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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/mccain1.jpg caption=" 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. Linda32

    Honestly Hillary, the time has past.

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Donna

    In a development which will hurt McCain with undecideds, it was disclosed today that he has been provided with free cellphone towers by Verizon and AT&T at the Sedona Ranch. This is particularly disturbing since McCain is on the Commerce committee, which oversees both companies.

    October 15, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. fearmongers

    someone asked me today ...

    " If you support Obama so strongly, Why don't you have a bumper sticker or a sign in your yard?"

    I said " I am scared of Republicans. "

    Please get out and Vote.
    * wink wink *

    October 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. bill for barack

    John McCain has an easy road to success. All he needs to do this evening is announce his retirement from the Senate, accept his defeat in November and become a successfully retired politician.

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. PUMBU


    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. 12 HOUSES to 0


    October 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Cindy, CA

    well, there's always the choice of 'suspending his campaign' considering the daily looming financial crisis....

    October 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. democrats /PA

    iam a blackman
    and a vet and still will vote foe McCain/palim
    obama looks down on people like he is better then us

    October 15, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. Tom

    There is NO room for McCain to succeed!


    October 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. RIChris

    The one thing that has brought people to the Obama camp is indeed the economy. Obama promises them all welfare checks.

    October 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    The minute he goes negative, he firms up the base but he sacrifices the swing voters/independents. If he feels he can win with just the base, then Inauguration Day will see Barack Obama as President.

    October 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. Paula from Canada

    At least they are having him seated..his wandering and meandering last debate was annoying and rude. Poor old duffer he doesn't look well to me. Go get him Barack!! Canada loves you!

    October 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. angie in dallas 28

    yes , we will!

    October 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Judy

    I beleive that these personal attacks appear to be a way to attempt to get the American people to not focus on the issues. I believe that McCain should be focusing on the real issues facing the American people today and stop the name calling, all this tells me is that he does not have any real plans on how to handle the problems we have so he makes an attempt to divert the attention of the voters so that they do not realize that he does not appear to have any real solutions. The best thing that McCain could do to try and save his campaign is to put a gag on Palin.

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Jack Six Pack

    John McCain can succeed if he admits that he was wrong on deregulation for the financial and medical industry. John McCain can also admit he was wrong in picking an unqualified Sarah Palin .

    John McCain can come clean with the American people and admit that he has been less than truthful so far in this campaign and that he is willing to engage in the real issues with the remaining time.

    Anything else will continue with the utter failure of this republican campaign.

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Winnie Hussein.... in Montana

    The only things I want to hear from this man is about Sarah Palin and her ethical lapses, her "earth is flat" philosophy and her connection to the Alaskan Independence Party. I want to know if she or her husband, who seems to meddle in her governmental affairs, agrees at all with any of the statements made over the years by members of this organization. I also want McCain to explain to me why he cheated on his wife, why he talks about Ronald Reagan like the man was his long-lost father when we know that Pres. Reagan became disgusted with him, and why McCain has allowed Palin so much leniency to make outrageous claims against his opponent.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. lou

    I think it's too late. McCain has flipped so many times, trying to reinvent himself, he has spent his political capital and depleted his reserves of credibility. It would take a miracle or a monumental Obama blunder. Neither are likely to happen in the next three weeks.

    October 15, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. Central Scruitinizer

    Seem to be the end of the STR8 talk Caboose. He needs to take his Dipsy Doodle Poodles (Sindy and Sarah Airhead) for a long walk in the park. Hes got no messege, got no ideas, got no honor. The thing that made me turn so hard against McCain is his selection for VP. I hope he realises how this arrogant , blind, ignorant idiot cost him the election. It is frightening how she may have been close to running this country, but thank God , this nightmare is pretty much over. She is living proof that we need at least a basic IQ test and quite possibly o basic understanding of how the world operates to even be concidered for the 2ND HIGHEST SEAT IN THE COUNTRY. Good Lord could you imagine her as our PRESIDENT? We would be the laughing stock of the world.. Blows my mind that JM wants the POTUS so bad he would comprimise the entire country. Seems very UNHEROIC!!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. catmom

    Is the McCain campaign that stupid not to HEAR what the American people have been saying lately? The only people who want to hear him continue his personal attacks on Obama are those people who would never vote for Obama any way. Most Americans want to hear about the current issues affecting all of us. We don't want to hear about ACORN, Ayers, Rezko and how Obama doesn't see America the way Palin does.

    October 15, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I'm voting for Obama/Biden tomorrow because he looks at us – not down on us.

    McCain doesn't even know we're here. He can't look anyone in the eye. His wife wore a fake cast so she didn't have to shake hands with anyone. The have more money than most of us can even imagine. They will be fine. We won't if we vote for him.

    October 15, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Something smells fishy!!!

    I just heard on MSNBC that McCain got FREE CELL PHONE TOWERS FROM ATT AND VERIZON ON HIS RANCH IN SEDONA as well, just like Donna posted earlier. McCain did oversee those comnpanies on the Commerce Committee. He also has someone on his campaign that worked for Verizon as a lobbyist. WOULDN'T THAT BE CONSIDERED A "KICKBACK"?


    Doesn't that all sound very suspicious???

    October 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Sylvia L Green

    One word to describe John McCain: REFORM!

    October 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. saint paul mn

    thre is no time no way no how FOR THIS OLD INSANE MCSAME guy
    he is an embarrasement
    he is

    shame on him and the brainless sara palin

    October 15, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    McCain wants to OBTAIN WORLD DOMINACE through WAR

    October 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Christine

    Don't get too confident Obama supporters.......GET OUT AND VOTE ON NOV 4TH!!!!!! We can celebrate big time then and not before!!


    October 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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