September 30, 2004

Snap Debate Prediction

Jim Geraghty over at the Kerry Spot is predicting that J. Francois will do pretty well tonight, keeping his cool, concentrating on selling himself and not being overly wordy.

Maybe. But one thing to keep in mind is that it probably isn't enough for Kerry to play short yardage in this debate. He can't just do a series of three yard dink passes. That'll leave the swing voters as tepid as they already are. He's got to make something happen to reverse the trends, notwithstanding the fact that the MSM are already busy drafting their "Kerry Surges Back" stories. It isn't so easy to fool people any more. Kerry genuinely has to inject some fire into his campaign. Here. Now. In other words, he's got to throw deep.

Furthermore, to extend the analogy, I can't seriously believe that Bush is going to play back and give him the short passes. Bush is going to (or should) try and pin Kerry down, to blitz, as it were. Kerry's foreign policy position is about as porous as the Miami Dolphins' front line these days. It's the single weakest part of his platform. And more people are going to watch tonight than either of the remaining two debates.

Given all that, I'm not so sure Kerry isn't going to give in to his instincts.

Bottom line - if it's a dull, cautious debate, the status quo (i.e., a steady trend towards Bush) probably won't change much. That's not going to help Kerry. If the candidates mix it up, I think Kerry will wind up hurting himself. But at least he'll go down in a blaze.

What a choice.

Posted by Robert at September 30, 2004 06:02 PM | TrackBack
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