Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Post-Post Debate Analysis

Evidently, I am the one that needs to go down to the garden supply store, buy some plant food, pour it over my heart, and grow a little faith...

Courtesy of, the best place for polls available.

It's obvious that Obama played the debates with much greater skill than I gave him credit for. By not going for the quick kill as I'd hoped, he instead presented himself as calm, thoughtful, and most importantly, presidential. That may not have enthused his base but it also didn't fire up the competition by antagonizing them, and seems to have convinced independents that he can do the job. Now they see that he should do the job through the double-whammy of the economy going into the toilet this week and McCain's ludicrous stunts.

There is a lot of daylight left before the books close on this election, but it is looking extremely dire for McCain. The Obama road to victory was always to win the states Kerry won in '04 plus one extra - not only has he accomplished that, Obama is on track here for as close as a Democrat has had to a landslide in decades. McCain has no option to stop the Obama strategy by taking away his "plus one" state in Pennsylvannia or Michigan; instead, he's got to play catch-up and simply try to preserve traditional red states like Virginia, all the while watching deep red states like North Carolina possibly make the jump to blue. And the Obamamentum may not be over yet: Georgia could also go to him before this all said and done.

McCain doesn't have a lot of chances left to turn this around. The Palin-Biden debate will more likely be a case of damage control than any opportunity for them. The next two debates give McCain some options, but unlike this first debate, they won't be concentrating on his supposed strength in foreign policy. And what McCain really needed to do - break off from the conservative base and appeal to the moderate roots he has become famed for (albeit without reason) - is pretty much lost as he's too long abandoned the maverick McCain of 2000 to ever regain that edge. All he has left is an October Surprise, and there really aren't any on the table that could help him. Any serious scandal would've already been brought out against Obama by now, after all the mudslinging, first by the Clintons and now by the Republicans. Another 9/11-style terrorist attack would only show how ineffective the McBush strategy on the War on Terror has been in protecting the country, and would more likely result in an Obama landslide. Invading Iran would do the same, as it would further expose the overstretched American military and bring the issue of re-establishing the draft to the fore. About the only thing that might swing things in McCain's favor is the capture of bin Laden, but we all know where the bastard is (Waziristan) and the only way to get him is to do what Obama has long counseled which McCain has lambasted him for - unilateral military action into Pakistan without that government's consent when the intel is credible.

I don't want to jinx it by saying it's over, as polls can change and Obama's lead is not insurmountable; but, if the fat lady isn't singing yet, she surely is warming up in the wings of the stage.

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