Dan Conley at Political Insider muses about Obama’s decision to not participate in the presidential campaign’s first “debate” [which isn’t really a debate, but more on that below]…
The Obama campaign’s decision to skip the first Presidential debate will undoubtedly add fuel to the argument that the first-term Illinois Senator is not ready for prime time. However, given the importance of putting up a big first quarter fundraising number, it’s probably a smart move on the campaign’s part.
Imagine if Obama had a sub-par performance in the first debate. That would be all the Clinton campaign would need to deflate Obama expectations among major funders and push them towards giving to them (and only them.)
By staying away, Obama preserves some mystique and delays his first test … perhaps until the first quarter is complete. By then, he’ll have time for lots of mock debates and might even have a chance to lower expectations. After all, someone this allergic to debating can’t be all that good at it, can he?
Despite what follows immediately below, that’s an excellent point. I wasn’t hugely impressed with Obama’s debates with Keyes. Among other things, Obama said “uh” hundreds (it seemed like thousands) of times during the face-offs and it drove me to distraction. [Oct. 12 debate transcript is here, audio is here]
* However, as The Hotline’s blog notes, it’s not an actual debate. [All emphasis in original.]
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN NEVADA … IS NOT A DEBATE. The candidates will not appear on stage at the same time.
So, in typical DC press corps fashion, we are treated to a debate about a debate that isn’t really even a debate.
* Lynn Sweet continues her look at the problems Obama created by refusing to take PAC and lobbyist money.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) used campaign donations generated by PACs and lobbyists to bankroll the birth of his White House bid — though he’s banning that money for his presidential 2008 race. Obama’s conversion to a laudable higher standard does not negate that money from sources he now disdains helped paved the way for his kickoff in Springfield on Saturday.
* And the SJ-R takes a look at street closures and other logistics issues for Saturday’s event.
Main street closures will include:
Fifth and Sixth streets between Monroe and Jefferson streets. Washington Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.
Washington Street between Seventh and Ninth streets will also have lane reductions to provide parking for tour buses. Other lane reductions or street closings also are possible, but downtown is expected to be back to normal by about 1 p.m.
City parking ramps and some other downtown lots will be open for public parking. The ramp at Fourth and Washington streets will be available for parking for people with disabilities. A drop-off point for the disabled has been established at Fifth and Washington streets, which should be accessed from Jefferson Street to the north. A special-needs viewing area has been established on the grounds of the event.
* A map of street closures, parking, etc. can be found here. [pdf file]
* Don’t forget, I’ll be liveblogging the event for The Hotline’s blog on Saturday and cross-posting here.