Perhaps, however, rather than trying to postpone the debate, McCain is instead seeking to increase its importance. Surely the drama of the past 30 hours has made it an even more captivating event, probably leading to increased viewership. Moreover, with the subject matter likely to be expanded to include the economy, and the candidates having had less time to prepare, the entire exercise becomes less predictable, with gaffes more likely to occur, but also the potential for “clutch” performances.
So perhaps instead of gambling two polling points on the debate — the average magnitude of the shift in opinion following one of these things, McCain would instead like to gamble four. A two-point swing probably would not be enough to put McCain ahead (though it would be close); a four-point swing probably would.
Bear with me a minute while I hash this out.
Because it reminds me, in terms of strategy, of Obama making his VP selection a big dramatic thing with the text messaging and whatnot. In terms of strategy, it made sense that we had to have some reason to get excited about him picking a very competent old white dude to be his running mate, because without the “who will he choose?!!!11!!” factor, I mean, yawn. I love me some Joey the Shark, but come the hell on.
In terms of strategy, that’s all. In terms of actual stuff we have to deal with, thrumming up fake drama over something thatlast I checked we should all actively be giving a shit about anyway given that it’s about the next leader of the allegedly free world is incredibly condescending and lazy and cheap. It sucks. Taken on its face, if this phony campaign suspension and phony debate drama was meant to put the focus on solving our economic crisis, fucking FAIL, because all the focus has been on McCain.
Which is what he wanted all along. McCain’s not ramping up expectations for the debate. He’s ramping them down. Remember before the 2004 debates, when the Bush camp made out like John Kerry was gonna rip their throats out with his bare hands and piss in their dead skulls, and then he basically did that, and everybody was like, meh? This is actuallyworse.
They have now lowered debate expectations to the point that all McCain has to do is show up. Because after days of will-he-won’t-he, days of OMG WHERE IS JOHN MCCAIN, days of him fapping around like a brain-damaged seagull lost in Kansas City, if he walks out on to that stage all eyes are gonna be on him, and that’s all he needs right now to have scored a victory in the eyes of the deliberately stupid pundit class.
He is making me nostalgic for the high-minded, honorable, issues-based campaign of that hard-working candidate George W. Bush.
Whoever shows up tomorrow, we’ll be crack-vanning as usual.