I always break down the general elections for presidential candidates into three phases, the conventions, the debates, and the all out blitz for the final weeks of the campaign. John McCain somehow found a way to win the convention phase despite the 80,000 people who filled a football stadium to see Obama’s convention speech. The McCain campaign ripped the headline away from Obama by selecting Sarah Palin as his VP selection, and used a hurricane shortened convention to unite a Republican Party against Obama.
Going into the general election I would have said that the only phase that McCain could win is the debate phase. Obama has shown that he can give a great speech with the aide of a teleprompter, but when left to answer questions on the spot he suddenly sounds more like President Bush. I find this to be incredibly odd. McCain on the other hand has proven to be a strong debater, who tends to give straight answers to the questions.
While I think McCain has an advantage, don’t under estimate Obama. He is reportedly going to spend most of this week in preparation for the debate, and if he can some how get McCain worked up and out of his comfort zone, Obama could score a huge victory.
My advice to McCain would be to not try to be cute in his attacks against Obama. Respond when attacked, heck, call him out for going negative, but stay above the fray. Serious times, call for a competent, serious leader.
If McCain and Palin can win the debate stage, they will maintain their momentum going into November.