October 15, 2008

What can McCain do at tonight's debate?

I'll live-blog later, but for now, let's do some pre-debate speculating. I'm asking what McCain should do, not because I'm rooting for him, but because I think he's the one who needs to do something. Obama only needs to run out the clock, not make mistakes, be boring, etc., so it's not interesting to think of good advice for him. Let him be the fusty, phlegmatic professor. It doesn't matter.

But McCain may be looking at his last chance to make something happen. Now, I think the danger for him is trying too hard. My advice is: Act the way you would act if you knew for certain that you would lose.

First of all, he probably will lose, and he has an interest in his historical reputation. He shouldn't pull out all the stops, rave about Wright, or anything like that. I think he should be the upright and honorable man that he wants us to be remembered as. This isn't a devious ploy to make him give up. I think it's the best hope for getting us bond with him now.

UPDATE: Here I am saying essentially this in the Bloggingheads I recorded last night with Ana Marie Cox:



And watch the whole thing! It's pretty good. Topics:
Is playing dirty McCain’s only chance? (05:56)
How an election between men of ideas became a character contest (02:08)
Is McCain exploiting racism? (05:09)
Ann on why Palin is good for the country (02:17)
Should women be subject to military conscription? (08:41)
What McCain has to do in the final debate (08:04)

80 comments:

bleeper said...

About all he can do now is help Obama pick out curtains for the White House. He cannot win, barring external events overtaking the Chosen One.

Florida said...

There is nothing McCain can do to "win" the debate. What he should focus on is communicating his message to the American people.

The media will not let him win, but they can't stop him from talking to Americans, so he should do that.

All Americans who care to know about Obama's terrorist friends already know about them. Nothing to be gained by discussing it. And McCain is smart enough to realize that. There will be no ranting; no raving.

He should do what Palin did. Just talk to the camera, ignore the questions, and tell the American people how you'll govern and how you think that's better than how Obama would govern.

David said...

Do a Larry Kudlow.

"I knew Alexander Hamilton and he would have said . . . "

People might believe him.

chuck b. said...

He has to ask some hard questions. Is America ready for a Muslim president? I don't think so.

Meade said...

Good advice.

And here is my advice for Obama: Act the way you would act if you knew for certain that you wouldn't win.

It would be an historic event of candidates actually displaying candor and We the People could finally make an honest choice and perhaps get a leader of integrity, not just some boring fusty phlegmatic clock-watching professor.

Recovering Liberal said...

People have a subliminal sense of whether a person is genuine or not. Although I dislike John McCain (but will vote for him), he comes across as a sincere, if often misguided individual. He needs to continue to be himself, but sharpen the attacks on the Messiah.

Obama is obviously a phony and empty suit with a nice way of saying nothing. Continue to make the contrast, not by pointing it out, but by demonstrating the difference.

Meade said...

Plus, it would make good TV!

Buford Gooch said...

Dude, if you're going down, go down swinging. Who would want to be remembered as the wuss who backed off and let "that one" win?

Expat(ish) said...

Sorry to say this, but I can always tell when someone who has never really been in a physical or financial fight talks about how to lose gracefully.

F*CK that.

Remember the scene in Strangelove where Slim Pickins rides the bomb down whooping all the way? That is how you lose.

More seriously, you misunderstand McCain (or I do). He won't do anything he doesn't think is right, but he won't not do something right because he's worried about his so-called reputation.

So if he thinks solid body blows to BHO is morally ok and will have desired effect then he'll do it. Else not. And what Sam Donaldson thinks of him will not be an issue. (Or at least if I'm reading him right.)

I am hoping that he concludes that if he can't win then crippling BHO with scandals early in his administration is the way to save the country from socialism and Chicago-style cronyism, then he'll do it.

Later, gotta run to the ABC store for Bushmills Black.

-XC

Donn said...

Dude, if you're going down, go down swinging.

Good advice for the Dodgers tonight!

Florida said...

Buford,

McCain will go down swinging, but the debate is not the place to do that sort of punching.

The debate is a 60 minute infomercial. It's where you put the best aspects of your product out there for the consumer to see the benefit of.

Sarah-cuda will do the shark-biting necessary, but McCain will tonight put on his "senatorial" hat, express comity and speak over Bob Scheiffer's head directly to the American people.

There's plenty of time to arrest and try Obama for campaign-finance fraud later for all the foreign Muslim contributions he's accepting over the internet.

Tonight, McCain gets a chance to talk directly to Mom and Pop American.

Darcy said...

I'd love for him to go down swinging. What the hell does he have to lose? He's too old to run again. Tell the truth, and he'll be fine.

And for goodness sakes, I would tell him to quit using "my friends".

madawaskan said...

First I want to tackle you're concluding premise-

That McCain is going to lose.

How does anyone know that?

