"If the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough." -- Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane
If you saw the morning "newspaper," you couldn't have missed it. There, with a font size worthy of a president dying or a world war ending, was a stop-the-presses headline: "Capito’s Bus Tour Rolls Through Area." The article included her various stops and some of the people that she talked to including Wheeling's police chief and a number of local business people. Accompanying the article was a 4 x 6 photo of Capito listening to a local businessperson. (The article and the photo total 83 square inches of coverage - the largest single amount of coverage for any candidate so far and should put Capito back into the lead in the Intelligencer Derby.)
Below that article was another one which tries to explain why Capito won't be in Friday's debate: her bus tour had already been planned. The article does quote a Tennant campaign spokesperson who said that Capito "chose not to make it work." Bus tour aside, Capito’s excuse sounds a bit lame particularly since the other parties seemed willing to accommodate her schedule. My hunch is that with a large lead, Capito had much to lose and little to gain with another debate particularly since the inclusion of additional candidates might increase the likelihood that she would go off-script as she did in the first debate and again afterwards. As The Hill reports:
The Republican Senate candidate in West Virginia says she misspoke during a Tuesday night debate when she said she didn’t believe in climate change, and is pointing to the rain as evidence that conditions are shifting "all the time."
"Is the climate changing? Yes, it’s changing, it changes all the time, we heard it raining out there," Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told reporters. "I’m sure humans are contributing to it."
Capito, who could become the first Republican senator elected from West Virginia in decades, initially said in a Tuesday night debate that she did not believe in man-made climate change.
But speaking with reporters afterward, she said she misspoke, and referred to the weather in Charleston, W.Va., to demonstrate her point, according to The Charleston Gazette.
It is unclear whether Capito meant that human activity causes weather events such as rain.
For Capito, it’s obviously better to be safe than sorry.