Tag Archives: presidential debate
My debate reaction, in brief:
1. Posture: McCain was like a wind up toy. He just comes across as condescending, smug, and nasty. The “that one” comment was particularly gross, as was the “not you” to Tom Brokaw. Obama showed his roots as a professor, succintly explaining things such as the economic bailout plan and seeming much more Presidential.
2. Foreign policy: McCain, as always, showed his bellicose tendencies. I was once again amused by his holding on to the Patreus security blanket: apparently Gen. Patreus is the only one who knows anything about the Middle East and the fact that McCain has “talked to him” makes him uniquely qualified to be Commander in Chief. Obama did a good job of explaning his position on Pakistan, which has, admittedly, even made me queasy in the past. He also did an excellent job of connecting the dots between energy, diplomacy, and our need to keep military options on the table.
3. Health care: Obama scored big here, calling health care a “right” vice McCain calling it a “responsibility.” McCain once again spewed blatant falsehoods about Obama’s plan while not doing a very good job of explaining his own.
4. Energy: both candidates did a good job here. I have to give the edge to Obama, simply because he’s better at explaining things. He drew very good lines between our overuse of fossil fuels and our domestic security. He also drew excellent lines between energy independence and job creation. I am clearly biased here, but I truly think he did a better job.
Those are my thoughts, in brief. I’ll be back tomorrow with more. As a tease, though, I’ll say that CNN and CBS both show that Obama won, though CNN has a clearer and larger margin. The MSNBC focus group also chose Obama. So far, this does not seem to have been the game changer McCain needed.
**Update: The RNC is filing a complaint alleging that the format was not truly a Town Hall.
Moments after the debate, I felt it was a draw. I could see that McCain was sneering and condescending and Obama seemed much more Presidential. I could also see that Obama proved his foreign policy creds. But I felt that neither really pulled ahead of the other.
The pundits and polls, however, are showing that Obama clearly won the debate and, you know what, I’ll take that.
The Republicans are spinning hard, of course, and creating new ads from spliced sound bites, like the moments when Obama, being gracious and bipartisan, said that McCain was “right” on something. The Repubs are saying that those moments amounted to Obama endorsing McCain. Hogwash.
We’ll see if this affects the polls in the long run. The VP debate is next week and the next Pres debate the week after that. The election will be here before we know it. I hope you’re paying attention.
Those of you who have been around here much know that when I get really pissed about something, I can’t blog much. So that’s where I am now and why it’s been pretty quiet around here today. I’m completely spun up about this McCain-deciding-not-to-debate thing. I know I wrote about this yesterday, but I think it bears some more attention. I will say it again: McCain’s move is the equivalent of calling in question someone’s patriotism because they don’t wear a flag pin. Saying, as McCain did, that, “We must show (the) kind of patriotism now” that we did after 9/11 as an excuse to cancel the debates is nothing more than hiding behind the flag for political gain. And he should be ashamed.
Obama’s response, essentially that this is exactly the time when people should be hearing how the next President would handle this crisis, is, by any measure, more sane. McCain has shown an alarming tendency recently to go completely off his rocker. Calling Putin the President of Germany, calling for the resignation of the Chairman of the FEC, and dissing Spain are just three examples. Let’s not even go into Palin territory. And now the man who essentially demanded that Obama share the stage with him at Town Hall meetings is running away from sharing the stage with Obama at a debate. Huh.
I love what Robert Gibbs of the Obama campaign had to say:
My sense is there’s going to be a stage, a moderator, an audience and at least one presidential candidate.
Maybe Obama will do a Town Hall, after all.