I'm afraid the Obama campaign never, ever, listens to me. And so far they are doing fine. But I'd like to let them know what I think they should be doing about John McCain's Hamleting excercise over the Debate. Over at 538 they say this:
Perhaps, however, rather than trying to postpone the debate, McCain is instead seeking to increase its importance. Surely the drama of the past 30 hours has made it an even more captivating event, probably leading to increased viewership. Moreover, with the subject matter likely to be expanded to include the economy, and the candidates having had less time to prepare, the entire exercise becomes less predictable, with gaffes more likely to occur, but also the potential for "clutch" performances.
Which is true. There is no way McCain is not going to show up for that Debate. So the thing the Obama people have to do is deflate the excitement over "will he or won't he" and all the chatter about "he isn't there because he was needed in washington' and "he could come to the debate because he solved all of washington's problems" The Obama people should say loud and clear that they expect McCain to show up because "the most dangerous place in America is to get between McCain and a camera" and that they know that there is "no way McCain isn't going to show up for his moment in the sun." They should also say that, given the erratic way he's acted over the last few weeks they fully expect him to come in late and waste a lot of time primping, preening, and showboating. they should point out that the entire washignton thing was some kind of bizarre passion play since McCain didn't show up early enough to take part in real negotations, doesn't have a clue what his own alternate plan is going to be, pretends that the sky is falling but leaves washington with no solution. etc...etc...etc...Since they expect him to come they should quietly make backup plans but be ready for McCain to walk in and to try to dominate the situation by some drama queen show of concern or affectation. Whatever they do they need to start spinning now, or McCain wins simply by showing up.