THE BLOG
10/23/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How Barack Obama Can Win The First Debate

By Stephen C. Rose

Far be it from me (or anyone else) to instruct Barack. Here, I have merely compiled a short compendium of suggested turning-point moments in the first debate at Ole Miss. The last time I saw Ole Miss was the night James Meredith arrived. I trust this debate will be more civil and that, if these points are pressed home, Barack will acquit himself with honor and possibly be deemed the victor.

ONE

You were one of the principal cheerleaders for the misguided decision to go to war in Iraq.

This devastating VIDEO -- How Much Is A Trillion? -- documents the effects of McCain's terribly wrong vote -- which he has never regretted -- and contrasts Barack Obama's prophetic and lonely opposition to the disaster of Iraq. The video is filled with relevant talking points. SOURCE

TWO

Sir, what did you know about our plan to go to war in Iraq when, five weeks after 9/11, you appeared on the Letterman show?

On October 18, 2001, McCain appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. When asked how the war in Afghanistan was progressing, McCain volunteered that the invasion of Iraq would be the "second phase" of the War on Terror. He preyed on the public's fear at the time by claiming that the anthrax "may have come from Iraq":

LETTERMAN: How are things going in Afghanistan now?

MCCAIN: I think we're doing fine .... I think we'll do fine. The second phase -- if I could just make one, very quickly -- the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may -- and I emphasize may -- have come from Iraq.

LETTERMAN: Oh is that right?

MCCAIN: If that should be the case, that's when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.

SOURCE

THREE

Once we enter a war, Sir, do you hold to the idea of victory at any price?

John McCain wrote a War College paper in 1974 which suggests that we have an obligation to prevail in any war we enter, based on allegiance to the stated reasons for entering that war. Would he acknowledge, ever, that our reasons for entering a war were wrong?

John Mccain's 1974 War College paper accepts no option but "victory", a sure recipe for disaster in the Middle East. As it was in Vietnam.

He offers no real bona fide that he would be a peacemaker.

John McCain has given signs of still being locked into an obedience-at-all-costs mode. Even when his own experience tells him that this is a counsel of perfection no man, least of all himself, can achieve. SOURCE

FOUR

Do you believe, Sir, that you possess the temperament needed to be Commander in Chief?

Last Sunday George Will said on ABC: "John McCain showed his personality this week, and made some of us fearful."

What do you think he meant?

SOURCE

McCain's temper is legendary:

"He went from a smiling, congenial, happy face to a beet red, totally enraged face in an instant," she said. "I have never seen a senator act in this way. We were all dumbfounded how this happened. He threw his arm up, and she goes flying and Jane [who was in a wheelchair] gets pushed aside as he brushes by her. All I see is people flying and I'm behind him [McCain]... This was assault."
SOURCE

SOME SUPPLEMENTARY POINTS

McCain's widely documented interest in gambling is a matter of record. By his own admission craps is an addiction. Would a cooler head be more likely to serve the needs of the American people. SOURCE

A minor but telling incident was McCain's joke about using cigarette exports to Iran "to kill them". SOURCE

In an interview with Katie Couric McCain got surge history wrong. SOURCE

A FEW MORE:

McCain voted to deny habeas corpus to detainees of the United States.

Pat Buchanan has said McCain will make Cheney look like Gandhi.

McCain made a false connection between Iraq and anthrax five weeks after 9/11, echoing the lies of the Bush administration. SOURCE

McCain is vulnerable on the issue of judgment (Iraq), temperament and an evident belief in my country right or wrong.

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