Debate Strategy

Mark Levin writes, “I hope McCain and his advisors have thought this through beyond today and tomorrow, gimmick or no gimmick:”

Ok, let’s say the debate is suspended by both camps. Then what? Bush is pushing hard for some kind of massive bailout deal, and will do so in his speech tonight. The conservatives in Congress are resisting all of this – and good for them. McCain says we have to get something done and work together, which means some kind of massive deal that is unlikely to satisfy conservatives. I hope McCain and his advisors have thought this through beyond today and tomorrow, gimmick or no gimmick.


Jonah Goldberg adds, “Mark makes a good point. If McCain does go to Congress and helps rally reluctant Republicans (and they really are reluctant). It will in effect become the McCain bailout, at least as far as conservatives are concerned.”

Meanwhile, Dan Riehl has some advice–and who amongst us doesn’t, these days?–for McCain:

Let the Left laugh, with Obama saying he wants to continue campaigning and debating, I’d do two things were I McCain.

1) Say you can understand Obama’s point of view as he has never been engaged in anything this serious on Capitol Hill, or anywhere else.

and 2) Volunteer to let his VP nominee sit in for him against Obama on Friday.

Yes, I realize the media is still all about Palin – who cares. I’d make the offer.

Maybe Palin would be better off debating this bitter resident of Pennsylvania.

Update: Welcome Riehl World View readers; check out this interesting chess game being played out in the Senate, with Harry Reid being forgainst John McCain returning to the Senate within the space of 24 hours, as Ed Morrissey of Hot Air notes:

[Reid] wanted McCain on the hook so that Reid could blame McCain for the political fallout. When McCain called Reid’s bluff — and that’s what appears to have happened here — Reid did what Reid always does: retreat.


I think Reid fears more than just the idea that McCain will “risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy.” What Reid fears is that McCain will return to lead the Republican effort to reach a compromise, and the Senate and House GOP will let him do it. If McCain takes ownership of the bailout effort and manages to get his suggestions on limiting executive compensation and so on as part of the finished product, he will be able to trot McCain-Dodd on the campaign trail as yet another reform he’s accomplished by working across the aisle. And in a time of crisis, no less.

And what will Obama be able to say? He gave a couple of speeches and raised cash for himself while McCain went to work for the nation.

If that’s what McCain and the Republicans have in mind, this could be the coup of the entire campaign. While Obama went out and sucked up to fundraisers, McCain built the bipartisan compromise that saved the American financial system. If he succeeds, McCain will have trumped Obama on what should have been the Democrats’ best issue.


This post started with a quote from Mark Levin hoping that “McCain and his advisors have thought this through beyond today and tomorrow, gimmick or no gimmick.” It seems–at least to some extent–that they most certainly have.



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