John McCain loves townhall meetings.
These town hall meetings are the most important part, in my view, of the process, because it not only gives you a chance to hear from me — and I’ll try not to make you hear from me very long — but it gives me an opportunity to hear from you… It gives us a glimpse and an idea of your hopes, and your dreams, and your aspirations, and your frustrations today, and the challenges that you face, and better sets our priorities, and it helps me enormously.
McCain loves townhall meetings so much he orchestrated his convention acceptance speech to approximate one in terms of proximity to audience and folksy style. So clearly he has the edge in terms of being the home team tonite. Problem is townhall meetings are places to feel anothers’ pain, not inflict it, which is what the McCain camp says it will be doing to Obama from now until election day. Townhalls are symbols of direct democracy which means they are where the publics gets an opportunity to hear of a candidates values and specific plans for the future. Regrettably, the McCain campaign has told the press it is taking substantive issues off the table for the rest of this campaign, replacing them with character assassination. According to top McCain staffers, if the campaign is forced to discuss the issue which is the predominant issues of this fall, then McCain loses.
So, the issue for McCain tonite. You got the venue you wanted but to win the debate you are constrained by the venue, which means you will need to stay positive and issue based.
If you do that, you gain little and Obama wins. If you go dirty tonite, Obama wins by appearing presiential and above your bullying.
So, what ya gonna do?