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Where “leading” means “fighting”

I hope every independent voter watches the ad the McCain campaign released even before the last radio waves of the debate escaped earth orbit:

So, McCain believes in crossing partisan lines, but when his opponent agrees with him, he takes it as a sign of weakness. Wow.

Obama could not be more clear or explicit about what he thinks leadership is and the way forward for this country: Find common ground, discuss the differences.

McCain couldn’t even look at Obama, much less acknowledge the values they share as Americans.


My hat is off to Jim Lehrer. Well done!

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9 Responses to “Where “leading” means “fighting””

  1. UGH. PUKE.

  2. Laughable.

  3. Of course, this wasn’t unexpected. That being said, I don’t think McCain used this material as best as he could have. The end of the message is clear but the connection with the rest of the message is not solid. He doesn’t make his point clear enough. This may appeal to his base but I’m not so sure this will resonate with swing voters.

  4. it’s no t evev his idea,

    in the round up of ‘istant reactions’ by the nyt this morning (last night)

    third quote, from the narional review:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/and-the-tie-goes-to/

  5. Brad, just curious: Are you puking at the McCain ad or my post about the ad? Or, possibly, both. Likewise, Brian…?

    Please people, let’s aim our puke and our derisive laughter at clear targets! :)

  6. I am literally puking on McCain, possibly right into his mouth. It’s just so predictable and divisive and slimy and dumb. Schoolyard tactics.

    That being said, I think Jeff’s right: it could have been done more effectively to belittle Obama (they only used a small handful of the number of times Obama said McCain was right about something).

    But I also think it’s easy to believe that the Obama campaign might have predicted this, knowing McCain would seize upon it in an ad after the debate. This undercuts McCain’s message of how Obama is dangerous and inexperienced and wrong.

    So the end message to McCain supporters is possibly: “hey, Obama’s not radically different than McCain policy-wise, plus he’s bipartisan, and hey he seems like a nice guy.”

    Seems like Obama stands to gain more from his behavior than McCain does.

    But bleh still puking.

  7. Senator McCain is absolutely right on some things…

    “Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington. It’s completely out of control. It’s gone — we have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society.”

    — Senator McCain is absolutely right!

    “We have — as I said, we’ve let government get completely out of control.”

    — Senator McCain is absolutely right!

    “And the reason, one of the major reasons why we’re in the difficulties we are in today is because spending got out of control. We owe China $500 billion.”

    — Senator McCain is absolutely right!

    “after we were able to help the Afghan freedom fighters and drive the Russians out of Afghanistan, we basically washed our hands of the region.”

    — Senator McCain is absolutely right!

    “So we have a long way to go in our intelligence services. We have to do a better job in human intelligence. And we’ve got to — to make sure that we have people who are trained interrogators so that we don’t ever torture a prisoner ever again.”

    — Senator McCain is absolutely right!

  8. NBC had a post debate interview with Sen. Biden. They invited Gov. Palin, but the GOP wouldn’t let her, so NBC had Giuliani instead. Imagine not allowing the VP candidate of your own party to respond after a debate. The incredible control of Palin’s appearances is unprecedented, I believe, and shameful. How can she say she is ready to lead the country when she can’t talk to a reporter?

    I’m not sure I want to watch the ad, since, as opposed to Brad, I don’t want to puke.

  9. I don’t see that as any more out-of-bounds than what’s being done on the opposite side. I found Obama skittish and flustered at times during the debate. He also clearly fell back on rote talking-points that were only tangentially related to the topic under discussion at several points. The biggest problem with Obama’s delivery during a debate that focused primarily on foreign policy was his fixation on the past mistakes of the current administration rather than describing his own plan in any detail. McCain called him on this when he pointed out that the next president won’t be called on to revisit those past decision, but to navigate future decisions. This is key, because the main problem here is that Obama is debating as though he were up against an *incumbent*, and that clearly isn’t the case with a maverick like John McCain. McCain’s policy plans came across much more clearly (whether one agrees with them or not). We’ll see if the pattern is replicated when the debates focus more on domestic policy. But I’m afraid round one goes to McCain.


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