Brokaw Handed McCain a Golden Opportunity, and McCain Dropped It

Since the financial crisis has begun, Senator John McCain has been slipping behind in the polls in the presidential race. There was a pretty good uptick after the Palin-Biden debate; and Senator McCain entered the debate on October 2nd within 2-3 points in the national polls. Conservatives have been encouraging him to “take off the gloves,” and go after Senator Obama on his questionable relationships.

Senator McCain chose not to do that last Tuesday. Many conservative pundits, including Bill O’Reilly, indicated that he never had the opportunity “due to the Town Hall nature of the debate.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The last question of the night was posed to both Senators Obama and McCain; and Senator Obama went first. Tom Brokaw prefaced his handoff to Senator McCain by saying, “You have the last word, Senator.”

I sat there in my chair watching the debate, and thought to myself, “There it is – the opportunity to move ahead in the polls by double-digits.” For those of you who do not recall, here was the final question from Tom Brokaw (and Senator Obama was finished for the night when Senator McCain had a chance to answer this question):

BROKAW: All right, gentlemen, we’ve come to the last question.

And you’ll both be interested to know this comes from the Internet and it’s from a state that you’re strongly contesting, both of you. It’s from Peggy in Amherst, New Hampshire. And it has a certain Zen-like quality; I’ll give you a fair warning.

She says, “What don’t you know and how will you learn it?”

What would the race look like right now if Senator McCain had used the final two minutes of the debate to say the following?

“Thank you, Peggy, for that profound question. First, I would like to briefly state what we do know about Senator Obama; he is a smooth-talking freshman Senator from Illinois. What I don’t know, and what the American people don’t know, is whether Senator Obama is even eligible to serve as president. Was he born in Kenya or Hawaii? Philip Berg is a former Democratic State Central Committee member from Pennsylvania who thinks he is not eligible. Google “Philip Berg/Obama”

“Another thing that I do not know, nor does the voting public, is about Senator Obama’s first mentor in Hawaii – Frank Marshall Davis. I do know that he was an avowed member of the Communist Party USA. The American people can Google Frank Marshall Davis. We also do not truly know how close Senator Obama has been over the years to William Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist who bombed the capitol. We have heard answers like “friendly,” “a friend,” and “someone who lives in my neighborhood.” Google William Ayers.

“I don’t know, nor do the American people know, how Senator Obama’s home purchase came together with the help of Tony Rezko, convicted earlier this year of six counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, two counts of corrupt solicitation and two counts of money laundering. What I don’t know or understand is how Senator Obama can sit in church for twenty years, and never ever heard any of the anti-American things the Reverend Wright has espoused over the years.

“Indeed I do not know the friendship between Senator Obama and Rashid Khalidi, who has been accused of having ties with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (the PLO), mortal enemies of Israel. I certainly do not know why a terrorist group like Hamas endorsed Senator Obama for president, as did the Communist Party USA and the Democratic Socialists of America.

“Perhaps one of these ties could be dismissed as “guilt by association;” but the list goes on and on. I encourage my fellow Americans to Google Raila Odinga/Obama. There is just too much you and I do not know about Senator Obama to elect him as president. In contrast, my life has been an open book since my more than five years of captivity in Vietnam. I have always put MY country first.”

Debate over. Contest over.