Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate Number One To John McCain (Updated)

"Good job, John!" Barack Obama congratulated John McCain as they crossed the House at the end of the debate at Ole Miss. I think John McCain did much better than he was expected to and conversely Obama did not live up to higher expectations. Consequently, purely as an exercise in debate as political theatre, I would say John McCain won this one, but only just barely. As David Gergen said on CNN, he didn't knock it out of the park, and being behind in the race, he needs more than this to regain the momentum.

Post debate telephone polling from CNN with plus or minus 4.5% margin of error gives double digit leads to BARACK OBAMA from the television audience on specific questions about the debate, particularly on the Economy and on Foreign Policy.

MAJOR Bad News for McCain: older voters (those close to retirement) and women give the debate overwhelmingly to Barack Obama.



I thought Sen Barack Obama, the challenger, did well despite the fact that he was polite (too polite I thought). He stood his ground and outlined his policies in a crisp manner.

On the other hand, Sen John McCain looked a bit grumpy at times although he caught on quite fast and became forceful when he hammered the audience with his 'ancient' memories. I wasn't impressed and I don't believe he impressed the independents with his storytelling (I was watching the "sensors" and saw that the independents' ticker were wobbly when he rattled on about where and what he had visited) -- frankly, to me McCain looked and sounded ancient, and his patronizing was typical of a very old guy!

Must say that I had expected Barack Obama to forcefully pin down John McCain on his lies (when he kept saying Sen Obama was against this and that, he said no to this and that, etc, etc) but Obama somehow let McCain free on that -- now, as to whether that will have an impact on the independents? I don't know.

All said, I felt that Obama presented his case to the American people -- and to the world -- and for one who's supposed to be "inexperienced", he did it very well -- the contrast between an old condescending POW and a young, solid, intellectually able president to be was clear: the younger generation politician had a clear grasp of what is expected of him as president of the United States while McCain was content to bask in his glory of past.

(Didn't Gen Douglas MacArthur tried when he tried to run for office in a Republican primary decades ago using the same tactic but failed!)

In other words, while Sen Obama probably didn't hit a home run, he didn't lose and at this point in the election, McCain not scoring heavily means that the Rep candidate lost.

Anonymous said...

McCain needed to win big tonight, unfortunately he did not. So debate 1 is a non-event, Obama still leads.

DJB Rizalist said...

John McCain is a great debater. But things have taken a turn so serious that people are going to the substance of these candidates.

EQ said...

Two Good Reasons For Not Electing John McCain:

1)Elect John McCain as the 44th POTUS, and make Palin the 45th!

2)McCain offers a Third Term of Bush!

john marzan said...

"CNN’s poll of debate viewers blares a puzzling headline: 'Round 1 in debate goes to Obama, poll says.' But the poll itself actually doesn’t say that."

manuelbuencamino said...

I think Obama did right by concentrating on subsrance rather than theater. Americans look like they've had it with theatrics and bumper stcker wisdom. Obama came through as the serious candidate. He did not allow himself to be drawn into McCain's game of mischaracterizations and misrepresentations. I believe American voters are smart enough to see through McCain's strategy of trying to get Obama entangled in side issues.


Btw, another McCain-Palin stunt:

Another McCain gimmick in the offing

McCain camp prays for Palin wedding

The marriage of the vice-presidential candidate’s pregnant teenage daughter could lift a flagging campaign

IN an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancĂ© before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby.

"It would be fantastic," said a McCain insider. "You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week."

More in the Times UK here

DJB Rizalist said...

Andrew Sullivan has Palin's number and he's been exposing her true nature for weeks. She'll be a big factor in the GOP's loss this year. Clearly unqualified, how can anyone vote for the ticket given what it says of John McCain. It was a very bad choice, possibly a fatal one for the campaign.

Anonymous said...

DJB Rizalist said...

hahaha, yeah saw that yesterday between couric and palin. be interesting to see how biden handles her during the upcoming debate. Probably best to let her do A LOT of talking.

Anonymous said...

Palin is a shoo-in to be vice-president. She already has been blessed against all kinds of withcraft.

DJB Rizalist said...

I used to think of John McCain as a maverick and the most acceptable of the GOP candidates this year. But boy he lost my vote with his choice of Sarah Palin. He's 72 with bouts of melanoma. I couldn't imagine a more irresponsible and truly cynical choice. Brings out the warlock in me full of nasty curses and hexes. This move goes way beyond partisanship right into treason.


SNL: Tina Fey does Palin again

Amadeo said...

The pundit class has its own voice. But unfortunately for them, there is another voice much stronger and more decisive, and that is the electorate.

Remember this election was supposed to be a walk-over for the Democrats, thus any generic Democrat was expected to win. So this was not an election a Gov. Palin or any other choice to lose. But the fact that this late it is still competitive tells you something of McCain and his choice. So I’ll be discreet to withhold judgment.

BTW, a fiat or maybe a caveat in this election is that regardless of who wins, perish those high hopes and great expectations of lofty change and fervent hope. Take a close look at the cadres of advisers and strategists populating both campaigns. They are still the same old elders and statesmen who shaped the administrations of long and recent past. And conditions both domestic and global are such that though US presidents have gathered clout through the years, their abilities to make bold and new decisions are still quite limited. Presidents do not shape policies, admistrations do. And if indeed the hopes are that this young inexperienced hopeful gets the nod, then the more true the axiom will be that administrations do indeed shape policies.

That last debate should give one some inkling how high or low expectations would be if either candidate wins.

But I still foresee a few surprises before this all comes to pass.

Bren said...

amadeo; You are wrong that the same elders (elders of Clinton or Reagan or Carter eras) are advising Obama and McCain. Just look at those sidelined now commentators on TV.

Anonymous said...

I believe that it was a tie. The polls don't mean anything. Those who were rooting for Mccain stays with Mccain and so too with Obama.

The sides are reflected on the comments on this blog. The liberals and Bush haters sticks with Obama. Heavy characterizations by Hillblogr of Mccain, for instance and no credit given to Mccain's sacrifices and heroic deeds.

What has Obama done for the American people? He may end up like Carter and or Clinton. Whoa, God help the Americans on that.