i’m john mccain and i approve this growing sense of desperation

Tonight’s second U.S. presidential debate is bound to be less catatonic than the first, what with everyone telling John McCain that he’s trailing, losing, getting beaten and otherwise not winning. You think you’ve seen McCain’s ornery side before? Nobody puts (person who was a) Baby (125 years ago) in a corner.

McCain needs what’s known in politics as a “game changer.” With less than a month to go, desperation is setting in. You can tell from the way that McCain’s camp has sent out Sarah Palin to accuse Barack Obama of “pallin’ around with terrorists.” (I tell ya – one double date with bin Laden and a guy gets pigeon-holed.) The Republican candidate is going to be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Obama tonight. He’d throw the sink, too, but he’ll be soaking his bunions in it.

Lately, McCain’s advisors have started thumbing through the pages of the Hillary Clinton playbook, trying to find something, anything – please Jesus let there be something! – that will stick to Obama. Maybe it’ll be his tolerance of the poisoned rhetoric of Reverend Wright. Maybe it’ll be his relationship with William Ayers. And what about these photos we just “found” of him French-kissing the head of Lehman Brothers while dressed up as a Muslim who’s burning the American flag with gasoline made from foreign oil and the tears of Pennsylvania orphans?

Remember how in the first debate McCain said Obama didn’t understand “the difference between a strategy and a tactic?” Well, John McCain knows the difference between a strategy and a tactic. For instance, a “strategy” is trying to portray yourself as someone who understands the values and challenges of the average American. A “tactic” is forgetting how many houses you own.

Things to watch for in tonight’s debate:

McCain Strategy: Neutralize the big issue of the day.
McCain Tactic: Harpo Marx horn blast every time Obama tries to mention the economy.

McCain Strategy: Come across as slightly less old than dirt.
McCain Tactic: Full text of opening statement: “Yo.” (Spend remaining 58 seconds hiking up loose-fitting pants.)

McCain Strategy: Connect with women voters.
McCain Tactic: Solemnly inform Americans that Obama personally responsible this past spring for all those Sex and the City spoilers.

McCain Strategy: Somehow convince voters he can bring change despite being long-serving Senator in party largely responsible for status quo.
McCain Tactic: Activate all-powerful new Hypno-Eye™.

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