Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

VIDEO: "Political Take" on Tonight's Debate

Hours before Barack Obama and John McCain take the stage at Hofstra University (on Strong Island), The Fix and Newsweek head honcho Jon Meacham took to the small screen to offer our thoughts on what to look for tonight. It's the "Political Take."

And, as an added bonus for readers of The Fix, here's one other observation about tonight's debate that you won't find above.

All of the focus in the conversation leading up to the debate is how -- and whether -- McCain can find ways to effectively attack Obama. We propose that it's less important that McCain hit Obama than it is that he make VERY clear to voters that he would not represent a third term for the policies advocated by President George W. Bush.

A polling memo released by the Gallup Organization based off of a national survey they did from Oct. 10-12 reveals the drag on the McCain campaign as a result of his perceived ties to the president.

Forty-six percent of those polled said they were "very concerned" that McCain would "pursue policies that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued" while another 20 percent said they were "somewhat concerned" about that possibility.

That means that two-thirds of all voters have some level of concern about the similarities between Bush and McCain -- a HUGE handicap for McCain given that just one in four voters approve of the job the current president is doing.

"McCain may thus attempt to present himself as more of an independent ("maverick") candidate in the debate, and certainly downplay his associations with his party and with President Bush," writes Gallup's Frank Newport.

That is a major understatement. McCain must break the chains that tie him to Bush in voters' mind tonight. If he can't, it's hard to see how he finds a way to win the election.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 15, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: National Republicans Pull Ads in Louisiana
Next: The Fix Twitters the Final Debate!

Comments

vote for John McCain a man who loves our nations and has served our nation faithfully. A man who has answers for the economy, energy independance and prices,education and is a man who has moral convictions. obama is an evil amn who has no moral convictions, a man who attacks along with opth liberals our constitutional freedoms of religion,speech and the right to own guns. a man who disrespects the american by desiring to tax us more. a man who would set up a liberal socialist goverment that would destroy our freedoms and economy and the family. a man you cannot trust and lies about where every issue. a man who shows nothing but disrespect and even hatred for our country by hanging out with terrorist, anti americans and rascist. if he sits under wright for that many years then those are obviously obama's feeling also. what red blooded american no matter what color, ethnic group, or what class can tolerate all the evil of this man.

Posted by: diaco7529 | October 17, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to bedtime in the USA.Thank God that reprobates and ne'er-do-wells like 37 & O and zouk fall into the crevice of meaninginglessness as well as everyone else.

Posted by: klowry57 | October 15, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

37th & O feisty one:
Bring it on,know it all...where are you?

Posted by: klowry57 | October 15, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

37 & O:
Your stupidity precedes itself.I have met some dumba**es in my life,but you are the kingpin.I hope you toss and turn all night and never sleep a restful sleep...until you get your tete out of your derriere.
As for me I will sleep like a baby.

Posted by: klowry57 | October 15, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

king of zouk:
silence.it's golden.
37th & O St.:
same for you,loser.
the era of the informed and reasonable has begun.
suave bolla,america.

Posted by: klowry57 | October 15, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Last time McCain disadvantaged himself by meandering seemingly aimlessly around the stage. Yes, this may have shown that he bore no visible bonds to Bush, but otherwise it proved irrelevant at a minimum.

Even a maverick needs to show that he has moorings to some values and some human beings rather than looking lost. In the next few minutes the old man will have a chance that he hasn't lost his way.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | October 15, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Every now and then I sit back and think how fortunate I am to have been born in the USA.

One of those moments happened when I read that we're not sure how our military will vote.

I'd guess if you looked into the history of our military's strong tradition of not interfering in politics, like so many of the best features of "the American way of life", it goes back to a tradition in England, at least since the exception of Cromwell.

I've long thought that what the American Revolution eventually accomplished was to extend the rights of England's nobility to ordinary people.

I suppose that, in addition to being grateful for having been born in the USA, I ought to be grateful for having been born a part of a much broader English-speaking tradition.

I'm not breast-thumping, just sayin'.

