Knockout Watch

Every boxing fan knows that when a boxer is down on points entering the last round, his only chance to win is to go for a knockout. I think that’s the position McCain finds himself in. Just trading jabs like he did in the last debate (and most of the campaign, for that matter) won’t do. He needs to land some roundhouses and uppercuts. Or at least try to. The status quo is not his friend.

The kicker? Obama knows that, and he’ll be staying off the ropes and out of the corners. Another boring debate is fine for him. And more importantly, McCain hasn’t done anything to indicate that he has a knockout punch or is inclined to try to find one.

If something doesn’t change—and tonight’s the last chance, if it’s not already too late—we have a new champion.

My two cents.

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7 Responses

  1. I have enough thoughts on this that I’ve wanted to put up a pre-debate post, but may not have the time.

    I certainly do agree. I was so frustrated after the last debate. I was saying during and after both conventions how glad I was not to have “that Dole feeling.” Too vividly I remember my mounting fury at Dole, who was a nice man, but simply candidate because it was “his turn.” He did not campaign like it mattered, and I passionately knew it did. I wanted to say, “You fought for your country once. Do it again!”

    Then McCain’s campaign woke up, was very aggressive, had 0 on defense for weeks and weeks… and then dozed back off to sleep. After picking a splendid running mate, they boxed her up, and just slumbered about.

    Now they’ve woken up and their yards behind. Last debate, you’re absolutely right: jab-jab, feint, jab…. No haymakers.

    And I’m having “that Dole feeling” again.

    Plus all the noise about his advisors wanting him to “lose with honor.” I’m mindful of the coach who said, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” There’s a point to that.

    Palin has sure been campaigning like it matters. The #1 had better wake up and do the same, and do it with boldness and conviction. We’d better not see the stammering, stuttering, spiritless old man who watched 0 run circles around him last time.

    Time to pray for yet more mercy from God.

  2. Psalm 11.4 (ESV)

    The LORD is in his holy temple;
    the LORD’s throne is in heaven;
    his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

  3. Unfortunately, the comparison with Dole is both apt and appropriate. I wish it were not so, but it seems like many men in their 70’s lack the energy and enthusiasm to lockup in the hand-to-hand combat of a political campaign.

    McCain had a huge convention bounce in the polls, but failed to capitalize on it by shutting down Palin, his best weapon.

  4. Agreed, Paul.

    Now, i thought on balance, McCain did VERY well last night.

    I just wish it were the second debate, not the third.

    To stick with Chris’ own apt analogy, I agree the second debate was just jabs, some of them a bit more forceful.

    Last night McCain didn’t land a haymaker per se. I’d say he landed some very solid punches, and had 0 staggering and blinking.

    However, if God is merciful and the McCain campaign smart enough, there were a number that might be developed and promoted into haymakers. Bobbling the disowning of John Lewis’ remarks, litmus tests for Supremes, spreading the wealth, vouchers-work-so-don’t-use-them, etc.

  5. “Obama: If I can answer the question. Number one, I want to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Now, it is true that my friend and supporter, Warren Buffett, for example, could afford to pay a little more in taxes in order…

    McCain: (chuckling) We’re talking about Joe the plumber.”

    That, to me, was one of the most telling exchanges of last night’s debate.

    They are talking about Joe the Plumber and Obama uses the example of his “friend and supporter” (drum roll here) “Warren Buffet.” McCain’s response was priceless. Obama is the one who is OUT OF TOUCH. Buffett is a billionaire and Obama is using him to attempt to persuade Joe that Joe should pay more in taxes to “spread the wealth around.” I love McCain’s attitude that it is not a time to raise ANY taxes.

    Obama–elistist, socialist, snob! No thanks!

  6. Well, Dan has chided me for not getting back and offering my take. Here goes…

    To continue the original metaphor, Obama’s still standing. I’m not even sure he ever had a standing eight count, unless it was from Joe the Plumber. (Now enough of that. Nothing’s worse than a metaphor taken too far.)

    I think McCain has everybody thinking about Dole. I noted a month ago that McCain was “at risk of being as boring as Dole, another war hero.” Palin made the ticket more interesting, to be sure, but not the candidate himself. Perhaps they made a tactical error in boxing her in instead of him.

    At any rate, I’m not extremely optimistic. However, I’m basing my thoughts on polls, and their accuracy (and objectivity) is debatable. We’ll see. I hope they’re wrong. The idea of an Obama presidency is frightening, on a strictly human level. How weird is it to think back to the “good old Clinton years”?!

    On the bright side, at least Obama wouldn’t have a liberal Congress. Oh, yeah. He would.

    Thanks for the perspective, Dale. That’s worth reading again.

    Psalm 11.4 (ESV)
    “The LORD is in his holy temple;
    the LORD’s throne is in heaven.”

  7. A couple more thoughts:

    You’d think the “share the wealth” comment would get Obama pegged as the socialist I think he is. But the kicker is, I’m not sure that most voters will be bothered by it. “Share the wealth” sounds great if you think you’ll be on the receiving end.

    Most importantly, I was glad for the question on abortion. That’s really the only issue that makes any difference to me, to be honest. I can see how a Christian could oppose the war, have different ideas on the size of government, have varying economic policies, etc. But abortion is the issue that should determine a believer’s vote, and Obama is a stronger advocate for abortion than anyone who has ever run for President.

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