Former Al Gore chief of staff Ron Klain -- the man played by Kevin Spacey in the very tilted 2000-Tallahassle HBO film "Recount" -- wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post lambasting RNC chairman Reince Priebus with warning CNN and NBC they'd avoid debates on their networks if they aired promotional Hillary Clinton films. The Post headline was "The RNC debate 'threat' is either a bluff or a blunder."
"Priebus’s warning was reminiscent of the Mel Brooks gag in which a character tries to hold off attackers by pointing a gun at himself and warning, 'Don’t move, or I’ll shoot,'” he joked. "There are many reasons the GOP primary debates need the networks a lot more than the other way around."
It's the usual crocodile-tear Democrat advice for Republicans. Klain argues "removing NBC and CNN from the mix for 2016 means either essentially going to an all-Fox debate series for that election cycle or vastly cutting down on the number of primary debates, or both. All these outcomes would be disastrous for the Republicans.
"An all-Fox debate series in 2016 would be an unmistakable signal to the country that the Republican debates are an internal conversion only: made by Republicans, talking to Republicans, for the benefit of Republicans. At a time when Republicans desperately need to reach a broader audience, making the debates an intramural affair sends the wrong message."
Klain tries to tell Republicans that more debates in 2012 was a boon for their ticket. They kept the GOP from nominating Texas stumbler Rick Perry and prepared Mitt Romney for the fall debates. It's sad to say Romney was fiercer in the primary debates (and in primary commercials) than he ended up being in the fall. Klain even dragged out the lame line that the "people" will suffer from fewer debates watched mostly by a few million political junkies:
In the end, Priebus’s threat to remove the debates from the networks that gave the Republicans the most visibility in 2012 and shift to a 2016 primary season that has fewer debates, seen by fewer people, on fewer outlets, would hurt not only the Republican candidates but also the American voters, who benefit from seeing the candidates more often and earlier. We will soon see if Priebus’s threat winds up being a clumsy bluff or a ham-handed political blunder.