Posted by: officermancuso | October 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Texas, there has been few polls done recently. You can discount the ARG poll as an elderly Texans and few Latinos were polled. I would like to see a Texas poll of over a 1000 as the state is huge in population. The McCain by 19 is ridiculous for the state. Their Montana poll dated in October was done Sept. 7.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 15, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The miltary vote has been strongly Republican the last two presidental elections, but this time around the opposite will happen. Palin is an albatross around McCain's neck with the military. They trust him, but being long in tooth and having Palin as your commander is not what men and their families want. The benefits Obama offers are better and so is his tax plan. Virginia I think will go Obama as a direct result of the military switching.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 15, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk wrote:

first there was the internet bubble, the stock market bubble, the housing bubble, the banking bubble now we have the Obama bubble.

when will the fake height of this charlatan be exposed by the lying media lizards?

---------------------------

I take it this means that even you can no longer find weird polls suggesting that McCain will win?

Obama supporters, don't listen to the "it's locked up" lullaby.

It's not locked up until every person who wants change VOTES.

Posted by: officermancuso | October 15, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

bondjedi wrote, "McCain's only hope of winning this debate and the election is to call Obama a baby-killer (live! on stage!) and then throw a wire hangar at him."

Nope. Not gonna work this time. I'm voting with you. Now I'd hope you could give my point of view a more sympathetic reading.

Posted by: officermancuso | October 15, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"This year GOP voters need to get with the program, follow Christopher Buckley's lead (yes, William F.'s son) and vote for Obama."

The guy got kicked off the National Review for this endorsement, haha.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain's only hope of winning this debate and the election is to call Obama a baby-killer (live! on stage!) and then throw a wire hangar at him.

Posted by: bondjedi | October 15, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think John McCain and Barack Obama will be boring tonight. Look at this new video of Sarah if you need entertainment (or a scare):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jqQYedt-EU

Posted by: LisaJM | October 15, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"McCain must break the chains that tie him to Bush in voters' mind tonight. If he can't, it's hard to see how he finds a way to win the election."

That's hard to do when McCain himself has said that fundamentally, he agrees with the Bush Policies. That's hard to do when he' been a Maverick less than 10% of the time. That's hard to do when we have photographic evidence of him 'associating himself' with a man who signed off on torture. Will he come out and say that he'll do everything in his power to bring the Bush Crime Family to Justice??

I'm sorry, my friend. You've demonstrated that you are reckless, impulsive and erratic. Not what America needs right now. We need inspiring leadership from someone who can keep their cool, carefully and intelligently analyze a situation and the effectively implement a solution.

Bush/McCain. No More Years!

Posted by: thebobbob | October 15, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse


Re: your last sentence...

Here's McCain's path to victory


1. Bradley Effect

2. "Push" polling and tightening poll numbers due to "fear factor" and/or partisan massaging

3. "October Surprise" that disrupts electoral process and/or causes a "flight to security"

4. Voting machine irregularities and lack of a paper trail to do recounts

5. Voter resentment at mainstream media for prematurely characterizing Obama's lead as insurmountable.

Odds of one or more of the above reversing current polling trends: place your bets.


Bottom line: a 7-point national lead might not be enough for Obama to take the White House. Ask Al Gore what HE thinks.

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse
------------


I should add it is a matter how the numbers are laid out. Mccain need pretty much every spare vote out there to win. Obama doesn't need any more then he already has and he is president.
fivethirtyfive gives Mccain about a 4.5% chance of winning.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 15, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Re: your last sentence...

Here's McCain's path to victory


1. Bradley Effect

2. "Push" polling and tightening poll numbers due to "fear factor" and/or partisan massaging

3. "October Surprise" that disrupts electoral process and/or causes a "flight to security"

4. Voting machine irregularities and lack of a paper trail to do recounts

5. Voter resentment at mainstream media for prematurely characterizing Obama's lead as insurmountable.

Odds of one or more of the above reversing current polling trends: place your bets.


Bottom line: a 7-point national lead might not be enough for Obama to take the White House. Ask Al Gore what HE thinks.

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse
----------------

I suggest you head over to intrade and make some easy money. Mccain numbers are in the teens, while Obama is in the 80's.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 15, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: your last sentence...

