From the debate yesterday, I get the feeling that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are set for a clear victory. McCain had one shot to redeem himself in the debate and he blew it. His campaign clearly is sounding more desperate every day, especially with the sleazy and incompetent joke Palin digging up and trotting out flimsy past association charges at Obama. When short on substance and devoid of hope, attack character. While that's standard issue strategy for all politicians, you know that things are getting desperate when that strategy starts to be put on display so proudly. All McCain can do now as was apparent yesterday is appear condescending and repeatedly say "my friends" as if that's some kind of a hypnotic suggestion like "your eyelids are getting heavier"; he expects that the phrase will zap people and brainwash them into taking him seriously.
Yesterday's debate also underscored an observation that I think is key which I noticed in the last debate; independent voters are consistently leaning towards Obama. The voter response lines for independent voters at the bottom of the screen (and Ohio independents no less) are not perfect predictors, but they clearly showed that independents are not impressed with John McCain even in his best moments now. Any theater director will tell you that his delivery is falling flat. To independents, his best moments are rightly and finally sounding like typical political boilerplate.
As the BBC says, Barack Obama is now emerging as a boxer who simply needs to dance around the ring and maybe knock a punch or two. Many people now clearly are condemning the McCain-Palin smear campaign and most of their supposedly rousing statements are falling flat on their face. All Obama needs to do now is to wait for a month and hopefully watch the McCain campaign implode. That does not mean he has to sit back and relax, but what he has to do is mainly let them keep on shooting themselves in the foot, which seems to be their essential quality.
We can all dream on that the Obama-McCain election's results will mirror the results of the Reagan-Mondale election, only in reverse. Let's hope that McCain carries Arizona.