Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keys to the 2nd Presidential Debate

1. Even though you're ahead, you can't afford any major flubs.  Keep the momentum going.  Don't give independents and undecideds any reason to go with McCain.
2. Keep the focus squarely on the middle class and, specifically, their economic troubles.
3. Be the Obama you are on the stump - friendly, folksy and reassuring.  Don't revert into professorial mode.
4. Continue to paint McCain as out of touch (particularly on the economy), but do so in a gentlemanly fashion (i.e. the way you did in the first debate).
5. Continue your ownership of the health care issue specifically.  If you can continue to do that, you should be in good position to win the state of Florida.

1. Buddy, you need a game-changer - but you can't get cranky or, worse, angry.  You need to come across as a reasonable, responsible veteran (no pun intended) - in other words, the kind of guy you'd want in charge of a crisis.
2. Be the McCain you were at the Saddleback forum, not the McCain at the Des Moines Register meeting.
3. Differentiate yourself with the policies - particularly economic policies - of George W. Bush.  He is the albatross that remains around your neck.
4. Be respectful towards Obama.  You turned off a lot of people in the first debate when you wouldn't even look at him.  Some polite small talk and a sincere handshake would do you well in this debate.
5. Make this about you and Obama, particularly your character, judgment and experience versus him.  Make the American people more comfortable with and trusting of you, the Happy Warrior revered across party lines.

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