Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’
From Chris Rock’s HBO special Kill the Messenger
Colourful language; you have been warned.
I think McCain has a back up plan if it does not work out on November 4.
[Removed by YouTube]
At the Al Smith Memorial Fund Charity Dinner 16 October 2008.
Obama did not do bad either:
[Removed by YouTube]
The whole thing can be seen in the video below. Trust me the humours speeches by John McCain (6:45 his speech starts) and Barack Obama (23:00) are worth listening too – just get past the introduction.
The moderate Republican backs Obama; and states that one clear defining reason was the choice of Sarah Palin as Vice President; someone without the experience for the White House and the nature of the Republican negative personal campaign against Obama. Obama stood out as the transformational candidate needed for the next four years, with a plan for the economy:
I found that [McCain] was a little unsure of how to deal with the economic problems that we were having. Almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me.
I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She is a very distinguished person and a she is to be admired. But at the same time, now that we’ve had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she is ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made. …
I watched Mr. Obama… he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this, and picking a vice president that I think is ready to be president on day one. And also not just jumping in and changing every day but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. [source]
By gaining the right of the party it is conceivable that McCain lost the moderates – the question is how many of them in the key battleground states?
My earlier predictions – back in March – was that the lead Obama had would start to fall from mid October onwards. The danger of that is that the opinion polls exaggerate Obama’s lead as well. It means the gap he has on McCain is not what it appears. Sure enough from the 13th to 19th October Obama’ lead has dropped from 8% to 5% (on average in the polls).
However, that matters only in so far as it impacts on the electoral college – that is the value of the states (by population roughly) given to the winning candidate with the total 270 getting you to the White House. According to RealClearPolitics Obama/Biden have 286 without taking the toss up seats into consideration; with only Colorado at 6% lead for Obama being the most marginal state of that 286 with 9 electoral votes. Take it away leaves room to spare at 277.
McCain would have to come back and take Virginia (13 votes) which is Obama’s with a 8.1% lead. Now I have said that the margin for error will be 3-6% nationally skewed in favour of Obama. Even allowing for the top end and evenly in all states that means McCain needs a 4% bounce back.
You have to consider this: that 286 count does not include Florida (27) and Ohio (20) which are too close to call. The good news for McCain is that Florida is moving away from Obama. Bad news is that Obama still leads by over 3.2%.
Here then is something for you to ponder. Some right wing Republicans were saying that they would stay at home as McCain was not the right sort of Republican. With Colin Powell supporting Obama this may give them cover to say that they need to support McCain. It may well be a testament to how far McCain pandered to them that Powell has endorsed Obama. Powell will shore up Obama’s already committed supporters – it may however not dragged anymore Republicans. It could be a warning shot across the bows that they will loss the White House for 4 years. Maybe even 8 years, to a transforming President. Which must sound like a liberal nightmare to them.
It will be interesting to see how the polls react. It gives Obama some cover from the lack of experience charge. It may however make the Republicans realise that loosing Michigan is the least of their problems when loosing Colorado means the jig is up in an every increasing long odds on McCain making a big enough come back.
His only hope is that the polls are seriously wrong. Or students do not vote. But when economists start doubting you then it may well be that the battle is all but lost till the rout at the ballot box. The odds are lengthening, McCain needs not just a bounce back but polls to be wrong, and people hiding their true intentions at the ballot box.
Two weeks and a day to go to find out.
McCain had the best line in the debate:
I am not President Bush, if you wanted to run against George Bush you should have done so four years ago.
I am surprised that he did not go for a further blow by pointing out Obama was not a member of Congress if he had wanted to run – echoing Hillary Clinton’s remark that all Obama did in 2004 was give a good speech. Instead we heard a lot about Joe the plumber and what the polices of the two contenders would mean for him on health care and tax.