Here are these polls:

CNN / TIME / ORC
10/11-14/08
Mode: Live Telephone Interviews
(source)

Colorado 762 LV, 3.5%
Obama 51, McCain 47

Florida 765 LV, 3.5%
Obama 51, McCain 46

Georgia 718 LV, 3.5%
McCain 53, Obama 45

Missouri 763 LV, 3.5%
McCain 49, Obama 48

Virginia 698 LV, 3.5%
Obama 53, McCain 43

pollster.com

Colorado is .5% away from being within the margin of error, Missouri is well within it, and Virginia is gone but that is a unique demographic.

Now the election is still a state by state process, and let's just get into how abysmal the polls have been.

No, I'm not about to go into a Bradley Effect dissertation-the habits of America have changed.

Dual income families, irregular shift hours, answering machines the whole ball of wax.

The polls have been off this season and not just in the Democratic primaries-but in-

The Republican all-white-old guys-Primary.

Let's look at Datamar who is now currently calling Florida as of today for Obama.

How did they perform during the republican primary?

Even though the populace of Florida is heavily active duty military and retired military, and McCain was coming out of the Carolina primary with huge momentum they still called the Republican Florida primary for Mitt Romney by over double digits.

Romney-35.6%

McCain-23.2%

datamar PDF Republican Florida Primary

campy said...

Endorse Obama.

It would get the MSM to like him again, which seems to be important to him.

mccullough said...

Continually question Obama's sincerity about his positions and do it by directly addressing Obama.

Sen. Obama, you say Afghanistan is the center of the War on Terror and we've taken our eye off the ball there but you didn't even visit Afghanistan until a few months ago.

Sen. Obama, you say you're for the middle class but you've never done anything during your 8 years in the Illinois Senate or your 3 and a half years in the Illinois Senate to help the middle class by proposing any tax relief for them.

Sen. Obama, you go to France and say how Americans need to be more cosmopolitan and learn foreign languages, but you don't speak a foreign language.

Sen. Obama you say you want to improve education in this country but your against private school vouchers. As you know those vouchers allow working class people to take their kids out of bad public schools and send them to the kind of private schools that you and I have sent our children to.

Sen. Obama, you talk about the working class in this country in your speeches and then when your back is turned and you're with your friends in San Francisco you talk about how these same working class people are bitter and cling to their religion and guns.

Sen. Obama you talk about bringing change to Washington but Chicago is the most corrupt city in the U.S. and Illinois is the most corrupt state in the U.S. and you never did anything there to try and change or bring reform there.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

What should he do?

He should call America a cunt, strip, and then pee on Bob Schieffer, the end.

madawaskan said...

Then this today from Insider's Advantage-

InsiderAdvantage
Mode: IVR

Florida 10/13, 612 LV, 3.8%
Obama 48, McCain 44

Nevada 10/13, 506 LV, 4%
Obama 49, McCain 46

North Carolina 10/13, 474 LV, 5%
Obama 48, McCain 46

West Virginia 10/13, 522 LV, 4%
McCain 49, Obama 47

This race is not over.

Remember when Nixon was getting favorability ratings lower than anyone in history and the Liberal media had the momentum of Watergate and Ford's pardon of Nixon to send the public over the edge, even in the face of a bad economy with worse inflation and higher unemployment, and given the fact that Ford had never run or was elected to a state wide office, he was a district Congressman who had been a replacement appointment to the Vice Presidency and then the heir apparent to the Nixon seat-

Given all of that-

Carter only managed to get-

50.1% of the popular vote.

Josh said...

I think they get the opportunity to make a closing statement this time. He should use it to make a clear, concise argument for a divided government. At this point, I think that's probably his best hope.

L. E. Lee said...

Along with our nation's thirty year infatuation with less and less regulation, this financial debacle is the result of Washington being owned by Wall Street. As I have written here before, John McCain could be saying this and then declaring that he is "The McCain in McCain-Feingold!" I suspect he has not done so because he does not want to offend the conservative base of his party.

I am a hyper partisan Democrat. But I find no glee in seeing John McCain lose. He is obviously one of the better actors in Washington. I would have much preferred Mitt Romney who would have been a great foil for the Dems. Afterall, Romney would have been easily pegged as the face of Wall Street.

I agree with Ann that McCain will not take the low (and silly) road in this final debate that his conservative base would prefer. This election is not about Bill Aryers or Rev Wright and McCain surely knows it.

Finally, this election has not been one with two lackluster choices. Both McCain and Obama are impressive individuals. It has been a year that will make great history.

Ron said...

Leave a cassandra-like trail behind you; hope for the best, predict the worst, and take credit for if and/or when things go bad. Remember Nixon; "you won't have John McCain to kick around any more!"

If things get really bad, and you "predicted" them, it only helps the next Republican candidate.

madawaskan said...

Yep-given that this is the subject matter:

The presidential debate will focus on domestic policy and the economy. Obama and McCain will be seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News instead of standing at podiums as in the first debate.

