by Jeremy Young | 9/24/2008 07:56:00 PM
Invite Barr and Nader.

Politically, it would be a masterstroke. If McCain doesn’t show up, they get to recreate the Reagan-Anderson debate and bash McCain all night. If McCain does bother to come, it’ll still raise Barr’s and Nader’s profiles — and that can’t be anything but good for Obama.

Use this as an open thread.



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Blogger Ahistoricality on 9/24/2008 8:16 PM:

I was reading elsewhere (I can't find it at the moment) about RFK's "debate" during a senatorial campaign in which he basically gave a speech while the camera cut to the open door for this opponent now and then. If Obama takes your advice, they have to leave an empty podium for John "Time Out" McCain....


Blogger Ahistoricality on 9/24/2008 8:28 PM:

By the way, Princeton is running a test of our predictive abilities which promises prizes for people who get close to right. Most of my answers were cribbed from discussions here and at TPM.... It was interesting: how much do you know about swing states?


Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/24/2008 8:32 PM:

It's actually been done many times. It happened in the congressional race I was volunteering for in 2004 -- I put up an embarrassing photo (once available here, but no longer) of Congressman Rick Renzi's empty chair.

The most recent example at the presidential level was Bradley skipping a one-on-one debate with Gore before a farmer's organization in 2000 (can't find a link at the moment). Gore attended anyway and hammered Bradley in absentia for ninety minutes.

Skipping a debate never works out for the person who skips it, even if they have a darn good reason. If Obama goes through with this debate, it could be very, very bad for McCain.

But I'm hearing now that the two of them are going to go meet with Bush, so of course that means Obama will cave. Whatever.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/24/2008 8:41 PM:

I went ahead and filled that out -- it was weird, I felt like I was answering some questions more than once.

Meanwhile, I laid down $20 on the results of this election...

...I bet on Nader. Was that wrong?


Blogger Ahistoricality on 9/24/2008 9:27 PM:

..I bet on Nader. Was that wrong?


It's better than wasting your money on a McCain contract.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/24/2008 9:40 PM:

It's true. :) But to be perfectly honest, I bet on Obama. Never bet against the home team...


Blogger Ahistoricality on 9/24/2008 10:22 PM:

I was watching the Letterman bit posted over at Eschaton and a bright idea just popped into my 'ead: Obama should counter McCain's suggestion to move the first presidential debate to the date of the VP debate by suggesting that the VP debate should take place on Friday. Just switch 'em and let the VP candidates do what VP's should do: stand in for their bosses.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/24/2008 11:23 PM:

Absolutely. Wasn't Letterman great, by the way? I don't know what McCain's thinking. Shaking up the race once was crazy, but brilliant. Shaking it up over and over again? Just crazy.


Anonymous Anonymous on 9/25/2008 5:49 PM:

Great idea about just having the VP candidates debate take place on Friday.

There's NO way Obama would ever consider allowing Nader to take part in a debate because Nader would expose Obama as the GOP-Lite candidate that he most certainly is.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 9/25/2008 9:26 PM:

And yet, polls clearly show that Nader now takes more votes away from McCain than from Obama. How do you explain that?

I've been hanging out online with a bunch of third-party activists, and I think I can explain it: if you believe that government is inherently bad, then your best candidate is someone like Nader who wants to throw the bums out, even if he only wants to do it so he can create even more government. your second-best candidate is someone like McCain who wants to reduce government oversight, even if he only wants to do it to line the pockets of his corporate buddies. Your worst candidate is someone like Obama who wants to keep the government and the politicians we have and expand their influence, even if he wants to do so to improve social programs for the poor and downtrodden.