Mark Halperin’s Three Things

  1. Watch the negative words from the two campaigns, both unleashing tough new ads and tough new videos talking about the past of the opposing camp. The McCain camp threw the first punch Saturday when Sarah Palin accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” referring to a New York Times piece on Obama’s association with the former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. The Obama camp has decided to hit back with an offensive on McCain’s past with the Keating Five scandal. And, Palin has suggested they may bring back Obama’s former pastor Rev. Wright as a campaign issue. Watch to see how that plays into the mix, whether the press covers it as tactics and strategy or the substance of the claims.
  2. Watch John McCain’s demeanor back out on the campaign trail. He’s been through a rough patch the past few weeks with the economy front and center. Watch to see if he seems like he’s in a good mood or a bad mood, whether he seems optimistic, and whether he’s driving message the campaign wants to be driven.
  3. Watch to see the debate expectations being set. McCain spent all weekend at his Sedona, Arizona ranch going through debate practice. Tuesday night will be a big event because it’s one of John McCain’s last chances to change the dynamic of the race. Watch to see how the press starts to focus on the debate, the expectations and the pressure on John McCain.
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