Open Thread

Another Dull Debate or Blue Touch Paper, Lit?

The McCain team is feverishly attempting CPR on the lifeless thing that is their campaign. Will the third and last debate provide the super-defibrillator they need?

The possibilities for excitement on stage today all hinge on McCain. To what do you ‘throw the switch’ in these circumstances, in which you are 8-10 points down nationally with 3 weeks to go? Vaudeville won’t help. He’s already tried that with Sarah the ventriloquists’ dummy. Perhaps you say, “We’ve got nothing to lose, let’s go for the goolies.”  If Rove and his ilk are now running things, that is probably what McCain will attempt. Even winning the talking points in the debate is not sufficient for him.

Of course, this debate could be as dull as the “Town Hall” dirge-fest if Obama gets to run it his way. He ‘won’ the last debate by simply appearing cool. It didn’t matter a jot what he said, providing it wasn’t ‘courageous’ or even stimulating. It was all about Presidential poise. Due to that success and the Dems lead in the polls, Obama is highly unlikely to deviate from the minimalist approach now.

The danger for Obama is if McCain manages to wreck the debate with accusations, taunts and dirt, and succeeds in getting Obama down in the gutter with him. The aim would be to diminish the Presidential aura that Obama now has, and that McCain certainly does not. But this is also dangerous for McCain. If the tactic fails, and Obama stays above the fray, McCain will appear to be nothing other than the stumbling, flailing old dope he is.

McCain has already said he will be raising the Ayers ‘connection’ in the debate – ho hum – but that may only be an indicator of a full-on effort to unbalance Obama and prevent him from staying ‘in charge’ during the event.

Unless something radical is done now, the game will just slip away for McCain. The issue is whether he graciously accepts the impending crushing loss, or uses a last opportunity to tip over the card table which could, in the Rovians grotty little worldview, just possibly even things up again. One thing is certain: McCain shaking hands with a war veteran in the audience and saying ‘My friends’ 50 times won’t do the job.

My prediction is of a 70% chance of fireworks from McCain, and if so, a 95% chance of Barry holding the high ground.

626 replies on “Another Dull Debate or Blue Touch Paper, Lit?”

Dio @ 569 & EC @ 577
Far be it from me to argue with you about the polls in 2004 Diogenes, I just thought the Financial Times wouldn’t make it up. And it’s true that the circumstances are very different compared with 2004. But just what is in play is a bit uncertain. The tide is going out for the Repugs, but yet they are like ‘the thing that wouldn’t die’ in the Presidential polls. There’s always that very large US conservative core that can never be shifted, and the number of swinging voters seems to be a small pool indeed to me.
There are all sorts of factors that make the US polling less reliable than it is in Aus too, as you know, apart form non-compulsory voting. There are some new factors this time that should be working Obama’s favour, such as the high number of Dem registrations, and the high number of Repugs probably being apathetic about voting for McCain, but it all depends on the new registrants getting out to vote and the Repugs staying home.
It is going to be a tough 2 1/2 weeks though, if there is a consistent ‘narrowing’. Fingers crossed. Of course it will make the 5 November Coopers all the sweeter if there is a landslide after all the doubts.

Afternoon all!

HarryH at 563 and EC at 567 – yep – I read that. I could throw together a page up on the right just for projections and stuff (but it would not live forever – which may be a good thing). In the meantime – anyone ready to stump up with a blistering post? If someone can pull something together tonight or tomorrow I’ll be able to put it up ASAP.

Barack Obama lines up a cabinet of stars

WITH the economy on the brink of recession and the country in the midst of two foreign wars, Barack Obama is considering appointing a cabinet of stars to steer America through potentially its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s if he wins the presidency on November 4.

Obama has a well-regarded, close-knit team of domestic and foreign policy advisers who would follow him into the White House and key administration posts. But he is also being urged to make some high-profile appointments who would command the confidence of the country at such a troubled time.

“It’s important to send a signal,” an Obama adviser said. “With a comparatively new person in office and the awful mess we’re in, these appointments are going to resonate around the world.” Obama, 47, has been warning his supporters that the election is not over yet. “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up,” he said last week. But should Obama win, he will not be short of big names to choose for his administration.

A host of well-known figures, including some Republicans, have indicated they would be willing to serve in some capacity as Obama begins to acquire a winner’s glow. From Senator John Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate with hopes of becoming secretary of state, to Larry Summers, a former US Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator who has been tipped as defence secretary, there are plenty who have signalled their availability.

Obama is thought likely to cherry-pick a few high-profile names, while rewarding the loyalty and discretion of advisers such as his foreign policy expert Susan Rice who have served him so well throughout the campaign.

“He has no patience whatsoever with prima donnas,” said one leading Democrat policy adviser.,25197,24519120-601,00.html

“He has no patience whatsoever with prima donnas,” said one leading Democrat policy adviser.

Looks like Hillary and Bill can forget it then.

C’mon, jen, you can do it! How else are you going to make it onto the Roll of Fame? Sweet talk is cheap, thread heads are where it’s at!
Al Franken has a fair chance of winning a MN seat in the US Senate; Coulter is a neocon hatemonger.(but of course you all knew that, it’s in case we’ve got visitors)

Tim Finn with ghetto blaster, Jo Camilleri, sax.

She’d better be around so we can gloat on the 5th and tell her what we think. On TV that is.

Chris – sorry, I meant this bit

it will effect my e commerce business I am trying to build at the moment. My site will be unreachable!

I was wondering why you thought Conroy’s stupid plan will block your site?. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a dumb idea, but I don’t quite share the doom and gloom view.

jen – I meant it, just write what you write, I’m sure it will be good


Ann Coulter = Boring…..and that is the worst possible word she would want to be called

Al Franken will indeed become a US Senator from Minnesota. Great for 2 reasons.

1) a true liberal being elected.
2) a toad like Norm Coleman being kicked to the curb. George Galloway will be smiling lol


It’s great to have you back. Where have you been all this time? As your physician, I have to tell you that I’m concerned that you’ve been on that 6 month drinking binge you talked about. Let me know if that yellow hue has returned to your sclera. Didn’t we decide on milk thistle last time? 👿

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