In an attempt to fire up some volunteers in Virginia, and his slumping presidential campaign, McCain promised, “We’re going to spend a lot of time and after I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we’re going to be going out 24/7.”
McCain also delivered what could be the understatement of this young century when he said, “We’re a couple points down, OK, nationally, but we’re right in this game,” McCain said to cheers. “The economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two, but in the last few days we’ve seen it come back up because they want experience, they want knowledge and they want vision. We’ll give that to America.”
He also stuck with his new theme of stressing his respect for Obama, “I respect Senator Obama, we will conduct a respectful race and be sure everyone else does too. But there are stark difference between us.” It is good strategy for McCain to try to calm down the fringe elements that were on the verge of taking over his campaign, but to say that the economy has hurt him a little is almost delusional. McCain is on the verge of being down by double digits nationally, and trails in almost every battleground state because of the economy. The problem isn’t that McCain hasn’t been aggressive enough or out on the campaign trail enough. The problem is that he has no economic plan.
McCain’s tough talk is a symptom of his entire campaign. Instead of coming up with actual policies, he delivers tough talk. Granted this bit of talk, should be taken with a grain of salt because McCain was trying to fire up the base, but I don’t see how he is going to whip Obama in this debate. McCain said that he is going spend the remaining weeks of the campaign in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado, but realistically the only one of these states that he could win is Ohio. He looks poised to lose all of the others.
Barring some sort of outside event that shifts the focus of the nation away from the economy, or an Obama scandal or collapse, I don’t see how McCain catches up to, much less defeats Obama in November. I think one of the reasons why people have graded Obama so highly in the debates is because they trust him to bring about change, and his change message fits their mood. Voters want someone new and different, and unless they change their minds, McCain probably is going to lose this election.