Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting ready for the second Obama vs. McCain presidential debate

As I've done with the previous two debates, I'm planning on live-blogging tonight. Keep reloading this page for more updates.

---> UPDATE: Go to this post for the live-blogging.

I assume McCain is going to flail away, trying to throw a bunch of guilt-by-association slime over Obama in a desperate attempt to avert electoral disaster.

And I assume Obama is going to make sure to pointedly say: "He wants to slash Medicare."

Pre-debate analysis from others:

McCain's two narrow options tonight.

McCain's two challenges tonight:

[1.] Town halls invite civility. That's one of the reasons McCain proposed doing a series of town halls with Obama over the summer and fall. It was, his advisers know, his hope of conducting a different kind of campaign, one in which the two nominees might even share a meal after their joint performances. ... The irony now is that, when McCain finally gets Obama on the stage for a town hall style debate, the pressure on him is to discard his traditional instincts and go after his opponent. ...

[2.] The other challenge for McCain is finding ways to raise the questions he wants to raise about Obama during a debate in which the all-enveloping economic crisis demands serious attention and discussion by the candidates. Obama mocked McCain's campaign advisers on Monday for suggesting they wanted to turn the page on the economic crisis and move to character issues.
And watch out for that ponytail guy!

Here's a very useful device if you want to know which buzzwords the candidates use most often in the debates, and jump into the middle of the debate right when one of those buzzwords is being uttered: MSNBC's video player lets you do just that. You can do this with the two debates that have already happened (that link goes to the most recent debate -- there are links at the top to switch to a different debate). I assume they'll have tonight's debate posted later on, though presumably not live.

National Review's Andrew McCarthy is nervous about tonight:
This is McCain's shot — maybe his last one — to make his case to the country, not just look good to the immediate audience. He's got to speak above that audience to everyone who may be listening. If he doesn't get it done, the next debate might not matter. He's gotta understand: this could be it.