October 15th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for the political rope-a-dope

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for a knockout blow.
Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for a knockout blow.

(CNN) - Muhammad Ali was not only a great boxer, but an awesome tactician.

Remember the fight against George Foreman in Zaire? My man damn near went to sleep on the ropes as Foreman flailed away, using his energy to pound away at Ali. And at the right time, the Greatest of All Time started blasting away, eventually knocking Foreman out.

That's exactly what Sen. Barack Obama is doing to Sen. John McCain.

At no time during the Democratic primary has Obama tried to pick a fight. So when he told ABC last week that when it came to bringing up 1960s radical Bill Ayers on the campaign trail, McCain "wasn't willing to say it to my face," I instantly saw it as Obama throwing down the gauntlet.

Knowing full well that the senior senator from Arizona has a hot temper, he couldn't resist the bait.

"He has probably ensured that it will come up this time," McCain told a Missouri radio station.

And by doing so tonight, Obama will be ready to pounce.

I debated conservative Michael Steele last night at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., and he said McCain should stay focused on the issues. I concur.

By bringing up an issue voters don't care about, McCain will alienate independents, and make it easier for Obama to appeal to them.

If it happens, just watch Obama pound away at McCain, just like Ali did to Foreman.

soundoff (1,160 Responses)
  1. Tony

    COME ON BARACK, PULVERIZE THE OLD FOOL!

    October 15, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Micheal shoemac republican voting for Obama in miami florida

    You are so wright Roland

    October 15, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Sean

    I used to have a "Dope on a rope" who didn't know when to stop barking. Sounds like MCCain barking about Ayers. Hope Obama shuts him up tonight. Bad MCCain, you said in the last debate that "you shouldn't telegraph your intentions to your opponent" Did you FORGET that you said that, or is Ayers a misleading ploy so that you can hit him with Something else: Reverand Wright perhaps?

    October 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Jesse K

    I agree

    October 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. gwen

    Why would it surprise anyone if McCain fails yet again tonight? I think we have come to expect loosing tactics from McCain.

    October 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Ryan Cincinnati

    This is why we need OBAMA >Intelligent/Cool /Calm/ and somebody I don't want to have a beer with.

    Go Obama

    October 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Christine K

    Voters SHOULD care about Ayers. Do you think if you tell people they don't care enough times, they will actually listen and not care? Why can't you trust your readers to do their own research on Ayers, his history, and his ties to Obama?

    October 15, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Baze

    This is silly.

    October 15, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Eric from Columbus

    I hate watching debates, they're boring and they wouldn't sway my vote anyways (plus i already cast it) but it's like watching a train wreck, i don't know if I'll be able to not watch McShame go down in flames. (probably more like going down in an uneventful plop.)

    October 15, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Canadian

    I concur

    October 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. rich

    why doesnt obama bring up mccain and his team leader william Timmons and the lobbying timmons was in on for saddam WHILE WE WERE AT WAR with Iraq?

    mccain hangs around with traitors-say it aint so sarah!

    October 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Bruce

    You are 100% right on. The fact that Ayers was on a board that was picked by a Republican and a good friend of Reagin it will make McCain look all the more stupid because he has close ties to the same people. Then there is some other McCain connections he really does not want to surface. Also Palin's Husband has ties to the AIP a radical HATE Group. The fact that people want to hear about issues that effect their lives will finnish McCain off. Obama should just smile and say "John we have gone over this before. The people of America need real answers to their problems. I have a plan to help them." Then he should go into great detail about how his plan will give them jobs, health care, education.

    October 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Sebastian, Baton Rouge, LA

    Down Goes McPalin....Down Goes McPalin!

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. JC in SC

    Martin is really reaching deep for simile.

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Ivan

    Hope you're right. Obama can handle himself, but at least half this country is slavishly, mindlessly loyal to the senile old bugger.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. New York

    I figured Obama was setting a trap. I hope McCain doesn't fall for it. Oh wait a minute....yes I do. Obama is a genius.!!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Let the fight commence! Go SENATOR OBAMA!!! Take him down!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Sean

    that would be amazing. I hope you're right. Unfortunately, I fear the angry old man has a few tricks up his sleeve as well

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Lawrence

    You're so right, Roland!! Keep doing what you're doing, Barack!!!

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. jC

    Obama is no "Greatest of All Time".

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. RDS

    @Tony... if we want the other side to respect our candidate then I think we should do the same. You don't have to agree or vote for the other candidate but some level of respect is needed on BOTH sides.

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. jones

    So why is this worth a CNN Ticker moment.

    Martin a CNN commentator says something and CNN wants us to comment on it. Why exactly?

    Ask me how do i feel about losing 10% of my 401K not to comment on what someone on cnn says.

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Becky

    Obama is able to stay cool, calm, and collective because he appears to be two steps ahead of McCain.

    McCain's Achilles Heel is his bad temper, and Obama and the rest of us know it.

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Hana

    Obama will deliver one last tough punch to knock him out.
    ie senior citizen Mccain

    October 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. wakeupamerica

    Bring on the TKO!!!! Wonder when we'll see the Palin smackdown?

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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