Saturday, September 27, 2008

Impressions of Last Night's Debate

The first Presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain is history, so let's talk about it a bit.

- Is it just me, or did Obama seem mad? I listened to part of the debate on the radio and there seemed to be an edge to his voice. Then, when I got a chance to see the debate, he gave off a vibe like "Why am I even here? Aren't I already President?" He seemed mad that he had to go on TV and make his case to the country. And if that was evident to me, it's bound to be evident to many more people.

- McCain was McCain for the most part. From what I saw and heard, he wasn't joking around or smiling as much, but he was in his element. His delivery was smooth, and he seemed to know just what to say to make his point without sounding like he was attacking Obama directly. He came off as both knowledgeable and friendly to me. That will help him a lot in the short term.

- A lot has been made of the two candidates not looking at each other, but I will have to defend both candidates on this. They weren't trying to ignore the other person, nor is it an indication they were lying. The stage set up was such that the only one the candidates could most likely see was Jim Leher, so they had a point of focus to the guy asking the questions. No controversy there, folks. Move along.

- Whomever chose Jim Leher to be a moderator should be fired. Seriously. He lost control quite a few times during the debate, which allowed Obama a chance to filibuster and continue talking about an issue that Leher wanted to move from into a different issue. This wasn't the best thing for Obama. The more he butted in and tried talking over McCain and Leher, the more perturbed he sounded.

- The McCain campaign put together an ad during the debate and released it on YouTube. Although I don't think it was as effective as it could have been, it accomplished its goal: torquing off the Obama camp. I have heard a LOT of negative comments from Obama supporters about how McCain could have approved an ad during the debate. Look, it's called editing. He's recorded that line long before now, so it's no big deal to drop in the audio on a picture and run the ad. To me, the Obama folks are mad that their guy got caught looking and sounding like he's following McCain's lead. Want some cheese with that whine?

- You know when CNN is saying McCain won (which they did), Obama's in BIG trouble. Now, he's going to have to rely on Joe Biden to make the case for him at the Vice Presidential debate with Sarah Palin. As much as some would lead you to believe this is going to be a slam dunk for Obama, it's not. Say what you will about Palin's alleged lack of preparation, she is at least consistent in her support for McCain. Biden has recently and publicly broken with the Obama campaign strategists on a few issues. Although this has been spun to look like Obama picked Biden because of his independent streak, it doesn't help the ticket as much as some would lead us to believe. It will be interesting to see what transpires.

- When asked about a question about foreign policy, Obama said he was proud of his Vice Presidential choice? BIG mistake for Obama there, as it made him look completely unprepared to lead. What happens if Obama is elected and Upper Lower Craptackistan gets embroiled in a civil war? Ask Joe Biden? Having seen Biden's "three state solution" in Iraq, you'd be better off consulting a Magic 8 Ball.

Judging from what I saw and heard, I have to give the first debate to McCain. He seemed more comfortable with what he was saying and he didn't make too many mistakes. Obama needed to set the tone for future debates while setting himself up as the candidate best suited to lead. He failed. He may have won the first half hour of the debate (which seems to be the consensus), he lost the other hour.

Next, the Vice Presidential debates! Get your popcorn and your comfy chair. This one's gonna be goooooooood.

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