Thursday, January 31, 2008

Elephant Wars: Debating a Debate UPDATED

ANN pulled a presser off the front page of the New Summit Republicans website in which State Sen. Kevin Coughlin challenges Alex Arshinkoff to a debate. Citing Arshinkoff's various Board of Elections machinations, the New Repubs argue that "Arshinkoff has done everything he can to avoid a fair up or down vote on his leadership later this spring."

Clever that, and good strategy. Team Coughlin's big challenge is getting rank-and-file Republicans to pay sufficient to the dispute that they a) side with the Coughlinites, b) figure out who their Coughinite candidate is and c) work down the ballot and vote. A debate would generate the kind of earned media they need to help make this happen.

Plus, much like him or not, Coughlin is a fine campaign debater.

For his part, Arshinkoff has a not-half-bad response reported in the ABJ: he says if there is to be a debate, it should be with whoever will run against him to be party chair.

UPDATE: ANN has audio of Coughlin.