Her campaign had a number of excuses as U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-7th) wriggled her way out of a debate planned by the League of Women Voters for this week.
First, let me give Spanberger some credit. Were I the Democratic nominee as she is (and that’d be fun!), I too would object to having political partisan Larry O’Connor of WMAL radio as a co-moderator, unless the other co-moderator was his equal in partisanship on the left to balance things out.
(This is not a dig at O’Connor, merely at the setup of the format. Was there no media potentate down there in Prince William County with enough gravitas to fill the role? But I digress …)
Even though Spanberger had her reasons, it’s never a good look for a candidate to bail from a debate.
She may well be getting nervous as the national polls move from bad to (potentially) worse for congressional Democrats (although there’s still plenty of time for Republicans to blow their advantages). And she may not have wanted to answer inconvenient questions about the issue that is bubbling up in the 7th District: Del. Elizabeth Guzman’s proposal — one that on the face of it qualifies as whackadoodle — to potentially send to jail parents who don’t accept when their children decide they want to change genders.
That’s an oversimplification of Guzman’s position, but I heard the report of her talking to a reporter on WJLA-TV, and my synposis comes pretty darn close to what she was saying then. Even Republican former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who seems to love attacking his own party rather than Democrats these days, pronounced himself offended at the proposal. And when you’ve lost Bill Bolling …
Now that the poop has hit the fan and the issue has gone prime-time, Democrats appear to be furiously running from it. Not like any such legislation next year would be getting out of the GOP-controlled House of Delegates alive, but Republicans will be using it for the next two-plus weeks to their advantage both on the local and national levels.
– Scott McCaffrey