Debate time is approaching and it's gonna be juicy. When was the last presidential debate where there were concerns about one of the candidates even showing up? I wouldn't be surprised if Obama was stood up and then they cut to a feed of McCain being interviewed by Katie Couric. Yup, this is a good one. Like Marquez vs. Vasquez or White Spy vs. Black Spy (no racial comment intended. Though I just realized, how could that old Mad Mag comic not have had racial overtones?).
Does anyone remember having to fight someone after school and as each hour passed, the knot in your stomach got tighter and tighter? This is that. McCain is the kid who was really cool in middle school but never got high school game and people are sick of him acting like he's still popular. Obama is the new kid with the weird name who people just sense is a little classier than his surroundings. He moved from a private school where he was class president and is now at the giant public high school with the metal detectors and the smoking lounge.
Everyone knows if McCain starts to lose he will bite. They wonder if Barack will go dirty if he has to. Or maybe he sticks to the Marquees of Queensberry rules and gets stuck with a screwdriver by Lieberman, McCain's creepy best friend. Even the teachers are secretly interested in this one. I'll see you all out behind the baseball field at 3:15 or in this case 6pm PT.
Here are a few predictions:
1. Obama will trounce McCain because Obama isn't completely bought and paid for and he's thoughtful and intelligent. He will then get a two point bump that will disappear in the subsequent debates as McCain surfs the tide of low expectations ala Kerry vs. W. Bush 2.
2. Obama will use the word "firewall" more than he uses "regulation" or "deregulation" because those words sound restrictive and technical. "Firewall" seems both scary and protective at the same time. And how often does that happen within one word besides "military" and "government?" Look for this sentence: "Senator McCain and George Bush have dedicated the last thirty years to destroying the economic firewall set up by FDR after the last great depression."
3. Obama does not go after how questionable the Palin pick was because they are terrified to offend Hillary supporters, or far more importantly, allow for pundits to suggest they have offended Hillary supporters.
4. McCain will mention Sarah Palin in one really stiff anecdote about family and bucking the system. Something like "I got some flack for picking an outsider for my Vice President. But Sarah Palin said to me the other day 'It's okay John, sometimes the racoon catches some fish when he's hunting for geese blah blah.....'"
5. Fox News will say John McCain won the debate even if he doesn't show up.