Today's the first of four debates between incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her challenger, state treasurer John Kennedy. The debate, hosted by the Press Club of Baton Rouge, will not be televised, but the other three will be.

In an editorial today, The Advocate has these thoughts to offer:
Whatever the two candidates have in mind for their performances at today’s Press Club and subsequent forums before the Nov. 4 election, we pray for something better and more substantive than the degrading series of television ads and Internet attacks that we’ve seen so far. ...

Would it be too much to ask that candidates stick with fundamental issues in their debates?

We believe the next senator has serious issues to face.

How is Louisiana to deal with hurricane devastation and remaining funding needs from the federal government? What is the state’s future economically as we bleed college graduates to more prosperous areas? How should a congressional delegation deeply split by party and personality differences find common purpose? What is the balance between allegiance to national party agendas and Louisiana’s needs? ...

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