Obama showed himself unflappable, not allowing himself to go off message or make a gaffe. McCain went for it more, and this was his best performance. However he allowed his temper to show, with a thin skin in the negative aspects of the campaign and his incessant blinking when he was giving a rehearsed debating point direct to camera looked like it was not natural to him. Obama is more able when doing to camera pieces. In fact some remark he is too calm, almost cool. An ability to empathise while remaining the ice man.
Yet fears of recession – with fears of a slow down in China – wiped out the recent gains in the stock market. That will probably have more of a bearing on the election than the debate tonight. McCain made the distinction between himself and Obama. McCain needed a clear plan for the economy when the crisis happened – however over the past three weeks he has failed to deliver. He needed not only to stand apart from Bush but be the man with a plan.
What was a telling difference between Obama and McCain was Obama saying that McCain would have the failed economic policies of the last eight years while he represents change prioritizing on what needs to work, while McCain saying that he is no George Bush but he has a longer record of bi partisan approach for change and knows how to do it- and would freeze all spending then line by line go through government spending.
Which message voters responds to will decide the vote. But if people draw distinctions between McCain and Bush expect him to have a bounce back in the polls. If McCain can deliver a critique on economic policy and how he can change it for the middle class he could regain the initiative
The thing is Obama looks like the real thing when it comes to change. Tonight McCain played on the big government liberal spender image of Democrats, and that Obama did not have a record to back up the leadership qualities for the Presidency – including taking on your party, and leading the charge for change.
The last two debates Obama has won; narrowly in the first, clearly in the second. This last one I would say a tie. McCain came out swinging with his heart on his sleeve. He has given a good reason for the Republican base to come out and vote for him. Obama responded clearly and thoughtfully, taking odds with McCain rejecting vocuhers in education and stating that a tax credit for purchasing health care would collapse health care provision.
I never had this much interest in the decision that Americans faced when voting for the President then now. In part that is due to the Bush years, which placed loyalty to friends before responsibility in office whether Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Brown at FEMA or nominating his personal lawyer Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court – “a pit bull in size six shoes” as he described her. Katrina came a year too late to blow Bush out of the White House; he has never recovered from that. Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, New Orleans our words dominating the political legacy of the outgoing President.
While Bush did not deserve a second term I found it difficult to get excited by Kerry. He was unconvincing in how he was going to change things, while Bush had four years in office to point to as President. Right or wrong in his actions, in an uncertain terrified world people stuck with the devil they knew in the hope it may take one to tame and catch one; the devil they did not know was a flip flopper that gave a mixed signal. People did not want peace then, they wanted the enemies of America to know they would attack if provoked 100%.
Four years later Osama Bin Laden is still free to mastermind, and the Al Qaeda franchise means that even with his capture splinter cells have the ability to cause mayhem. Short of John McCain appearing bruised and battered with a chained Bin Laden – “My friends, I got him!” – McCain needs a surge of his own in battleground states to all go his way to defeat Obama. Spoilt ballot papers confusing Osama/Obama will not be enough. Doubt that Obama has the seasoning to do the Commander in Chief role may.
Which brings me back to why this election matters for me. Obama is the man that could have taught Martin Luther King in the art of public speaking, or that in an age of skepticism about politicians being able to change things and cynicism that they actually want to he is a breath of fresh air that threatens to blow through the stale odour of closed backrooms in Washington DC. Whether there is enough huff and puff to open the door and effect real change is debatable.
There is nothing beyond the rhetoric that points to Obama being able to do those things. He inspires, and his ambition to always be on the way to the next level can go no further then President of the United States. The only place left is a legacy, and if your ambition is to go beyond the admiration held for Abraham Lincoln, the question is whether Obama has what it takes. The problem is that we will only know that when he is in office.
McCain though is someone I have long admired on this side of the pond – not least because he was reported on. He often criticised Bush, he took on the religious right in his party and his attitude to abortion was like my own – I may not like it but I like the idea of illegal abortions even less, and reproductive issues are between a patient and a doctor. On the economy he was for free trade, and on the environment he stood out.
