Joe Biden and Donald Trump have finally agreed to a debate date on 27 June and, at the President’s insistence, will be bypassing the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has hosted these events since the Eighties.

Biden’s campaign complained of the Commission’s handling of Covid-19 protocol in 2020, but a more likely rationale for the President preferring a news network debate is the opportunity to exclude independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who might gain the requisite 15% of national polling to qualify for the Commission’s debate. The CNN debate will require participants to appear on enough state ballots to reach 270 electoral votes, which in all likelihood would disqualify RFK Jr.

“Keeping viable candidates off the debate stage undermines democracy,” Kennedy wrote in response to the news. “If Americans are ever going to escape the hammerlock of the two-party system, now is the time to do it. These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory.” Maybe next time.