WASHINGTON---Mark Kirk's Illinois GOP Senate campaign released a proposal for seven debates on Tuesday, sending out the e-mail news as former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was conducting a telephone briefing on Democrat Alexi Giannoulias race.
That's a messaging tactic designed to throw the story of the day off of Plouffe; as I write this, Plouffe, aiming this call at the Illinois political press corps, is still taking questions.
Kirk's camp sent out a pre-packaged proposal; usually the number of debates, the topics, the locations and who asks the questions are subject of negotiations. My guess is Kirk--who took part in no GOP debates in the primary--sees getting out first on debates as a way to try to control the process.
below, release from Kirk....
Kirk Proposes Seven Debates/Forums for Senate Race
Same locations and dates of the first and last Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858;
Foreign policy debate on August 21st in Ottawa, economic policy debate on October 15th in Alton, wide-ranging debate October 18th in Chicago
Northbrook, Ill. - Congressman Mark Kirk today proposed seven U.S. Senate debates and candidate forums beginning August 21st in Ottawa, Illinois - the date and location of the first of seven Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858.
"Our country faces serious issues at home and abroad," Congressman Kirk said. "I look forward to a thoughtful series of debates and forums to discuss the complex economic and foreign policy challenges before us while demonstrating the clear choice facing voters in this election."
In addition to a foreign policy debate on August 21st in Ottawa and an economic policy debate on October 15th in Alton - the dates and locations of the first and last Lincoln-Douglas debates - the Kirk campaign's proposal includes:
August 21: A foreign policy focused debate in Ottawa, Illinois hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
August 22: A Middle East policy candidate forum in Northbrook, Illinois hosted by To Protect Our Heritage.
August 25: An agriculture and jobs candidate forum in Bloomington, Illinois hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau.
September 2: A wide-ranging debate in Springfield, Illinois (proposed hosts: WICS-TV, the Citizens Club of Springfield and the University of Illinois-Springfield).
October 15: An economic policy focused debate in Alton, Illinois (proposed host: KTVI Fox St. Louis).
October 19: A wide-ranging debate in Chicago, Illinois hosted by the League of Women Voters and ABC 7.
October 21: A wide-ranging debate in Carbondale, Illinois (proposed hosts: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, WSIU-TV and the Southern Illinoisan).