Why Is Josh Hawley Afraid to Debate Claire McCaskill in a Wheelbarrow?

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EVAN SULT
  • PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EVAN SULT
Last night, salt-of-the-earth country bumpkin and *squints at notes* Yale Law School graduate Josh Hawley won his Republican primary, setting him in place to take on incumbent U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) in what the national press has predicted will be one of the most hotly contested races in the November mid-terms.

Hawley, who as Missouri's attorney general has confoundingly decided the best way to connect with the good people of the state's rural areas is to start banning swimming holes and advertisements for alcohol discounts, wasted no time once the results were in, immediately and aggressively challenging McCaskill to debate .... on the back of a flatbed truck.

Yes, really.


Hawley's challenge was just the latest in a series of similar attacks on McCaskill, wherein for months the former has repeatedly accused the latter of being afraid to debate. Onlookers might argue that it wouldn't make much sense for McCaskill to debate anyone before her challenger was duly chosen by the voting process, but Hawley wasn't gonna let that pesky little fact stand in the way of an opportunity to cast himself as a common man backed by the GOP's richest donors heroically taking aim at the elites.



McCaskill, for her part, responded to Hawley's challenge by suggesting the two engage in some town hall debates. Now that she has an official challenger for her seat, that makes some sense.

In response, however, Hawley confusingly suggested she "stop hiding," adding, "You've got to earn this."


On Tuesday morning Hawley's campaign doubled down and sent out a press release expanding on his plans and offering debate times and locations. Over the course of 527 words it uses the term "flatbed truck" no less than four times, all contained within three consecutive paragraphs.

Now, he doesn't even mention whether said truck would be a Chevy or a Ford — surely a divisive campaign issue, one for which those Hawley is trying so ham-fistedly to woo deserve answers. Yet Hawley's obsession with the truck idea raises another serious question. Namely: Why is Josh Hawley afraid to debate Claire McCaskill while both of them are standing in a wheelbarrow?

You can see it now. The wind blowing across the amber waves of grain, hound dogs and barn cats milling about on acres of farmland, a rooster crowing in the distance, and Josh Hawley and Claire McCaskill fiercely arguing the issues side-by-side in a six-cubic-foot heavy-gauge seamless steel wheelbarrow equipped with hardwood handles and a no-flat tire.

Honestly: How are the hardworking farmers and tradesmen of Missouri to believe that either of these candidates truly represents them if neither of them is willing to stand atop some manner of farm equipment while passionately arguing policy points?

Even a tractor would do, or maybe a tiller. Hell, even a hay wagon, for god's sake.

Hawley, who also frequently criticizes McCaskill for her use of an airplane to traverse the state rather than an RV, famously traveled via covered wagon to London [editor's note: fact-check this] for his stint as a professor at St. Paul's School after graduating from Stanford University. Clearly, his every-man bona fides were intact at that time.

But what has happened since he's begun to inhabit the ivory towers of Jefferson City Columbia? Why is he afraid to debate in a wheelbarrow?

Weak, Josh. Try again. Stop hiding, stop ducking, start doing your job. Debate Claire McCaskill. One on one. In a wheelbarrow.

You’ve got to earn this!

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