Sunday, September 28, 2008

The First Debate: The Discussion

I thought this one was a tie. Neither candidate looked bad, and neither sounded amazing. McCain repeatedly insulted Obama, telling him that he didn't understand what he was talking about. If I were debating I probably would have called him on that, but that's not Obama's personality. Both candidates dodged all questions about the Paulson Bailout Plan, which was disappointing but expected. The questions about Iraq and Afghanistan, although simplistic, allowed the candidates to demonstrate their foreign policy trivia - and that's what debates are about these days. I don't put much weight into them because I knew what each candidate would say months ago. The only point to these type of debates is to see if each candidate has the basic knowledge and intelligence to avoid embarrassing themselves are revealing their insanity to the world. We obviously don't have to worry about that in this election after watching...oh, wait, we still have the vice presidential debates!


Herr Zrbo said...

I'm afraid the one on Thursday might be embarrassing to watch. I just don't know how the O'Reillys and Limbaughs can spin Palin in a positive way. That Katie Couric thing was just terrible.

Little Earl said...

I quite enjoyed this debate. I think it was probably the most intelligent, civil, and policy-heavy presidential debate we've seen in a while. A couple of political commentators were complaining afterward about the lack of "catch-phrases" or "memorable one-liners" but I say thank God. Heaven forbid the candidates actually DISCUSS stuff! I felt like I was watching two college professors go at it instead of two baptist preachers. So it was more up my alley than the usual Bush-era pre-packaged applause line nonsense.

I agree about the tie. While listening to McCain I did not involuntarily curl my fist up into a little ball, which is a good sign. I think he showed that he has some nuanced views and he is not an idiot. But in this case he needed to demonstrate a clear, obvious advantage over Obama and I don't think he did. He also talked to Jim Lehrer the whole time instead of to either Obama or the camera, which on the one hand made him seem less flashy but also made him seem more insular.

By the end, my head hurt from trying to keep up with all the different arguments - which is a good thing.

Herr Zrbo said...

This just in: Financial meltdown imminent! Rich people not getting richer! Danger danger! We need moar moneyz!!

Peter Matthew Reed said...

I bet some rich people are still making money right now, btw. Yes, maybe like college professors, but it was definitely intro to say as little as possible with as many words as possible. Hints of nuance, but what about body? What about forcing your opponent to defend their opinions. I guess Obama can't do that and maintain his calm repose (and with a 4-6 point lead in the nationals he doesn't need to), but McCain does need a game changing moment, and he was on his home turf. Repeating that Obama doesn't understand isn't terse, isn't witty and isn't convincing.