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‘I Ain’t Bush,’ says McCain

‘Oh Yes Yer Are’ says Obama (and McCain?)

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John McCain scored the zinger of the night with, “I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”

But his performance in the third debate was, in fact, incredibly Bush-like, mirroring Bush’s signature stubbornness — especially on Iraq — by doubling down on a failed strategy.

McCain’s reliance on angry, negative, personal attacks on Obama — including the pathetic Ayers smear and ACORN “destroying the fabric of democracy” — has been an unequivocal failure, with the poll numbers to prove it. But instead of course-correcting, McCain doubled down tonight — coming across as angrier and meaner than ever before.

This debate wasn’t decided on the arguments being made. It was won on the reaction shots. Every time Obama spoke, McCain grimaced, sneered, rapidly blinked, or rolled his eyes. “He looked like Captain Ahab, again and again going after Moby Dick,” John Cusack told me. “Or an animal caught in a bear trap. He even seemed pissed at Joe the Plumber.”

The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared. It was like watching a split-screen double feature — Grumpy Old Men playing side by side with Cool Hand Luke.

McCain’s contemptuous reactions were so intense and frequent, they’ve already been turned into a YouTube video. The disdain McCain feels for Obama was unmistakable. It’s as if Obama is not just blocking his way to the White House, but robbing him of his destiny.

By contrast, every time McCain was on the attack, Obama was smiling. And the nastier McCain got, the brighter Obama’s smile became. It was the non-verbal equivalent of Reagan’s disarming “There you go again” — and it served to underline McCain’s need for anger management. The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared.

It was like watching a split-screen double feature — Grumpy Old Men playing side by side with Cool Hand Luke.

McCain was frantic — as though he was running out of time, which he is — throwing everything he had at Obama, logical connection between thoughts be damned. In one memorable answer, he brought up Colombia, quickly jumping from free trade, to drugs killing young Americans, to hostages freed from Colombian rebels, to job creation.

Colombia also brought out one of McCain’s most sneering reactions, chiding Obama for never having “traveled south of our border” — a jaw-dropping line of attack from the man who chose Sarah “Just Got My Passport” Palin as his No. 2.

Another head-scratcher: McCain’s claim that “talking about a positive plan of action to restore this economy” is “what my campaign is all about.” Really?

This is another way in which McCain’s campaign mirrors Bush’s handling of the Iraq war: not only doubling down on a failed strategy but also engaging in an endless search for an underlying rationale.

McCain’s spirit at the beginning of the debate quickly curdled into a desperate rage.

McCain’s campaign was all about experience — until he picked Palin. It was all about putting country first — until he picked Palin. It was all about the success of the surge — until everyone from General Petraeus and the authors of the latest NIE made it clear that victory in Iraq exists only in McCain’s and Palin’s stump speeches. It was all about William Ayers — until voters rejected that line of attack. It was all about national security — until the economy collapsed.

Now it looks like it’s going to be all about Joe the Plumber — and Sarah Palin’s “expertise” on autism. Note to Sen. McCain, check out Palin’s record as an advocate for special needs kids. She may understand their problems “better than almost any American that I know,” but she sure isn’t making their life easier in her state. (Is it any wonder McCain choked on the words as he referred to Palin as a “bresh of freth air”?)

Another note to McCain: If your mentioning Hillary Clinton three times in the debate was an attempt to win the hearts of women, putting women’s “health” in air quotes and labeling it the concern only of “extreme” pro-abortionists was not a very good way to close the deal. He can kiss those women — and those pro-choice swing voters — good-bye.

McCain’s spirit at the beginning of the debate quickly curdled into a desperate rage. And looking at the post-debate insta-polls, one thing became crystal: for voters, a lot of anger doesn’t go a long way.

Obama closed by promising to “work every single day, tirelessly, on your behalf.” McCain closed by just sounding tired — exhausted by all the unleashed fury.

Source: HP

I can feel it coming in the Ayers tonight, oh Lord !!

