Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Music City Massacre

It's as easy as this: The McCain campaign needs a national change of opinion. They are too far back on their heels to win by contesting state-by-state. Theoretically (barring a major Obama gaffe or some other unforeseen crisis of a non-economic nature), tonight and next Wednesday are McCain's only chances to change the momentum.

We all know that he failed miserably tonight.

Even a tie would have been a failure, but this was certainly no tie. Obama's physical advantage (height, looks, fluidity, youth) was apparent. Maybe that's not fair to McCain, but that's the way it goes. McCain looked very old. But it wasn't just that. Obama's advantage in demeanor was on display and here are three things that jumped out among many other examples:
  • 3. "Bomb, bomb Iran" -- McCain kept trying to make corny jokes throughout and Obama stayed serious, until the joke at the end about his wife. McCain should have learned from the first debate that jokes don't work when the audience has been instructed not to react in any way (although there was the woman in purple who looked like she wanted to jump Obama's bones). So how great was it when Obama goaded McCain into making a joke and then fired off the line about Iran that left McCain stunned? This was as close to verbal sparring as they got all night (it starts at 0:49 at this link: look how ashamed McCain immediately looks).
  • 2. "Health care is a responsibility" -- Well, this was just stupid. This was the single easiest question of the night. The obvious political answer is that health care is a right, you banter about your plans, and then you move on. But McCain, in blowing the answer, made Obama's plan look that much better.
  • 1. "That one" -- I have a feeling this line will be remembered for a very long time. When I first heard it, I thought nothing of it. Yeah, I guess it's disrespectful because Obama is a Senator and, as such, deserves to be called by his title. I didn't read the obvious racial undertones into it. I guarantee you that John McCain did not mean this is in a racial way. I can't stress that strongly enough. But, after his disrespect in the first debate and the dangerous tone that his campaign has taken the last few days, people are going to be offended by this. Word is that the GOP may use "that one" in some ads. It probably doesn't even matter at this point with the way the national sentiment is, but this would be one hell of a mistake.

McCain needed a miracle comeback in Nashville. Instead, he played weakly to the middle with his housing bailout proposal and no mention of his running mate. He needed that Music City Miracle. Instead, the Obamas stayed around, shaking hands and signing autographs for twenty minutes, as John McCain and his wife quickly escaped from the Music City Massacre.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

That woman in purple was distracting me the entire debate! Her eyes were scary like a chihuahua's.

Totally agree that "that one" was not meant as a racial putdown. He's just an old guy. I suppose at this point our side isn't supposed to be pulling any punches, but it disappoints me a little that people will try to make that comment into a race issue.