What McCain should probably focus in on is the feasibility of Obama's economic plans and how he intends to keep his various promises without sizing down our National Security efforts and endangering the protection that the United States has enjoyed and taken for granted for the past seven years now.

How is he going to increase the size of the military yet implement universal health care?

Has Obama decided which weapon systems to let go of in the face of future threats to enable him to keep all of his various programs?

Then McCain should hammer home how the last thing you need in a recession is contractionary policies which Obama seems to have in abundance, and do this early in the program before the audience is lost in the tedium of the media's redundancy same old questions.

McCain tends to hit it out of the park too late in the discussion reminds me of someone else in that regard.

dbp said...

McCain should point out the things Obama will do when he gains office: Stuff that will piss people off once it happens.

Then, when it all comes to pass, he will look like a prophet and a statesman.

McCain will never be president if he doesn't win in this election. What he should do is make sure the American people know what will happen if they choose Obama.

chickenlittle said...

He should say something, reiterative, reassuring and looking to the future, something such as:

Even if you do not elect me, I pledge to fight my opponent’s worst intentions for as long as I draw breath, so help me God. I believe in what made this country great, and not in what seeks her destruction.

madawaskan said...

Will McCain be able to do any of that within the confines of the media's control questions?

Hell no.

Simon said...

"Lie down and die" doesn't strike me as sound advice. McCain was entrusted to be the party's standard-bearer. If he can't or won't "pull out all the stops" - or at least, the one that matters - he shouldn't have run in the first place and should now get out of the way. It doesn't do America any favors at all to be ineffective.

Florida said...

Zach is just trying to get front-paged.

(I'm still laughing! Best comment so far this election season!)

W. Keller said...

Bring a pipe wrench to the debate, lay it on the table. He doesn't have to say a thing, just let the folks see the pipe wrench.

Darcy said...

He definitely should take a moment to explain what Democratic party control of everything would mean. I'm guessing there are a lot of squishy middle types that haven't grasped that.

Trooper York said...

The one I love don't want me hanging round
All she does is put me on and put me down
Tonight she's with a stranger at a party in her home
And I'm here at a tavern gettin' stoned.

'Cause if I gotta go, I'll go down swinging
Where there's lights and laughter
Booze and blonds and a lots of sad, sad singing
I'll sober up tomorrow and cry all day I know
At least I'll go down swinging, what a swinging way to go.

I'll dance with all the girls and buy the wine
Play the jukebox till I'm down to my last dime
She thinks she made a fool of me by loving someone else
She should see me make a fool out of myself.

'Cause if I gotta go, I'll go down swinging
Where there's lights and laughter
Booze and blonds and a lots of sad, sad singing
I'll sober up tomorrow and cry all day I know
At least I'll go down swinging, what a swinging way to go...

mrkwong said...

Only act like you're going to lose if you want to lose.

McCain needs to put his tax plan up against Obama's and emphasize how Obama's plan is an income-redistribution engine.

He needs to call out the Obama campaign's fraudulent analysis of his healthcare proposal.

He can lay out the substantial backing his programs got from his long list of economists.

He should long ago have, but probably won't now, tie together all Obama's scummy associations - Ayers, Wright, Rezko, et al - into a clear denunciation of Obama's character. Picking on Ayers alone makes no sense, you've got to show a pattern of bad judgment. This should have been done the day after he got the nomination.

And finally he needs to name names, he needs to point out that banks got greedy because FNMA and FHMLC were buying all the crap they'd sell, they were doing this because Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and Barack Obama prevented them from being properly regulated, and that putting the entire country in the hands of the party that propagated this mess is a reckless and foolish thing to do.

madawaskan said...

I like the rest of that but the beginning-

Even if you do not elect me,

Never, ever say that.

In fact I think that John McCain is such a victim of the machinations of the media and the polls that he gets tunnel vision. He follows their lead too closely.

The media flies so low that following them you are almost guaranteed to become a ground dart.

In fact I suspect so much exit poll high jinks and media calling of the states early and perhaps the complete election for Obama that McCain should probably be tied down in a chair somewhere by the Republican party leadership just to keep him from conceding the election prematurely. [There are constitutional ramifications to that.]

In both 2000 and 2004 Bush outperformed in the East Coast and underperformed in the West Coast.

Why do you think that is?

Because-the Conservatives follow the media and get discouraged by some new variant of the same old election night media manipulations consistently.

One little change to the template and Republican voters fall for it again and again.

rcocean said...

McCain needs to be McCain. That means attracting moderates and independents by expressing support for:

-illegal immigration and amnesty;
-Ted Kennedy and Joe L
-his Gang of 14 deal,
-Affirmative action
-Nafta and free trade,
-getting tough stance on Russia and Iran, maybe even singing bomb, bomb Iran,
-attacks on bigots who support English as a National language,
- increased defense spending and foreign aid,
- Wall street bailouts
-Stem cell research
-global warming
-drilling in ANWAR
-cutting SS benefits
-attacking Pat Robertson, maybe bring up the "agent of intolerance" line.