However the McCain of 2008 now is a pale shade of the McCain of 2000. His political persona is like comparing the physical Michale Jackson of “Blood on the Dance Floor” with the one that did “Billy Jean”. The transformation is unnatural, and what you once admired has disappeared in artificial layers, as the beat changes to the rhythm of the religious right. Blame it on the bogey; to get the gig he had to dance to their tune.
Picking Sarah Palin as the Vice President demolished any lingering respect for McCain. At 72 it would only be right to pick a heavy weight – he owed that to the American people. Instead he picked someone with over a years experience as a Governor and no knowledge of the economy and foreign affairs. Her folksy glamorous style to motivate the Republican base and appeal to women was about spin and not substance. Had there been a shorter time between choosing her and Polling Day she may definitely given him the White House. Under media scrutiny she has come across as a rabbit caught in the headlights, a pit ball with lipstick trapped in the cross hairs.
Hitchens makes the point that character is a political issue. On that score McCain has looked like someone wondering around having forgotten what he stood for. He cancelled his campaigning to resolve the financial crisis in the Senate. The result was the majority of Republicans were against the measure. It was a real test of his ability to lead, and he fell down.
In the last debate he was restless, a bewildered look in his eyes that people would consider anyone but him for President. Obama was poised, dignified and calm – a rock in a stormy sea. He toned down the professor lecturer, and became a statesman ready to do the job. McCain looked like he was ready for his medication.
McCain really needs a knock out blow. At the moment Obama has an average lead of 8% in the polls. Very close to the lead I predict he needs of 10% by mid October to assure himself of the Presidency. Because I think the only way to go is down for Obama as it becomes his to loose and I think the polls exaggerate his current support. The real test is how so in the battleground states that analysis plays out. The problem for McCain is he needs a clean sweep of the toss up states to win – the 2% swing of itself is not beyond possibility. That needs stressing because though the final result may seem huge, the margins of victory that brought them about in key states may be minuscule in comparison. Every vote will count in those states and the Obama enthusiasm for getting out the vote may be what secures him victory. But the wind of change is blowing in Obama’s favour.
Iraq is an issue – yet the fatalities have been considerably less for US forces (under ten a month) and the murder rate for Iraq in 2008 looks set to be less than 2007. Put in perspective, Iraq is a little more dangerous for the population than for black people in America in terms of homicide [source]. McCain needs to tackle Obama about the surge, which together with support of Al Qaeda dropping in Iraq have played a part in the improving security situation.
McCain’s polling went down sharply while Obama’s went up after the second debate. Stuck behind a coffee table directly by your opponent, McCain has to come up with something in the third debate to turn things around. He cannot afford another dip. As polling day draws nearer the stay at home Republicans may turn up, having succeeded in making McCain have to appeal to them rather than undecideds and independents or slightly leaning Democrats. Should McCain loose, they will have to shoulder some of the blame – because having a candidate they wanted rather than the man they had meant McCain was diminished.
If only McCain had secured the Republican nomination instead of Bush in 2000. That was his time. The future now belongs to Obama.
WIll the prodigal son be welcomed back to the fold of the left? The maverick writer supports Obama:
McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace.
I used to nod wisely when people said: “Let’s discuss issues rather than personalities.” It seemed so obvious that in politics an issue was an issue and a personality was a personality, and that the more one could separate the two, the more serious one was. After all, in a debate on serious issues, any mention of the opponent’s personality would be ad hominem at best and at worst would stoop as low as ad feminam.
At my old English boarding school, we had a sporting saying that one should “tackle the ball and not the man.” I carried on echoing this sort of unexamined nonsense for quite some time—in fact, until the New Hampshire primary of 1992, when it hit me very forcibly that the “personality” of one of the candidates was itself an “issue.” In later years, I had little cause to revise my view that Bill Clinton’s abysmal character was such as to be a “game changer” in itself, at least as important as his claim to be a “new Democrat.” To summarize what little I learned from all this: A candidate may well change his or her position on, say, universal health care or Bosnia. But he or she cannot change the fact—if it happens to be a fact—that he or she is a pathological liar, or a dimwit, or a proud ignoramus. And even in the short run, this must and will tell.
