And McCain Fights!
Before the debate I was wondering, “Will McCain Fight?” and lo and behold he did. But while I was glad to finally see McCain knock Obama around like a red-headed stepchild, McCain could have made each attack more devastating. This is the difference of between a respectable 7 or 8 and a full 10.
McCain brought up ACORN, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and Ayers. McCain could have hit even harder by saying, “You’ve funded ACORN through the Woods Foundations, through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, through your own campaign, and you’ve given training seminars for them. Your relationship with ACORN is long and deep.”
To my surprise McCain hit Obama on NAFTA and CAFTA. He should have brought up that the language on Union Safety was pulled directly from another trade agreement. The language was already there.
One of the things that Obama hits McCain on is that people would lose Healthcare through their jobs. McCain needs to say “Many people are afraid of switching jobs because they’d lose their healthcare. With my plan they would be in charge of their healthcare and wouldn’t have to worry about losing it when they switch jobs.” That’s a powerful point and he could still make it in commercials.
He hit Obama on breaking campaign promises for federal funding and to debate McCain anywhere. I think he could have made the point that Obama lied about these things a little bit stronger. He could have wrapped it up with “You talk about meeting with the leaders of rogue countries without preconditions, but how do you expect to talk to the leaders of rogue countries when you’re afraid to talk to me?”
He hit Obama on Born Alive, but he could have hit harder. He should have brought up “The reason why it was an issue in your state was because a nurse found an infant in a storage closet left to die after a failed abortion. It survived for another 45 minutes after the woman found her. Obviously the laws in your state weren’t sufficient.”
To my surprise McCain did not say ‘Maverick’ or ‘my friends’. If he did I missed it. Also to my surprise he did not go on and on about bipartisanship.
One of the things I wanted McCain to say in the first debate was “you’re not running against Bush, you’re running against me.” He hit that one with “If you wanted to run against Bush you should have ran for president four years ago.” If McCain had only been saying that for even the past month he would have been doing better in the polls. It would be a good idea to put that into an ad to deflate the McSame argument in these last few weeks.
The moderator brought up things said in their ads against each other and asked if the candidates would say those things to each other’s faces. This was a perfect opportunity for McCain to say something to the effect of “You have lied, you do pal around with terrorists, you are dangerously naive, and I don’t think you’re ready to lead.”
McCain should have connected Obama to the financial mess by pointing out that through Obama’s entire career he has been aligned with the people who got us into this mess. ACORN who advocated the legislation that forced banks to issue sub-prime loans, as a lawyer who sued banks to make sure they issued sub-prime loans, and as a man on the take from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to look the other way while they played reckless games with our financial market.
McCain was much more fun and enjoyable to watch, a happy warrior. McCain is as often a pain in the behind, as he is a person to cheer for. Tonight he was overwhelmingly the latter. There were several times he looked at Obama as if he was thinking “You know, if we were in the middle of a jungle with not a soul around for hundreds of miles armed with only our wits and a knife, this would be a different story.” Not that he’d ever say that, because he’s a gentleman, but it’s nice to see that kind of fire there. A man incapable of being offended, incapable of that fire, does not have his priorities straight.
Obama does this thing where he tilts his head down and he smiles. It comes off as very girlish. I noticed it in the last debate and now I notice it every time he does it. Neither Hillary or Palin ever appear girlish and they’re women. There are so many other reasons not to vote for Obama that this shouldn’t even be considered as such, but it’s still there and it’s kinda weird. A presidential candidate shouldn’t appear girlish, because a president just shouldn’t appear girlish.
Obama did do a lot of defending. He changed the subject and retreated to safe territory many times. He also said McCain was right at least once or twice, and that footage should be turned into another ad.
All in all this was a much better debate, but McCain could have made it more devastating for Obama. I can’t help but wonder how much better McCain would be doing right now if he had started like this in the first debate, but better late then never. We still have three weeks to go and that’s a long time in politics.