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I have to say that I am totally disappointed in Senator Obama’s performance tonight. This was a perfect opportunity to put away Senator McCain, and Obama blew it. Instead, he spent a great deal of time defending himself and explaining himself. Throughout the debate, Obama was cool and collected, and he was able to connect to voters on important issues like health care and education, but he allowed McCain to assume the dominant and aggressive position throughout the night. Now, Obama did not have to hit a home-run tonight because he is in a commanding lead in the polls, but he really should have performed better. He was flat and boring. In short, Obama sucked tonight.
On the other hand, while McCain was aggressive and in attack mode (his comfort zone), he failed to hit a home-run, as well. He failed to provide any details or background on his proposals. More importantly, he failed to follow through on his attacks on Obama, vis a vis Ayers and ACORN. Like his campaign thus far, he was erratic and all over the place, instead of being focused and on message. To his credit, he beat Obama over the head with two issues: Obama’s tax policy and the economy. The latter has been Obama’s strength, but McCain bested him tonight on that topic. However, overall, McCain came across as mean spirited, hateful, and angry. This may have been the cause of his erratic responses throughout the night. While McCain may have pleased his base on issues like abortion and taxes, he did not connect with Independent voters, who will be deciding this election. And, as I wrote in my previous blog, they hate attacks, which is all McCain did tonight. It will be interesting how they respond to tonight’s debate.
Tonight was a draw. Simply put. Obama failed to wow the viewers, and McCain failed to prove his case that he is any different from Bush or that Obama is a dangerous individual. Though tonight was a draw, that is essentially a default victory for Obama and a default loss for McCain. Obama needed only maintain the staus quo of the race, while McCain needed a decisive victory, which he failed to get.
The real winner in tonight’s debate, however, was moderator Bob Schieffer, who succeeded in drawing the two candidates away from their talking points and succeeded in getting them to confront one another. He asked thoughtful and interesting questions tonight that made this the best debate of the election. Good for you, Bob!
Now, we’re off to November 4th!
Oh, and I do have to make one other point. I went to Canada over the summer for my honeymoon. My wife and I stayed in Victoria. We fell in love with the place, but we also fell in love with the people. They were so kind, tolerant, intelligent, thoughtful, and giving. I thought, “Wow, the Canadians are very different from Americans.” I come across so many people in America who are ignorant, hateful, loud, and selfish. By no means do I think all, or even the majority, of Americans are that way, but there are elements of our country that fail, I think to live up to the standards of our forefathers. I thought Canadians had.
Well, that bubble sure burst when I started getting such hateful posts from an individual called clancop, who is a Canadian. He’s a little ball of hate, that guy. I guess I was wrong about Canada. Well, that’s what happens when you make generalizations, I suppose.
What about another?
I’m very curious about how this last debate will go. Clearly, Barack Obama and Biden have shut-out McCain & Palin in the first three debates, so McCain really has to step up his game in this last debate. He needs a game changer. McCain has said that this debate will not be a game changer… which leads me to believe that he might want it to be a game changer. Does that make sense?
But Senator McCain has already said that he intends to “whip” Obama’s “you know what.” Hmmm…. He also said in a radio interview that he intends to bring up the Ayers connection, a reaction to Senator Obama’s assertion that McCain didn’t have the guts to make those accusations to his face. So, will McCain gloss over his economic plans so he can beat Obama silly with Ayers? I hope so! Independents do not like it when a candidate goes negative, and according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll Independents think that McCain has been far more negative than Barack Obama. In fact, the poll found that McCain’s attacks have had the reverse effect than they intended: McCain’s negative ratings have gone up and Barack Obama’s positive ratings have gone up. According to a recent national survey by Democracy Corps , Independent voters favored Obama over McCain by 17%. So I say let McCain attack, attack, attack.
Barack Obama, who has been coasting his way to a 14% lead over McCain (according to the same New York Times/CBS poll ), can really seal the deal tomorrow night. The reason the second Obama-McCain debate was so boring to me was that it was simply a rehashing of all the same lines that were used in the first debate. Tomorrow night, Obama needs to go on the offensive; he needs to hit a homerun. Obama should already know what is coming tomorrow night (because McCain has made it clear what he intends to do) and he ought to be ready to deflect those attacks and put McCain on the ropes. He needs to be more specific about what he intends to do to improve our economy, to keep us safe in an increasingly dangerous world, and to solve our health care crisis. If only offers talking points and platitudes, then John McCain could very well win tomorrow’s debate.
Both candidates will not, fortunately, have much opportunity to relapse into talking points or generalizations, or to pull a Palin and disregard the questions altogether… at least according to tomorrow’s moderator Bob Schieffer. Bob Schieffer has said recently, “By now we’ve all heard their talking points. We’ve heard the general outlines of what they are talking about. The time has come to be a little more specific.” He also added, “It will not embarrass me, if they go off in a different direction, to say `excuse me, could you focus on the question that I just asked?” Hopefully, he has more sense than the other moderators to make the debate interesting and insightful. This last debate, as Schieffer himself noted, could very well be the deciding factor for those undecideds.
Okay, and one to go on…