Home > Live Blogging, Politics, Presidential Debate > debatable miscellanies & minutiae ’08

debatable miscellanies & minutiae ’08

There are many people who are vastly more qualified to break down the policies and positions of Barack Obama and John McCain than I am.

That means I am under no pretense that I am an expert when it comes to politics, so here are some thoughts from a pretty normal guy – me.

Here we go:

  • Secretary Gates was mentioned many times.  He was the President of Texas A&M University, the university from with Lee earned his B.A. in English Literature and Beth earned a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Religious Studies.
  • Obama blunders – what is the deal with Obama?  Does he not know who he has been running against for the past several months?  Is in “Tom” McCain, “Jim” McCain, hmm …. so hard to keep that guy’s name straight. 
  • Why is Jim Lehrer so set on getting the candidates to look at each other while they talk?  It is like he is that kid on the playground who stands around trying to stir up the other kids to fight.  “Don’t talk to me, Senator, tell the other Senator what you think about his mama … look him in the eye.”
  • Why are they comparing bracelets? That is a little weird.
  • Baravk Obama knows how to tie a solid looking tie – quality dimple and a good knot.  I am surprised, however, to announce that I think McCain has put together an overall better ensemble.  I like that he bypassed the played out lapel pin.
  • During the Republican National Convention, I was certain that the Republicans were going to get absolutely squashed, if only because of the crabby, angry, unsophisticated tone that was struck by virtually every speaker and by the crowd in attendance.  McCain seems to be doing a good job of being a strong and knowledgeable authority without being a crude bully.  He comes across as downright presidential – which shocks me.
  • McCain: Ahmadinhoodia, er …. Ahmarkid – dang it – (deep breath) … … Ahmadinejad (relief … “now what was I saying?”)
  • McCain: “The average South Korean is three inches taller than the average North Korean” … cool?
  • Obama talks about foreign policy as though he has read about it and watched it on the news.  McCain talks about it like he has been there and done that.
  • I don’t know exactly what McCain is saying about Russia and Georgia … I do know he seems to have spent a great deal of time looking into Vladmir Putin’s eyes … but he is speaking with precision that gives him credibility and outclasses Obama when it comes to foreign policy.
  • Barack Obama looks and listens to McCain when he is speaking.  McCain does a lot of writing when Obama is speaking – even when it is directly to McCain.
  • Barack’s demeanor is that of a Gentleman Statesman.  I think this is a good thing for politics and I hope that it is not an act.  I do wonder, however, if his leaning on the moderator to silence McCain when he goes over time is, pragmatically speaking, what is needed in the personality of our Commander-in-Chief.  I dunno.
  • McCain seems to sense that he is winning this debate.  As the debate has gone later into the night he has been more smirky and confident.  He seems to be pretty loose as the debate wraps up.
  • Last words: Obama knows how to say big things in potent phrases that inspire, but does he know how to bring home the big ideas?  McCain knows foreign policy, he is sharp, and he held his own very very well, but does he inspire his followers and fill them with passion?

The debate is over and now the talking heads will swoop in the pick at the bones.  I have to wonder if it is the debate itself or the commentary that follows which carries the most weight in swaying voters.  I wonder if the talking heads really just muddy the water and take away from the “purity” of the debate as a rhetorical art form.

I happen to be watching FOX News because Wold Blitzer drives me nuts on CNN.  One of the commentators said something I agree with entirely – when Obama attempts to narrow down his message to the specific nuts and bolts of policy, he falls flat and lifeless.

Time for me to stop blabbering about the debate.

I will close with a rhetorical/comment-able question:

“Can we really ever know who “won” a presidential debate like the one we watched tonight? If so, where do we look for a decisive answer to that question?”

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  1. willlovesvanessa
    September 27, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    We were watching CNN following the debate- they called it a “tie”, but McCain needed a ‘win’ because he knows foreign policy. But that is CNN’s opinion, so no surprise there… what did Fox News say?

  2. leewilson7170
    September 27, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Fox News had different commentators saying all sorts of things. Each seemed to have completely different criteria for judging who won – there was no consistency.

    The most helpful thing that Fox did was having a group of “undecided” voters who were split equally over their vote in the last election. Fox had them watch the debate and, using this little knob controller remote, chart out how they felt each candidate was doing as they watched.

    In the end, the Fox commentator said that their test showed more positive inclinations towards Obama.

  3. willlovesvanessa
    September 28, 2008 at 3:43 am

    just checking back on your Fox comment. Check out our blog and see who we saw tonight…

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