October 15th, 2008
09:38 PM ET
14 years ago

Sanchez: Campaign like a long season of American Idol

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/art.walkout.jpg]
The presidential contest has degenerated into an overlong season of American Idol. Obama is the finalist with the charm and charisma - the fan favorite. McCain can still win but, unlike Obama whom the media has put on the fast track to victory, his pathway forward is indeed a tough row to hoe. He has to overcome voter fatigue, anxiety about the economy and America's habit of tossing a party out of power after eight years.

Despite the gloomy outlook, McCain has been in tough spots before; and we know how that turned out. It's a wise political observer who never bets against him. The race, according to at least a few polls, is closing - not by much - and it will continue to tighten.

For McCain, tonight's debate will not be won by defining complex policy issues or a new grand idea. It doesn't work. His focus must be on the two C's: character and crises.

Character matters to McCain as an election issue and a defining issue of his life. He's yet to make the strong character argument, which outlines how he put his country first and Obama took a pass.

Secondly, he must convince undecided voters why he's best prepared to navigate this country through a crisis-filled environment, now and in the future.

soundoff (466 Responses)
  1. oscar

    Do you all know why mccain is seriously opposing tax cut? he is trying to protect his wife's business. he doesn't want the much they have to trickle down to the less privilaged.

    October 16, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  2. K.D.

    What on earth does anybody see in Obama , he talks a lot and yet never gives you specifics.
    By that I mean , how is he going to pay for that huge christmas list he is promising everybody.
    He is going to turn America into a welfare state and create the largest national debt ever.
    Yes , and I am also bothered by the company Obama has kept in the past.

    October 16, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. Coloradoan for change

    Joe Six-Pack,

    You seem to epitomize the very reason that your party is going down the tubes. Your racial remarks only help to degrade the image of your beloved party more quickly and for that, I thank you. Keep up the good work.

    October 16, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. Rob indetroit

    MCsenile you lost , you lost tonight ,and Nov,4 Barack took you to the wood shed, now go home&take your plastic wife with you.

    October 16, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. Kamal Aljayeh

    Did McCain say that part of his solution to improve Education is to allow the Army to teach our kids without having a certification ? !

    October 16, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  6. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    McCain showed his anger, but even more, his egocentric sense of entitlement.
    He's a small man – read the article in Rolling Stone, to discover who McCain really is.

    October 16, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. oscar

    Mccain is out of touch with reality. How on earth is he qualifing his palin as a role model. PLEASE do not insult the integrity of the American women. Can mccain be explicit on what makes Palin a role model?.Is it the ethic law she broke in Alaska and her abuse of power, or her racism.Or does mccain want our women to copy from Palin by encouraging their teen daughters to be pregnant without sound education and getting married? Being a governor and not being intelligent in school doesn;t make one a role model

    October 16, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  8. oscar

    Palin is the MOST UNQUALIFIED person to be the president of this GREAT COUNTRY. Why did Mccain dudge that question? I need Mccain to be sincere enough and prove his saying of country first and tell this Nation that Palin is fit to be the president of this Country, and then we will leave his judgement to posterity.

    October 16, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. Tara

    Without a doubt , McCain is the more honest candidate and actually has a proven record of accomplishments.
    Obama is very slick and snickers a lot when uncomfortable.
    Obama's record shows a thin resume and cohorting with the likes of Rezko , Wright and Ayres.
    When I heard Farahkan call Obama the Messiah , I knew for sure that Obama is not the one I want as leader of our country.

    October 16, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  10. kris

    This democrat now votes republican. Obama why are you blaming Fox and saying it is their fault and you blamed them and said today you would be up by 2 to 3 more percent . So when you lose you will blame them. McCain won this tonight, and if anyone caught it you heard Obama lie about the funding.

    October 16, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  11. Musicpromo Ca

    While I respect Senator McCain for his years of service to the United States, I have to admit that his recent campaign choices are not representative of the change we need. Rather, his campaign shows us that he has poor judgement in what's important to the American people and what's necessary to lead the American people, is severly flawed.

    As you can see NO ONE CARES about Bill Ayers. & Sarah Palin is not ready for the White House. Enough with the "pork barrel spending." While McCain is no President Bush, he has yet to prove that he has any better judgement.

    Obama 08'

    October 16, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  12. Sandra from Canada

    I must say I'm hooked on these presidential goings on of the past two years or so. I watch CNN every day and read most of the blogs on CNN every day. I've liked Barack Obama and his policies since I first heard him and he seems even more ready to be president now. All I can say is that I hope that all americans vote with their heads this time and choose the candidate with intelligence, integrity and respect. That person is Barack Obama. He wants to bring good things to politics. I wish him well.
    I wish you all well for your future (vote wisely).

    October 16, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. 12 HOUSES to 0






    October 16, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  14. Wise White Guy

    Ok, the media did not put Obama on a pathway to victory. Obama and McCain did that. Obama did it by having policies that actually make sense an by being able to communicate them effectively to a large divers group of people. He also did it honestly, with integrity, and a calm rational way about him. McCain put Obama on a pathway to victory by basically screwing up every facet of his entire campaign in any way he could but mostly by having incredibly bad policies and refusing to even consider that what he has thought for so many years may be wrong. He also did this by lying repeatedly to the people, by acting childish regarding financing, and the townhall debates he won't shut up about, and by being a very quick tempered frightening man. The media simply reports what happens unless of course you are talking about Fox News which only puts things on favorable to McCain and spins the rest in his favor. They should have a law suit filed against them for false advertising for putting the word news in their name.

    October 16, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  15. w.l. jones

    Some time a person can see nothing with his eyes open but let his Mind see the full picture of our economy and figure out what he need to do to fix it. The more knowledge a person attain the sooner he find and hire the best mind to work on all the problem we american care so much about. Job,Healthcare, Retirement .Safety in our home, Natural Security,and last Bless our way life.

    October 16, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  16. Wise White Guy

    Kris. what funding are you talking about. If your talking about campaign finance you should realize that Obama never signed any agreement saying he would accept the financing deal. He said there would be a meeting to discuss it and that did happen. Both staffs met and there was no agreement. What you need to realize however is that there has never been a campaign in history that has been financed more by the public. I am one of the donors who sent money to Obama and I am proud to have done it. It is not my fault that your candidate is simply wrong about virtually every issue there is. it is not not my fault that your candidate is erratic and not the steady leader we need. You and John want to complain you didn't have as much money maybe you should instead ask why he lied in almost every ad he ran. Yes those were lies to you as well as me. Maybe you should ask your candidate why he voted with Bush 90% of the time in 2006, 95% in 2007 and 100% in 2008. Oh yeah someone did and he said because Bush was right that often. THERES YOUR SIGN!!!

    October 16, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
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