Pressure is on Obama to Pick V.P.; McCain…Not So Much

Barack Obama has been the Democratic nominee since Tuesday (Saturday if you count waiting for Clinton’s concession speech), and the pressure from the press and pundits is intense to pick his running mate. Talk has been of little else.

If I were Barack Obama, I would be brain-dead by now. Just thinking about how he must feel makes me tired.

John McCain has been the Republican nominee since early February, and there seems to be no hurry on his part or the medias’ for him to select a vice presidential candidate. McCain even invited the contenders to his wife’s Arizona ranch Memorial Day weekend, presumably to winnow his choices. Yet there’s been no follow-up by the press, no curiosity as to what decision he reached.

Pressure on Obama seems to be the hallmark of this campaign.

The day after Obama wrapped up the delegate count McCain challenged him to a series of town hall debates. McCain said the contests could begin immediately and take place each week until the Democratic convention.

“I suggest we agree to participate in at least 10 town halls once a week with the first on June 11 or 12 in New York City at Federal Hall until the week before the Democratic Convention begins at locations to be determined by our campaigns,” McCain said in an open letter to his Democratic rival.

Come again? McCain wants Obama to spend his time, now that he is finally free of Democratic competition for the nomination, not making his case to voters and establishing himself without distractions but sharing the spotlight with John McCain. The benefits for McCain are several.

…the bottom line is that he is begging to be rescued from the big problem his campaign has encountered: which is that the only thing their candidate is good at is town-hall meetings.

This was driven home Tuesday night when the Republicans decided to try to insert a McCain speech into the Democrats’ final primary night. They were hoping to steal thunder from the moment when Obama clinched the nomination. The actual effect was to offer viewers a chance to compare the skills of the greatest orator in modern American politics with a guy who has never really learned how to read a teleprompter.

It would also be a cheap way for McCain to gain exposure he would not otherwise, because of the lackluster fund raising support given his campaign.

McCain also suggested that he and his rival travel together to the first debate as a symbolic gesture.

He joked that his campaign would appreciate the budget savings. “Given our expenses, I know my campaign would agree to it,” McCain said to laughter from the crowd.

Obama has raised tens of millions of dollars more than McCain for his White House run.

Regular debates could help McCain compensate for Obama’s fundraising success by providing him with regular free media exposure.

But what, besides more exhaustion, does Obama get out of it? Hey, I have an idea. How about if, each night during the Republican convention, McCain and Obama have a town hall debate? Works for me.

If I were Barack Obama, I would be brain-dead by now. Just thinking about how he must feel makes me tired. That he obviously isn’t should go a long way toward reassuring those who said he couldn’t take the pressure of the type of campaign Republicans would wage against him.

But still, can the guy just get a little break? That’s all I’m asking.


  • June 8, 2008 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Obama doesn’t have time to debate McCain, he’ll be too busy groveling at the feet of his Zionist handlers in Tel Aviv.

    When he said he do EVERYTHING to prevent Iran from developing nuclear power, how does that make Obama any different from Bush the Unfit?

    Regardless of who loses the 2008 presidential election, the winner will be Israel.

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