Orrin Hatch is not the first entrenched politician to try to deny a challenger the spotlight and credibility that come with a chance to debate the incumbent. And he won't be the last.
But the senior senator from Utah is being particularly cynical with his grudging agreement to a single joint appearance with his rival in the June 26 Republican primary former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist. After weeks of claiming that pressing Senate business makes such a debate impossible, Hatch has deigned to a joint appearance with Liljenquist on KSL radio's Doug Wright Show, sometime in late June.
Meaning no disrespect to the multitalented Mr. Wright, or to his popular radio broadcast, but this is not what the voters of Utah need and deserve. Even KSL, in cooperation with its corporate siblings at The Deseret News, had offered to host a prime-time radio and TV broadcast debate with the two candidates, with Deseret/KSL executives handling all the complicated details.