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McCain's Move: 4 Different Debate Scenarios
Townhall ^ | September 25, 2008 | Matt Lewis

Posted on 09/25/2008 1:53:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

It looks like Obama has firmly declared he will be at the debate, while McCain has allowed a little wiggle room by "requesting" the debate be postponed -- and "challenging" Obama to agree.

Regardless, this "staring contest" over whether or not to debate tomorrow night, could have real political ramifications. McCain's opening salvo was shrewd and bold, but Obama's comeback was good, too ("Part of the president's job is to deal with more than one thing at once.")

Following are some thoughts on how McCain might respond to Obama's insistence on continuing with the debate:

1. McCain could still show up. If the compromise deal gets worked out in time, McCain could show up at the debate a victor, having slayed the economic dragon, and having gained the moral high ground, as well. ... Even if the deal isn't signed, McCain could still show up -- and ask to focus on the economy (though the debate is supposed to be about foreign policy).

2. McCain could skip it. McCain says he won't debate unless there is a deal. Pictures of McCain doing real work on the economy at 9 PM on a Friday night (I don't know, he and Lindsay Graham sitting around a boardroom table with a calculator??) juxtaposed with pictures of Obama at a debate might make McCain look serious (and, conversely, make Obama look political). Of course, absent those images, this could also backfire.

Don't discount the fact that skipping the debate opens McCain up to criticism that he cost Ole Miss money and prestige. But more importantly, skipping the debate might give Obama a large forum all to himself (granted, few real Americans watch debates on Friday nights -- but this would allow pundits to speculate for days that McCain blew it by not showing up ...)

3. McCain could make a last-minute arrival. Showing up just as the debate begins -- if it comes on the heels of a major bi-partisan compromise or breakthrough -- would be a dramatic entrance, indeed. This could work well, or it also might also be perceived as being too cute by half...

4. McCain could send Palin. (I mentioned this last night). Obama would be in a "no-win" situation, in my view. If he refused to debate her, that would be patronizing. But if he did debate her, he would essentially be conceding that they are at the same level. McCain could then argue that in the real world, a vice president steps in to handle political things when a leader is working on real policy ...

What are your predictions???

TOPICS: Mississippi; Campaign News; Issues; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: 2008; debates; election; elections; financialcrisis; mccain; obama; palin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t know, but I have a hunch that McCain will attend the debate. After today and tomorrow there will be a point where he can say that the work is done, or all but done, and there is plenty of time to go ahead with the debate. He’ll thank his colleagues for “working together quickly” as what made it possible. Something like that.

41 posted on 09/25/2008 2:35:54 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: StAntKnee
He's juggling trying to learn on foreign policy since he doesn't really know much, and anyone who disagrees show me solid evidence he has and not just some BS bill he tacked his name onto. I want real evidence like what leaders has he met with, what did tehy discuss, why would he discuss policy when he is only a lowly Senator and has no bearing on treaties, negotiations, and military strategy? SO juggling learning about foreign policy he is also trying to keep Michelle hidden form the public since she really has gotten him into some pickles, reigning in crazy old maybe dementia setting in Biden, and trying to spot Palin coming in and ripping at his numbers. I mean it is kind of hard to see her coming when she's in full camo and Scent-block!! LOL !
42 posted on 09/25/2008 2:36:44 PM PDT by jennguhl (Let's stop letting the minority dictate the majority.)
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To: Miles the Slasher

Actually, that wouldn’t be bad either. Biden would be truly last-minute while Palin is prepared.

43 posted on 09/25/2008 2:55:14 PM PDT by arthurus (Old age and guile beats youth and enthusiasm.)
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To: LegalEagle61

I certainly hope that the Republicans are undermining the Paulson plan. This thing needs to go away.

44 posted on 09/25/2008 3:00:58 PM PDT by arthurus (Old age and guile beats youth and enthusiasm.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Two things at once? You mean like liberating Iraq while continuing to rebuild Afghanistan?

45 posted on 09/25/2008 3:01:23 PM PDT by Dilbert56 (Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war.")
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To: Pravious
Having Sarah pinch-hit would be a big mistake. It would make McCain look like he’s afraid to debate Obama, or maybe even be seen as a sign of disrespect.

If Obama and the LSM had been claiming that "well, Palin is good, but she's not at the top of the ticket" then you'd have a point. Since Obama et al. have claimed that she's an unqualified lightweight, then he should be able to clean her clock easily. Unless, of course, he's an even-less-qualified lightweight.

That having been said, I would suggest that the right approach would be to announce that if there is a debate, Palin will be attending, and Obama/Biden can decide which of them, if either, is going to debate her.

