“That one” might just clinch it for Obama

By Leonid Balaban

In tonight’s debate, McCain might have commited one of the biggest mistakes in the whole 2008 campaign by showcasing his absolute disdane for Sen. Obama and refering to him as “That one”. This debacle came about after McCain raised a question of

“Who voted against the 2005 so-called “Bush-Cheney Energy Bill” again?”  
“That one,” McCain said, pointing at his opponent with his thumb.

This particular episode is getting a lot of play and discussion on MSNBC and CNN, which is not a good news for the Republican. What’s more, it just might invalidate all the Ayers and Wright stuff that McCain campaign has already introduced or was just about too.



Filed under McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Republican

4 responses to ““That one” might just clinch it for Obama

  1. Tony Robinson

    I don’t think so Leo. It is true that McCain’s overall debate performance was very weak, and a substantial majority of viewers seem to think Obama won, according to quick CNN polling after the debate. I also think that this debate may have just about sealed the deal for Obama, in that he is now above 50% in most national and battleground state polling, and the window of opportunity for McCain to change the sea-surge towards Obama may have already closed–

    But I don’t think the “that-one” comment will play any role in any of this. My gut tells me that the comment did not have the panache of other classic gaffes. Partly, the comment doesn’t play into a pre-existing narrative about McCain. If McCain had a reputation for racism, then the comment would feed into that and by confirming pre-conceived notions, may end up playing a role. As is, the comment will be seen as a harmless gaffe, not intended in any inappropriate way, and not revealing any “hidden” evil inside of McCain. It will be forgotten within days.

  2. Tony Robinson

    Just to elaborate a little bit:

    Ford’s “no Soviet domination” gaffe played into a pre-existing narrative that he was not that bright and was a bumbler.

    Gore’s sighs and rolling eyes during the 2000 debates played into a preexisting narrative that he was arrogant.

    George Bush’s looking at his watch and not answering the deficit question well played into a pre-existing narrative that he was an out of touch elitist, who did not understand average people (remember his surprise at seeing a supermarket scanner?).

    I don’t think this gaffe plays into any meta-narrative about McCain that will give it the air it needs to take wing.

  3. balaban13

    Well, I’m sort of conflicted on this one. On one had, I agree with you one the point that there is no factual evidence that McCain is racist. However, I just finished reading a chapter in McCain’s book Faith of my Fathers, where he described how Confederate heritage was glorified at the Naval Academy. Did it affect him? Hard to say…

  4. kvalentine2008

    Personally, I feel that the “That One” statement showed McCain’s lack of respect for Obama rather than his racism. I think that the comment showed a lack of composure and panic on McCain’s part and that is over coming him and his campaign. His new campaign motto of tearing down the Obama campaign and exposing him for the supposed “liar” that he is, is going to do nothing but hurt him. He is adding insult to injury to himself and the elephant in the room… Sarah Palin. She has become a post RNC down hill slope rather than bump in the polls. Obama handled himself very well in this debate and it is showing in the polls.

    (Polls)http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jWoVjuUsU8SAsGK7IzSl2s4fWgvw …. (Sorry, couldnt figure out how to hyperlink this)

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