Wednesday, October 08, 2008

One more dull debate, with McCain edging Obama?

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

The two candidates debated last night in Nashville, and predictably clashed on the economy, taxes, the economic bailout, and the wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. We heard very little we hadn't heard before.

John McCain needed a bump from this debate to raise his standings and give him a shot in what appears to be an electoral college lock by Obama. He probably will not get that bump. He did however, mostly redeem himself from his earlier debate performance with a relaxed, folksy performance, "my friends." He was short on substance and never seriously went on the attack. Not completely unexpectedly, there were a couple of strange moments: when answering Tom Brokaw's question about who he would appoint Treasury Secretary, he answered "Not you Tom!" and at one point he vaguely gestured toward Barack Obama and called him "that one." McCain did not bring up any of the mud-slinging "character" issues his partner in crime, Sarah Palin has been hammering away at in rallies recently.

For his part, Obama provided more specifics, and consistently linked McCain with George W. Bush. In a dust-up on foreign policy, Obama hammered away at McCain's steadiness. "This is a guy who sang bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, who called for the annihilation of North Korea—that I don't think is an example of speaking softly." Obama, however, once again appeared stiff and detached. The man just doesn't seem to be able to loosen up on stage, and while he is a great orator, his skills in retail politics are lacking. He never quite connects in these debates the way he seems to when he is alone in the spotlight.

If the debate had a winner, it may have been John McCain. While Obama once again appeared Presidential, McCain was able to connect with the audience in a more folksy way, reminiscent of the old John McCain that people loved. Unfortunately for John McCain, the old John McCain rarely makes an appearance these days, ceding stage time to the George Bush-lapdog McCain.


Kev said...

Wow, do I disagree. While McGrump strained for folksy he lurched around the stage like Shemp trying to get more reel time with the stooges. And it can't be ignored that when the real retail politics occurred JSMIII and Mrs McStepford had long gone. Nevermind that McCaint flinched from Obama's gaze when the two greeted after entering the stage, or that he looked like a dolt when he mistook Obama's setup for a compliment just before O mocked his claim as a soft walker, er, talker big stick kind of TR guy by forcefully calling out McPutz' bomb Iran, annihilate NK, and next stop Baghdad cracks or that he ducked Obama's offer to shake hands a second time afterwards by passing on his prescription drug fiend wife's mitt instead.

On the other hand, it's important to note that Obama and Michelle caroused with the audience allowing fotos and warm chats for a good twenty minutes after the debate had concluded. Oh, and it can't be underestimated that since the debates Obama has stretched his lead in nat'l and critical state polls even as post debate insta polls again confirmed him the winner by large margins.

If that's winning, then McCain better start prepping his concession speech.

My Fellow Prisoners said...

If he needs a bump I would be happy to offer an assist. Just pass me the croquet mallet.

Daryle Conners said...

Yeah, I have to say, even if I would have liked to see Obama be warmer and a bit more charismatic, I would never say that John McCain won that debate - not by a longshot.

Especially when you read the fact checking on stuff he said - he lied a lot, while Obama just put an advantageous spin on things. It doesn't matter if you're folksy - if you can't stay on point and you have to lie, both about your voting record and intentions and your opponent's, then you didn't win the debate.

Jack Brummet said...

clearly I am wrong. Virtually everyone seems to agree that McCain tok it in the shorts in the debate. Even Fox news, and other conservative outlets.