You can hardly blame Barack Obama for trying to avoid John McCain's challenge of appearing together at 10 Townhall forums between now and election day. Without his precious teleprompter and script, the candidate would no doubt make an idiot of himself.
But the tepid response of the Obama camp to McCain's idea is even worse:
Brave Sir Obama is also thinking that he really doesn't need to be seen on the same stage with McCain to give the American people a chance to size up the candidates side by side. That's because he's the front runner - although not by much.
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain squabbled over a format for their first one-on-one debate in the U.S. presidential race, as both pushed their economic plans amid fresh reports of surging inflation and sagging wages.
Obama on Friday rejected McCain's proposal for 10 joint town-hall appearances, question-and-answer gatherings before small audiences that the Republican senator tends to favor. The Democrat has performed best at massive, emotional rallies drawing tens of thousands of people.
Obama has offered to meet McCain in five joint appearances between now and the Nov. 4 election, but only one of those would be town hall-style and it would be on the July 4th Independence Day holiday, when few Americans would be watching. McCain called the offer "a very disappointing response."
If he keeps demonstrating this kind of courage, the voter may begin to wonder how he'd fare in his meetings with America's enemies