Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why I Am Not Looking Forward to Tonight's Debate

David Brooks draws some lessons from the McCain victory in Florida's Republican primary. Then he discusses some things he's still figuring out:

First, how desperate is Romney? The Wednesday debate is his last shot at turning this around. If he is truly frantic, he will hit McCain hard on the temperament issue and hope McCain blows up on national TV. It will be an ugly assault, but the mark of a man who is willing to try anything. If Romney’s not willing to get that ugly, he’ll just use the same arguments he tried in Florida.

In a word, I think it will be vicious. More from Brooks:

Second, what does delegate hunting look like? For decades, presidential primaries have been settled by momentum. That is unlikely to happen on the Democratic side. Super-Duper-Looper Tuesday will almost certainly not settle the Democratic race because each side will emerge with many delegates. But how do you campaign in this environment? Do you try to win states? Do you focus on Congressional Districts with high turnouts, which sometimes get rewarded? Do you care about the national aggregate numbers next Tuesday? Almost nobody now living has done this before. And the challenge for us journalists is that we will have no clue next Tuesday how to make sense of the hundreds of different sorts of results that will come in.
Yes, pity the poor journalists. Here's a suggestion. Listen to your readers.Look what it turned up at Andrew Sullivan's blog.

2 comments:

ProGrowthLiberal said...

I saw the debate and there was a lot of rough talk. But Romney really did let McCain get away with a lot. In my view, McCain's attack on Romney's Iraq timetable position just before the Florida vote was as dishonest and slimy as it gets. This was raised but Romney missed the opportunity to say something really simply - Straight Talk McCain lied.

On the economic issues, however, there was the usual serial nonsense. At one point Romney suggested that if we adopt McCain's energy proposals, then we'd pay more in taxes for gasoline than do the Europeans. Someone fact check that one please!

Andrew Samwick said...

I could not agree more about McCain's performance. I was embarrassed for him.