Opinions vary as to what he should do. My previous flippant suggestions notwithstanding, it seems his main attack should be to say:
- He's not Bush
- He will fight for the public against those who perpetrated the financial mess, including Democrats and Repubs in govt
- Obama WILL raise taxes no matter what he claims--use the term 'voodoo economics' maybe.
- Mention that associations do matter by showing what guys like Ayers have in store for education reform today, not when Obama was 8.
- Point out that Barack has said he'd have "sunshine in government" but won't even release his own personal information.
- Hammer his own experience level, a commodity sorely needed in a time of crisis, and remind folks he will have Democrats on his cabinet.
We'll see what happens.
LIVE BLOGGIN (for my own amusement)
0804 I'm already annoyed at Schieffer for some reason.
0805 McCain on fairness-- basically uses the Prodigal Son example to explain away any bitterness from those who played by the rules regards his 300 billion buy back. Fairly ineffective.
0808 Obama is getting vewy vewy wonkish, and McCain comes back with the plumber.
0810 Barack is explaining his class envy program of taxing the rich, going right for the evil oil companies to explain socking it to Joe the Plumber--who's apparently too rich now for Barack. McCain comes back with "spread the wealth", right jab. Class warfare, another quick jab. Tax increases, another slap. McCain is breaking through on this ..right now.
0814 Nobody likes taxes..then let's not raise them. McCain now mentions our high corporate tax rates...OUCH. Where was this vigor in the past two meetings? McCain won this first round.
0815 Schieffer brings up the cutback question, which Obama answers by going right after subsidies to evil corporations. Gee, he can't think of any excesses in the Fed Govt except a few corp subsidies? McCain is now dodging the question but Schieffer reels him in and forces him to answer, which is also subsidies to corps!
0820 Obama is once again defending his earmarks after just answering the question about what he'll cut. Apparently earmarks aren't part of his plan. McCain finally parachutes out of the Bush Blimp, saying "you should have run against him 4 years ago". Good.
0825 McCain is hammerin' Mac tonight. The Rope-a-Dope is currently against the ropes. Obama answers by saying he reaches across the aisle on all kinds of insignificant things that don't amount to voting on things, and yes, you are just like Bush, except you don't believe in torture like president Bush does! President Bush sure do love him the smell of some torture in the mornin', don't he?
0830 Schieffer reminds both of them of their former high road and with details, including Ayers (in an attempt to take them off the table for McCain). And he answers by blasting Obama with John Lewis and how he never repudiates any out of bounds remarks from his own folk--good reply. Then smacks him on public financing. Obama= Well look...the TV programs say McCain's ads are 100 percent negative! Then he goes on to call McCain McBush again.
Body language update.. Obama is a little timid being this close to McCain, I think. And he has more gray than a few months ago.
0833 Barack on Lewis--maybe he was right! Now, after using a tit-for-tat explanation, he says people are tired of tit-for-tat. Hey-- McCain almost used the Eric Stratton Animal House line I recommended ("I don't have to stand here while you tear down the USA") and Obama answers with something, not sure what. McCain then launched into ACORN and Ayers, calling him a washed-up terrorist. So here we go:
I was 8. He did something bad. I have condemned. 10 years ago we served on CAC funded practically by Reagan. Ayers has all kinds of GOP friends. He's not in the campaign.
ACORN-- their employees suck and I represented them only with motor voter (illegals?). He didn't mention coaching them.
McCain-- Woods Fund 30K to ACORN! Obama--not true I started my campaign in Ayers' living room. McCain is kicking some serious ass.
0840 Joe Biden one of the finest public servants? No wonder we're in this mess. And Obama just dropped a G, which is what Tina Fey mocks about Palin. Then he hinted the dead president issue, which really only applies to the old man, even though Biden is old, has plugs and uses Botox.
McCain--plugs Sarah's energy and reform prodigy by saying we need a breath of fresh air, which is a slap at Biden. Then Mac goes for the female vote by mentioning special needs and autism. But is she qualified? Barack--let the voters decide (good answer) and reminds Mac research on autism requires funding (another good reply).
