It appears that I may have been took quick to criticize the CNN "YouTube Debate" as being little more than a desperate attempt from CNN to draw eyeballs back to their channel. Now that CNN is planning a second such debate for Republican candidates, scheduled for September 17 in the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, we are discovering, from sources such as the Pensito Review blog, that Republican candidates are running scared from the prospect of an event similar to the one in which the Democrats participated. It may be that, in their overall value system, the Republicans are discovering that fear of the general public may be more important than the fear of God. Pensito Review framed the situation as follows:
After pulling a party-line no-show at the recent National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) convention, aka, THE event for Latino movers and shakers, they are now discovering a rash of scheduling conflicts at the prospect of facing the chilling YouTube questioners in debate.
According to Stephanie Garry, Staff Writer for the St. Petersburg Times, Rudy Giuliani is already claiming that "scheduling issues" may prevent his participating. More interesting is the Pensito Review account of Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney — who recently faced derision and questions about his common sense for strapping his dog in its carrier to the top of his car during a 12-hour drive, causing the animal to defecate over his windshield — came right out and said the format is beneath his dignity.
“I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman,” Romney told the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader this week.
Before making any further comments about his dignity, Romney would do well to read that passage about "the knight who swore on his honor" in Shakespeare's As You Like It! Apparently only two Republicans have confirmed that they will participate, John McCain (whose campaign is in such deep yogurt that he is willing to try anything but who also may have learned from the "battle experience" of his "Google interview") and Ron Paul (who presumably saw the way in the which Democratic debate provided good opportunities for Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel, none of whom have particularly good numbers).