In all likelihood, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, will be reelected in 2012. But it’s one thing for a heavily favored incumbent to have an advantage, and another thing entirely for that lawmaker to behave as if the election is a mere formality.
For example, is Feinstein so terrified of a gaffe before Republican rival Elizabeth Emken that she dare not debate at all? Is it silly or ridiculous to expect an incumbent senator to participate in ONE debate before Election Day?
Feinstein was asked about a debate by ABC correspondent Mark Matthews.
“I’m running my own campaign,” Feinstein says icily. “Thank you, Mark.”
Feinstein finishes her non-answer and then quickly gets up out of the chair, offering a condescending pat on the shoulder to the correspondent on the way out.
“Boy, she really does not like that question,” Matthews said, “I saved the question for last.”
Finally, Feinstein’s sudden departure seems like bad messaging: shouldn’t Democrats be trying to avoid any circumstance that leads to an “empty chair”?