Now Mac takes on his old friend Joe by taking out the foreign policy scalpel on his federalism plan and First Gulf War mistake, then goes right back to earmarks, stopped by Schieffer.
0845 Climate Change time. It was announced today the glaciers increased in Alaska this past year, btw. Mac then pastes Obama on NAFTA. But as to Nook plants, aren't we just creating more terrorism targets? I'd rather see more drilling, solar and wind, personally. But McCain said nothing about global warming.
Obama--10 year time frame for reducing foreign dependence. OK, and he wants to expand domestic production, which allows him to bash the oil companies again. He really knows the populist buttons to push, like with NAFTA. McCain then blasts Obama's flowery words by saying drill here, drill now.
0855 McCain reminds us Obama has never been south of the border, so he can't be well versed on Columbia or Mehico (but he's been to Pakistan and Africa!). That's effective. Obama then reminds us that Detroit isn't making fuel efficient cars (he's right). McCain then smacks back by comparing Obama's reluctance to keep NAFTA with his willingness to sit down with Hugo Chavez. Another body blow. I think Obama is somewhat bloodied and on the ropes still.
0900 Health care--Obama can make a big comeback here. His analogy of the federal health program is fine and most people will feel jealous, which is the point. But Fed workers are limited in their plans to about 3 viable programs, and I understand the co-pays and premiums are pretty high. McCain goes back to Joe the Plumber and says Obama will fine him! Obama says no he won't -- he'll fine the EVIL CORPORATIONS! McCain congratulates Joe for being rich (this is good) and says Obama certainly WILL fine him because he's not a small business anymore. I suspect we'll need some fact checking here.
As to McCain's plan, I don't fully understand. He needs to do better getting this across. Then he said "Senator Government". Well, that's more descriptive than "Barack America" I guess.
0910 Abortion. Here we go. McCain--no litmus test, he's a federalist. Good answer. McCain mentions the "Gang of 14" and reminds Barack he did not, but messes up by saying Barack didn't vote for Justice Breyer (oops). Obama--no litmus test, BUT...(typical Obama) and hey, he's not a federalist. McCain--we must change the culture of America then whips right into the born alive deal, which Obama says sounds incredible because it's not true. And hey, Republicans voted with me, and we need Planned Parenthood and sex ed for kindergarteners (OK, I added that last one). McCain, who looks more like the adult here, reminds everyone he has compassion.
0920 Education. Obama--more money and reform. But what kind of reform, Obama? The Annenberg Challenge shunned math and science skills. Will McCain bring this back up? In the meantime, he's talking about Charter Schools and mentions that Barack sends his kids to private schools. He's also talking with more passion than Obama, and has been all night. And looking him squarely in the eye.
Obama is now talking about local control of schools and making some good points about unfunded mandates. But now he's talking about focusing on early childhood education, which is one of Ayers' pet project (small schools?). Scary stuff. Now McCain reminds Obama about Washington, DC voucher program and how Obama's kids are in private schools.
McCain is talking about transparency--too bad he doesn't mention this in context with Barack's refusal to issue his Columbia grades to the public.
Obama finished up by reminding us there are not enough vouchers, and McCain had a kind of awkward ending.
Final Statements- McCain said "my friends" for the first time. Wow. Nice message discipline, such as his hitting of the spending button, about 10 times tonight. He bumbled the speech, though.
Obama- the new great depression is here. McCain is Bush. I have the change we need.
Other than the great depression, our brighter days are ahead. And we have to spend spend spend more more more.
McCain shakes Obama's hand in victory, I believe.
Fox News is outright giving Obama the presidency now. Curious. I think they are reading the tea leaves and are angling for future access. The Luntz focus group was ridiculous. "How many of you had a candidate before coming in?" None. "How many changed your vote?" Four. How do you change from nobody?
Oh well. Get ready for the Democrats, I guess. If Fox has given up, it's over.