Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Plumber Saves The Day For John McCain

The third and final Presidential debate was held last evening at Hofstra University. It was certainly the best performance by John McCain of the three debates.

In this debate, the candidates finally discussed Barack Obama's plan to raise income taxes on 5% of americans during a recession. During the debate, McCain forced a discussion of Obama's recent response to a regular guy on the campaign trail by the name of Joe the Plumber.

Joe the Plumber was concerned about Obama's income tax policy and Obama responded that he was going to "spread the wealth around". Wealth redistribution, class warfare and the dubious effect of raising taxes during a recession are winning issues for the Republicans.

However, until Joe the Plumber's question about raising taxes and Obama's wealth redistribution response, it was hard to distinguish any real policy difference between the two candidates on the issue of income taxes.

So, Joe the Plumber was able to do with one question what the incoherent campaign of Republican John McCain has heretofore failed to do. Focus a debate on the wisdom of raising income taxes during a recession.

In general, John McCain was on the offensive all night but Barack Obama was smooth as usual on defense. The truth is that based on style points there is really no contest between these two candidates. Barack Obama will win on style every time.

However, in what may well be the final public debate of his political career, McCain began to highlight a pattern in Obama's background that suggest policy positions that are far to the left of the centrist, middle class Democratic candidate that Obama portrays himself to be today.

Recent public opinion polls suggest a Democratic sweep in election 2008. Indeed, this Presidential race may already be over. However, there are still nearly three weeks until election day and three weeks is a very long time in Presidential politics.

The fact is that Joe the Plumber has saved the day for John McCain. In three weeks, we will see if an income tax question from a concerned plumber was the turning point for McCain's Presidential campaign. A campaign which currently appears to be on life support and close to the political abyss.

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