46 posted on 09/25/2008 3:46:33 PM PDT by supercat
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To: jennguhl

Heckuvan observation about keeping Michelle out of sight.

Do you think we’ll be seeing her face a whole lot as we get closer to Nov. 4? Do you think we’ll be hearing the “downright mean” quote? Or the “First time I’ve been proud of America”?

We’d better.

Because America needs to imagine her as First Lady. Before they decide.

47 posted on 09/25/2008 3:47:36 PM PDT by StAntKnee (Why'dja say I was a community organizer? You know how I always wanted to pretend I was a soldier.)
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To: Ramius

You’re right, Ramius.

McCain has to show up if the work is done.

“I’ve helped the President and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle get things moving. A great deal of credit should go to the leaders of both parties. Now, let’s get on with this debate.”

If no solution to the financial crisis, he has to video in. After having made such a dramatic move as to suspend campaigning, he simply cannot drop off the radar.

“Hey, look, I’m here in Washington between meetings on the financial crisis. Because a leader has to go where he’s needed. Even if you’re multi-tasking, you put your physical presence in the place deemed top priority. I’ve got some media weenies in the room to make sure that nobody is feeding me answers, so let’s get that out of the way and get to rumbling.”

Like that.

BTW, remember all the gnashing about Bush not going down to the Katrina site? Why is proper to phone in leadership now with, perhaps, an even bigger crisis?

Is what Sarah or John should say.

I don’t need no credit for saying it first. It’s amazing the results a leader can achieve when he doesn’t care who takes the credit.

He should say that, too.

48 posted on 09/25/2008 3:56:02 PM PDT by StAntKnee (Why'dja say I was a community organizer? You know how I always wanted to pretend I was a soldier.)
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To: Right Cal Gal
And what two things is Obambi juggling?

Himself, and... Himself?

the infowarrior

49 posted on 09/25/2008 4:29:49 PM PDT by infowarrior (“Let the voters decide if Palin is laughable.”-Tublecane)
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To: infowarrior

Why not move up the Palin Biden debate.
That way Ole Miss doesnt lose.

50 posted on 09/25/2008 4:42:57 PM PDT by mouse1
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How is that a debate like this can cost...I believe they said 23 million dollars. The building is there, they didn’t have to build it. They have 700 volunteers, that means free labor, although I cannot imagine what those 700 people may do, and 2 years to set this up....

Someone enlighten me please;/

51 posted on 09/25/2008 4:45:09 PM PDT by Hanna548
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If Sarah felt up to the 4th scenario it would be simply DEVASTATING for the O.

52 posted on 09/25/2008 4:55:23 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (PALIN-MANIA ... I haz it!)
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To: madison10

McCain should send Stanley Kurtz as a surrogate. The subject matter could be Obama’s executive experience with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

53 posted on 09/25/2008 5:32:39 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: jessduntno
Mac should breeze in at the last minute and kick his skinny behind. “I didn’t need any prep.”

This is my view too. McCain should give the impression up until the last minute that he may or may not show, keeping Obama on his toes not knowing what to expect. You know O is hoping McCain doesn't show. To see the look on O's face when McCain walks in would be priceless. Then McCain needs to be his authoritative self.

54 posted on 09/25/2008 7:58:34 PM PDT by Proudcongal (POW/WOW '08)
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To: tearlenb

I don’t know. In 2000 when McCain and Bush debated in the primaries, in one of the debates McCain (for a reason I can’t recall) wasn’t able to appear and instead was on video and it didn’t play well. McCain had to stand there all stiff for the camera and Bush was able to move around and came off much better. Under the circumstances, it might work better this time for McCain, but I still remember that as a blunder for Mac in 2000.

55 posted on 09/25/2008 8:03:09 PM PDT by Proudcongal (POW/WOW '08)
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To: Texas_shutterbug
sitting before a camera with a "reporter" asking double talk questions and refusing to address the Governor as "Governor" and editing the whole thing can be pretty intimidating...

Palin has done gaffes.....

it would be nice when she feels she's got a impartial inquisitor instead of a tyrant trying to ram questions down her throat...

56 posted on 09/25/2008 10:18:27 PM PDT by cherry
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To: cherry

Think McCain wins big by not showing up. Letting the public watch Me-boma for 90 mins do his bumbling, me, I, me, clown act well clear the house turn of the few Tv viewers that are watching. Where McCain wins is when it is reported afterwards as the lowest viewing audience ever watching a debate.

57 posted on 09/26/2008 7:32:53 AM PDT by knn123
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