That would be the real McCain. The man Chris Buckly & Chris Matthews knew and loved. The base won't like it, but they'll vote for him anyway.

W. Keller said...

BTW, one other thought. Are any of you folks looking at the internals of most of the polls? Democrats are being oversampled from 10% - 15%. That skewing along with the Bradley effect would indicate that Obama must show a solid average of +16% or more to be even with McCain. I suspect the Big "O" may mirror Kerry during elections results "I can't believe I'm loosing to that bozo!" I do not believe Obama will breech the +16% barrier across the board, just don't see that happening.

A side effect is over confidence on the part of Democrats. If Obama is ahead by 14% like the NYT said today (what a hoot!!! :) ), is it really that important for me to go??

This race is far, far, far from over.

1jpb said...

Where's the link to BHTV where Althouse discussed this?

Trooper York said...

Well, she was standing by the highway
In her boots and silver spurs
Gonna hitchhike to the yellow moon
When a cadillac stopped for her
And she said, hey, nice to meet you, are you goin' my way?
Yeah, that's when it happened
The world caught fire that day

And she went down swingin'
Yeah, she went down swingin'

Well, she was over twenty-one
In trouble with the law
And it didn't faze her none
She called her mother-in-law
And said I need a little money
I knew I could count on you
After that night in vegas
And the hell that we went through

We went down swingin'
Like benny goodman
Yeah, we went down swingin'

Moonlight on the interstate
She was 'cross the georgia line
Looked out the window feeling great
Yeah, it had to come in time
And she said I'm never goin' back
She said at last I'm free
I wish ma could see me now, she'd be so proud of me

She went down swingin'
Like glenn miller
Yeah, she went down swingin'
Like tommy dorsey
Yeah, she went down swingin'
Like sammy davis
She went down swingin'
Like sonny liston
(She Went Down Swingin' Tom Petty)

Darcy said...

Great point, W.Keller. I've been trying to tell the people I know about these polls...but we're so used to taking them at face value.

This is not silly optimism. There are real problems with the percentage of Dems/Reps represented in these polls. Nothing close to historical, even giving the Dems a few points this year...

Paul said...

Face it. Not many people are voting for McCain so much as they are voting against Obama. The idea he can win by selling himself is stupid, especially since he's not particularly charismatic.

His only chance is to do what the media won't and expose Obama for the socialist, racist, anti-American and corrupt machine politician that he is.

Of course there's zero chance he'll do that. His giant ego won't allow him to get down in the mud and fight dirty like a Democrat to save the nation from a one way trip down the road to serfdom.

Say goodbye to the United States Of America and hello to The People's Republic Of The Divided States Of America.

We are screwed.

madawaskan said...

Did you know Tom Petty went to the Air Force Academy?

I think he got kicked out for..liking Mary Jane.

Can't remember.

Trooper York said...

Well the night's still young I wanna have a good time
Well, you grab yours and I'll get mine
I don't care about tomorrow, there's only one thing I'm thinking
If I go down tonight, I'm gonna go down swingin
Well there's a little country place about a mile from here
I bet a hundred bucks everybody's down there
The music's so hot, they're all singing
Moving to the beat, I know what they're thinking
If I go down tonight I'm gonna go down swingin

Well you drive me crazy with the way you move
Hey, where'd you learn to do the things you do
Take my hand, spin me around
You get me so high I don't wanna come down
Maybe later we can go outside
We'll share a little kiss underneath the starry moonlight
I don't care about tomorrow, there¼s only thing i'm thinkin
And if I go down tonight I'm gonna go down swingin

And if I go down tonight I'm gonna go down swingin
And if I go down tonight I'm gonna go down swingin

(Go down swingin’, Streeter Shelly)

J.T. Bleu said...

Advice for McCain (taken from the ANCIENT psyche of the famous Japanese Samurai MUSASHI:

Don't smile...
Don't tell a joke...
Listen...
Repeat concisely what Obama says and what the moderator implies(don't smile)look both of your adversaries in the eye...

YOUR ANWSERS should be--short--sweet--blending a pointed question within your own answer(don't smile) (don't make a joke)

Force your adversaries to be clear and explain themselves(in many words there wanteth not sin), make THEM define their terms...

Pray silently(Don't smile, don't make a joke)

Look both of your adversaries in the eyes while slightly nodding your head.

And finally, ask them if they hear the musical, PARTY sounds of the wealth getting spread around without actual labor and without actual productivity.

If they wrinkle their eyebrows and say no with silly grins, tell them cryptically that they will lose their heads today...

Sayonara

peter hoh said...

Ambinder has a you tube preview of tonight's debate.

Totally not fair, but pretty funny nonetheless.

Kansas City said...

I really like Ann, but her advice is pretty much liberal sap -- the "lose gracefully" nonsense.

So, McCain needs to do the following:

1. Deliver at least one and hopefully a couple lines that will be repreated in television coverage over the next couple days.

