Saturday, September 27, 2008

John McCain: Full of Sound and Fury...Signifying Nothing.

"What if this is as good as it gets?" The line from the 1997 movie fits John McCain for this debate. Since Obama clinched the nomination, this election has been slowly drifting towards Obama and away from McCain. Some of it has been natural, but a lot of it has been Senator McCain's doing--or undoing. To be fair, during the times in this campaign when McCain has trended up, he has controlled the dialogue. I don't think McCain did that tonight. He needed a "In what respect, Charlie?" moment from Obama, and that didn't happen.

I think the main thing McCain needed to do was make Obama look un-Presidential, and I don't think that happened. If looked at the CNN monitors, you saw a very partisan split when McCain was speaking. But you saw positives across independents, Democrats, and Republicans while Obama was speaking.To me, this suggests Obama more than beat expectations.

I think most honest viewers found that they could live with a President Obama, even if he's not their first choice. I know that is not the case with McCain. I think that will ultimately be the defining factor for people that come out on election day. Now if Pain alienates viewers in next week's debate, as she has in her past interviews, this election is over before Halloween. Sarah Palin will have to pull a rope-a-dope on Biden, or Obama will to drop the ball for this year to go well for the GOP.

I don't think tonight was McCain's night. If I weren't a Democrat, I'd say he broke even. But at this point, breaking even isn't even winning. If you add in what's going on with the economy and Palin (I'm not sure which is a greater threat), there should be no way that McCain comes out ahead.