The Obama camp has obviously zero control over the debates, that, if anything is what Gwen Ifill moderating tomorrow night’s Biden/Palin showdown can show us the public. I don’t think the DNC leadership or the BHO 08 campaign campaign would want to put a potential Identity Politics landmine this close to the election date.
There are some in this country who are, ahem, how do I put this lightly … racist. And there are also those, let’s call them In The Tank For McCain who are shitting themselves with glee now that they can pull another Rove Card and divert attention to the moderator, and instill the fear of a rising movement of Black People taking over the world, what’s next our professional sports athletes?, into the % of swing voters who are well, racist.
Two ways this goes down:
1. The debate happens as is, and Ifill gets an atomic microscope trained on her by Michelle Malkin and Fox. She gets attacked for bias even if she is unbiased. Shit can always be spun from thin air. That’s Karl’s Mutant Power.
2. Ifill steps down. They switch the debate moderator to someone else. Whomever they change it to, someone will probably cry foul.
Now, what side is John McCain on?
Update: Note, that Faux News’ stock footage of Ifill has her, well, not well lit. This could be intentional, (I’m not sure of it, but it’s Fox we’re talking about here) in intent to make her look darker. Or, more like The Claw, he of Inspector Gadget fame.
Oddly enough he kind of says that he thinks Ifill will do a professional job. Not a good job, but a professional job. This gives him the out of saying that Ifill was biased if and when he finds something wrong with what she does tomorrow night.
What camp do I find myself in? I’m on the fence, leaning towards the part of me that wants to win, aka the part that wants a new moderator. Change the moderator tomorrow morning. Nate Silver at TNR is where I get some ideas here. Throw a wrench towards both candidates and the rest of the world. Either way, there’s something that can be lost by the Obama campaign based around who the moderator is. And if Ifill is removed, then we are, in essence, bartering with political terrorists, like you know … if they made HRC the VP to sate her factions, who probably would still be angry with the fact that she’s driving Mr. Obama and not the other way around.
Yet, I want to win whilst the right thing is done, the right thing here being letting Ifill moderate the debate, because yes, she is a great pick for moderator. Even Judy Woodruff has no idea what Ifill’s political affiliations lie. One could argue that she has something to gain if Obama wins, as her book will be released near the inauguration. But, then again, one could argue, as K.O. did tonight, that if anyone found her book to be something of a conflict of interest, they would have known about it since it was announced, THIS PAST SUMMER.
I don’t think Ifill as a moderator should hurt Obama with any voter he had a chance with in the first place. Anyone it does hurt him with, they probably would have gone to McPain anyways. But then again, am I a betting man? No, I’m not John McCain.