For a guy whose opponent says he’s scared of debates, Terry McAuliffe spends a lot of time preparing for them. McAuliffe even has a stand-in for Ken Cuccinelli: Paul Reagan, a former congressional and gubernatorial aide. Rehearsing for a political debate is akin to an automobile test crash: You run them again and again and again until the dummies come out in one piece.
The debate over debates is a sideshow to the campaign for Virginia governor, itself unfolding as a bit of a freak show. That speaks to the essence of the debate over debates: the weaknesses of the candidates.
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Contact Jeff E. Schapiro at (804) 649-6814. His column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Watch his video column Thursday on Times-Dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/ @RTDSchapiro. Listen to his analysis 8:33 a.m. Friday on WCVE (88.9 FM).