Obama Will Be Going for Knockout in Debate. What Should McCain Do?
As the GOP candidate bobs and weaves, his Democrat counterpart will move in for the kill. Here's how to turn things around. [Also, Victor Davis Hanson on Pre-Debate Anxieties]
As John McCain continues to clumsily dance around the ring, ducking and weaving, throwing an occasional limp jab as he bounces off the ropes, Barack Obama is shrewdly readying what he expects will be his knockout punch.
It should be obvious to the McCain campaign what is coming — but my bet is that they have no real plan for trying to deflect it.
McCain’s task in the closing weeks of the campaign has been to convince the American people that Obama is not only woefully ill prepared to be president but in fact a very risky, indeed dangerous, choice. McCain has failed miserably in this task.
At the first debate, when Obama opened by laying total blame for the collapse of the credit markets on the Bush administration and McCain’s work to “shred regulations,” McCain could have — should have — come barreling back with a barrage of facts, such as: 1) The truth is that it was the Bush Administration and Republicans, including McCain, who pleaded for tightening regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and it was Obama and his Democratic allies who refused to face the problem, claiming there was no problem; 2) When Obama rails against CEO abuse he should explain how his friend and adviser, former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, pocketed $90 million over six years, mostly in unjustified bonuses, while buying the silent acquiescence of Obama and the Democratic committee chairmen with huge campaign contributions; and 3) Obama’s allies tried to insert a kick-back scheme into the rescue plan that would have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into the coffers of ACORN — that gang of community organizers that endorses Obama — and for whom he has worked and whose services his campaign has enlisted for the sum of nearly a million dollars. (Obama’s ACORN ally is currently under investigation in several states for voter fraud and has a long record of election fraud, embezzlement and misuse of government money.)
Instead, McCain just stood there and let it pass and talked about how much we all love Teddy Kennedy and how great it is to “reach across the aisle.”
In both debates he permitted Obama to get away with portraying him as every bit as reckless in foreign affairs as Obama by failing to point out that the difference between his own threatening remarks about Iran and Obama’s threatening remarks about Pakistan is the difference between mocking an enemy and embittering an ally.
Fred J. Eckert is a former conservative Republican Congressman from New York and twice served as a US Ambassador under President Reagan, who called him "a good friend and valuable advisor."