Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain Moves To A New Table

McCain shot the dice and didn't pass at the Angry Candidate table; the table ran hot and cold, but now it was dead. McCain needed to head back to the ATM and see if he had anything left in the account. He was in luck.

Booking Letterman the night after the third debate was a good idea. Going on the show and facing Dave's frontal attack would allow McCain a chance to reach the undecideds that were driven away by the debates, hi-jinks and hyper-negativity of the last month and a half.

After weeks of Letterman's much discussed needling, there was a sense of anticipation going into the segment. McCain made sure to get there this time, going so far as to hire a helicopter to get to New York, after a 2 hr. storm delay kept his Straight Talk Airplane grounded in Philly. Keith Olbermann was on standby again for at least a couple of laughs.

From the moment he walked on, it was a different McCain on stage, the one the press kept going on and on about a few months ago. He stuck to the talking points, but did so with an unrelenting Letterman going after him. Letterman did not softball him, in the same way he didn't softball Obama; he kept pushing until McCain gave on a number of different topics.

The topics included, but were not limited to: The now thoroughly debunked "Joe the Plumber" (here's hoping he enjoyed his 15 minutes); the copious negative campaigning including McCain's accusation of Obama crowds yelling offensive things at rallies ( know, I've yet to hear of a specific example of this happening, this might fall under the "just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not there" NeoCon strategy); ending with the comparison between William Ayers and G. Gordon Liddy (thanks, Dave).

Letterman's most impressive set of volleys centered around the picking of Palin as VP, he took McCain to task for likely not thinking of what's best for the country in picking someone this inexperienced. Pressed, McCain probably uttered the closest he'll ever get to the truth on the matter, "I didn't know her extensively, but I knew her reputation as a reformer and as the most popular governor of the country." Not surprisingly, he didn't credit Bill Kristol for this bit o intelligence.

McCain was the most magnetic we've seen him in some time. He was obviously relaxed in this atmosphere, as he's been on Letterman numerous times in the past. He took the needling with none of the bitterness or snip we've seen him exhibit lately. With this performance he likely managed to stanch the bleeding a bit.

It's hard to nit-pick, though I wish the robo-calls story had reached full bloom by the time taping started, would've loved to see McCain handle that bit of news. And I was personally annoyed at the naked pandering to the Religious Bloc McCain did on Palin's behalf, calling her an "inspiration to Americans."

McCain is rolling for points before trying to leave big by hitting the yo.

We have likely seen the new McCain approach to the last 18 days of campaigning before the election day. It could be named the "Hey, McCain's Not Completely Irrational" stage of the Presidential race. Expect a lot more media appearances from both of their candidates (Palin is supposedly on Saturday Night Live this week). Expect for the surrogates to do the yeoman's share of the dirty work for them (though she will continue to be a pitbull). Expect the kind of press access the reporters on the Express haven't seen in a while, the renewed friendship possibly leading to more positive coverage.

Vigilance. No time to get complacent. We still have Troopergate, with Troopergate2 on the horizon. We have Rick Davis and William Timmon. We have the continued collapse of Wall Street. We have a plethora of topics to discuss, and keep bringing to light.

The media needs to stop pondering if it's too late for McCain's dramatic reversal, and continue demanding that their candidates be interviewed by real reporters. Have Palin go on The View.

Most importantly, we must start turning out the vote.

Watch: McCain Visits Letterman


Anonymous said...

The same thing went down in '96 when Bob Dole ran as a stiff, then loosened up on the shows afterward, and people were blown away by his sense of humour and willingness to self-criticize.

The McCain robo-calls are an abomination. That story broke yesterday afternoon and I'm surprised people haven't yet made a big deal. In some states, those calls are illegal. Letterman or not, McCain is a shameless, misogynistic pig. I'll stop here with the smears, though.

Anonymous said...

The View hahahaha

i have to say, the US election process is a caricature of itself. not that Canada is much better...but smearing robo-calls? seriously? and the television advertising is insane. i was saying to swine, in my usually unrealistic idealistic ways, wouldn't it be cool (understatement) if all the money raised for these campaigns went back to every single person in the form of a cheque (check)?! go ahead and tax the gift but instead of all this chatter about what they promise to do, how about literally putting their money where their mouth is.

don't tell me there's not enough money to go 'round. don't tell me your little 9 year old boyscout really needs to be standing outside the grocery store entrance accosting people with his puppy dog eyes to raise money for his camping trip. or that hundreds of thousands of people need to guilt-trip co-workers and family members into $5 pledges they were going to spend on lunch and then walk 100 miles to raise money for research of diseases caused by irresponsible industry and bad choices. sorry i'm on a whole other topic but the amount of money floating around out there compared to the dire need is slightly imbalanced and disgustingly obvious.

ok i'll go calm down now.

Verdant Earl said...

I thought Letterman, after initially laying off of him, did a pretty good job pursuing McCain. I thought McCain's 1st reaction to the Liddy question (before they came back from commercial) spoke volumes. He first looked shocked and said "I've met him", then when Dave asked about the fundraiser at his house he pretended not to remember it. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

B.E., according to McCain, Liddy "did his time" and so...I suppose it's OK then. But did Ayers. Ayers did his time as well. The Republican double-standard is shameless. They're such buffoons. In the last 30 years, the party has become a mob of violent Keystone Cops.

Deni said...

Well, "did his time" isn't an acceptable answer anyway, no matter if Ayers has or not.

What he accuses Ayers of is being an "unrepentant terrorist" which is not really true and takes staements in Ayers' memoir out of context.

Liddy sure as hell falls into that category a lot more than Ayers, not being sorry for any action he has ever taken.

And Ayers hasn't publicly encouraged the shooting of federal officials in the head as recently as the last decade like Liddy.

JJisafool said...

Hey TBO-


this might fall under the "just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not there" NeoCon strategy why the reason for my post about "kill him!" It is all about strategy. Let's make sure this remains a NeoCon strategy, and not one they can fairly attribute to our side.

the beige one said...


Agreed, and Lefty complaints about "kill him" have essentially dissipated, even though a second reporter claimed to have heard the same thing said at a separate rally. (Secret Service determined no one yelled such a thing at that rally either.)

I think that's what you're talking about...