2. Paint Obama as the smooth talking deceptive person that he is. It is an opportunity to do something with humor. He can start with some clear lies that Obama has told, preferably about the economy - how do you give 95% of people a tax increase when 40+% of people pay no taxes?

3. Focus on the danger and economic ruin of a liberal president and liberal democratic congress. Argue that the economy was good in the 90's only because there was a balance of power between one party in the white house and one party in control of Congress.

4. Point out that liberals have had control of Congress for only two years and, even being limited by a republican president, they already have hurt the economy.

5. Label Obama's policies a job killer.

6. Come up with something memorable to say about Ayers that will be repeatd on television. I would use Ayers to tie Obama to radical left wing extremists in Chicago.

7. LISTEN to what Obama says and use it against him. It is maddening that politicans do not actually listen and engage what the other side just said in these debates.

Unfortunately, these debates are almost always a disappointment and McCain is not effective.

madawaskan said...

People going nowhere, taken for a ride
Looking for the answers that they know inside
Searching for a reason, looking for a rhyme
Snow White's mirror said "partners in crime!"

Don't they ever have to worry?
Don't you ever wonder why?
It's a part of me that tells you
Oh, don't you ever, don't ever say die
Never, never, never say die again

Sunday's satisfaction, Monday's home and dry
Truth is on the doorstep, welcome in the lie
All dressed up in sorrow, got no place to go
Hold back, `till it's ready, taking it slow

Don't they ever have to worry?
Don't you ever wonder why?
It's a part of me that tells you
Oh, don't you ever, don't ever say die
Never, never, never say die again

Don't you ever say die
Don't you ever say die
Never say die

Panic, silver lining, writing's on the wall
Children get together, you can save us all
Future's on the corner, throwing us a die
Slow down, turn around, everything's fine

There's no need to have a reason
There's no need to wonder why
It's a part of me that tells you
Oh, don't you ever, don't ever say die
Never, never, never say die again


Black Sabbath-oops!

OK I'm way over my quota. out.

rhhardin said...

Avoid saying ``My friends.''

Paul said...

Oh yeah. There's one sure fire way he can win the debate and probably the election.

Send in Sarah Palin in his place.

Simon said...

Florida said...
"There's plenty of time to arrest and try Obama for campaign-finance fraud later for all the foreign Muslim contributions he's accepting over the internet."

You think Obama's going to let his own Department of Justice pursue that? Really? Or, if you're hoping for a state indictment, a state executive branch can pursue an indictment against the federal chief executive? Obama's really sitting pretty here: There isn't time to investigate the claims before the election, and after he takes office, there won't be an investigation.

Kirby Olson said...

I think he has to talk about abortion, gay marriage, terrorism, illegal immigration, Obama's communist roots and affiliations, and how far to the left Obama is, and make this stick in the imagination of the audience.

He obviously shouldn't do anything to sideline Obama on account of race, but rather purely in terms of ideology.

He should focus on how Obama doesn't really feel proud of America, and wants it to be more like France, and thinks we should all speak French and Spanish and anything but American English.

McCain should talk about how Spain and France are failed endeavors, museum countries, packed with Catholics and losers who never went through the Reformation, and how Marxist thought stinks, and Islamic thought stinks, and how you have to be a Protestant to matter in the world, and that we shouldn't lose our precious Protestant heritage. Just talk aboiut how we shouldn't coddle up to losing ideologies in which women aren't represented (Spanish Catholicism), or coddle up to French postmodernism with all of its humorless suicide cases, and how the left is a bunch of matriarchal tyrants, whereas he stands for the ten commandments, freedom of inquiry, against any kind of political correctness, and for truth, freedom and the American way.

That should endear him to the right, and cost the left their election.

He should also be nice to Obama but treat him like a brilliantly clever child without a trace of wisdom -- the wisdom that was beaten into him by his communist captors of how America was still a shiny city on a hill.

Bart DePalma said...

Points McCain ought to make, but will not:

The last President to raise taxes during a recession was a man named Herbert Hoover. Hoover raised taxes on only the very wealthy. Those who create jobs. As a result, the US slid from a recession into a depression. Millions lost their jobs.

We are in a recession. Folks are scared. Like President Hoover, Sen. Obama's only plan is to raise taxes on the rich. Those who create jobs. Do we really want to slide from our recession into a depression? Do you want to lose your job?

I expect Mr. Obama will respond that he will give 95% of us a tax cut. In reality. Mr. Obama plans to have the government send you a check of $500 or $1000. When you lose your job because of Sen. Obama's tax increases, how long will that government check pay the bills? Two or three weeks?

A couple days ago, a plumber spoke with Sen. Obama. The plumber told Sen. Obama that he wanted to buy a business that made over $250,000 a year and he asked Obama why he wanted to raise his taxes. Revealingly, Mr. Obama told the plumber that his profits would be better used by others. As a result, the plumber probably will not buy this business, will not hire more workers and will not pay taxes. Is this the message we want to send to our small business owners?

