Tuesday, August 12, 2008

“Big Bad John” Cornyn Challenged to Debate

What is it with the junior senator from Texas? Why is he talking about negotiations for a debate with Democratic challenger Rick Noriega on one hand, but on the other, Noriega’s people are saying that they haven’t spoken about it?

It’s here on the Politex blog of the Dallas Star-Telegram.

“Before his speech, Cornyn said he is looking forward to debating Rick Noriega, his Democratic opponent.”

“‘We’re talking about the formats and how many, but I think come September, certainly not later than October, we’ll be teeing it up,’ he said.”
Well obviously the Cornyn campaign (which works on the Sabbath) is working in response to Noriega’s August 7th debate challenge, found here, and pasted below:

“Rick Noriega challenged John Cornyn to debate today, calling on Cornyn to answer up to Texans for his failed status quo energy policies, his votes against affordable health care, his continued failed policies in Iraq and his coziness with Washington special interests.”“Noriega is excited and ready to debate John Cornyn in a variety of venues and has accepted a number of invitations.”

“While not offering details of how many debates Noriega wants, when and where they should be held and under whose sponsorship, Noriega spokeswoman Holly Shulman suggested reluctance on Cornyn's part to participate. ‘Senator Cornyn doesn't even want to show up for the job interview,’ she said.”
Well that should clear things up. It looks like Cornyn’s camp is communicating with Noriega’s. This from John Cornyn’s own mouth. Again, I repeat the quote:

“We’re talking about the formats and how many . . .”
But things do not appear as they seem. In a later update to the blog article, blogger Aman Batheja posted a statement from Noriega spokesperson Holly Shulman. To wit:

“Noriega spokesperson Holly Shulman emailed me to make clear that Cornyn's camp has not yet spoken to Noriega's camp about debate plans.”

“‘I think Cornyn meant internally discussing format...because we have not heard from them,’ she said.”
Yes, that must be it. Cornyn in saying “We’re talking about the formats and how many . . .” is either using the “Royal We” or is referring to himself and his staff collectively.

That “we”.

Because the alternative is not a pretty one. The alternative takes two forms. Form one has it that John Cornyn has no idea what his staff is doing, or not doing. Form two has it that John Cornyn is still hesitant in accepting a debate challenge, and is having a truth-challenged moment.

I am going against my pessimist tendency and with Shulman’s theory that Cornyn uses the “we” word internally, despite how it sounds when you put the statement in print.

But I guess we’ll see what we will see.

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