Sent: Fri Sep 26 14:15:39 2008
Subject: McCain flight to Memphis
McCain Senior Adviser Mark Salter briefly spoke to assembled pool press aboard the flight to Memphis.
He told us the following
— The decision to do the debate was made 1 hour before departure today–only after JSM decided sufficient progress had been made on the hill–the House GOP had a negotiator (Blunt).
–In addition to “working the phones” last night, McCain did 2 hours of debate prep. Aides threw questions at him as he stood behind a podium set up in his Arlington, VA condo.
Q-what does jsm hope to accomplish tonight?
Salter: “To do well against a guy who is a pretty good debater, show presidential leadership and be able to speak directly to the American people about what he believes,” Salter said.
Obama game plan – expecting first 3-4 questions about Economy — cause, how to fix it, and how JSM activity has been erratic. Expect announcement from republicans on reaching 12th hour agreement right before debate. Obama wants to look cool and calm –provoke JSM into temper