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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Debate could bring changes

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The political discussion -- and there's lots of it these days -- is focused on the upcoming November elections and the potential change that could be in store. With Democrats now enjoying a solid majority in both the House and Senate, a change in voter attitudes could completely change the dynamics and direction in Washington.

I believe firmly that most readers of this newspaper would support a change in the runaway spending and heavy-handed federal takeover that we witness daily.

But that change will come only with a conservative return to the nation's capital. And one of the most closely watched races will come in Missouri where it's likely Congressman Roy Blunt will face Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to replace retiring Sen. Kit Bond.

Though we're still two weeks away from the primary election to select the candidates, the outcome is virtually certain.

This week the Carnahan camp and the Blunt camp began talking debates. Blunt had earlier challenged Carnahan to a series of debates, but she declined to discuss the issue until after the August primary elections. But this week, Carnahan did a bit of an about-face and challenged Blunt.

The devil is always in the details.

Carnahan wants but three debates and wants to include candidates from the Libertarian and Constitution Party. Though we understand her motives, it's a silly suggestion.

For starters, the two minor party candidates will not be a factor in the November elections. We applaud these two minor parties for participating in the electoral process and we don't in any way demean their motives.

But it's honestly a waste of time to think that either Blunt or Carnahan will face any substantial opposition from one of these parties. So let's use our time to discuss the real issues that Missourians want to explore.

Blunt wants more than three debates for obvious reasons. He is far more experienced and informed on national political needs than the newcomer Carnahan. More exposure of her lack of experience will surely help Blunt come November.

Carnahan wants more people on less stages. That will help deflect attention from her inexperience. We understand.

I would love for Sikeston to sponsor one of these debates. Our neck of the woods is often ignored in the electoral scheme of things and hosting a debate with national implications would be a feather in our caps.

At the end of the day it's not the number of debates nor their locations that matters. It's the substance and the direction the candidates want for this country that should drive voters in November.

We need to change the direction of this country. President Obama said two weeks ago he needed Robin Carnahan by his side in Washington. I'm anxious to hear Carnahan explain to Missourians how the Obama policies have helped this state.

And the only place you're going to find these answers is with a lively debate.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen