In the wake of Sharron Angle's apparent withdrawal from a late October debate against Harry Reid hosted by political reporter Jon Ralston, Ralston says he's not giving up hope that he'll be able to convince Angle to keep her commitment to debate.
Writing on his blog Ralston Flash, Ralston details exactly how the debate came together -- and how it fell apart. Angle originally proposed the debate, and after some back and forth, Ralston was able to secure a commitment from both her and Reid to debate on October 21. After publicly announcing the debate, Ralston says he was contacted by someone from Angle-land with news that Angle wasn't willing to debate Reid on October 21 because early voting will have already started by then. As Ralston points out, that claim makes no sense (it's not like the campaign ends when early voting begins), and after digging around, he learned that the debate seemed to be caught in the middle of two warring factions within Angle-land.
The net result is that while at this point Angle has called the debate off, Ralston says he hasn't given up hope:
This is all about a campaign organization riven by personality conflicts between seasoned pros and amateurs, and a candidate torn between longtime friends and operatives parachuted in to save her. Stacy is trying to use the campaign's previous insistence on having a debate before early voting starts as a fig leaf, but it is not a very effective one since Oct. 21 is still just under two weeks before the balloting. This is about ego and inside baseball (do they think anyone cares when the debate is or will care about Stacy's demand about the early voting cutoff?) Besides, Angle can’t get away from that public commitment and I have been told it’s not over yet. We shall see.
So is it time to break out the popcorn? Who knows whether he'll be successful. But this much is for sure: we're rooting for you Jon!