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Saturday, September 27. 2008
If you happened to miss the first presidential debate last night, I have some advice for you: If you read any of the analyses out there today, take them with a mountain of salt.
I spent three hours this morning reading so-called analyses and have yet to find one that even remotely borders on objective and impartial. Everybody's a homer. To the Left and the MSM, Obama clearly won with his natural brilliance. To the Right, McCain 'crushed' Obama with ease.
And pigs can fly.
However, if you demanded a verdict from me, I'd call it a draw. Here's how I saw them balancing out:
They both upset their base in (at least) two ways:
McCain certainly upset some people when he came out against ethanol but, by the same token, probably drew cheers from those who have watched food prices skyrocket over the past year and understand why they have.
On the flip side, they both came out strongly for 'alternative energy', which means they're either idiots or they're pandering — if not a little of both. Twenty, thirty, forty years from today, articles will be saying the same thing about solar energy and wind power and geothermal energy that they said ten, twenty, thirty years ago: "It's just around the corner!" The simple truth is that Newton was right: energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. And there simply isn't enough raw energy in solar radiation or the wind to produce anything remotely resembling an energy source ready to power a nation of 300 million, much less the world.
Personally, I like a candidate who can openly reach across the aisle and agree with the opposition.
What the video does is prove that Obama really is the post-partisan candidate. I'm guessing that's not the message the clever authors of the video had in mind, but that's what it implies. Judge for yourself.
Damn! We've still got another week to go for the good stuff!
While I haven't seen the stats, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that last night's debate was the most-watched debate ever.
But next week?
I casually predict that umpteen millions of people who have never watched more than five minutes of a presidential debate in their lives will be tuning in to watch Sarah Palin. I predict we'll see the word "unprecedented" used the next day in regards to the ratings. While last night's debate was certainly interesting, next week's debate will fall into the category of 'entertaining' — and that, for a presidential debate, is certainly unprecedented.
See you there!
This is directed to those of you planning on watching the Palin-Biden debate tonight at 9 EDT. It's the only debate they'll have.This is a warning. As you know, we here at Maggie's Farm advocate the peaceful, bucolic life. Why, just this morning as BD w
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I don't believe that Obama's "I agree with McCain..." comments showed him to be a post partisan candidate at all. In fact, I showed how out of his depth he truly was. He couldn't respond reasonably, so he would say "I agree..." then back off and restate his position. It was a matter of positioning himself as something he is not - impartial and in the middle.
His voting record speaks for itself. All bipartisan and non-partisan measures show Obama overwhelmingly votes party line, while McCain does not.
It astounds me that McCain continues to allow Obama to paint him as Bush's man, while Obama voted over 50% of the time WITH Administration proposals. Sure, Obama would argue against many of them, but so did McCain.
McCain, to me, represented the impartial and educated viewpoint during the debate and Obama's agreements with him only solidified that (to me) Obama is out of his depth on Foreign Policy.
Overall, I agree with McCain's initial proposal to halt the campaigning and put off the debate in order to get the country's economic house stabilized. It's astounding to me that Obama would think a campaign, and debate, which are geared toward pointing fingers and blaming each other, is more important than finding an bipartisan solution to a massive problem ONE OF THEM will inherit.
This isn't to say I agree with the bill as it exists. I am opposed to any government bailouts. But we are past that point of economic derivation, and we have moved into the realm of the political. McCain's gestures during the debate showed to me that I was watching a man who just spent 3 very difficult days trying to pull his party together to solve this issue effectively, whereas Obama (he of the massive campaign contributions from Fannie Mae) has rested on his laurels as Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer ("we have no problems with these firms") castigated Republican opponents who refused to support a bill that undermines free enterprise and responsible financial behavior.
I agree the debate, in general, was a draw. Obama is a much better speaker, and is very good at getting his points across. McCain, however, is clearly more experienced and nuanced and proved he KNOWS how the levers of Washington work while Obama still does not.
If forced to name a winner, I'd opt for McCain, but only JUST. The reason why? His words are the ones that have stuck with me - the points on Obama's clear naivete, his dangerous commmentary on what he would do with Pakistan. Whereas Obama's complacency showed an out of his depth naif in awe of an experienced veteran of war and politics. By being aloof, Obama could do no worse than a draw - taking McCain on directly would have allowed a serious wound to the Obama candidacy.
All very nicely put. The funny thing about Obama getting a little flustered at times was that we originally heard "making McCain lose his temper" was supposed to be one of his battle ploys. So much for that idea.
On the subject, did anyone notice McCain's voice getting a little throatier and huskier when talking about fallen soldiers, like during the bracelet moment? If I were Team Obama, I'd steer well clear of that subject in the future. Five more minutes of that and he'd have the house in tears.
Also, I just read that the ratings didn't break any records, but I guess that's not surprising, the populace having been bombarded with election stuff for a year. Plus, it was on a Friday night. Three of my neighbors said they wanted to watch it but had plans. The Palin-Biden debate is next Thursday, so that might make a big difference in the ratings.
Candidate debates aren't about "winning." They are designed to inform voters - and they can do that.
But naturally, in America, we want them to be American Idol. Only Reagan could do that.
Re: 'American Idol', here's Exhibit A.
Note both the title of the article and the on-screen text.
In regards to learning about the candidates, I have to admit that I saw more of Candidate Obama last night than the rest of the season combined, and while I wasn't impressed, I wasn't disimpressed, either. He certainly didn't come across as some peacenik when talking about using the military if we have to, not to mention nailing Osama bin Laden's ass. I thought that was a great moment, but -- naturally -- no one mentioned it this morning. The Righties don't want to show him being strong militarily and the Lefties don't want to mention the military at all.
