Ben Buchwalter


The Two Hitchens…es

In the past month or so, Christopher Hitchens of Slate.com has written two interesting aricles about Barack Obama. See below:

Barack Obama is a spineless nitwit.

John McCain is a spaz. Vote for Obama.

These say a lot about the flock of independent voters to Obama in the past month. I have become convinced that the number one deciding issue facing Americans this year is which candidate appears more presidential. Voters are just as attracted to Obama’s temperment as they are to his message of change. Surely, the economy has made a lot of people move to the Obama column. But in reality, most voters do not know much about his economic stimulus plan or tax policies or regulation ethos. They are drawn to his mild-mannered approach to the economic collapse in constrast to McCain’s whirlwind freak out.

This is also why Obama (and Biden, for that matter) has preformed so well in the debates. He has always seemed thoughtful, forward-looking, and most of all, Presidential. Here are some notes for McCain and Palin: avoiding eye contact with your enemy is not Presidential; winking is not Presidential; being a jerk about time limits in a town-hall debate is not Presidential. Finally, reckless negative campaigning is not Presidential.

So tomorrow night is the only remaining game changing opportunity for McCain. I think Leigh put his predicament well: he has to change his strategy, but has no good way of doing it. The negative campaign failed miserably, he simply is not an agent of change due to 26 years in Washington, he has a history of economic de-regulation, and barely excites the conservative base. McCain has got to try something drastic to overcome his place in the polls.

Obama would do well by not taking the bait and remaining Presidential becuase it has worked in the past three debates for the dems.

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