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. Goldie's Mom

    Heaven help us if McCain gets elected

    October 15, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  2. The Lady

    McCain lost again tonight, this was his last chance to convince voters and instead he spent majority of his time repeating what he has been saying for the last 3 months, attacking Obama. McCain you sound like an old man in a nursing home whom just keeps rambling about nothing.

    October 15, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Lissa

    McCain is a sad defeated man. He is angry and rude.

    October 15, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Betty

    I see right through you Obama, just answer the questions without all the garbage

    October 15, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. Walt

    McCain is a rambling, negative, nasty, incoherent liar.
    President? He shouldn't be elected to any office.
    When did the pod people come and take the old John McCain and body snatch him? Even if you didn't agree with McCain's policies before at least he seemed like a decent human being. Now....ugh. Bleeech. Yuk!

    October 15, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Pro

    McCain finally said it he will tax our Health care benefits!

    October 15, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Linda

    Is Joe the Plumber and Joe Six Pack the same person?

    October 15, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. Southern Girl for Obama

    To Thomas, the beliver of spam: Don't be so gullible! Just because it's "the other guy" does not make slander the truth. People called Bush the "anti-christ" also...

    October 15, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. Didi

    I'm not for abortion but I do think a person has a right to chose. Who am I to judge, they have to live with their decison and face God on Judgement Day.
    We know McCain is lying about appointing a judge.
    Obama's answer is great!

    October 15, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. Linda

    How long do we have to listen to John McCain tell us what Obama thinks? I am so tired of him commenting on what he thinks that Obama thinks. John, tell me what you think.

    Obama is telling the nation what he thinks. That is his focus.

    McCain is so busy talking about Obama that he does not talk about himself.

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. Betty

    Obama you and all your followers go make your socialist country someplace else. WE DON"T WANT YOU HERE!!!

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Paul

    Same story different day by both. No substaince no detail. No real choice.

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. goldy

    Tammy, Name one thing of substance that McCain has "nailed" him on.

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. argiro

    McCain's health plan is for the rich. At 21, I just graduated, I am a substitute teacher looking for a full time job, and I have NO insurance. I have some preexisting conditions and I can't see a specialist or even a doctor – not even for the flu – because I don't have insurance. His plan won't change anything for me.

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. Brandon

    This debate is a waste of time. This old angry man is getting too desperate and going after everythig other than what people have. Yes we get it you favor business and you are pathetic and you have no economic plan. Lets move on enough is said. When Obama says nice thing on Sara Palin, What does the angry old man do attack joe biden. Dude we are not interested in your attacks.TELL US HOW YOU ARE GOING TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS!!!

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. Rory - NYC

    McCain gives me the same feeling of when I was being reprimanded
    as a child!

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. Joshua College Station Texas

    What polls is Sanchez looking at? This woman is delusional. All the trends show exactly the opposite of what she is claiming. A few polls showing the opposite are noise.

    October 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    Richie does Obamas Plan make sense? His plan is going to take some of MY medical plan and spread it around so its equal for everyone, kind of like his taxes on the rich.......Oh its ok obama just give my hard working money to part of lazy america, I'll just cut some more jobs so I can pay the taxes.

    October 15, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. Kevin, NYC

    McCain is a stubbling, bumbling, out-of-touch old man. If he didn't have his pad and pen to help him, he couldn't remember a thing. Obama is cool, calm and competent and appears as the one who would be the same under pressure during a crisis. He has my vote, NO QUESTION.

    October 15, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  20. steph nj

    What about live birth after a botched abortion BO.

    October 15, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  21. Pro

    We will all get kicked off of our health care if McCain gets in office, having us pay taxes for the benefit will completely end employer based health care.

    When will Women get equal pay, under John McCain it will never happen, American Women are Americans too!

    October 15, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  22. Tony

    Obama – staying on message and talking about the issues that people care about.

    McCain – Disrespectufl, arrogant, bitter, angry and DESPERATE!!!!

    Such a sad old man!

    October 15, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  23. Ben

    John Mc Cain will be a continuation of the Rebublican policy to destroy the social fabric of this country. The arrogance to the zenophobia. Bush from A to Z

    October 15, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. White Christian Mother for Obama

    Okay who believes Joe the Plummer is a REAL PERSON?? OR is it a made up guy of Mccain in his senile head of his???

    And WE DONT want so much TRADE.. and our TRade is ONE Sided!! We receive more than we put out. Time to turn the tables.. put a halt on trade coming in and make our own stuff... whatever happen to Sam Walton... ALL AMERICAN !!!! That went out the window too!!!

    Lets get back to AMERICAN MADE!!!

    October 15, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  25. argiro

    Nobody wants a bitter, angry old man as a president who can't answer one question with a coherent, understandable answer.

    October 15, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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