My friends, because of the recession and the rescue package for the banks, we are facing a $700 billion deficit next year. This is bad enough. However, Sen. Obama wants to add a trillion dollars to that deficit. A trillion dollars with a T. When we are asked to tighten our belts during this recession, Sen. Obama wants to go on a shopping spree with the federal credit card. We just added a trillion dollars in debt by the current big spender in the White House, the last thing we need is an even larger spender.

integrity said...

The professor is right. Whether he is going to win or lose, do it with honor and class.

If I was being partisan I would recommend he throw a tantrum and trash Obama.

Obama will enjoy a huge landslide(maybe even South Carolina) if McCain throws a shitfit or does anything that seems hostile.

blake said...

Mighty oaks grow from the littlest of ACORNs.

Shahid said...

McCain needs to forget about the debate. Tough to do in the middle of a debate but this is what I mean:

Perhaps this is result of his 22 years in the Senate, but he's really come across in the last two debates like he's trying to win on points. He's scrapped, he's gotten down and dirty.

He needs to step back, and show some detachment, some poise. He needs to show us a bit of his humor, though perhaps not its edgiest bits. He needs to stop calling us his friends, because we're not electing our new buddy. We're electing a leader, and though it's hard to show those intangibles of leadership when you have gale force winds lined up against you as he has this election, it's the only chance he's got. Be the leader we need...

Obama is winning by default, with that same gale force wind at his back. And if elected, he will be the most unexamined president elect in my lifetime.

What stage of grief is resignation? It would be a tough two years with an unchallenged Democratic Washington. 2010 may well look like 1994 but the damage they could do if they feel they have a mandate, and without any check on their plans or their power...

JAL said...

I think he should be the upright and honorable man that he wants us to be remembered as.

No offense Ann, but why do you give a rat's fanny about how you remember John McCain.

Give it a break.

Bissage said...

Professor Althouse asks: What can McCain do at tonight's debate?

Bissage answers:

(1) He can gulp down his Super Energy Pill.

(2) He can accuse Sen. Obama of being a thinly veiled Negro version of the Italianate Riff Raff.

(3) He can break out into song:

When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near for
John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!
Speed of lightning! Roar of thunder!
Fighting all who rob or plunder!
John McCain! John McCain!


(4) Finally, he can strike a pose.

Simon said...

Here's the question he should ask: "Senator Obama, when Michael Newdow finally manufactures a case that can't be laughed out or thrown out, and the question of the Constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance is squarely before the court, which side are you going to order your solicitor general to brief in support of?"

vbspurs said...

I'm back from holiday! Whew, just in time to tear Ann Althouse a new one.

This isn't a devious ploy to make him give up. I think it's the best hope for getting us bond with him now.

Ann, get off it. He has to win doing anything he can to win. It's not his fault if Obama has the softest, exposed underbelly in all of American political history.

That he has taken this long to punch it, is a disgrace.

This election is now a referendum on the economy. But that's only because the media have been neglectful of their investigative duties.

So be it. We'll go it alone, but go it we will.

I expect fireworks as they sit side-by-side next to Schieffer. COME ON JOHN!

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

I think it's the best hope for getting us (to) bond with him now.

I don't like either candidate, and they probably wouldn't like me. There's no hope of my bonding with either one of them, and they have no intention of bonding with me. We will remain unbonded.

I have my mail-in ballot here with me and I know whom I'll vote for, but I have no confidence my vote will be counted, given the amount of straight-up corruption uncovered this cycle, and even if my vote does manage to get counted it would only count toward the popular vote and that's not the vote that really really counts anyway.

I don't care who wins or loses this debate, if such things are actually won or lost, or if debates hold any meaning whatever, but it would suit me just fine for them to rip out each other's eyeballs and toss them as far as they're able. Now, that would be interesting.

Hmm. I see my mood has turned. I'm back to my normal self.

I feel another pop-up card coming on. I think this time I'll make a simple Egyptian scene. Probably an offering. Except, instead of ordinary Egyptian things being offered, I'll have all the little Egyptians anachronistically carrying modern birthday things, cakes, wrapped presents, air guns with ribbons and bows, microwaves, laptops, printers those sorts of things. And for the cover, a tiny fresco painted on a thin layer of plaster obedient to the canons of Egyptian art, antiqued, and suggesting the pop-up scene inside. And in this manner, impose a piece of ephemera on someone that cannot be gotten rid of.

Seven Machos said...

I strongly disagree.

Pull out all the stops. Ask again and again and again if Obama is ready to lead. Run as hard as you can to the right because the center stuff ain't working. Sure, if you lose, you can lose with honor. Maybe you can do Viagra commercials like Bob Dole. If you win, you are going to get called a racist, anyway.

Just win, baby. Honor is for losers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Despite all the talking heads in the media pushing Obama on the American public like snake oil at a country fair, the election is still very close.

