Wait a minute—am I imagining things? A couple weeks ago, Scott Heidepriem's campaign sent around a press release saying Dennis Daugaard had accepted Heidepriem's debate challenge, indicating he'd be willing to debate as early as June 15.
Five minutes ago, I heard the freshly anointed GOP nominee for governor tell SDPB's Paul Guggenheimer that he doesn't plan to debate any time soon. Daugaard said (quite reasonably) that right now, most voters want to go to the lake. Daugaard also offered an interesting critique of candidate debates as an artificial forum that doesn't align with how elected officials make decisions. In a debate, candidates have to work from memory and work under 2–3-minute time limits, and that, says Daugaard, isn't how real government works.
Now I'm intrigued by Daugaard's assessment of debates—even I, an avid debate judge and speech teacher, recognize that debates as usually staged by the media aren't real debates. I welcome a discussion of optimal formats for bringing candidates together to discuss their differences and establish their bona fides for voters.
But I'm wondering: did Dennis Daugaard just deliver the first flip-flop of the general election, less than 24 hours after his primary victory?
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