My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


what McCain Needs To Do Tonight 

I think this debate is the pivotal moment in this campaign. Early voting starts soon (has started some places), the Dems are ramping up their "Make Up The Vote" effort, and the Obama campaign has shifted fully into front-runner status. If McCain actually wants to be the President, he can't settle for a tie tonight, he can't be happy with a win on points, and he can't--ABSOLUTELY can't--afford to lose this debate.

He has to score a dominating knockout, the kind that Mike Tyson was famous for.

That is, the early, scary boxer Mike Tyson . . . not so much the later, scary crazy rapist Mike Tyson.

So, here's what I'm looking for:

:to the question about going negative in the last weeks of the campaign:

in the course of a normal American election, candidates have their lives inspected and examined from every angle. For instance, in the week following my running mates' extraordinary Convention speech, media outlets sent about fifty producers up to Alaska to search through trash cans and look under rocks and inspect every aspect of Gov. Palin's life. We were treated to serious discussion on major media outlets of the possibility that Gov Palin's youngest son was actually her grandchild by her daughter. And we were regaled with interviews of, seemingly, every single person in Wasilla who disagreed with my running mate. On the other hand, in eighteen months of campaigning, only one serious journalist has spent any time in Chicago going through the records of Sen. Obama's past business dealings, his ties to the political machine, and the genesis of his political philosophy. When that one journalist had a chance to explain his work on CNN, most of the interview ended up on the cutting room floor.

So what we have is an extraordinary election, in which the major media has chosen to ignore the life and associations of one of the two nominees for President, all the while decrying the "negative tone" of my campaign, while ignoring the my opponent put out a 13 minute video yesterday, which has spun into a number of television ads, about my complete exoneration from a scandal twenty years ago.

What we have been forced to do, as a campaign, is to spend our time trying to inform the public about Mr. Obama's record, a record that is paper thin, but reveals a politician deeply out of touch with core American values. It's easy to call that sort of approach "negative," but it's a lot more accurate to call it "truthful"--it's only the reality that casts my opponent in a negative light.

:to the question about the financial meltdown:

ACORN, CitiBank being forced to loan in poor neighborhoods, Barney Frank, Franklin Raines, Fannie and Freddy and my warnings in 2005, campaign donations

:to questions about the housing crisis:

Tony Rezko and sweetheart deals

:to every question about education:

the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Bill Ayers, radical ideas, community organizing and failing inner city schools, choice, competition,

And he absolutely has to turn every hint of a question about experience into a question about judgment into a question about Obama's ties to Ayers/Wright/Rezko and his own lengthy record of service to and love of country.

This has to be a knockout. No pulled punches, no odd smiles . . . We need to see Commander-in-Chief and "Most Powerful Man in the Free World" John McCain.

Anything less will guarantee that in about 105 days we'll be greeting Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama.

Updates after the debate. For live coverage of the debate, tune over to Ben's or to Michael's sites--they're doing a group live blog.

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