Going into the debate, Shields and Brooks on PBS were analyzing the issues and the needs for both candidates and I was flabbergasted to discover that David Brooks suggested that McCain continue going negative and aggressive tonight. Wow. I certainly hope McCain follows that advice. His numbers have gone into the toilet since going negative, as I suspected would be the case. McCain the Straight Talk Express guy would never have gone there and McCain the 2008 Republican Candidate has broken the spell for an awful lot of Americans.
John McCain’s best shot at this is to convince people that – regardless of what they’ve seen in the very recent past – he’s still the Straight Talk Express Guy. He needs to find some way to tug at the heartstrings of his former supporters and make them feel something for him again other that disappointment and disgust.
Yet there is the dare that’s been hanging over this debate since the last. Why didn’t John McCain press the Ayers issue when before and after the debate, it has become the signature issue of every rally? McCain promised to raise the issue in Debate 2, he didn’t. He insisted that the flow of the conversation prevented it. I’ve used that line before. Now he’s made the promise a second time. Can he possibly not follow though tonight and look like anything other than – count on this website for the candor you’re looking for – a pussy?
Seems like he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, to me. Let’s wait and see how he manages to spin things. The old dog might still have a few tricks before the night is over.