McCain’s meant to kick some butt – at tonight the last debate – which is to cover domestic and economic polity – though I’m not sure how convincing the average voter that a tax cut for the very wealthy is going to help them – especially since the last one didn’t work.

Tonight is the last presidential debate, and the stakes are highest for John McCain — he’s on track to finish off the season with three strikes. The Arizona Republican has been heightening expectations for a fight. Before last Tuesday’s debate he made a similar move, suggesting to a crowd that he would “take the gloves off.” (He didn’t, and by many accounts the debate was not only “boring” but another win for Obama.) Tonight is McCain’s last chance to close the widening gap between him and Senator Obama. By McCain’s own predictions, it would seem that only a knockout win will do the trick. Read below for McCain’s two major pronouncements: that he’ll “‘whip’ Obama’s “you-know-what” and that it’s “probably ensured” he’ll bring up William Ayers tonight.

Source: HP

McCain Wins Debate Before It Happens!!

McCain Wins Debate Before It Happens!!

We certainly know what he was planning!

After days of saying that John McCain would not attend Friday’s presidential debate unless an agreement on a bailout package for the markets was “locked-down,” the McCain campaign has gone back on its word.

On Friday, it announced that the Senator would head down to Mississippi even though, as they readily admit, much work remained needed on the bailout agreement.

The whole episode left even conservatives admitting that the McCain campaign looked erratic and a bit foolish with no apparent direction or guiding principle.

“It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology,” said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. “In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The ‘steady hand in a storm’ argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain.”

Shirley added, “My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff.”

Adding to the rocky perception was a McCain campaign web ad released this morning declaring “McCain Wins Debate!” — put out even before the candidate had announced he was planning to debate.

Aides to Barack Obama were not, generally, surprised by the announcement, though nonetheless pleased. One called the Arizona Republican’s gambit – of leaving the trail to supposedly forge a compromise on the bailout – a “failure.” Other Democrats were equally biting in describing the moment.

“It means that people think he went back on his word,” said Howard Wolfson, formerly the communications director for Hillary Clinton. “John McCain’s presidential campaign has been in a death spiral since the Wall Street collapse and this summit gambit was an attempt to pull out of it. But it hasn’t succeeded because McCain hasn’t done anything to move the ball forward.”

Allies of McCain tried to put the best spin on the announcement, saying that while the bailout legislation was not yet completed, McCain thought it best to address the nation.

“What’s more important than anything that when we go to Mississippi tonight, both candidates can say that the Congress is working,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham

But others couldn’t help but admit that the Arizona Republican had mismanaged the whole scenario, basically walking himself into a corner, stuck with the choice of looking either scared or unprincipled.

“He will been seen as blinking first,” Shirley declared, “since it was he who said he wasn’t going until the crisis is averted. Hobson’s choice, painted in a corner, bollixed — pick your poison, or pick your cliche.”

Source: HP

Obama Will Make Debate A Townhall If McCain Doesn't Show

Obama Will Make Debate A Townhall If McCain Doesn't Show

UPDATE: An adviser Barack Obama says he expects John McCain to attend:

“I actually think he’s going to come to the debate,” the adviser, Robert Gibbs, told reporters in Washington on Thursday.

And echoing a talking point that Senator Obama used in his press conference on Thursday, Mr. Gibbs added: “I think he will decide that a president is capable of doing more than one thing at a time.”

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain’s absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

Such a course of action could make life incredibly difficult for McCain, who has called for the suspension of the debate in light of the current economic crisis. Should he stay in Washington D.C. — if a bailout is not completed by then — and let Obama alone reach tens of millions of television viewers?

A lot, of course, depends upon what the debate commission decides to do. At this point in time, there is no indication that they are going to postpone the affair, as the McCain campaign has asked.

Separately, on Thursday, Obama himself said he was intending to go to Oxford, Miss for the scheduled debate and called on McCain to be there with him.

“The American people deserve to hear directly from myself and Sen. McCain about how we intend to lead our country,” Obama said. “The times are too serious to put our campaign on hold, or to ignore the full range of issues that the next president will face.”

Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on Thursday that he expected the debate to go forward as planned.

Source: HP

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