On “the issues” in these closing weeks, there really isn’t a very sharp or highly noticeable distinction to be made between the two nominees, and their “debates” have been cramped and boring affairs as a result. But the difference in character and temperament has become plainer by the day, and there is no decent way of avoiding the fact. Last week’s so-called town-hall event showed Sen. John McCain to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience. McCain occasionally remembers to stress matters like honor and to disown innuendoes and slanders, but this only makes him look both more senile and more cynical, since it cannot (can it?) be other than his wish and design that he has engaged a deputy who does the innuendoes and slanders for him.
I suppose it could be said, as Michael Gerson has alleged, that the Obama campaign’s choice of the word erratic to describe McCain is also an insinuation. But really, it’s only a euphemism. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear had to feel sorry for the old lion on his last outing and wish that he could be taken somewhere soothing and restful before the night was out. The train-wreck sentences, the whistlings in the pipes, the alarming and bewildered handhold phrases—”My friends”—to get him through the next 10 seconds. I haven’t felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot’s running mate. And I am sorry to have to say it, but Stockdale had also distinguished himself in America’s most disastrous and shameful war, and it didn’t qualify him then and it doesn’t qualify McCain now.
The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: “What does he take me for?” Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party’s right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama’s position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.
It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and that both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them.
I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that “issue” I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the “experience” is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke. One only wishes that the election could be over now and a proper and dignified verdict rendered, so as to spare democracy and civility the degradation to which they look like being subjected in the remaining days of a low, dishonest campaign.
In Britain Spitting Image was a satirical comedy involving puppets of politicans and celebrities. While no longer around it had an impact on popular perceptions – John Major being the colour grey, David Steel being in the pocket of David Owen, Neil Kinnock unable to fall off a log to prove he could win the election (which he did not). While it may not have changed minds, it did reinforce views people took on politicians.
In the USA Tina Fey (30 Rock) is having a similar impact playing Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. As a mimic she is spot on in her interpretation of Palin. A natural advantage; a few years ago Palin dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween.
At some points the comedy actually uses what Sarah Palin has said. While Sarah has said she is a fan, and there is talk that before Polling Day she may do a sketch with Tina on Saturday Night Live – John McCain did saying he had the oldness required for the job.
Check out one mock interview on Saturday Night Live (SNL) with Tina Fey as Palin here.
A week after the first broadcast of SNL, Palin’s approval rating went down by ten percentage points. For some a Republican victory seems less likely with Fey’s impersonation:
But you, Ms. Fey, have the ability, with just a wink and a smirk, to change the minds of millions of casual viewers and even more casual voters, to educate them as to what this woman stands or doesn’t stand for. These viewers don’t react to a radical move like Republican Senator Chuck Hagel coming forth to question Palin’s credentials or credibility, or really care about what political pundits prognosticate on cable news shows. Whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, many swing-state voters get their information and cue from you, Ms. Fey, and you need to provide as much of it as one woman possibly can, before the election is upon us and it is too late. [Huffington Post]
As for Fey, she has said that come November 5 she hopes to be done with the impersonation. One would hope that the voters would base that on the issues and what Sarah Plain stands for then a comedic impression. Because if that really was how people formed their opinions on policy and issue, then we have even more to fear then the leader of the world’s only superpower. If it does hopefully the saving grace is that something is funny because it is often so true.
John McCain defended Obama from personal attacks by his supporters at a Republican rally. A principled stand or a man that knows such character attacks will not help close the distance, while distancing himself from Republican attacks may help?
Probably easier to do that then distancing himself from the right wing of his party.
