Friday, September 26, 2008

Tonight's Debate

6:30 The first words out of Senator Obama's mouth were an attack on President Bush and the Republicans. The first words out of Senator McCain's mouth were about Democrats and Republicans who are working together to craft some way out of the current financial "crisis".

I guess that to some people, "bipartisan" means "doing it my way".

6:45 I can't liveblog this. Obama is on the attack, and McCain is trying to be collegial. Collegial is great when both sides play the game, it's suicide when only one side does.

OK, I took a few notes. I'm done watching it now, in part because Obama is so clearly out of his league when discussing anything related to national security and the military. Neither candidate impressed me very much; both are spending a significant amount of time looking down, for example. And McCain blinks a lot--except when he talks about national security issues, where he appears calm, knowledgeable, and in charge.

Without further adieu, here are the few notes I took:

6:50 Obama brings up the Iraq-9/11 canard. And why does he say "Pok-ee-ston" but "Af-gan-ih-stan"?

7:05 Did Obama just imply that part of the reason we shouldn't have gone into Iraq in 2003 was because Iraq was Iran's mortal enemy??

7:11 McCain just, yet again, laughed at his own joke ("I don't even have a seal yet"). He does this often enough that I've noticed it, and it drives me nuts.

7:13 McCain has finally attacked, blasting Obama regarding meeting with Iran's president.

I quit at about 7:20. I'm sure my commentary is worth every dollar you've paid for it!


Scott McCall said...

i started watching a little late....but it seems like obama is answering the questions directly, and mccain goes around them indirectly. and they're both attacking each other

Anonymous said...

McCain just lost my vote. What an insult to true Republicans.

mazenko said...

I thought it was a rather interesting debate, and I enjoyed the format with Leher moderating. Clearly, both candidates stuck to their guns, hitting the same themes we've heard for almost two years. A tie seems the best way to call it.

Watching ABC commentary afterwards, I thought George Will made the most telling comment. He noted that, "In baseball, the tie goes to the runner, and in debates the tie goes to the candidate who had to prove (most likely to independent voters) that he was qualified to be on the stage. That candidate was Barack Obama, and he accomplished his goal, so the tie goes to him."

We'll see how the polls for unaffiliated/undecided (of which I'm one) go. Seems like there will be two more engaging debates. I'm proud of both candidates.

Darren said...

Anonymous, while I understand your sentiment, electing Obama is just as much an insult to true Republicans.

And whether you vote for Obama or not, this *is* a zero-sum game. Even *not* voting for McCain helps Obama, and that's something no real Republican should want to do.

Do the right thing, hold your nose when you vote, then go home and take a shower for feeling dirty. That's what I'm going to do.

You think that's how the Dems felt with Kerry in 2004? Could anyone *really* have wanted that man to be their President?

Neko said...

I just got finished watching the debate online. This is the first time I have really sat down and listened to Obama. The one thing I have come away with it is that he is making a lot of plans and promises for a multitude of projects, all while saying he is going to reduce taxes. How are any of these things going to get paid for? I don't see how any rational person could think this is going to be possible.

mazenko said...


I have to say I disagree with the "wasting your vote" mantra. I haven't voted for a Democrat/Republican for president since 1992 (I voted Bush in 88 and Clinton in 92). Since then, I haven't been able to endorse either party at that level. Thus, it's Libertarian, Reform, or Green.

Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil - or at least that which you don't believe in. I think maintaining integrity as a voter is important, which is why I will abstain on referendums, judges, and regents for which I don't have knowledge or opinion. I think most people should.

More important for me is the congressional elections, and this year I am going for a Democrat in the Senate but a Republican in the House. I consider my vote to be truly moderate, as I am fiscally conservative, foreign policy pragmatic (not ideological), and socially conscious.

My opinion about both candidates is that neither one is a mistake. If McCain is president, the country won't fall into ruin, and the same is true for Obama.

Thus, while McCain has lost my support based on Iraq, fiscal policy, and social pandering, I'm still evaluating Obama. If he isn't the one, then Bob Barr or Ralph Nader will get one more vote, and I won't feel as if I've sacrificed my principles. I hope more voters do as Anonymous has said he will.

Ellen K said...

From my view, it seemed pretty even. I think Obama was sadly misinformed by some of his handlers that McCain would be an easy mark. I liked how McCain strung him out and then went after him on international issues. While Obama may be an Ivy League product, many years on the Senate floor have a way of making you learn how to defend your views verbally. I thought it was funny how CNN automatically called it a draw but awarded the win to Obama. How does that work? Looking at the body language, McCain had this grin every time Obama said something for which he had a counter. And Obama looked increasingly uncomfortable as the debate went on. After, as he walked toward his wife, his face was not that of a happy camper. All in all, I think both candidates worked to their strength. I doubt many fencesitters were swayed one way or the other. I do think McCain showed a far more intelligent and reasonable side than the MSM has allowed to be demonstrated. What drives me nuts is the spin parties afterward. Since when does the opinion of some hired talking head matter? Show the debates and then get on with programming. Stephanopolis was the worst! It was all he could do to keep from giggling.

Kelvin Oliver said...

Can't wait til Palin debate!