Here's McCain's path to victory


1. Bradley Effect

2. "Push" polling and tightening poll numbers due to "fear factor" and/or partisan massaging

3. "October Surprise" that disrupts electoral process and/or causes a "flight to security"

4. Voting machine irregularities and lack of a paper trail to do recounts

5. Voter resentment at mainstream media for prematurely characterizing Obama's lead as insurmountable.

Odds of one or more of the above reversing current polling trends: place your bets.


Bottom line: a 7-point national lead might not be enough for Obama to take the White House. Ask Al Gore what HE thinks.

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

It's three weeks until election day. Some people are already voting.

Maybe a beam of light will come down from heaven and bath McCain in the aura of Divine Light. An endorsement by God might make a difference.

He could announce he's suspending his campaign until his poll numbers start improving.

Posted by: DonJasper | October 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse
------------------

I am not sure how they do them, but polls in early voting have Obama leading by 23 points.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 15, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of getting a government the Republicans deserve.

This year GOP voters need to get with the program, follow Christopher Buckley's lead (yes, William F.'s son) and vote for Obama.

America can't afford another 4 years of Bush/McCain.

Posted by: neon_bunny | October 15, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Ayers

Acorn

Attack

AAA-McCain--STAY ON POINT

Posted by: JaxMax | October 15, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I will reduce Taxes
and increase entitlements,
I will Push gun bans
and garrantee gun rights.
I will vote for choice
and whisper for life.
I will create a strong military
and I will stop future spending
on weapons systems.
if any of this sounds impossible,
go back to the gloom and doom
and how we hate BUSH section
of my CHANGE NOONE CAN BELIEVE IN
Doctrine.
please drink your kool aide
before entering the obama shrine.
he's a child of promise
an audacity of hope
yes he went to a muslim school
and yes he sold some dope
but he's gonna change the change
and range the bange and woggle
the boggle
and tune the dune and lune a luna lune.
you are gonna love him love him
love him and some day you'll pray to
his crazy wife, michele hello jello
bello donna.... ahhhhhhhhh

Posted by: USA3 | October 15, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

if you google McCain Cartoons,
you get pages of cartoons poking
fun at McCain, if you google
Obama Cartoons, you get pages of
cartoons of obama poking fun
at McCain??????

The Mass Media Has Usurped Power,
Hopefully their tactics and ploys
will expose themselves to the hearts
of americans being lead into a power
structure where the media creates
the reality. NOBAMA'

NOMEDIA LEFT wing bias'

They do not believe in Gun Ownership,
Personal Responsibility,
or a Personal Faith In Any Power
greater then their own fragile EGOs'...

NOBAMA

Posted by: USA3 | October 15, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"when will the fake height of this charlatan be exposed by the lying media lizards?"

It took 6 years for the shine to wear off Bush. Time will tell whether Obama can maintain the aura as long.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 15, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"McCain is still trying to define "who he is" in the eyes of the voters at this late date?"

No, he's trying to redefine who he's become in the eyes of the voters.

I'd love to see polls asking whether voters are persuadable any longer. With three weeks to go, he pretty much can't make up the difference with undecideds - he has to convince people who now support Obama to either not show up, or to switch their vote. The attacks (i.e. Ayers) are designed more for the former than the latter, but those attacks seem to be hurting himself more than Obama.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 15, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

first there was the internet bubble, the stock market bubble, the housing bubble, the banking bubble now we have the Obama bubble.

when will the fake height of this charlatan be exposed by the lying media lizards?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 15, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

.
.
.
McCain is still trying to define "who he is" in the eyes of the voters at this late date? At this point, his message should be Get-Out-The-Vote 24x7.
.
.
.

Posted by: egc52556 | October 15, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

At the end of the debate, McCain will apologize to the country for an inept campaign, denounce Palin as a frightening racist airhead that was foisted off on him by his handlers (all of whom, I might note, were fired by the Reagan campaign for their similar dirty tricks), and throw his support behind Barak Obama. Now THAT would resore my faith in his status as a maverick! If William F. Buckley's son can resign from the National Review and support Obama, McCain and other genuine patriots can do no less.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 15, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

It's three weeks until election day. Some people are already voting.

Maybe a beam of light will come down from heaven and bath McCain in the aura of Divine Light. An endorsement by God might make a difference.

He could announce he's suspending his campaign until his poll numbers start improving.

Posted by: DonJasper | October 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company