by Jerome Armstrong, Sat Aug 18, 2007 at 02:56:50 PM EDT
The Obama camp begs off of doing no more than 8 debates in the next 20 weeks. That seems plenty, but color me unconvinced that the reason the Obama camp is pulling him from the debates is because there are too many.
The debates have not been a format in which Obama either feels comfortable or has been able to gain traction; he admits this himself. Coming off the first Democratic debate this year in South Carolina, Obama said:
I am beginning to expect a moment similar to what happened with Dean in 2003, when a question was poised by Ted Koppel, who asked the other Democratic candidates to raise their hands if they believed Dean could beat Bush. Only Howard Dean raised his hand. Only this time, the question would be something along the lines of asking the other candidates to raise their hand if they believe Obama is experienced enough to be President.
These charts are nothing but conventional wisdom with money layered on top, but it is obvious that the Obama campaign needs to shake things up. The inevitability of Clinton is stronger than ever; Edwards has been inching up in early state polling; Obama has been tanking on the Intrade charts for nearly a month, closing at 20 today:
The Obama camp probably feels that recent events, as they have unfolded from debates, have slipped Obama away from his script; they want to have a bit more control of their candidate, while at the time to limit something that hasn't worked to their advantage.