...except when he doesn't. Or more precisely, when he knows it will make his campaign look bad. McCain was touting the benefits of the town hall debates as allowing people to be more involved in the process. There would be little moderation, the candidates would be allowed to respond to each other, blind questions from the audience would be allowed, etc.
"Commission members (Commission on Presidential Debates) wanted a relaxed format that included time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates." Hey, that sounds just like what McCain wanted with his town hall style meetings.
So this article makes you wonder why McCain isn't so hip to the idea for Palin's debate with Biden. Don't fret though. I don't have to provide the analysis for you. The McCain campaign did it for us. Read on:
"At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive."
If nothing else, I give the McCain campaign credit for admitting that their candidate is not up to the task. Probably not something I would admit to if I was running a political campaign, but you have to respect their honesty.