Saturday, September 27, 2008

They Both Won

There were no big surprises in Friday's presidential debate, but there were a few minor ones. Both candidates won points, with McCain slightly edging out Obama. I think it would have been a nice touch if John McCain had apologized to the debate planners, students and the Dean of Ole Miss, for causing them so much anxiety when he threatened to pull out of the debate. But, I don't suppose he much cared how much trouble he was causing. Apparently that's just his way.

Barack Obama has at times come across as a bit too cautious when answering questions. At one time, Bill Clinton commented that Obama was thinking too much. Well, Obama didn't mince words Friday. He came across as forceful and sure of his answers. He succeeded in going toe to toe with John McCain, and even though McCain won on points, Obama gave him a run for his money, which some didn't expect him to do. The outcome may have been a draw, but a draw is a loss for McCain and a win for Obama. In a debate about foreign policy, McCain should have won more decisively.

McCain was very knowledgeable about foreign affairs, which was no surprise. After 26 years in office, I would expect him to be well-informed and acquainted with world leaders. Given the short time Obama has been in Washington, he seemed to have a solid grasp of world problems. He didn't deserve the cheap shots lobbed at him by McCain because he wasn't as widely travelled. After all, Obama has a running mate who is every bit as experienced in foreign policy as McCain, and isn't one measure of a good President the kinds of experienced people he surrounds himself with, as advisors? No president can know everything. Obama runs circles around McCain on the economy, for instance.

I found McCain's manner to be very condescending. And, his refusal to look Obama in the eye was rude and disrespectful. He came across as grumpy, stubborn, and mean spirited. I hope everyone looked closely at the expression on McCain's face when Obama was speaking directly to him. That's the same expression of arrogant dismissal people will see if they ever deign to disagree with him.

A couple of times, McCain was proud to announce "I've never been voted Miss Congeniality." Lucky for you, John, your running mate HAS. And, we'll get to see Miss Congeniality next Thursday, when she debates Joe Biden.


Margie's Musings said...

McCain was mean spirited. I did not give him the debate because he resorted to insult and mean spiritedness. I would never admire any president who acted the way he did. On the other hand, Obama was very presidential.

Mari Meehan said...

Boy, Betty, we are sure on the same page on this one! But then we usually are!

Linda said...

I also gave the debate to Obama, although it was certainly not a debate that will be remembered in history. McCain should have done a better job, this was his debate to lose and I felt like he did. This was his topic. Perhaps if he'd spent more time on preparation for the debate instead of running to Washington he might have done better.

Obama was so gracious all evening. That's such a nice touch to see again. Obama was also the adult in the situation. McCain came across as condecending, bitter, angry, and looking much older than his years.

I don't suppose he'll ever get over the Vietnam war but does America need to remain in a time warp with him? It's 2008, let's move on.

kenju said...

I agree with Linda. McCain repeats how he will always take care of the veterans. of course he would, and so would Obama. I also didn't like it when he repeatedly said "Obama just doesn't seem to understand." Pooh. Obama is too smart not to understand anything McCain could come up with.

Betty said...

margie: If he had any real answers, he wouldn't have to stoop to insults and meanness.

dogwalkmusings: Yes, we are.

linda: I thought McCain would do better. As far as his Vietnam experiences go, he needs to get over it. He seems to think he was the only hero in that war.

kenju: The fact is, McCain has demonstrated that he wouldn't take care of the veterans. He has voted against every bill benefiting veterans in the last several years.

Darlene said...

I admit that I am prejudiced, but I thought Obama won the debate on two levels; knowledge and good manners. I would have loved to hear him call McCain a liar, but he was too cool and too much of a gentleman to do that.

I have a temper and I got angry for Obama, but he remained calm, cool and collected. He was a real class act.

Dianne said...

I love your observations about McCain's demeanor and your line about Miss Congeniality!! good one Betty.

I don't know how Biden is going to debate Palin - she doesn't speak in full sentences, she rambles, and she is a nasty piece or work.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I couldn't agree with you more Betty. And THANK YOU for bringing out the fact that McCain was so mean spirited and acted like a brooding child. I could barely watch him speak...he was so obviously rude. In my eyes...Obama won that debate hands down for a number of reasons....he certainly was the most mature.

Kell said...

Did you see McCain suck in and clinch when he spouted about his bracelet given to him by the mother of a dead soldier, Obama said, "I have a bracelet, too, John." That was my favorite part of the debate. That really hit McCain on what he thinks is his ground--don't let our soldiers die in vain--but Obama had a mom who didn't want this to happen to another mother. You could tell it really pissed McCain off.

I agree with you that McCain may have edged out Obama in this debate, but in the end he didn't win because he should have knocked it out of the ballpark. I admit I was a little surprised when I saw the polls that most people thought Obama won. That gives me hope.

Betty said...

darlene: I think Obama did get under McCain's skin, without being too blunt about it.

dianne: The V.P. debate will be conducted differently. They won't be asked to address each other, I don't think. So, Biden can just answer his questions, and ignore Sarah, addressing the moderator with his follow-ups. I'm still betting the debate won't happen.

joy: It was obvious which one was the grown-up, wasn't it?

kell: Jay kept saying, "Ask to SEE McCain's bracelet, Obama, ask to SEE it!" He didn't think McCain actually had the bracelet on, whereas Obama showed the one he was wearing. I also liked Obama's answer that NO soldier dies in vain.

savannah said...

you're far more generous than me, sugar! mccain lost because of his inability to get past his "my way or the highway" attitude. can you imagine that sort of attitude when dealing with foreign governments? oh wait, we've just gone through 8 years of that! xoxo

Maria said...

Obama struck me as being a true politician. He was polite, knew his view, and acknowledged McCain's view when he agreed with it.

I can hardly wait for Thursday night!