October 15, 2008

As we know it's Bob Shieffer's turn to host a Presidential debate. This is the last one and with McCain trailing in the polls it could get very Ayery.

The veteran "Face the Nation" host won't telegraph what he will ask. But he said he will be seeking more details about their potential presidencies than have been evident so far.

Even though McCain has said he will bring up Ayers, if McCain changes his mind at the last minute because his negative ads have been dragging him down, will Shieffer take it upon himself to bring it up? Remember when Bernard Shaw did the work of Lee "The Boogie Man" Atwater for him by opening the debate with this horrendous question based on a hate ad?

“Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for her killer?”

You know how sad the press corp. has been with the lack of "sound bytes" that have been produced by the first two Presidential debates. In 2003. Bob Somerby wrote that Schieffer lied about Al Gore dressing up as a farmer and stabbing Lieberman in the back:

I find it just remarkable that he would basically stab his old running-mate, Joe Lieberman, in the back in order to get himself back in the game. Because that’s clearly what he’s trying to do here is—now once again, Al Gore, who has either sought public office or held public office all his life, sees a chance, one more chance, to get back in the game.I remember in the 2000 campaign when he showed up at Face the Nation dressed as a farmer! I remember when he changed his—he was going to get out of the blue suits and stuff. Now it seems he just as easily changes his friends. I don’t know what impact this is going to have on Howard Dean but I suspect it’s not going to have a good impact on Al Gore.

Or will his relationship with the Bushies come into play?

Let’s remember what Schieffer told Kurtz about his close personal friendship with Bush:

KURTZ (1/13/03): During the ’90s, Schieffer also struck up a friendship with George W. Bush when his brother Tom—now the U.S. ambassador to Australia—became partners with the future president in the Texas Rangers. Bob and W. went to ball games together, played golf, attended spring training. “He’s a great guy—that doesn’t mean I agree with him,” says Schieffer, adding that the situation became “a little awkward” when Bush ran for the White House but that he’s never gotten favorable treatment.

That last claim is baldly inaccurate, and screams for a bit of correction. During Campaign 2000, Schieffer did, on several occasions, make notably odd remarks about Bush and Gore. We wouldn’t suggest that this was deliberate. But the record is hard to ignore.

Let's hope not...And how can we forget Wesley Clark.

UPDATE: Marcy Wheeler says:

But I'm guessing Schieffer won't let McCain make that choice--I'm guessing Schieffer will ask Obama about Ayers himself.

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