McCain Dares Obama to 10 Informal Debates

Face-to-face showdowns could echo Lincoln-Douglas, Obama adviser suggests
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2008 3:00 PM CDT
In this file photo from Jan. 30, 2007, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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(Newser) – John McCain challenged Barack Obama today to fight mano a mano in a series of 10 intimate town-hall meetings between now and the Democratic primary in late August. The Republican's invitation, delivered in a speech and said to be modeled on a proposed Kennedy-Goldwater series, would be “free from the regimented trappings, rules, and spectacle of formal debates.”

Obama's  camp wasted no time in responding positively, calling the idea an “appealing one," Time reports, but suggested some tweaks. While McCain's meetings would involve blind questions from audiences of up to 400, Obama’s camp said such a plan would indeed “allow a great conversation to take place,” Politico reports, but  they'd like to see a format even less structured and more akin to the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates.