Posts Tagged ‘debate’

last debate

October 16, 2008

Finally, a little action! Was that the demur Mr Schieffer directing conversation, a roundtable creating the right environment, or just some form of repressed campaign energy necessarily finding its release? Whatever it was, the third debate was certainly the best of the three (go NYC?). From my perspective, McCain started off stronger, but wandered into points of confusion along the way, and by the end seemed to have failed to present a fully coherent picture of his vision. However, he did manage to throw some doubts about Obama out there, especially regarding taxes and health care. On the other hand, in a time of economic crisis, I don’t know if people will care as much about the fears of ‘great society’ governing.

For his part, Obama seemed tired and even a little bored to start with. He managed to be clear and deflect things and sound smart, but he sounded like he was going to go back into talking points at the start, and I never saw the spark in the eye the way you used to see with Bill Clinton when he’d do these things, that showed he loved explaining it. Near the end, when the issues turned to more personal things and he could talk about common ground and what we’re all looking for, I felt like I could see a little bit of hope in him. I think it’s just he doesn’t like arguments and debates that much; he’d rather do speeches and orations where he can talk about shared humanity… A lover not a fighter, sort of thing.

… Not to say he’s not a fighter, by the way. If you haven’t seen the Frontline special on Obama & McCain you really should watch it, as it gives a good & I think very fair background on both of them – it’s a bit brief once the campaigns get going but useful to get a feel for their lives leading up the 2008 run. Both are cast in quite favorable lights, I would say, although one diluted scandal each is discussed. But I do think it’s the sort of thing where you can draw your own conclusion.

Anyway, 538 is saying the post-debate numbers are giving it to Obama once again, which I’m relieved to hear as I wouldn’t have been surprised this time to see a shift. But it really just looks like America has made up its mind. Yes, McCain is not BUsh, but Bush is only getting like 25% approval right now, so McCain’s doing a lot better than that! Reagan changed things at the last moment, but he didn’t get his debate until the last moment – it seemed like the voters wanted change but were hesitant to trust the new guy until they’d seen him in action, which is the same thing that’s happened this time, except that we had three debates and they happened earlier in the cycle. But Obama got thumbs up from every debate, even when the media thought the performance was basically even, and I think it’s because the citizenry just wants confirmation that he can handle it.

McCain did his best yet last night, and we’ll see if it has any effect on polls – it might close the gap a little here or there, just to make things interesting.

And keep trackof the facts.

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ok, media, just stop predicting.

October 3, 2008

Apparently the first poll says Biden won the debate 51 to 36. They thought Palin was more likable (54 to 36), but Biden was more capable (87% thought Biden was qualified to be president, while only 42% thought so of Palin, after watching the debate). So maybe the public is less easily fooled than the pundits expect…

vapidity wins…

October 2, 2008

The after-debate talk essentially confirmed what I was worried they’d say, that Sarah Palin “nailed it” – although, the media mostly thought McCain had been more successful last week but it turned out ordinary people ended up giving it to Obama, so they may not be reliable. To me, she was just utterly empty of any real content. She was cute, but she didn’t seem to understand what she was talking about.

She contradicted herself several times (“we need oversight on wall street, stop that greed & corruption” vs “we can’t have government gettin’ in the way” or “we don’t know the causes of global warming” vs “the important thing is to stop it, so we should stop emissions”). It just seemed like her rational capacity was entirely lacking. Did she understand the arguments? Does she get what cause and effect are? I saw no glimmer of understanding in any of her answers. She seemed to have memorized a few stock positions but there was no depth of concern or interest that allowed her to expand or explore them further.

Biden was a bit too policy wonkish at times, and because the format was such that he hardly had time to go into depth, he occasionally seemed a little scattered, throwing out a couple sentences about one example, then mentioning another, and another – all connected, but not having time to get into detail about any of them. Unless you were already familiar with the legislation or the issue, it probably came off pretty unfocused. However, it seemed perfectly obvious he was much more grounded in his knowledge, that he had thought much more deeply about these things, that he was much more reliable. And even in personality, when he talked about his personal experience of having lost his wife and nearly lost his sons, he seemed much more genuine than Sarah Palin. She just comes across fake, with the bouncy winky, dontcha know..

But then, I always thought Ronald Reagan seemed fake, and America still loves him, so I am a terrible barometer there.