Posts Tagged 'election'

The Obamanator vs. McCAINia (a better name than before) – Round 3

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

This guy?

This guy?

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.

The Obamanator vs. McCain Machine: Round 2

Final Score: Obama 19, McCain 16

Hmm… Not as interesting as the first debate. Lower scoring.
Game 1: Obama 26, McCain 21
Game 2: Obama 19, McCain 16

So, we’ve had one debate in a Standard Theatre – Proscenium Arch, more or less; this second debate was in a Black Box Thrust. I’m hoping for the third debate to be In-The-Round. It would at least reflect the shape in which the candidates speak much of the time.

The Town Hall format was supposed to be better for McCain, and he did well in terms of speaking directly to the questioners. He had a very nice moment with a fellow serviceman. Obama was slightly shaky at first, but he took a cue from McCain and got more comfortable.

The news was the same. I cringed when McCain brought up meeting with foreign leaders “without preconditions” because it was handled last debate. I cringed when Obama settled on the notion that McCain is just like Bush. Both are mistaken, both are ploys.

Here’s what it comes down to: Obama has more stage presence.

He moves better, talks more casually. He’s easily a better performer than McCain. In a Town Hall debate, he wins. Both men got on my nerves by constantly taking much more time than they were allotted. Both deviated numerous times from the specific question asked and just blathered on.

We could go on and on about the debate. Both made clear points much of the time, sometimes got bogged down, made a few errors. Oh well. What I want to know is, what do you think of Obama’s Health Care Plan vs. McCain’s Health Care Plan? Or do you see much of a difference?

The Obamanator vs. McCain Machine: Round 1

This note pertains to tonight’s Presidential Debate, the first of 3 between the two candidates, not including the Vice-Presidential Debate. Hopefully that sentence did inspire the thought “It’s an election year?”. If you were unable to see the debate and/or did not have the ability to record it, come to my apartment, I will watch it with you.

The two-part questions is, what did you think of the debate and how did you think the candidates handled themselves? Please feel free to disagree with me (of course you will feel free… this is democracy!)

What a much better election we have this time around. In every way, these candidates are superior to their predecessors. Of that I am pleased. I took a lot of notes tonight, which I’ll get to in a moment, and I also kept score. My incredibly scientific method was as follows: any time I think a candidate makes a compelling, interesting or insightful statement, he gets a point. A tally-mark, to be more specific. Written by hand. In pen. On a blue-ish notepad. I did my best not to look at the score during the debate, and I think I mostly succeeded. Essentially, I am treating the debates like a best of 3 series in sports, the winner of which will receive as a grand prize: my vote.

The final score was Senator Obama – 26, Senator McCain – 22

Obama started out with a solid 2 point cushion, and it went back and forth for about the first 45 minutes. He jumped out, and though in the first 10 minutes or so he seemed to dodge some questions and talk around the matter, he quickly hit his stride and made great points. McCain made very good points, but it seemed to me that toward the beginning, his points were more general and vague, while Obama’s had a specificity I found encouraging. The subject was the current financial crisis, and I will not attempt to give a play by play of all the points covered. Suffice it to say, both candidates’ presidencies will be affected by it, and both seem to oppose the idea of a “non-reviewable” $700,000,000,000.00 bailout. Smart men. They also talked about Healthcare plans, both of which I think will be improvements in some way.

In the middle of the debate, McCain actually took the lead. As noted, specificity is important to me. I want details. Details show thought. They reveal insight while generalities (such as this entire blog) seem to have a limited depth of knowledge. McCain’s war experience is, to say the least, impressive. That man knows his stuff. So does Obama, but in this instance, the hype is correct: McCain is more experienced. He’s got decades more than Obama, which means a deeper understanding of a history not merely learned, but lived. It also means he meanders off into storyland a bit too often, detailing that time he was in Russia, or the time he met with…

The most interesting head to head moment was the discussion of whether or not to grant meetings with hostile leaders. Obama’s point: “This notion that by not talking with people we are punishing them has not worked.” He’s right. It hasn’t. McCain counters that to have face to face meetings with these leaders, who espouse hateful doctrines, is to legitimize their cause. He’s also right. You don’t meet with a fanatical loon. You meet with people of power. To meet is to implicitly grant them power and may be giving them a stage. But. In the end, I agree with Obama when he said that the President of the united States has the right to meet with whoever he wants, whenever he wants, and that it doesn’t make sense to meet with enemy groups only after they’ve agreed to change.

From that point on, McCain seemed to lose a step, about the final 30 minutes. He got repetitive. He wasn’t wrong in what he said, it was all fine, some of it was a bit too much like his campaign speeches, but he seemed to get defensive very quickly. At one point, Obama was trying to respond to him, and McCain just cut him off. Jim Lehrer, the Moderator, had already attempted to move on, so rather than take more time, going round and round on a tiny point, Obama just said, “It’s fine. Jim, let’s move on.” He got a point for that.

In general, in terms of ACTUAL spoken, detailed policies, these two men are very similar. The distance between their policies is the time it takes to rewrite the other candidate’s policies with a different sentence structure. Both candidates, I think, are very aware of this, and in order to have something to debate about, they put together teams of interns – hundreds of 20-something idealist left- and right-wingers – to find contextless soundbites of the other candidate to be used to create the illusion of a large expanse between them. A chasm of inches is what it amounts to. It was like an improv scene at times. One or the other would pull a random quotation out of their pocket and then try to weave it into the fabric of the current subject. And every time, the other candidate merely said, no, you’re misrepresenting me, here’s the real story. Mini-conflicts were introduced and resolved in mere seconds. This is called politics.

The real difference, as far as I can see it, is that Obama, at this point, is cooler. He’s more popular. He seems calmer. Every time I see him ON the campaign trail (I hate that term, by the way), he looks tired, his sentences have big gaps in them, he seems to lose his train of thought. I think the ordeal of the Primaries and now the General Election are starting to wear on him. But tonight, he looked well-rested, he spoke clearly, defined his points, did a nice job. If there is one man I WOULD send in to have a meeting with our enemies, it’d be him, because I have the sneaking suspicion, he could communicate with them better than anyone.

On the other hand, McCain may be the smartest man alive. He is very savvy, he has no trouble keeping up with Obama in terms of the manner in which he speaks, how he communicates. And I could not detect one hint of his age hindering him in any way. At least not tonight. He has a tendency to get too heated at times, he can be a bit aggressive; although, this skill just might be handy when you’re dealing with all the daily slog the President goes through. And, if Obama for some reason cannot convince our enemies, McCain will explain to them the details of their impending demise and then enact it upon them. And he won’t screw the pooch the way Ole W. has.

Looking forward to the next debate… 1 piece of advice to both men. Talk to EACH OTHER for a change. Look at each other, address each other. Who knows, you might just get into a bi-partisan discussion!


It Has Come to This

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