BTW, if anyone thinks Palin is going to dazzle the crowd and walk all over Biden next Thursday, they've got another thunk coming. If all you've seen of Biden is quick videos or TV talk shows, wait'll you see him in action. Talk about presidential-looking and sounding. When Biden's banging on all cylinders, he's almost mesmerizing. Should be quite a show.
I'm a Canadian with no dog in this fight, but I think McCain clearly won, and I taught Social Studies Debates and Acting
Fundamentals both after I got out of Stanford. It seems to me, you have a hyped radical left man , Obama, who the MSM refuses to vett. He was a long term friend and associate of an unrepentent terrorist named Bill Ayers, attended for 20 years an anti-American church with a preference for the Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, played Chicago style politics with Daley and a convicted felon named Rezko, was backed at University by strange Pro-Islam people with names like Khalid, actively supported a Marxist radical cousin in Kenya named Odinga, whose forces burned down Christians in their churches and who made a deal with the Muslims to set up Sharia Law, who fasted on Sundays, self-admittedly, while at Columbia, whose father and step-father both were Muslim and whose mother and father were radical socialists, whose admitted mentor was a card carrying Communist operative in the unions named Frank Davis, and whose tactics in community organizing and now campaigning were taught by his Chicago mentor Alinsky, self proclaimed revolutionary who dedicated his book to Lucifer, who travelled to Pakistan when he was a student at Columbia when Americans were advised to stay away during the Iranian hostage matter - need I say anymore? I could go on if you liked, BUT HAVE AMERICANS LOST THEIR BLOODY MINDS? You have a War hero in McCain who everyone can both know and trust and you are as a people so deluded as to take a chance on the above man being an idealist when you know in fact nothing about him because he was never vetted? Time for a Reality Check! A friggin wake up call!!! May God have mercy on the world!!!
Ernie ... if you have read Maggiesfarm at all, you know that at least some Americans have not lost their minds, bloody or not. Most regular posters here, as well as our host "Maggies", are unimpressed by Obama, to say the least. McCain is a patently honest, patriotic, intelligent, brave, loyal hero, and we all know it. He has been treated shabbily by our mainstream media, who long ago abandoned the principles of honest journalism and became Joseph Goebbels clones, ready to kiss the feet of any bloviating politician who lies to them. As someone who made her living, all during her working life, as a writer and editor, I'd be disgusted to have to associate with them.
Obama is an empty vessel. McCain, with whom I don't always agree, is an honest man. Guess who I pick as my President.
By the way, Ernie. Are you by chance a lawyer? Your 4th sentence above is the longest one I've seen outside a legal brief.
I've been following this stuff a while. I saw Harry Truman on TV in 1949. I watched the Nixon-Kennedy debate live. Kinda my soap opera. Quick - who was Eisenhower's Attorney General? Secretary of Agriculture? (Brownell, Benson).
The pundits' and political junkies' analysis of the debate don't often bear much relationship to the actual effect on the voters - the 90%+ of the people who don't pay that much attention to politics. So, I talk to neighbors and waitresses and my barber (a very nice lady from Caracas) to gauge the actual impact on those who are likely to vote. I have been doing this for a number of years. Ever since I realized that my own analysis was flawed by familiarity.
In the words of Osama bin Laden, the people choose the strong horse. Particularly in troubled times. It will take about a week to confirm my suspicions about this debate - I generally tip about 40% and never reveal my own leanings so folks tend to be candid. My initial take is that McCain blew away Obama.
The clear and omnipresent post-WWII trend is: America loves divided government.
What the 'debates' did was solidify the growing percentage that will not show up at the polls come November. Americans want do-nothing government as that is the surest way to make sure it doesn't grab for more power. 'Reaching across the aisle' and 'working with the other side' are losers, pure and simple, after the 1960's and definitely by the 1970's.
To be a 'maverick' or to have 'hope and change' one would have to decry any bailout, decry the illness of thinking we can regulate our way to happiness or fiscal solvency and say they will work hard to dismantle non-functioning parts of government serving as conduits for the public's money in pursuit of political goals. Neither said that. Neither want it. Neither believe in that.
As Jonah Goldberg said, 'we are all fascists now'... and that is not a good thing when you see where fascism has traditionally ended up. Government believing it can mandate markets, mandate equality and mandate low cost 'affordable' homes ends up with a huge price tag in liberty and freedom attached to it. One President saw what happened the last time this sort of thing was proposed to continue and stopped it. When the Federal Reserve, SEC, Fannie and Freddie and a whole host of other government bodies get a regular and necessary renewal via law, then I will start to think things are changing. Neither of these candidates has the wit, wisdom or insight to see that as necessary.
I will vote for Gridlock.
I thought Obama got visibly flustered -- you could hear his voice rise. And the bracelet moment, well, even I was embarrassed for him (turns out the soldier's family has repeatedly asked Obama not to wear it or use their son as a campaign plank, to little avail). However. Recall that after every Kerry-Bush debate, the media trumpeted how Kerry had won, and published all kinds of polls showing the same, yet Kerry lost the election. Here's another example. Perhaps one of the most memorable lines from a debate in the last fifty years was from Lloyd Bentsen (Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy), yet Reagan and Quayle slaughtered Dukakis and Bentsen.
I don't think debates matter much.