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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Strike Three: You're Out, Johnny

Obama's new ad riffing off McCain's statement last night that he isn't Bush

This was strike three for McCain. Three debates with Obama, three losses -- according to instant polling, focus groups, most observers. Last night McCain looked and acted angry, grumpy, nasty, snide, rude, arrogant, bullying, rigid, repressed, unreasonable, panicked and, at times, incoherent. His attacks on Obama were often personal, almost snarling, especially in the last half hour. They were also all over the lot, like disconnected lobs of whatever came into his mind at the moment, regardless of whether they made sense in a given context. McCain offered few, if any, cogent arguments. His impatient consciousness seemed to jump from memorized attack line to memorized attack line with no connecting narrative. Nothing stuck.

Obama kept his cool, parried masterfully and responded with measured arguments that calmly undercut McCain's frenetic and desperate lunges. He never let McCain get under his skin. Obama was reassuring, dignified and presidential. McCain was erratic, staccato and small. The split screen contrasts were stark, and devastating to McCain -- whose repeated bouts of mugging, sighing, smirking and eye-rolling were irritating and off-putting. McCain's "Joe the Plumber" schtick fell flat. In one focus group, every single member gave it the thumbs down. With no real policy points to push given the distain with which almost everything Bushian is viewed these days, McCain was left with cliches, old talking points and the nothingness of Bill Ayers.

The instant polls conducted right after the last prez debate found Obama the clear winner.

  • CNN poll of debate viewers: Obama 58%, McCain 31%
  • CBS poll of uncommitted voters: Obama 53%, McCain 22%
  • Both focus groups of uncommitted voters on CNN and Fox News found Obama the winner.

What we have to remember going forward:

"For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire. I've been in these positions before when we were favored, and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked. He added, “That’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me, so we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape.” --Sen. Barack Obama, quoted by the New York Times

And McCain hasn't yet given up on New Mexico. His campaign just announced that Sarah Palin will be coming to Roswell on Sunday, October 19 for a rally.

October 16, 2008 at 09:17 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain | Permalink


Stick a fork in McCain he's done. He came off like a cranky old man who was confused on issues. Loser.

Posted by: JJ | Oct 16, 2008 11:39:58 AM

We can't get too confident. We can still lose. The only way to make sure we win is to win very very big in every race we can. Only 19 days left to work at it.

Posted by: Old Dem | Oct 16, 2008 1:52:37 PM