Phil: After seeing the commercial Eliot Cutler is running about how Mike Michaud and Paul LePage are “limiting” the number of debates (only six!), I got to thinking about the debate we would like to see. The debate where candidates actually said the stuff everyone is thinking.

Ethan: Brilliant! Let’s get WCSH News Center anchor Pat Callaghan to moderate. However, he would have to ask the questions exactly as we propose them.

Phil: We both know he is ethically and professionally above such sophomoric antics, but this could be fun. What do you have in mind?

Ethan: Pat would begin by asking each candidate to say something nice about the other two. Anything.

Phil: Perfect. Michaud could thank LePage for doing more to unite the Democratic Party than John Martin did for Republicans back in the 1990s.

Ethan: And for bringing Maine all that national attention with his “unique verbal style.”

Phil: LePage could then thank Cutler for personally raising Maine’s GDP through the millions he has invested in campaign consultants.

Ethan: And for giving LePage a good chance at a second term by creating a three-way race.

Phil: And Cutler would thank Michaud for giving him the best flip-flop material since John Kerry ran against George Bush.

Ethan: And Cutler could thank LePage for the daily news releases Republicans are sending out in support of his candidacy in hopes of pulling support from Mike.

Phil: And now a quick commercial break to hear from “clean elections” and how successful it has been providing soap for candidates.

Ethan: Ba-dum-bump. Coming out of the break, Pat’s next question would be, “Tell our viewers why voters should elect you as Maine’s next governor.”

Phil: If each was candid, Cutler’s response might be: “Look at the three of us. Is there any comparison? Can you believe I am actually willing to share this stage with these two, despite my superior intellect, stature and wealth? I spent the first six months trying to get these guys to debate me and I can’t believe they actually took the challenge. I am sure the viewers agree and will vote for me for governor.”

Ethan: And LePage would say, “Honestly, Pat. I am not sure I even want the job. I hated the first four years and am ready to tell everyone they can ‘go to hell’ like I told Obama, and to ‘kiss my butt’ like the NAACP! But I do understand way better than anyone that the best way to show you love poor people is to be tough on them. And I am clearly the meanest dude in this bunch. They don’t call me LeRage for nothing!”

Phil: And Michaud would say, “Well, when I was back in the Legislature I wanted the job to protect unborn children and prevent gay rights from passing. Today, my nickname is equated with the diaper brand known as ‘Depends.’ Plus, all my buddies back in Millinocket need work, so I am hoping to expand government by a couple thousand union jobs. A vote for me is a vote for consistency, depending on what day it is.”

Ethan: If I were one of the consultants for these campaigns, I’d be pleading for a commercial break from Moody’s Collision Center right about now!

Phil (as Callaghan): Welcome back. Now each candidate will ask a question of one of the others. Congressman Michaud, you get to ask Mr. Cutler.

Ethan (as Michaud): Who? I am running against Paul LePage and only Paul LePage. Like Voldemort, nary shall I even acknowledge “he-who-must-not-be-named.”

Phil (as Callaghan): Um, OK. Mr. Cutler, please ask Gov. LePage a question.

Ethan (as Cutler): Governor, as you know I was a lifelong Democrat who switched to Republican and now I am an independent. Why are you so ideologically dogmatic?

Phil (as Callaghan): Um, OK. Governor, please ask Congressman Michaud a question.

Ethan (as LePage): Congressman, if you win, will you do me a favor and meet with those constitutional guys from Aroostook County? I only ask because they’ll hang me if you don’t meet with them once.

Phil: By this time I think Pat Callaghan would be looking to gracefully conclude. How about some closing remarks from each candidate?

Ethan: Yes, but let’s have them give closing remarks based on what they would do if they lose.

Phil (as Cutler): “I will move back to China where they know a smart man when they see one!”

Ethan (as Michaud): “I will become a salesman for New Balance shoes. Did I mention they are made in Maine and the military buys them thanks to my bill!”

Phil (as LePage): “I will get my own show on FOX where I can slam Strimling for all he said about me this year!”

Ethan: That’s all, folks, and thanks to our most important sponsor, the readers of Agree to Disagree. Thanks for coming, we’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Phil: Ba-dum-bump. Happy Labor Day, folks. Next week we’ll get back to something a little more serious, we promise.

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