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Mitch McConnell doesn't want to debate a woman if a woman is moderating that debate

September 29, 2020 in Blogs

By Walter Einenkel

Sen. Mitch McConnell enjoys power. He enjoys money and power, and those seem to be the only motivating factors in his life. He does not care that he’s a hypocrite. He does not care that people can see that he is a hypocrite. McConnell’s entire existence is an exercise in cynicism.

McConnell’s Kentucky Senate seat will be decided this November. Running against him is Marine veteran Amy McGrath. Being the incumbent who is hell-bent on stacking the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative Inquisition types, McConnell has been leery of debating McGrath in public because … well, he’s got a lot to lose. The Herald-Leader reports that any chance of getting McConnell to engage in a debate with his Democratic challenger seems to be contingent on one very McConnell thing: whether or not the debate moderator is a woman.

McConnell has hemmed and hawed over debating McGrath for weeks. He has agreed to two debates, both with male-only moderators, after McGrath agreed to three. McConnell and McGrath have only agreed tentatively to a debate on Gray TV, but according to the McGrath campaign, while the original Gray TV debate was supposed to be hosted by WAVE’s Shannon Cogan and WKYT’s Bill Bryant, only Bryant is still moderating. According to the debate organizer, the only reason Cogan is no longer slated to moderate is “because both campaigns had mentioned Bryant as a potential moderator.”

But the McGrath campaign says that the loss of a female co-host of the Gray TV debate seems to have magically coincided with the station negotiating with McConnell’s campaign.

McGrath challenged McConnell to three debates in August, including the KET Kentucky Tonight Forum on Oct. 26. KET announced it would be extending invitations to the qualifying candidates: McGrath, McConnell and Barron. McConnell has not accepted the invitation to that debate, which is hosted by Renee Shaw.

The McGrath campaign points out that McConnell has not appeared in a debate with a female moderator in 25 years. The McConnell campaign countered by saying that McGrath had been pushing to have Libertarian Brad Barron included on the debate stage (something McConnell adamantly pushed back against), and Barron is a man. It’s a classic McConnell apples and oranges argument that sadly seems to play well with his base.

McConnell has a sizable lead in most polls. He has very little interest in …read more


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