Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, visiting the site of one of the most famous political debates in U.S. history, planned to challenge President Bush on Saturday to a "real discussion about America's future" in a monthly series of debates.
Kerry, already engaged in a running exchange of negative ads with Bush eight months before the November election, planned to deliver the challenge at the site of the historic Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates in Quincy, Illinois.
That series of 1858 senatorial debates between Douglas and Lincoln, who lost the Senate election but won the presidency two years later, is legendary in U.S. political history for elevating crucial issues like slavery and states' rights to the front of the U.S. political agenda.
Already, the ABK crowd has labeled Kerry the Douglas equivalent, but I don't think either candidate maps well to the Douglas-Lincoln axis. If anything, it wold be a debate between Teddy Roosevelt and William McKinley. Now that one maps pretty cleanly...