Race's Sharper Attacks Run Economic Risk

Knife-fight tactics are out of place in crisis, strategists say
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2008 6:21 AM CDT
John McCain participates in a rally in Albuquerque, NM, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. McCain is scheduled to debate Democratic rival Barack Obama in the second of three presidential debates.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama and John McCain continue to sharpen their verbal barrage on each other ahead of tonight's debate, with Sarah Palin even going so far yesterday as to denounce Obama as "not one of us." But in economic upheaval, both candidates risk sounding off-message or even irrelevant, writes Adam Nagourney in the New York Times.

Obama himself has refrained from attacks—but his campaign surrogates hit back with a 13-minute film about McCain's involvement in the Keating Five S&L scandal. Strategists from both parties, however, speculated that 2008 might be an exceptional year; as one Democrat said, "You’re not going to change the subject from the economy."