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Old 08-08-2008, 10:22 AM   #1
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Default Obama/McCain address tit for tat

Interesting...

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commen...l?page=all&c=y

What if Obama had said yes to McCain?
Published on Friday, Aug 08, 2008
WASHINGTON: The first question I asked John McCain and then Barack Obama was: How do you feel about the tone and direction of the campaign so far?
No surprise. Both men pronounced themselves thoroughly frustrated by the personal bitterness and negativism they have seen in the two months since they learned they would be running against each other.
''I'm very sorry about it,'' McCain said in a Saturday interview at his Arlington, Va., headquarters. ''I think we could have avoided at least some of this if we had agreed to do the town hall meetings'' together, as he had suggested, during the summer months.
Obama, in a phone interview Wednesday from Elkhart, Ind., argued that ''the classic tit-for-tat campaigning'' of recent weeks ''is part of the politics of the past that we have to move beyond.''
Ironically, having turned down McCain's proposal for weekly joint town halls, Obama argued that the formal debates, starting in late September, may refocus the campaign on real issues.
Back on June 4, McCain proposed 10 joint town halls before screened audiences of uncommitted independent voters across the country. Obama countered by offering two such sessions this summer, one on Independence Day and one in August, and the idea died. Three days ago, Obama said he would participate only in the three debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the first scheduled for Sept. 26.
Since the idea of joint town meetings was scrapped, the campaign has featured tough and often negative ads and speeches. They culminated last week with an exchange in which Obama said that McCain and his supporters were calling attention to the Democrat's unusual name and the fact that ''he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.''
The McCain campaign in turn accused Obama of playing ''the race card.''
In the interviews, both candidates expressed indignation at what was being said of them. ''I'm not going to be smeared,'' McCain declared. ''I went through that once and I'm not going to do it again. . . . If anybody says I'm a racist . . . I'm not going to stand for that.''
Obama insisted that he had never made such an accusation. And he condemned McCain for suggesting that ''I would rather lose a war to win a political campaign. That is patently offensive. When his campaign ran an ad suggesting that I had refused to visit wounded troops because I couldn't have TV cameras with me, reporters immediately said that was patently false. . . . I'm not going to sit back and let my record be distorted.''
When I asked Obama how he thought the campaign could be returned to the issues, he said he hoped that the two conventions would ''offer each party a chance to showcase its best ideas'' and then the three scheduled presidential debates ''will allow people to see Senator McCain and myself interact in a way that keeps people more honest because you're standing there face to face.''
I told Obama that McCain made exactly that point in arguing for the early joint appearances. What McCain actually said was: ''When you have to stand on a stage with your opponent, as I've done in other campaigns, you obviously have a tendency to improve the relationship. . . . When you have to spend time with somebody, I think it changes the equation.''
I asked Obama if he had any regrets now about turning down McCain's early June invitation to start the joint appearances back then. He said, ''I think the notion that somehow as a consequence of not having joint appearances, Senator McCain felt obliged to suggest that I'd rather lose a war to win a campaign doesn't automatically follow. I think we each have control over ourselves and our campaigns and we have to take responsibility for that.''
He also argued that, ''We responded with an offer of doing five debates, rather than the traditional three, which the McCain campaign declined.''
''My general point,'' Obama continued, ''is that both the conventions and the debates will offer formats for Senator McCain and myself to make our best case to the American people at a time when the American people will be paying attention.
''And ultimately, the best corrective to overly negative campaigns are the American people, who are not interested in a lot of bickering, but are interested in who's got the best answers for the country.''
I think everybody would agree to that last point.

Broder is a Washington Post columnist. His e-mail address is davidbroder@washpost.com.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

i woulda liked to see the 10 townhall meetings. by declining it kinda makes obama look like he has something to hide.

its possible he really wanted to do them, but personal convictions aside, maybe he was advised to do what his advisors felt was best for the party and campaign. kind of a "youre a little inexperienced, and if were gonna lose this election, better to lose it in sept-nov, rather than july-aug", type of thing.

maybe theyre anticipating it getting nasty (its been fairly clean up to this point) and are taking a better later than sooner approach.

regardless, i dont think being called a chicken is a good thing. (not saying anyone has called him a chicken, just making a point.)

i dont know.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

If Obama wanted to move past the "old school" campaigning methods then he would have agreed to the 10 town hall meetings. I mean really that would have focused on the issues at hand.

Maybe Obama knows he doesn't have the background for such a duel and would find himself struggling to appease even his own party. Or maybe he truly does not have a plan for all of his "changes".
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

I'd like to see a debate between the 2, no notes, no cards, no moderator, just go on actual knowledge. This type of event could prove to have a major impact on the election. My suspicion is McCain and his experiance would shine, maybe why Obama appears to have backed away from the town hall events....I dunno... but doesn't look good on his part.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

What little I've seen of Obama working off the cuff, I don't think the town hall meetings would have been very kind to him.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

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Originally Posted by steelwall View Post
I'd like to see a debate between the 2, no notes, no cards, no moderator, just go on actual knowledge. This type of event could prove to have a major impact on the election. My suspicion is McCain and his experiance would shine, maybe why Obama appears to have backed away from the town hall events....I dunno... but doesn't look good on his part.
One of the first smart things Obama has done, though it may have hurt him in the long run, as his lead on McCain has dwindled considerably over the last month and is continuing to dwindle. I share your suspicion and believe McCain would (and is going to) chew Obama up and spit him out for lunch in a debate.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelwall View Post
I'd like to see a debate between the 2, no notes, no cards, no moderator, just go on actual knowledge. This type of event could prove to have a major impact on the election. My suspicion is McCain and his experiance would shine, maybe why Obama appears to have backed away from the town hall events....I dunno... but doesn't look good on his part.
I think they would need the moderator in order to organize the individuals wishing to ask questions. But the questions can't be planted.

That would be awesome. Almost worth watching.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

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But the questions can't be planted.

Exactly.....
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
One of the first smart things Obama has done, though it may have hurt him in the long run, as his lead on McCain has dwindled considerably over the last month and is continuing to dwindle. I share your suspicion and believe McCain would (and is going to) chew Obama up and spit him out for lunch in a debate.
I agree completely, if Obama had gone head to head with McCain in a town hall setting his place as the front runner would not have dwindled, it would have imploded, I looked that word up.
At least he may have some chance in a structured debate, I beleave they will know the questions ahead of time. Having said that, I think if Obama could find some way out of the debates he would take it. I also think he will be flattened in any debate. He just does not seem to think on him feet very well.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Obama/McCain address tit for tat

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He just does not seem to think on him feet very well.
I can think of someone currently in office that this statement could apply to. I don't to mention any names because I don't want to embarass President George W. Bush.

He managed 8 years. Then again, his advantage in both elections was the fact that he appealed heavily to Christian voters and he didn't flip-flop nearly as much on issues.
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