October 15th, 2008
07:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Rosen: Where is the room for John McCain to succeed?

 McCain hopes to win over undecided voters tonight.
McCain hopes to win over undecided voters tonight.

The CNN poll released today showed a dramatic decrease in undecided voters. In fact in the key battleground states of Florida, Colorado and Virginia, John McCain could get every undecided voter left and still not have enough to win the campaign.

This is the key turning point in the campaign.

It is much harder to change people's minds than to convince them to move from the undecided block.

That is what makes John McCain's task so difficult tonight. He has to use the issues that have brought people to the Obama camp – namely the economy – and convince them that the decision they have made about who helps them more in these troubled times, is the wrong decision.

All the talk about McCain "taking it to Obama" on Bill Ayers or his past associations, it seems pretty irrelevant to the real challenge at hand. Can John McCain convince people that they are wrong in their judgements?

What are his choices tonight?

-Personal character attacks?
-Social issues like abortion and same sex marriage – the so-called values retread?
-Create fear of a Democratic controlled Washington within Congress and the White House?
-Yet another economic plan?

Lots of choices, none of them sure winners particulalry when Barack Obama has shown a steady hand on all of these issues.


Filed under: John McCain • Presidential Debate
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. mello in New Mexico

    The real problem is that the republicans and McCain have not shown any real values or decisions on issues that are relevant. The focus on character attack after character attack. McCain does not discuss issues. Fear, hatred, fear and hatred is all that he seems to know. What does that say about him and his party?

    October 15, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. David

    He needs to loosen up, and take his best swing on the issues, get his running mate Sarah Palin up to speed on the issues too

    October 15, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. RS-Texas

    The country always took pride in its diversity and the ‘melting pot’ was actually considered a strength of this great nation…however it is disturbing to see that many illiterate and/or ignorant Americans can still NOT SEE beyond a candidates appearance and background……

    October 15, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. faye hicks

    What war did he win? He was in Viet Nam, and we did not win that. My husbnd came home with Agent Orange. My son was in Desert Storm. We did good there. Palin said he was good at war. Why did he get captivered.

    October 15, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. M Minter

    Palin talks to Joe Six Pack and McCain talks to Joe the Plumber. The shameful part of these addresses to the Joes of the world is that neither Palin nor McCain speak truth nor have actual content in what they say. McCain's chuckle and snide comment that Obama wants to make Warren Buffett a plumber was ridiculous. In addition, McCain interrupted Obama rudely to say over and over.... cut taxes... cut taxes.... Does he recall that this and deregulation was the center of the GWB economic policies that go us here?

    October 15, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. motherof2

    Poor John thinks if he uses joe 6 pack or joe the plummer these people will vote for him. Maybe.......John is a repub is for the wealthy not you.

    October 15, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. motherof2

    Whatever John give me a break. Stop using those same old lines you used in the debates you lost earlier.

    October 15, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  8. Emily, NY

    Let's get McCain off the political stage and into a retirement home. Biden can take a bed next to him as they are both approaching senilty.

    So let's see, who might the future be? Well, who drew the biggest TV audience in the debates? Who draws 25-50,000 people at rallies everytime they speak? Who's only 44 and will be a powerhouse in American politics long after McCain and Biden are in the ground?

    Sarah Barracuda Palin 2012 & 2016'

    October 15, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. Terry H

    So let me guess, now you want Senator McCain to withdraw? The polls have been manipulated, millions of dead voters are ready to vote and all the cards are stacked against McCain so he should just quit huh? Ha...Ha....The truth will come out about the primary and McCain will WIN in November.

    October 15, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Mike

    The more the McBush compaign continues with his nasty negative adds, the more and more of the undecides get turned off and vote for Obama!!

    October 15, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Becky, Ca

    Obama Insider October 15th, 2008 9:01 pm ET

    "I hope it doesn't get out that Obama will appoint William Ayers as Secretary of Education. If that gets out, they'll be plenty of room for McCain. Whoops … I guess I let it out of the bag"

    Do you want William Ayers as Secretary of Education???

    PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE ONES MESSING THE SYSTEM AND NOT BEING TRUTHFUL AND HONEST TO YOURSELF. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU ARE VICIOUS AND WITHOUT CONSCIOUS. SPREADING A FALSE RUMOR IS NOT PATRIOTIC.

    NO MATTER WHO YOU DECIDE TO VOTE, BE CIVIL AND RESPECTFUL TO THE OTHER.

    MCCAIN IS NOT AN ANGEL. I WILL TAKE AYER ANY DAY OVER SARAH PALIN, WHO IS HEART BEAT AWAY FROM BEING NEXT IN COMMANDER IN CHIEF. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT TODD PALIN??? NO, I GUESS. GO FIND OUT, I AM SURE YOU WILL NOT LIKE THE ANSWER.

    I AM A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT AND WAS UNDECIDED UNTIL MCCAIN TICKET STARTED WITH THEIR PERSONAL ATTACK WITHOUT AND FULLY ADDRESSING WHAT HE CAN DO DIFFERENTLY FROM CURRENT REGIME.

    I AM VOTING FOR OBAMA/BIDEN COME 11/4. HE IS MORE EDUCATED AND SMARTER TO GET THIS COUNTRY BACK TO WHERE TO WAS

    October 15, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. L

    Did any one here Mccain say he doesnt mind paying a little bit taxes ? I didnt, obama said he did not mind. So what did Mccain say?

    October 15, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. brian

    I believe McCain has lost. Caribou Barbie and his shell game of name-calling killed his chances.

    Also, #39 Briana, I am watching Project Runway too. Team Obama and Team Korto.

    October 15, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. SANDRA FOR OBAMA/BIDEN

    DID YOU HEAR JOHN MCSANE MAKE NOISIES AND GESTURES...HE IS LAUGHING AND BEING DISRESPECTFUL!!!!!! HE IS A LIAR AND GRASPING FOR STRAWS!! HE IS A IGNORANT MAN!!!

    October 15, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. David

    Maybe have an unacceptable wet t-shirt contest to help patch things up...

    October 15, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. M Minter

    McCain is not composed. He appears angry and flustered. He has interrupted Obama repeatedly. McCain is not a statesman. He has no diplomacy. He is showing us that tonight.

    October 15, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. faye hicks

    Go Obama. obama's grandfather raised him. That makes him American. Bill Clinton was a ladies man, but we had jobs and money. If Obama does that we will be good. He can be asked to change who his father was. Both of them know shady people.

    October 15, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. kelly

    MCCain as president would be a disaster!! In the final debate he looks like he's on his last year of life and acts like his only living his 5th. My 5 year old daughter could come up with better economic relief plans and would be way more respectful (as opposed to childish) in running against Obama. I don't agree with all of Obama's campaign but he has my vote over dumb and dumber

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. motherof2

    John you are so sad. Ayers was a wacko and you are acting like a joke. You picked Palin for the Hillary vote. She is a joke too. Send her back to reform Alaska.

    Go Obama!

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. josie richards

    hey faye hicks, learn to spell, its "captured" and i'd like to see osama, ..obama go through and survive what john mccain did, and you too for that matter, i bet you couldnt, and neither could osama aka obama. this country should make people take tests before voting. people are getting more stupid by the minute, vote by emotion, not intellect. If we get obama all who voted for him will get what you deserve, unfortunately us innocent ones will get screwed as well, another jimmy do nothing carter,yay....

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Gretchen

    Did Mccain make an absolute joke of himself in tonight's debate?
    "You BETCH'YA!!!"

    He is insane tonight.

    October 15, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. Tonya Perkins

    Who can afford Joe the plumber? Exxon executives !

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. motherof2

    McCain wants to be a General. He just can't wait to be in charge of the War. We will not even give him the chance.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. ava

    I think they need to keep the camera off McCain if he is going to keep making the his laughs and remarks in the back ground and STOP TRYING TO BE ON SCENE. OBAMA is doing a great job, McCain acts like a pup who has been acting up and needs to be sent to the corner (or quite time). OBAMA/BIDEN is our next leaders.

    October 15, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. tony

    lohn mccain did interfere with sen. omara without being corrected by the moderator. this is wrong

    October 15, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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