I can't link to the story from my handheld, but I see the Contra Costa Times reports that Arnold is the only major candidate who hasn't agreed to a debate scheduled for Sept. 3. You knew it was a bad sign when he appointed a congressman to be his debate ''negotiator.'' What is there to negotiate? It's a legitimate venue. All the other major candidates are going to be there. Just show up. I know that the conventional wisdom is that A.S. doesn't need to debate because he is taking his campaign to Leno, Oprah and other nontraditional venues. But he showed Wednesday that he is capable of handling hostile questioning. He knows who he is and what he wants to say. If he ducks the first real debate, the media, and perhaps the voters, will rightly begin to question whether he is ready for this challenge. Plus it makes him look like the calculating pols he is supposedly trying to sweep out of the Capitol, making him look like a hypocrite and forfeiting his greatest natural advantage.