For all of Obama's 'thigh-tingling and soaring words,' he does not get it. Country over self; service over self-interest; sacrifice over personal interest.
McCain understands and lives those tenets. Obama is the deer in the head-lights. The moving vehicle rolling at him is Service, Leadership and Command Presence. He called for a limo and finds a forty foot Peterbilt hauling Commitment roaring at him.
Jump to the curb, Senator!
McCain was begged to help bailout Reid, Dodd,Schmer, and Barney Franks. He came. He saw the disaster and now he is helping fix the boondoggle created by the redistribution of wealth nutbags. The Genii is out of the bottle and Obama is running to Old Miss!
You know what, Senator? McCain will be in Old Miss, even if he stays in D.C. - this call to service can not be called back.
"When you start injecting presidential politics into delicate negotiations, you can actually create more problems, rather than less," Obama said on CNN.
Aides from both camps were moving ahead with preparations at the University of Mississippi, where officials expressed confidence that the debate would take place on time this evening at 9 o'clock.
Some leading strategists in both parties have said the first debate could be the most decisive moment in the campaign, no matter when it happens.
Karl Rove, who guided George W. Bush's rise to the White House, has said "it may be the fall's most critical event."
But many other strategists, including some deeply involved in the presidential campaign, say the cumulative effect will be more important than any single encounter.
"It's not until you get through all three of them that you see the ultimate impact," said Bill Carrick, a Democratic campaign veteran.
John McCain's chief pollster, Bill McInturff, said much the same thing this week. The Republican strategist described the period of the presidential and vice presidential debates - from today until Oct. 15 - as "a two-and-a-half-week black hole" in the flow of the campaign.
"Something's going to happen," the McCain adviser told reporters. Including next week's vice presidential face-off, "we'll have four debates. We'll wait three or four days after those last debates are over, and we'll know where we're at."
Those with experience in national campaigns agree these events have the potential to sway the outcome of a presidential contest that remains highly competitive.
McCain seemed to have scored a tactical victory in the lead-up to his first meeting with Obama, once again shaking up the race and perhaps providing himself with new talking points tonight.