The 19th century had the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The 20th century brought Kennedy-Nixon. And now we have just experienced a forensic masterpiece to define our times: the Clinton-Sanders Debate Debate.
This particular rhetorical showdown was not a back-and-forth about issues, appropriately enough, but an argument about whether to debate -- and when, and where. It began Jan. 30, when the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign challenged Hillary Clinton to debate him in Brooklyn on April 14.
Clinton suggested the Democrats instead debate in Pennsylvania, on Long Island or in Upstate New York. Sanders accused Clinton of ducking.
Clinton proposed a New York debate on the evening of April 4 -- but the Sanders campaign rejected the idea as "ludicrous" because the NCAA basketball championship would be later that night and Syracuse might be playing.
Clinton proposed they debate on ABC's "Good Morning America" on April 15, but Sanders rejected that, too.