I agree with others. McCain should speak directly to the people and do like Sarah Palin did. Answer the questions you want but put your message out there.

Be specific about your plans. Glittering generalities and sound bites (my friends.....agh if he says that any more I'm gonna explode) are not going to get it. Be positive, be strong, be specific and it doesn't hurt to point out your opponent's weaknesses. There is absolutly nothing wrong with taking apart Obama's policies. Probably should stay away from his personal problems.

rhhardin said...

McCain will never consent to the characterization of America that's put forward by its enemies. Obama will.

There's his advantage, if he can figure out how to bring it out.

Trooper York said...

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth.
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears.
And a beautiful lady in pink tights
flew high above our heads.
And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle.
I had the feeling that something was missing.
I don't know what, but when it was over,
I said to myself, "is that all there is to a circus?

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends
, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Then I fell in love, head over heels in love
, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day he went away and I thought I'd die, but I didn't,
and when I didn't I said to myself, "is that all there is to love?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

I know what you must be saying to yourselves,
if that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment,
for I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you,
when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my lst breath, I'll be saying to myself

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is
(Is that all there is? Peggy Lee)

Darcy said...

I love when Trooper sings to us. These selections are definitely better than "The Love Boat", too.

But "The Love Boat" has its place.

Pastafarian said...

Secretary of State Brunner (D) has been concealing 200,000 fraudulent registrations in Ohio:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/10/jennifer_brunner_says_courts_d.html

There's nothing that McCain can do at this point to win -- the election has been stolen. Not make-believe stolen, like Bush in 00 or 04 -- no, this is third-world military-junta grade corruption.

But I'm sure that none of these 200,000 people who registered fraudulently also went ahead and cast their ballot -- which we can now do early in Ohio, thanks to the Democrats in the legislature and governor's mansion. They wanted to make sure that the ballots could be cast, and folded into the pool, before the registrations could even be checked.

There will be blood in the streets after this.

rhhardin said...

Get breast crackers and breast soup for the debate.

mcg said...

How many of the Presidents can you name?
Now, how many of their losing challengers can you name?

History does not remember the losers. If McCain is truly motivated by "how he will be remembered", he will do what it takes to win this election and then spend the next 4-8 years shaping his legacy. Otherwise he really won't be remembered much at all.

I'm not saying that's what motivates McCain. I'm just saying that if we buy Ann's premise that he wants to be "remembered" in a certain way, her advice doesn't follow.

integrity said...

The Love Boat theme is a great song!

Original George said...

A lot is going to ride on Schieffer tonight.

Palladian said...

"A lot is going to ride on Schieffer tonight."

That certainly puts a disgusting image in my mind.

bleeper said...

VB - I like your spirit and optimism. Nothing McCain has done in this sad campaign has made me think that he is truly willing to fight for the job. Having an anti-American leftist president is a terrible thing to comtemplate.

blake said...

Hey, mcg!

It'of course s easier to remember the losers if they subsequently (or previously) won.

Losers (this is off the top of my head, though I put the recent ones in reverse chronological order):

John Kerry and John Edwards

Al Gore and Joe Lieberman

Bob Dole and...somebody

Bush I/Quayle and Perot/Stockdale

Dukakis and ... somebody

Mondale/Ferraro

Carter and Mondale

Ford and...was it Dole?

McGovern and not Eagleton

OK...now it gets harder. I know Humphrey and Wallace ran against Nixon, but they were Reps, I think.

Goldwater lost to LBJ, right?

Nixon to JFK.

Adlai Stevenson (and Estes Kefauver!) ran I don't know how many times.

Dewey famously lost to Truman

Wilkie to FDR on the eve of WWII. He lost because FDR claimed he would keep us out of the war, and Wilkie wasn't as isolationist. (Irony.)

Let me see... Other famous losers:

Teddy Roosevelt lost to Taft, didn't he? Or did he lose to Taft and Wilson, with Wilson winning?

William Jennings Bryan ran and lost once or twice, neh?

Cleveland, of course, lost, in between winning.

Douglas to Lincoln?

John Quincy Adams to Andrew Jackson

Aaron Burr to Jefferson?

Adams to Jefferson.

I could probably come up with more. Except for the recent ones, you generally remember historical losers for their other contributions.

Simon said...

Pastafarian said...
"There will be blood in the streets after this."

The media will cover it up. That's plan A. If the cover up fails, Plan B is to call you a racist for even suggesting it. And those put together ought to buy them the time between the election and inauguration day.

David said...

I suggest an Althouse-Cox ticket for 2012. Hotties of two generations.

Revenant said...

I'm not saying that's what motivates McCain. I'm just saying that if we buy Ann's premise that he wants to be "remembered" in a certain way, her advice doesn't follow.

I think you're overlooking the fact that many politicians have enormous egos, and McCain is very much one such politician. He may simply assume that he'll be remembered long after this election is over, even if he loses.

