I have forgone the scorecard for this debate. Sometimes it is best just to watch and take things in and see how you think and feel at the end.
Round 1: Obama 26, McCain 21
Round 2: Obama 19, McCain 16
Round 3: Winner, TKO – John McCain
McCain won the debate, although his final speech wasn’t as punched up as it should’ve been. He was at his most clear and direct, Obama was at his weakest. Perhaps this has to do with sitting, not standing, particularly if you lend any credence to my categorization of Obama as a very strong Stage Presence. It is worth noting that while McCain fluctuated during the 3 debates, Obama got steadily worse. His first was his strongest. I suspect this is due to Obama’s lead. He didn’t need to come out with anything new, only to maintain. At times, though, he seemed like the political equivalent of a basketball team, ahead by, say 4 points, with a minute left in the game. Their goal isn’t to score quickly, it is to take as much time off the clock without letting their opponent get any closer. Will this help or hurt him with swing voters, or does it matter to his campaign at this point?
McCain’s line that “I’m not George Bush…” was a huge success, a fantastic point to make, and something he should have said, oh, 3 months ago. And tonight, he should have repeated it and reiterated it more. Once is never enough in politics. Now the question is, was tonight’s win for McCain enough to gain my vote?
No. Obama is better on the Economy, Health Care, Education, and I think once he gets into the White House, he’ll see that his views about leaving Iraq on his time table are too simplistic, and he’ll either change them to something very similar to what McCain suggests, or else he’ll make a bigger mistake than, according to him, the war in general was. Or, the quality and dependability of the Iraqi military forces will happen to coincide with his time table, and he’ll luck out.
On the other hand, the annoying majority of liberals underestimate McCain and, yes, Palin, and if they get elected we’ll see nearly as much reform, great foreign policies, Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to improve, the economy will rebound in different ways, and spending will be cut. Either way, we’re in for something new, something better, and progress. Just because liberals overcompensate their dislike for McCain compared to how cool they think Obama is doesn’t mean Obama is more qualified. In fact, in 4.5 hours of debates, Obama hasn’t been able to prove he’s stood up to his party nearly as well as McCain. And before a Democrat asserts that this is merely because Democrats aren’t wrong as often as Republicans, allow me to laugh uproariously in your general direction. As many have pointed out, we were promised amazing changes and improvements in 2006 when Democrats gained a majority. Two years later, an extensive showing of hands will amount to nothing in particular.
Your thoughts, as always, would be welcomed. Please share. And let’s leave ‘Joe the damn Plumber’ out of this one, shall we? Man has a job to do.