The candidates will be working hard to hone thier messages into sound bites. That's a tough task when the issues (Wall Street's melt down, for one) are so complex. The debates should help them---and their running mates---find thier way around the headlines. Here come the zingers.
- Barack Obama has good economic ideas, but he just hasn't found a way to relate them to the electorate, writes Jacob Weisberg. What he needs is a dose of Clinton and Reagan sound-bite ready economic policies. Take away [Obama still has a long way to go in explaining where the American faith in broadly shared prosperity got lost, and how his policies could bring it back.]
- In order to make up for his zig zagging economic messages from last week, John McCain needs to make headway in next Friday's debate. The theme is foriegn policy, which should give him an advantage, but Weekly Standard editor William Kristol warns that McCain should not rest on his experience laurels. Take away[ "McCain needs to alarm voters about Obama's dovishness"]
- The McCain campaign has aggressively lobbied for a debate format that offers protection to Sarah Palin. The October 2 veep debate will have a shorter Q&A time and less opportunity for exchanges between the candidates. Take Away [A loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.]
- What was McCain thinking when he wrote about de-regulating health care in Contingencies magazine? Obama used the ill-timed article to pounce on McCain for being out of touch on the economy. Take away [McCain needs to shore up his message on the economy before the out of touch criticism cements in voters minds.]