Republicans to discuss solutions to the important issues affecting Virginia families and businesses. We accept your invitation to continue that conversation in the three debates sponsored by the Republican Party of Virginia.
The failed policies of President Obama, Chairman Tim Kaine and their Democrat allies in Washington have put our country on a dangerous path of sustained high unemployment, massive debt and diminished opportunities for future generations. Thank you for this opportunity. We look forward to discussing our positive solutions for Virginians and our Country.
Mostly boilerplate, but containing the very Virginia “thank you” for the invitation.
The essential difference, though, is no mention of the other candidates. The focus, instead, is on Tim Kaine and the national Democrats.
Each approach is, in its own way, very revealing. Now have at them…