Debate Tonight as Obama Leaps Ahead - The Intrepid

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Debate Tonight as Obama Leaps Ahead

Tonight’s debate may be one of the last chances John McCain has to convince voters to vote for him and not Barack Obama. Currently, the McCain campaign is trouble. McCain’s series of Hail Mary passes, including his decision to kinda-sorta but not really suspend the campaign and rush to Washington to undermine the Bailout Bill, has only turned key voters away. While Palin helped drum up the Republican base, moderate Republicans and independents are shifting towards Obama. Obama’s cool demeanor during the crisis last week looked Presidential, while McCain looked frantic and confused as he tried pulling every lever on the political control panel.

In the polls, Gallup’s numbers reveal that Obama currently leads by 9 points and has changed the status of Ohio, New Hampshire, and Florida to lean Obama. Obama’s recent gains also come as financial crisis continues to loom and Americans indicate that their satisfaction with the state of the Union is at an all time low of 9%.

Some political analysts have suggested that McCain needs to do something dramatic to save his campaign. This is bad advice. Dramatic steps are what have helped sink the McCain campaign. Tonight, McCain needs to show that he is as calm and cool under fire as Obama. The debate is a town hall style affair, which in the past has tended to suit McCain’s style. However, as McCain has tightened up his media exposure over the course of the campaign his off the cuff rhetoric has largely disappeared.

The objective tonight for Obama is a little easier to fulfill. Obama just has to stay the course. In the likely event that the debate is a tie, Obama will benefit from already being in the lead.

The one thing that Obama needs to strengthen is his message on the economy. Obama needs to explain his economic position succulently. While I personally appreciate Obama’s ability to speak at length about the complexities of the economic crisis, the average American needs a memorable slogan. Obama has to find his own version of “It’s the economy stupid.”