"Face the Nation" transcripts, October 28, 2012: McCain and Emanuel
SCHIEFFER: We have 20 seconds left. What happened to the women's vote? The president way ahead there. Now that seems to be closing. Are you going to be able to get that back?
EMANUEL: Yeah, look, the early -- I'm here in Ohio. I just checked the early vote. The president is up almost two to one over Mitt Romney. And that's an indication that the field operation, the communication strategy, and the message of a resurgence of a strengthening middle class is essential, and also the choice that women have to face on a host of issues from economic to health care issues that I think the president's message is right for them.
And if you look at the early votes in Iowa, Ohio, Florida, the president's campaign is actually -- an investment they have made in a "get out the vote" effort identifying their voters is starting to pay off because they're beating all their numbers from '08.
SCHIEFFER: All right. We have to stop you there. The clock ran out. Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor.
Back with some personal thoughts...
EMANUEL: Thanks, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: ... in a second.
SCHIEFFER: It is an honor to moderate a presidential debate, and while I never say never at this stage of my life, I can't imagine I'd ever do another. So here are some observations after doing three of them.
They seem to work best when the candidates are seated at a table rather than behind the more formal podiums or wandering around the stage in a town hall format.
The debates do matter and people like them. Around 60 million people will gather around their television sets on three separate nights. That means it's obvious voters find them relevant.
Even more important, they are one of the rare events left in modern politics that people from both sides of the political spectrum will watch at the same time. Even when you have to hold your nose listening to the other guy from time to time can be a learning experience.
That's why I believe we should have more, not fewer debates. Instead of three, I propose six, with the first one immediately after the political conventions. Starting early and sitting the candidates down face to face could change the entire tone of a campaign.
An argument with someone you know, even just a little, is generally conducted on a higher plane than an argument with a stranger. Anything that gives us a different version of events than what we get in these awful negative ads cannot be all bad. The debates are one of the few things that can do that. I hope we'll see more of them.
Back in a moment.
SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now. For most of you, we'll be back with our powerhouse political roundtable and an update on the weather. Stay with us.
SCHIEFFER: And welcome back now to Face the Nation and joining me our mega panel of some of the best political journalist in the business, Ruth Marcus is an editorial writer for the Washington Post and Columnist; Mark Lebovich writes for the New York Times Magazine; and it wouldn't be a political panel without our own John Dickerson; on the other side, Bob Shrum, longtime Democratic Consultant, now a contributor for the Daily Beast; and John Fund writes for the conservative magazine, The National Review.
Well let's -- you know, we've got to talk about the weather this morning, folks. I -- I thought this would be the one thing that wouldn't be entering into this campaign that has a little of everything else.
Ruth, what you think the impact of this thing could be?
MARCUS: Well, who knew the October surprise was going to be a hurricane? You know, we've had everything else in this campaign, why not that?
I think the really interesting phenomenon with the hurricane or Frankenstorm or whatever we're going to end up calling it, is its intersection with this other new phenomenon which is early voting. We don't really have Election Day in America any more, we have election month.
And the Democrats have actually been a little bit of ahead of Republicans in 2008 and possibly this cycle, they have certainly been feeling very good about their early voting turnout operation, Get Out the Vote is not just get out the vote on Election Day.
And so the extent that the hurricane interferes with that ability in states with early voting and we expect that maybe 40 percent of votes could be early votes this election cycle. That's extraordinary. To the extent it interferes, you could already hear David Axelrod expressing some concern this morning. That could be a problem for Democrats.
SCHIEFFER: So, Bob Shrum, you've watched a lot of them. I mean traditional thinking is that the old people, if the weather's really bad, the old people, I mean me...
SHRUM: And I resemble that remark, too, Bob. SCHIEFFER: ... who might not be able to get to the polls and -- and generally it's the zealots who turn out in -- in the worst weather. They're the ones who make sure they get there.
SHRUM: Yeah, I think older voters, unless they're in a really tough situation are going to go vote because it's almost their avocation, it's a hobby to go vote, not just an obligation.
The -- the Obama organizational advantage and I think he has a real one, may work out here not in the early voting, but in terms of getting people to the polls at the end, I think they have the most in- depth, extensive organization in the history of the country.
But there's another factor here, which is if this storm is bad enough and if tens of millions of people are without power and the seawalls have been breached in New York City, the president's got to get off the campaign trail. He's got to go run the country.
That leaves Mitt Romney in a kind of odd position at that point, too, because he can't look like he's just campaigning.
SCHIEFFER: Yeah, but what does he do, join the National Guard or...
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