They answered some questions, dodged others. Promoted themselves, tore the other guy down. And just in case an hour of yapping onstage wasn’t enough to make their case, Timothy M. Kaine (D) and George Allen (R) said it with lapel pins.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, left, gestures during a debate with Democrat Timothy M. Kaine in Richmond on Monday. (Steve Helber/AP)

Allen often accuses Kaine of supporting massive defense cuts, so Kaine fought back by sporting an American flag pin.

Kaine says Allen would deny women access to abortion, birth control and equal pay. Allen countered with a pink breast cancer bow.

You can read my colleague Errin Haines’s full report on the debate here.


Katie Wright, communications director for Allen, e-mailed to say that Allen was trying to telegraph something with his pink bow pin. But she said it was a personal message, not a political one.

“Governor Allen’s mother is a breast cancer survivor and he wore the pin to honor her during breast cancer awareness month,” Wright said.