Rose said...

Thing about that health insurance stuff is - our health insurance went from $150 a month to $900 a month with a $5,000 deductible per person - and we NEVER go to the doctor and have no health problems (2 adults 4 kids) - I don't need the government to PAY for it - I would like the premiums to go back down - but the bigger problem is - doctors are closing their offices.

On a trip to the emergency room last year, what i saw was 19 out of 20 people HAD insurance. They had no DOCTOR.

My daughter went into pre-med - against my advice. I think you'll see socialized medicine in the next 10 years and being a doctor won't be all that much fun. And probably won't pay you back that expensive education.

Rose said...

Obama's pushing his indentured servant college tuition plan again.

No way. No Obama. No HOW.

Rose said...

Mccullough has it - Sen. Obama, you say you're for ________ but you've never done anything during your 8 years in the Illinois Senate or your 3 and a half years in the Illinois Senate to _______ by proposing any _______.

Every SINGLE issue. That should have been the answer.

Simon said...

Re thediavlog - Althoue looks divine and Cox looks - actually quite terrifyingly like the girl I had a massive, unapologetic and totally unrequited crush on in high school. I'm struggling to remember her name, now, but I remember clear as day that she was apparently a big Floyd fan.

Rose said...

it's the 4th quarter and it's not pretty.

I can tell you what follows this. Pretty but empty wins. Experience and decency loses.

It won't mean anything to any of you - but here, where I live, we have seen this before. In 2002, a "pretty," young, not very good lawyer ran against an incumbent DA.

The activists saw their opportunity and backed him. They managed to get him elected. With a message of CHANGE. People voted for change for change's sake. The pretty face, The young and pretty face. CHANGE.

His first order of business upon taking office was to reward his backers by filing a lawsuit against the activists' primary target, Pacific Lumber Company.

And at the same time, his incompetence and inexperience became apparent, leading to charges of being 'soft on crime.'

A Recall effort ensued, and that is when the activist role became apparent - they went into full battle mode to protect their new tool. Good people were cut down to keep them quiet, charges were filed (by the DA) against those who spoke out, the media loved the DA, and, like what you are seeing now with Obama, refused to cover any problems with what the DA did and said.

The lawsuit for which he became famous, because those activists had access to high powered PR that gained him national attention, the lawsuit was tossed on demurrer. Never made it to court. (He appealed it, and lost, and appealed it again to the CA Supreme Court and lost again. The case never made it to trial because it never had any merit, much as the activists believed in it.)

But it ripped this community apart. And it hasn't been the same.

In the next real election, the pretty face ran against a senior deputy DA, and again, the media played the pretty card, one article even compared how the two men related to their hairdressers (one was bald, you see.) The full head of hair won.

In that election, every single law enforcement group in the County endorsed the senior Deputy DA, the challenger.

Every single lie, every single mistake the DA made was vociferously defended by the activist machine, and the media went along. Just like what you are seeing now with Obama.

The result, from January 2003 until now has been the loss of all but three of the experienced Deputy DAs, the inability to hire qualified replacements, loss of almost all of the support staff, some of those have been replaced, the destruction of some key programs - the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) and the Victim Witness Unit. Plea Bargains are at an all time high. Innocent people are prosecuted for no real reason - a man went through a full trial because he had let his child wander a few feet ahead of him on a small town street, the schizophrenic nature of prosecution is now finally apparent to all. But too late.

The similarities - the smooth talker, the pretty face, the empty suit, these are all things we have seen here. It is shocking to see it materialize in a Presidential candidate. That empty but mirrored facade, where people see their own high ideals reflecting back at them and mistakenly they attribute those ideals to the candidate in front of them.

It's why I started blogging. To document what was going on. To provide a place where the record was stored. So the activists could not any longer hide the truth, so the reporters, when they finally decided to care, would have a place to go to find answers.

And, I had documents, in his own words, the things that were said and planned.

It's been a fight.

And I see this same fight happening on blogs here, trying to get that word out, in the face of a hypnotized media. I see the same patterns of lies. I see the unregulated orgs, with their spin-off groups doing the same kinds of dirty work, the same kinds of dirty tricks.

We're a small area. But a microcosm of what is happening nationally. Call it a trend towards socialism if you like. A turning away from all the things that matter, thinking, because we are so well taken care of, that it will be fine.

Sorry for the long comment. But when I hear that line about the pretty face - my heart sinks. My body hurts. I am discouraged.

Because I know the result.

And I don't want to see it happen.

peter hoh said...

I'm loving this episode of Bloggingheads.

peter hoh said...

Re. concerns about the racism issue, going back to the primary campaign:
Remember that guy in the comment threads who insisted that the superdelegates were there to make sure that Obama would not get the nomination?

hdhouse said...

ahhhhhh...tell the truth
don't lie
don't distort
keep to the facts

gooooooshhhh so much to add so little time


ya becha