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Obama Plans to Stick to Domestic Policy at Debate


Barack Obama arrives at the Marriott hotel prior to his debate against John McCain at Hofstra University Oct. 15, 2008 in Hempstead, N. Y. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Shailagh Murray
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Sen. Barack Obama arrived here this afternoon for the final presidential debate prepared to stick to the official topic: domestic policy.

So that makes one of the two candidates. Sen. John McCain has said he may bring up previous debate unmentionables, like Obama's association with the 1960s-era radical William Ayers, which Obama has said he is surprised have not come up before.

Obama will answer the charges, but would rather avoid a contentious personal brawl. "All we can control is what we do," Obama's political strategist, David Axelrod, told reporters aboard the campaign plane. "Hopefully we'll have a robust discussion about the economy. It would be a shame if we didn't."

Axelrod said that the Obama viewers see tonight would be similar to the Obama who showed up at previous debates in Nashville, Tenn., and Oxford, Miss. "We're not in the business of reinventing ourselves from debate to debate," he asserted, alluding to Obama's GOP opponent, whom he described as "churning from day to day."

His candidate will surely show up more polished than he was 18 months ago, at the first of the '08 showdowns in April 2007. Obama struggled during those early sessions to deliver crisp responses, and he seemed outmatched by some of his far more seasoned opponents -- including his present running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden.

"It's fair to say that it was a new experience for him," said Axelrod. "I think he's honed his debating style." But he added, the two dozen sessions have added up to something: "We've always believed that as people came to know Senator Obama, to see him, to hear him, that that would be helpful to his candidacy. He makes the case for himself as well as anybody."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 15, 2008; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , The Debates  
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Next: In Lead-Up to Debate, McCain Dials Back Personal Attacks

Comments

McCain just set Obama straight! way to go McCain! He told Obama to stop comparing him to George Bush, he's not George Bush.
But if Obama really wants to debate George Bush he' free to do that.

Posted by: ohioan | October 15, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

WOMEN OF AMERICA UNITE!
UNITE AGAINST THE SEXIST MEDIA AND BARACK HUSSEIN’S MUGGING OF VICE PRESIDENT, SARAH PALIN!

Women must unite against the liberal media vicious, sexist, cruel, demeaning, contemptuous UN-AMERICAN, unfair, unprofessional, unrelenting and blatantly biased treatment against Vice President Sarah Palin and acting blatantly in favor of Barack Hussein Obama during this unprecedented historic quest for the presidency!

Barack Hussein Obama claims a mightier throne, one forged in liberal ideals of justice and equality and hope, BUT he has benefited mightily from sexism in this campaign, and has remained silent. Obama supporters seem very happy with the sexist way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by Sarah Palin, and many believe that most of the "venom" in the campaign is coming from supporters of Obama.

WOMEN OF AMERICA UNITE IN THIS DEFINING MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. To ensure we can grow up from the male dominated government that has caused many of the problems our country is facing; to a country where men and women are equal partners in governance.

WOMEN OF AMERICA UNITE!
UNITE AGAINST THE SEXIST MEDIA AND BARACK HUSSEIN’S MUGGING OF VICE PRESIDENT, SARAH PALIN!
VOTE FOR MCCAIN/PALIN

Posted by: Manolete | October 15, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

You are saying Obama is going to honor the debate rules agreed to by both campaigns? And the famous maverick is going to defy them? O man o man, it's almost over and these guys must be exhausted. I know I am and all I do is watch and blog and vote.

Posted by: GaiasChild | October 15, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

TIME FOR A RADICAL CHANGE IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS

Perhaps McCain could bring it up. Somebody will have to.

Taxpayers deserve independent representation with teeth. NOT suppliant gofers taking orders from special interests.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/10/electoral-process-urgent-change-is.html

Posted by: JamesRaider | October 15, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It is difficult to envision that the final debate will change the minds of voters. A long campaign, sharp contrasts and events outside the debates have been more significant.

There is nothing at this point that McCain can throw that Obama cannot deal with.

Senator McCain's folks have done him more harm than good and Sarah Palin takes the prize for taking away more votes than she attracted.

Posted by: oldgeek143 | October 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

McCain...Change of mind that you'll berieve in.

He'll flip-flop and not stop.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The most impressive thing
about barack obama, is
David Axelrod....
he is like the darwin Stevens
of racial candidates,
a touch of guilt,
a little indignation,
how dare they say a black man
is not experienced?
racists, crackers!
the media is going to arrive
at six!
NOBAMA

Posted by: USA3 | October 15, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA
CHANGE NO ONE CAN BELIEVE IN'

Drink your kool aid and sit
in the corner, your volunteer
will be along shortly to take
your 'contribution'

Posted by: USA3 | October 15, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

See a McCain rally go bad, Booing and People leaving. A song Hank Williams sang was vulgar and offended some. Heres the clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOpP89oMik

Who won the Best Palin Impersonator Contest? Not Tina Fey. See Clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMebGbcC2Sg

Posted by: pastor123 | October 15, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Side Show Barbie really defies mockery, doesn't she? What could anyone possibly say to make this funnier?


"It seems like, and in our last rally too, and in other parts around this great Northwest, here in New Hampshire, ya just get it." Palin said
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1hN6DFQyDs
.

Sounds like the crowd did get it, too.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 15, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama could use the debate this evening to explain why his surrogates are exploiting race in America.
Today, Representative Jack Murtha (D-Pa) stated the residents of western Pennsylvania are white racists but the remainder of Pennsylvania will ensure Obama wins the state.
Last Saturday, Representative John Lewis (D-Ga) compared John McCain to George Wallace.
Several weeks back, Representative Acee Hastings (D-Fl) compared Governor Palin to Nazi's.
In August, Howard Dean stated the Republican Party is the party of white people.
If a Republican made these statements the media and Senator Obama would be demanding apologies.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Obama should apologize for his surrogates.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 15, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse


McCain and the "VICTORY" shame

McCain and the Republicans brings dishonor to our troops by applying the "Victory/Defeat" label to Iraq.

Our troops have followed their orders and have served with honor and dignity in Iraq. To add this polarizing label is to add the burden of shame to the backs of troops that already have suffered enough.

General Patraeus himself said so in a interview on 9/11/08 of all days!

McCain is wrong and just doesn't get it.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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