Hempstead, NY here we go!
Wednesday night is the last night for the presidential debates. This is it. No mas. Decision time!
Of course, I made my decision during the primaries, but for some reason there are people who still don’t know who to vote for. (Really? The campaign’s been going on for almost two years and they agree on almost NOTHING!) And I hope those people don’t expect tons of substance at a debate. A debate is theater. It’s about posturing, body language and communicating your message. It’s about not looking inept or ignorant or mean or unseemly.
Neither Barack Obama or John McCain are good debaters. Mad Dog Joe Biden could eat them both alive with his quick loquaciousness. But Obama has improved vastly since last summer and is obviously the better of the two top candidates when it comes to:
A) Not looking angry
B) Not coming off like a douche
C) Not getting off message
He’s still “no drama, Obama.” McCain is still the McManiac, McManiac on the debate floor! And his rambling like he’s never rambled before! McCain, behind in the polls with pretty much nothing to lose, claims he’s going to bring the fight to Obama.
Really? Is this debate going to be like Pickett’s Last Charge? What is he going to do that he didn’t do blandly in the first two debates? The William Ayers stuff isn’t working because, as Jon Stewart so aptly put it Tuesday night, the monster of fear and anger McCain has created became a public relations nightmare with Civil Rights activist and House Rep. John Lewis accusing him of reaching back into the archives and remixing Gov. George Wallace’s greatest hits. (Segregation now! Segregation today! Segregation forever!)
That was a low blow, but not really far off. McCain-Palin was really pushing the Rice Krispies end of the conservative continuum and they were ready to snap, crackle and pop all over his campaign.
Things will likely go smoothly and unless McCain goes feral (which he can’t do because going feral didn’t help on the stump). Despite his declarations to “fight” it should be another tepid debate with a slightly more congenial and lively moderator (Bob Schieffer of CBS). There will be some verbal sparring, but I don’t see McCain landing the heavy blow he’s looking for. How do you box a shadow? Obama somehow has mastered the art of debating zen — I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say to me bounces off and sticks to you.