UP DATE 14/10/08
Had to share this cartoon with you which sums it up:
The Troopergate affair comes to an end, with Stephen Branchflower’s report.
to investigate the circumstances and events surrounding the termination of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and/or improper actions by members of the executive branch [Page 2]
Here are the key findings on Sarah Palin and the sacking of her brother in law – Page 8 of the report reproduced below:
Finding Number One
For reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statue 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statue 39.52.110(a) provides
“The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.”
Finding Number Two
I find that, although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Finding Number Three
Harbor Adjustment Service of Anchorage, and it’s owner Ms. Murleen Wilkers, handled Trooper Michael Wooten’s workers’ compensation claim properly and in the normal course of business like any other claim processed by Harbor Adjustment Service and Ms. WIlkes. Further, Trooper Wooten received all the workers’ compensation benefits to which he was entitled.
Finding Number Four
The Attorney Generals office has failed to substantially comply with my August 6, 2008 written request to Governor Sarah Palin for information about the case in the form of emails.
Part of Todd and Sarah’s attempts to have Wooten (ex brother in law) sacked was that he shot a Moose illegally. That pressure was put on Monegan to agree or else his position would be untenable. He did not and he was sacked – which was within her power.
Will the damage to Sarah Palin be deflected by concerns over the economy – or will this be another example of her unsuitability for high office, and McCain making a bad selection on a political whim rather than a thorough assessment of character.
Staying up till 4 am to watch Senators Obama and McCain debate in a town hall setting may seem extreme. There was no need for coffee to get through this, the adrenalin being that one of these men will in January 2009 be making decisions that will impact not just the USA but the global community. The stakeholders in this are more then just the American voters.
As the mud slinging of the last few days suggested, McCain went for Obama’s record on everything from environment to taxation, and pointing out that he had been a rebel with a cause against the leaders of his party. That however gave Obama the cover to act like he was responding to McCain’s personal attacks – though he did so impassioned and matter of fact. McCain came out swinging, while Obama kept dancing timing jabs just right but looking to keep ahead on points.
Both candidates kept to the Queens bury rules of nothing below the waist. There was no mention of Bill Ayers or Charles Keating. If you kept your eye off the fists, you could see the policies that they were suggesting. Obama saying that energy was a top national security issue, not just environment. McCain not trusting federal government to be as effective as the private sector. People may moan that there were no specifics of how they would do these things. What they did not mention, especially in McCain’s up beat assessment of America, is that the global financial crisis may make it exceedingly difficult to effect real change.
Obama looked Presidential, standing straight looking people in the eye. He was focused on the significance of the question, and saying what he would do about it, though at times he kept referring to people as if they were separate from him, saying you most of you, explaining at one point that his wealth and health plan as a senator gave them a difference in quality of life that should be available to all when it came to to coverage and opportunity. McCain was more trying to come across as one of the people, constantly saying my friends, shaking the petty officer’s hand thanking him for serving his country. McCain’s movement while answering questions seemed like he did not know what angle he should be facing the questioner or the hall. If Obama’s movement was panther like, McCain’s was like a wound up toy.
That difference came across especially in the manner in which they listened to the other respond. Obama sitting on his chair, listening – confident while engaged. McCain in contrast was constantly moving, fidgeting, ready to keep going, writing things down on the note pad. At one point when asked to list priorities on health, energy and education McCain wrote them down. This body language contrast made Obamam look magisterial while McCain looked agitated. At one point, when pointing out that he had not supported Bush’s environmental plan, he indicated that the person who had by pointing to Obama and saying “That one”.
Earmarks was the one thing that McCain came back to again and again. However, $18 billion of government spending seems insignificant when you consider that Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae and the current bail out are about $1.5 trillion. McCain should have been locked in a room with economic and financial ad visors for 48 hours and use this debate as a chance to outline an economic policy. He missed that opportunity – though the $3 million dollar projector earmarked that Obama had supported (though not voted as it never went that far) for the Adler Planetarium to replace their whole system, which was beyond repair being 40 years old.
