Pressed for Time, Shumlin Nixes AARP Debate
Now — on the day his campaign finally announced a forthcoming campaign kickoff event — Shumlin's campaign manager is saying there's not enough time left for the governor to take part in debates held by "special interest groups."
That includes AARP Vermont's traditional gubernatorial debate, which has been held on Vermont Public Television each election cycle since Jim Douglas went tete-a-tete with Doug Racine in 2002. This year it was scheduled for Sept. 18 in South Burlington and was to be moderated, as usual, by former Vermont Public Radio reporter Steve Delaney.
"The reason is because there are roughly eight weeks left before the election, and while the governor is absolutely going to be campaigning, he's going to be focusing on the job Vermonters elected him to do," newly-minted Shumlin campaign manager Alex MacLean said Friday. "If he were to say yes to every request that came in, he would be spending all of his time campaigning."
Asked if she was, in fact, serious that the Shumlin campaign would suggest it was crunched for time after kicking the campaign can down the road for months, MacLean said she was.
"Seriously," she said. "The governor still needs to be governor of the state. He has to balance both campaigning and governing."