Panic sets in. Looking at the ongoing presidential campaign through the prism of objectivity, it is obvious that John McCain is experiencing a momentary surge of panic, like a deer caught in the headlights, as the time for the first presidential debate approaches. I know that feeling well. It is akin to the feeling of the approaching bar exam as a young lawyer-hopefully-to-be. Its the feeling as I place a toe on the starting line of a foot race knowing that every one else in the field has run the upcoming distance faster. It is the thought of speaking before several hundred trial lawyer peers. Research indicates that most of us fear public speaking more than death. It is the sinking feeling during the final preparatory phase for playing an instrumental solo before an audience knowing that I'm going to fall flat on my kazoo because there is a difficult passage in the middle of the piece that I can't quite master. Speaking of sinking, it is the long putt on the final hole of a hotly contested match that I needs to be made in order, not to win, but to keep from losing. These are the fears that cause panic. The fear of losing, the fear of doubt, the fear of saying or doing something stupid that sets in and causes the "I just can't do this" feeling. All the political spin aside, this fear is the reason right here and now that has caused McCain to attempt to avoid at any cost the upcoming debate with Obama. Why would a guy who has publicly admitted that the economy is not his strong suit suddenly dart to Washington to help fix a situation that people with a hell of a lot more knowledge and background have been working at day and night for the past week? What hearing is scheduled for 9 PM this upcoming Friday?
I know, John, I know that you are slipping in the polls and Obama will perhaps be better during this upcoming debate than you, but get a grip. Take the sound bite advice that would undoubtedly be offered to you by your running mate. Don't blink. On this point Obama is dead on; A president always has more than one thing going on. There are only forty-plus days left in this campaign and the public needs to evaluate the two candidates. Nothing going on in Washington is more important.