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There is this imaginary line that the newer candidate to the national scene must pass in order to win over undecideds.  It is called "the presidential test."  To some of us here, this is silly but to millions of Americans it is very important.  And their opinion and logic is every bit as valid as yours.

I am talking about 10% of voters, people who are undecided, people who care about and love this country and the issues they are facing but don't always have the time or inclination to follow politics with the level of scrutiny that most of you here do.

Here is what has been happening in the minds of these voters for months.

  1.  I know McCain.  He's not the guy he used to be but I'm leaning toward him.  I don't really know Obama.  Thus these voters have pretty much swung back and forth between lean McCain and undecided.
  1.  I seemingly agree with Obama on most issues.  This country is clearly on the wrong track and we need change but unless Obama proves to me that I should change horses, I'm still probably voting McCain.  I need to feel comfortable.
  1.  I would like to vote for Obama but not unless I think he is "presidential."  I don't need others defining for me what "presidential" is, I will define it for myself thank you very much.

Being presidential to these voters is about several things.  It's about substance, appearance, likability, and a personal connection.  Reagan passed this test in 1980 with these kinds of voters, Clinton passed this test in 1992 with these kinds of voters and even Bush passed this test with these kinds of voters in 2000.

Up until Friday night, millions of these voters were leaning McCain.  Then they watched the debate.  On technical points and talking points, the debate was a draw.  On the larger image and emotional issues at hand, the debate was a knockout victory for Obama.  Obama passed the presidential test which means these voters will revert back to point 2 above, the issues.  Now comfortable that Obama is presidential, these voters will make the decision based on right track/wrong track of the country.  And so they have.  Probably all of you are familiar with individuals who were undecided Friday night or leaning MCCain and they are now voting Obama.  This is why.

The Obama campaign further showed me but showed millions of others that you don't want to play chess with them.  Here, McCain allowed Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, and Fox News to basically destroy McCain's candidacy.  Sarah Palin was an invaluable asset in this regard as well.  It was George Foreman v. Muhammed Ali as Foreman just kept swinging wildly until there was nothing left in the gas tank as Ali knew 5 rounds in advance what was going to happen and when it was going to happen even if it appeared to the contrary.  Obama knocked McCain out Friday night and I doubt Obama will let him up off the canvas.

Originally posted to davefromqueens on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips for excellent analysis (30+ / 0-)

    or for the fact that I've lost 16 pounds in 5 weeks.

    I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

    by davefromqueens on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:23:41 AM PDT

  •  I'm scared that it's more than 10%... (0+ / 0-)

    of the population that doesn't follow politics to the level that some here do. It seems like too many people are too apathetic about this election, which surprises me a lot. And in that case, I fear that people vote for who they know and not who the candidates really are.

    Then again, watch and listen to the Hooters waitress/Caribou Barbie talk for 60 seconds, and most people with a triple-digit IQ are running away screaming.

  •  Obama is in the fast lane (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, minerva1157

    I have relished the account of the White House meeting in which Bush asked Reid and Pelosi to start the discussion (on the bail-out) and they immediately tossed it to Obama who then controlled the meeting.  If that isn't presidential then I don't know what is?  John McCain had his wrench to throw, but was silent for 40 minutes, before he got a chance to derail the discussions, and even at that, it was short lived.

    And the Shrub, as has been reported, seemed to not be 'there'.

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:34:41 AM PDT

  •  Obama = Floyd Mayweather Jr. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, mkor7

    That was just round one. Obama won the round on points, despite being pushed around the ring a bit. He counterpunched brilliantly, while McSluggo kept throwing overhand right and overhand right to little or no effect. Obama kept his jab in his opponent's face all night, and landed a couple of solid shots to his body.

    But Obama didn't go head-hunting. Not yet. He's like Floyd Mayweather Junior, I suppose. Some of us might get pissed that he doesn't fight hard enough, but he always manages to outbox his opponent.

    I think we might see a little more of the Mayweather that fought Ricky Hatten in the next two debates, but I've quit trying to predict Obama just like I quit trying to predict how Mayweather would win his next fight. They've both proven to me that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about when it comes to what they need to do to win. Maybe it's as simple for these guys as training their asses off and then showing up.

    I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

    by gabbardd on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:35:20 AM PDT

  •  Good news, but it ain't over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    breathe67

    Now is when the dirty tricks need to be parried, voter protection needs to come into play, and the last push for registration and re-registration needs to happen.

    This thing can't be close, or the Repubs will slime their way in again!!!

    McCain is a Chode.

    by dnamj on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:41:47 AM PDT

  •  Passing the presidential test (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JFinNe

    An undecided at this point can also be someone who thinks both candidates have qualities/platform details they like/dislike.  As the diarist says, most folks maybe look at political news only occasionally (unlike us).

    When we hire someone new into our organization, we interview them as a team. Sometimes there is one candidate who is clearly superior.  But often there are 2 or 3 who are absolutely qualified in our minds to do the job.  We, as a team, fit into the undecided category and must find our way to a preference.

    Where do we go from there?  We talk about how they will fit into the team.  What other qualities they could bring to the team.  It becomes about the intangibles.  

    I think that is what the 'who I would like to have a beer with' represents to me. It is an odd way of summing up the intangibles.  Which candidate is more understandable, easier to listen to, aligns with what I consider strong behavior and so on.

    Obama has clearly demonstrated good characteristics here.  I have also noticed he has cleaned up his word choices.  Understandable means selecting words for their singular meaning and often means less syllables.  

    Obama was strong, clear, and unafraid.  His genial nature exuded the confidence of one ready to lead.  And people instinctively move toward such clean displays of strength.  

    We are all Droogie....f*ck the AP

    by crazyshirley2100 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:07:48 AM PDT

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