John McCain is at the stage where he is evoking being the underdog - the comeback warrior and ever-fighting maverick. Unfortunately, last night he didn't look like any of those. To me, McCain looked like the class clown making faces and sputtering as the A student gave his paper before the class.
Throughout recent history, most politicians who find themselves low in the polls or near defeat grasp at the 1948 election when Democrat Harry Truman defeated Republican Thomas Dewey. They imagine that they are Truman who everyone expected to lose and was the subject of that famous Chicago Tribune headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman". Nothing would make John McCain's fantasy more perfect than to be able to hold up the New York Times with a mistaken headline that says "Obama defeats McCain".
That fantasy is not going to happen. McCain is no Truman and guess what, this is not 1948.
Despite promising to "kick Obama's ass" in last nights debate, it was the other way around. Obama, for the third time, dominated the debate, stuck to the issues and looked persuasively presidential. McCain's anger, failure to deliver a concise message and annoying personal mannerisms made him look erratic and an unacceptable risk to be President. Unlike Truman, McCain failed to arouse the hidden masses based on pocket book issues and he failed, despite repeated desperate attempts, to provoke Obama into being un-presidential. The only one that looked presidential in the debates last night was Barack Obama.
Truman was scrappy, likable and a man with very little wealth. People could relate to his background, his concerns and his fighting spirit which he delivered with a twinkle in his eye. McCain is a man living off his wife's wealth, with 8 houses, 13 cars and a huge chip on his shoulder. In the debate, McCain's smirks, silly grins, raised eyebrows, visible anger and restlessness all served to point out that this man is just not ready to be President. He came off dangerously erratic and insufferably childish, cluelessly meandering with one moment talking about Ayres and the next second talking about the economy. Is Ayres the blame for the economic crisis? You would have thought so last night listening to the Republican nominee.
On a day the stock market fell another 700 points, economists are predicting a severe recession and people are terrified for their future, John McCain failed to talk about their concerns, give a vision of hope and was, instead, desperately playing 'gotcha' in order to score points in a debate and not the voters. It was a huge mistake. Although, McCain claimed loudly he was not President Bush, take a look at Obama's ad below.
For the third time running, Obama won the debate by being knowledgeable about the economic crisis, being assured and confident and ready to lead.
We can't take anything for granted and we need to work our asses off the next two weeks. Too much is at stake for this country and its people. But in the end, I know America knows it needs him to be President.