There were many jabs that Obama could have given, but perhaps like Ali watching a prize fighter already
falling it may have seemed undignified. McCain kept linking himself to Regan, perhaps hoping that association would appeal to former Regan Democrats. However, just like being in the same room as a former terrorist does not make you one, knowing former Presidents does not make you one either.
Overall this seemed a more clear win for Obama then the last debate – the assured body language in the town hall format gace him a clear edge over McCain. He also managed to come across older then he is – in a positive way, while McCain was pacing. Just listening to what they said the result would be closer. McCain went on the attack, and voters looking for reasons not to support Obama and trust an experienced politician wanting change may well still go for McCain. The problem is that undecideds are becoming less and less as polling day draws – meaning that people changing their minds will be a crucial factor come election day. On a score system I would give Obama 3.5/5 and McCain 2.75/5 – McCain needed to offer a vision not just an assured competence based on experience to win this debate, while Obama had to look like he was ready. Instead McCain looked like someone that knows they are failing a job interview and falls back on their CV to try and turn it around rather than selling themselves as a person.
|Writer||Verdict||McCain score||Obama score|
|Moe Lane, RedState||“McCain got some good shots in with Fannie/Freddie, Obama got a good moment or two betraying the progressives over nuclear power, offshore drilling, and Israel. I’ll give the closing statement to McCain, but Obama humanises amazingly when he’s talking about his wife. No insanely bad howlers this go-round. This was, in fact, kind of boring all around.”||***||***|
|Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic||This debate was “devastating and possibly electorally fatal” for John McCain – a “wipe-out”. The Democratic candidate came out on top on substance, clarity, empathy, style and authority. Mr McCain appeared “a little out of it”.||*||*****|
|Hugh Hewitt, Townhall||Mr McCain made up a lot of ground in this debate. He was strong on two of his most important points – taxes and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Obama appeared cautious and evidently inexperienced. The Republican finished stronger, while Mr Obama “flailed about ineffectively”.||*****||*|
|Jim Geraghty, National Review blog||“Generally dull… and a bunch of answers that were very predictable to those of us who have been following this race. Because he’s trailing, we needed to see something different from McCain tonight. It wasn’t a bad night for him, and most of his answers were fine. But there wasn’t anything that any of us are going to remember in a couple of days.”||**||**|
|Jennifer Rubin, Pajamas Media||“Fireworks there were not. The debate lagged and dragged and at times was downright dull. The most decisive moment on national security occurred at the end where McCain bonded with a chief petty officer questioner and pledged to support Israel in defending itself against a nuclear-armed Iran.” But Mr McCain did himself some good in the debate. The “polished orator” Barack Obama, meanwhile, “fumbled” an easy final question.||****||**|
|Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo||“A marginal victory for Obama on points,” says Josh Marshall, but a “substantial” one in terms of the overall race. “McCain did fine. I think his supporters will think he put in a solid performance. But the bottom line is that right now McCain is losing. He has to shake things up. But he didn’t.”||**||****|
|Robert Shrum, Huffington Post||“The reality of this debate is that McCain didn’t pass the threshold on the economy. He can’t get there with blather about earmarks; the voters aren’t dumb. The big story tonight: Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of President Obama.”||*||*****|
The scores assigned to the candidates represent the BBC’s interpretation of the writers’ comments. One star indicates a poor performance, five stars an excellent one.[BBC News]
CNN’s poll of debate-watchers found 54% said Mr Obama had done the best job, compared with 30% for Mr McCain.
CBS’s poll of undecided voters suggested 39% thought Mr Obama the winner, with 27% for Mr McCain and 35% calling it a draw. [BBC News]
McCain needs to work on his material and stature if he is going to be the comeback kid in these debates. However, if his campaign can sow enough seeds of doubts about Obama’s record then he may yet win the undecided and the leaning voters. Time though is running out to swing enough of them in the key marginal seats.