I cannot imagine what it’s like to be McCain. He’s virtually behind on every poll; his negative campaigning, in the hope of destroying Obama’s credibility, may have backfired and destroyed his own; and his supporters are angry and not afraid to show it. These supporters urge him to “take the gloves off” — but if you were him, would you listen? Should you take the gloves off?
On the one hand, McCain’s existing supporters love him. They are passionately against Obama, and his rallies have seen his supporters fiercely announce their discontent with and fears of his democratic counterpart. They love the way he’s riled them up; they love the ammo he has provided for shooting Obama down; they love seeing McCain “take the gloves off”.
But for McCain, taking the gloves off may well scare independent voters away. He’s walked right into the “angry old man” persona trap that Obama built for him. Now, more than ever, I’m starting to see his desperation.
At the last debate, he didn’t “take the gloves off”. He avoided personal attacks. He never mentioned Bill Ayers. His subsequent rallies have had his supporters urge him to avoid niceties. He has had supporters telling him to destroy Obama in this debate. But the thing is: if he could do so (destroy Obama by being more forceful), wouldn’t he have done it already? And with supporters urging him even more to “take the gloves off”, I have a horrible feeling he may well implode in the upcoming debate.
Right now, in marketing terms, McCain has two very different segments he needs to serve: the first segment is his current supporters; the other segment are his potential supporters — the undecided independents. One side simply loves attacks on Obama; the other doesn’t care, but simply wants information on his policies, and how they may be better than Obama’s.
I hope McCain does well in his next debate; it’d only make for a more interesting finale.