“That’s not the way to win. You win by your own personality and agenda, not making the other guy look small,” writes McKenzie. But he also suggests McCain reaches out to Latino voters, a demographic that could save him on election night:

But we must move forward with this debate, and I want you to know that I believe in a welcoming society. That’s why I will work on immigration until we find a fair, honorable system. And to the rest of you: We either get the education/immigration issue right, or we fail ourselves.

Decent advice, although one can’t help wondering whether it’s coming too late. But more important is the concept behind the advice itself. Just as Fouhy continues to contribute substantive reporting, McKenzie saw an opportunity to look beyond the speeches. He could have written a piece detailing the psychology and anatomy behind them.

Instead, he looked to fill in the holes of the candidates’ speeches. Regardless of their potential success with voters, it’s a valid column in that it doesn’t just take the speeches at face value but, instead, looks for what they’re missing. You don’t need to agree with McKenzie’s advice to concede that his is a commendable approach.

Moral of the story: we only have a few days left. Let’s not drop the ball now.


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Megan McGinley is an intern at CJR.