Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate #1

In the post debate analysis, a subject on which everyone seems to have an opinion, I'm not going to focus on points. They both scored some. I thought that McCain's thumping of Obama for his promise to meet unconditionally with dictators was his best moment and Obama's attempt to fool the public by transplanting the word "unconditional" to "preparations" was Obama's worst.

McCain was sick of his sound bites and sometimes only said pieces of them. He was not convincing when he talked about the bailout, but neither was Obama. The advantage went to Obama there because a)he sounds better and b)he doesn't have an (R) next to his name.

But the bottom line is that, as usual, if you support Obama, you thought that he won and if you support McCain, you though he came out on top.

The consensus among nearly every pundit and political prognosticator that I've heard from over the past 15 hours is that the debate was either a draw or a slight victory for McCain.

Very few thought that the debate was a decisive win for Obama.

Of course, it's the independent voters who matter and in the imediate aftermath it appears they were leaning slighly towards Obama as the victor.

Now, I don't think that the first impressions of these debates are ever the best indicator of who wins and who loses. These opinions are fluid as clips are replayed, and the points are discussed.

We all know that voters and pundits alike thought that Gore won the first debate of 2000 handily. In reterospect, his weird behavior is now considered to be one of the reasons for his downfall.

The truth of the matter is that we won't know who really "won" until Monday, when two days of polling has been completed by Gallup and Rassmussen. If McCain makes gains, he won. If Obama is up, he won. If the polls remain as they are with Obama up by about 5%, then neither of them changed many minds.

In my view, McCain appeared more presidential and, for better or worse, more natural and off-the-cuff. Obama, as always, was more eloquent, scripted and didn't have the rough edges that surround his opponent.

Obama is also the beneficiary of the most salient attack in the campaign: his ability to link George W. Bush with John McCain. John McCain simply does not have the time to explain that the current crisis has little, if anything to do with the current administration and that if anyone is to blame it's Rep. Barney Frank and the Clinton Administration, who opened up credit lines to lower income families, without any thought to their ability to pay said loans back.

It doesn't matter though. The incumbent always gets blamed.

My last thought, before drifting off to sleep early this morning was: 'Man. If George Bush had an approval rating of 45% instead of 30%, this thing wouldn't even be close.'

-Dan Joseph

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Shannonymous said...

"they both scored some" but God forbid you mention Obama's. ;) All the CNN polls seem to say Obama won. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Of course CNN is totally objective!!

dan said...

Of course you though Obama won. He could of come on stage in a bright purple baby tee with Che on it and read from the communist manifesto and you still would have thought that he won.

Anonymous said...

Dan, put this on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Neither candidate impressed me with their economic "expertise". Methinks we are screwed either way.