Will de-humanising his opponent reinforce the racist vote?
One thing that became clear during the second 90 minute presidential debate is that John McCain is not going to do anything in public that hides his clear animosity towards his opponent.
Clearly his camp has worked out that “Obama-hate” is going to be the best way of getting the Republican vote out on November 4th and McCain’s whole demeanour seemed geared to that end. And who is to say that it won’t work? The possibility of a black man being President was always going to stir very deep emotions
At the end he even refused to shake hands with Obama and During one of the encounters, see the short YouTube clip, he referred to his opponent as “That one” – something that’s going to get picked over and talked about when America wakes up in eight or nine hours time.
The real question is how will this go down with the voters. Will it impede the move to Obama that we’ve seen in the polls in the last week or so or will it be counter-productive? Politeness is one of the qualities that matters to many Americans.
In terms of who “won” it was probably a score draw with, perhaps, McCain being a touch ahead on the straight arguments. But as I’ve argued before – that doesn’t matter. It’s the overall impression and how it affects voting that is the key test.
One things for sure – this campaign is going to get very dirty in the closing 30 days. The Republicans are going to throw everything at hanging onto the White House.
In the betting the Obama price tightened in the debate aftermath to 0.26/1.