Ben Buchwalter


Debate Extravaganza!
October 15, 2008, 6:07 pm
Filed under: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Republicans | Tags: , ,

There are some pretty good pre-debate analyses flying around on the web. Here are some links.

NYT Blog – The Caucus

Politico.com

Huffington Post

Slate.com

Slate’s article highlights McCain’s central problem: “He can’t win the debate if he goes negative. He can’t win if he doesn’t.”

Despite his position in the polls, I don’t think that McCain is ready to give up. He is going to give the debate everything he’s got. But that doesn’t mean going negative. We have learned from the past few weeks that negative campaigning has only hurt McCain. Moreover, in the lead-up to the past two presidential debates, McCain’s campaign has raised expectations that he would go negative. I think this was done so that McCain would seem like more of a statesman when he did not, in fact, go off the deep end.

I’d bet that McCain will revert to the message and temperament he had when people actually liked him. Either that, or he goes even more negative than anyone expects in a last ditch effort to shake things up. He is, after all, a maverick. But that wouldn’t work. As I’ve said before, people are looking for a leader in a debate, not a win-at-all-costs warrior.

As for Obama, he just needs to look presidential. That is how he won the first two debates. He has a huge advantage because voters consider him a better choice on issues dealing with the economy. He should remain consistent and avoid any risky moves or tangential spats with McCain. In other words, Obama should not jump on the character assault band wagon if McCain brings up Ayres or Wright.

Over all, I think it will probably be another boring debate. But I would love to be wrong.

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1 Comment so far
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To add to the pre-debate articles, I thought you’d be interested in seeing some video of McCain’s debate prep (via TPM and Ezra Klein)

Comment by sarah buchalo




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