Clint Eastwood’s performance at the Republican National Convention certainly was different, but his spontaneous decision to use an empty chair to represent the current occupant of the White House was truly inspired and continues to resonate with voters.

For whatever reason, Barack Obama does give the impression of being AWOL, asleep at the wheel, not all there. It’s as though the duties of the presidency bore him. He looks like he would rather be some place else and is just going through the motions.

Obama did show up Wednesday night, however, for a debate with his opponent in the upcoming election -– which is more than one can say for Darrell “Quick Draw” McGraw.

McGraw’s challenger in the state attorney general’s race, Harpers Ferry Republican Patrick Morrisey, repeatedly has invited the five-term incumbent to debate, and old Quick Draw repeatedly has said no.

It’s not hard to understand his reluctance to engage his opponent in public disputation. Old Quick Draw has nothing to gain from such an encounter and plenty to lose.

It would be a cinch for Morrisey to make a compelling case against McGraw. He could just read extracts from several years’ worth of West Virginia Record editorials, outlining the numerous, ongoing abuses of power that have characterized McGraw’s extended tenure. (We encourage everyone to peruse our archives and take a stroll down Unpleasant Memory Lane.)

Like an old heavyweight champ who’s out of shape and out of practice, McGraw would prefer not to have to defend his title. He’s not as quick on his feet as he used to be, doesn’t have the punch he once had or the stamina. One good punch from Morrisey and he’d be finished.

Old Quick Draw’s not likely to change his mind about debating, but Morrisey should keep asking, if only to make voters wonder what McGraw’s afraid of.
He also should schedule a debate, and use an empty chair to represent McGraw.

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