Skubick: Expect few debates between Hoekstra, Stabenow - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Skubick: Expect few debates between Hoekstra, Stabenow

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

If Pete Hoekstra played for the Tigers, he'd be a star with his .500 batting average. But alas, he doesn't and in the political arena where he does play, he is one for two having lost his bid for governor but nailed his bid for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination.

Now the question is can he go two for three by beating the Democratic incumbent in November?

Actually the contest between Sen. Debbie Stabenow and the former West Michigan Congressman could be unique. Since they both have vast experience in Washington, neither can run ads professing to be the "outsider" nor another ad bashing the other for being part of the Washington problem.

Both have a long track record of working with the other side, they do not believe the word compromise is a four-letter word and they have friends on both sides of the aisle. In fact if you administered some truth serum, they might admit that kind of like each other.

In other words, we might actually have a contest based on the issues but first Mr. Hoekstra will raise the issue of debates. The betting money is he will want three or four and betting money is she'll be content to do the Detroit Econ Club, which is hardly a debate, and maybe one or two more in a forum that barely meets the definition of a debate.

Just as Mr. H. held all the debate cards in the GOP primary, she holds all of them in the general and there's no reason for her to give him anything but the bare minimum.

Which is exactly what the strategists inside the Hoekstra camp lectured him concerning the only televised debate with Randall "God-Told-Me-To-Run Hekman and Clark, "I'm-A-Rebel-Without-A-Harley" Durant.

Although no one is talking for the record, you can surmise that Hoekstra was the only guy in the room suggesting it was O. K. to debate even though there was nothing to gain and everything to lose. If the following theory is correct, there was something to gain.

Recall he was sitting on a huge lead, there were only a few days left in the race, and sans debate, he could have coasted to the finish line untouched, the advisors likely told him. And they were right, of course, but as the theory continues, what if Mr. Hoekstra convinced them that he could not possibly call on Ms. Stabenow to debate on TV if he refused to do it himself?

Hum. Good point and according to the theory, that's exactly what she would have volleyed back to him as he began his drum beat for televised debates.

No insiders will confirm any of this, but if there was a farm to bet, it would be a good bet this is exactly what was going on.

As it turned out, Mr. Hoekstra gave a stand-up performance, he took some punches from his main challenger Clark Durant, but when the final bell sounded, they were both standing. In fact, after taking one post debate question, Mr. Hoekstra stood up and walked out. There was no sense risking a mistake.

Now he will get a dose of his own medicine as his debate challenge is aimed at his opponent who must know in her heart that the voters deserve a real side by side comparison, but if it could cost her the election, she will forget about her heart and use her head.

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