This was Senator McCain’s strongest debate yet. He came out swinging, and it was great to see that. He was able to take advantage of Obama’s conversation with Joe the Plumber and to make the case that Obama’s tax plan is the wrong solution to the country’s financial struggles. The whole discussion on taxes should have been a clear advantage to Senator McCain, because increased government spending and increased business taxes will hurt the economy. John McCain is hardly a perfect representative of responsible government spending when he wants to spend an additional $300 billion (that he proposed in the last debate). That said, it’s an unwise suggestion for someone who says that he wants to increase productivity, job creation, and to strengthen our economy to propose higher business taxes. That’s what Barack Obama wants to do. Proposals to increase government programs and spending are just as irresponsible — considering that the average American doesn’t have the luxury of spending more than they can afford once their credit cards are maxed out. The government’s credit cards must be shredded. NOW. This is a message that resonated with me, if not the “undecided” people in Frank Luntz’s focus group.
Were there missed opportunities for McCain? Of course. He wasn’t able to close the deal on his economic argument or explain why Obama’s radical friends should concern the average person. McCain has the right philosophy on the economy and taxes, which is that lower taxes promote growth, both for businesses and for individuals. Obama seems to concede some of that argument. Why else would he brag about his various tax credits and claim that 95% of workers get a tax cut? Interesting wording there. It doesn’t specify that they have to be tax-paying workers. But that’s a argument for another day.
Finally we hear about William Ayers and ACORN. McCain didn’t make the right connection here. No, we weren’t asking him to call Barry a socialist or a terrorist just because he had some friends who could be described that way. (At least I wasn’t.) The question should have been about Barack Obama’s character and judgment. What drew these assorted malcontents to Barack Obama? Did he know the full extent of Ayers’ crimes and political philosophy? Why couldn’t Barack Obama recognize that it was unwise to be friendly with people like Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and those famous community organizers who enable voter fraud? If he truly was unaware about all the questionable activities these people engaged in, isn’t it possible that he would be just as clueless about the foreign leaders he might meet as President? Those are only a few of the questions I had. Surely McCain’s campaign staff can figure out a way to stick this subject in one of their “ready to lead” ads.
Some random observations:
Loved McCain questioning Biden’s judgment on foreign policy. About time someone did.
Barack Obama is like a robot. He never strays from his script, and even when McCain made some very serious charges against him, he was always able to bat it down with very little effort. He may lie and disassemble, but he’s very smooth, and nobody can ever pin him down on it in a way the audience at home could notice. That’s such an annoying characteristic. He is even more of a Teflon Man than Bill Clinton ever was.
I would strongly advise the McCain team to get some ads together on three themes. The first is the economy. Explain in 30 seconds or less how your tax plan is being misrepresented by the Obama campaign. In a separate ad, talk about the effects of implementing Obama’s tax plan on people like Joe the Plumber. If you could get the original for an ad, that would be outstanding. The second is health care. Make the case for your $5000 tax credit and explain the additional benefits on it — portability, etc. The reason Obama is winning on these issues is because the only ads we see on these issues are Barack’s. The third is an ad about all Barack’s radical friends that would improve on the previous ads. One sentence each on Ayers, ACORN, Wright, and Rezko explaining the relationship each had to Barack Obama. Then say, Barack Obama didn’t see anything wrong with these relationships until they harmed his political career. Bad associations. Bad judgment. He trusted these people. Do you trust Barack Obama with the White House?
(or something like that)
That’s all I have…glad the debates are finally over.