Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Final Debate of the Season

The end of the Presidential Debate Season could not come soon enough.

For me these nights are all consuming. I usually go to the gym before the debate and watch the pre-game on the treadmill. Then I get home and watch the debate in it's entirety, taking copious notes for the next days blog. At the end of the debate my phone starts to ring like crazy with people looking for someone to vent with. After going through a load of text messages from the people I couldn't talk to I then get to watch furiously swithc between networks to get as much of the pundits feedback that I can get.

For this debate I have to say that what I saw did not match what I heard after the debate.

I thought McCain won the debate pretty clearly and would easily be declared the winner by the post debate pundits, polls, and the articles the next morning.

He was more aggressive than Obama and as an old political operative who has been angered by the attacks of the McCain campaign I wanted to see Obama go after him. I wanted to see Obama really take the fight to McCain and deliver a knockout blow.

I didn't think playing the 'cool guy' was going to get him another win as it did the first two debates.

It appears that once again I wanted to hear something different than many people out there.

The polls on all the networks gave Obama overwhelming victories in polls of uncommitted voters.

Even Fox News' poll gave Obama the win.

These results just go to show that the 'independant' and 'fed up with politics' voter are not looking for the bloodsport that people like me sometimes want.

In flipping through the channels I heard uber-conservative commentator Charles Krauthamer of Fox News said that Obama's temperament gave him the win for the night. Krauthammer made a pretty profound statement when he said.

He's a man of remarkable self containment... It's that discipline and self containment which I think is his greatest asset and he deployed it remarkably.

This years electorate is just different than 2000 and 2004 and I think that is why we are seeing the state polls .

I have to say that up to this point Barack Obama has really tapped into what the electorate wants and is looking for in its next President. The lessons of 2008 are to exude the three C's, cool, calm, and confidence and Barack Obama has done this at every turn of this campaign.

During the 270 minutes of debates between the two Barack Obama never let the attacks of John McCain get to him. He didn't cut off McCain, roll his eyes, even his raise his voice.

He stayed on his message and effectively counter jabbed. That's right, his comebacks weren't really punches, they were more jabs which seemed to stun McCain through every debate.

The problem with McCains attacks last night and throughout the debates and the campaign was that they have had little to no focus. He has tried the 'kitchen sink' strategy of throwing everything at Obama.

Obama's cool, measured responses to the slew of attacks has made each of the attacks look smaller than they already were and in the end it is exactly why he is winning this race right now.


Have to give a big thumbs up to CBS's Bob Schieffer. After utterly lackluster jobs of moderating these debates by Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, and Tom Brokaw Schieffer asked questions that made the candidates have to think.

There weren't softball questions for either and I think that his questions and moderating made this debate far more interesting than the previous two.


Can't wait to see what Saturday Night Live does with this gem.

Also, I would encourage everyone to be patient on this 'heartwarming' story that McCain decided to base the entire debate on.

Much like the McCain camp did with the selection of Sarah Palin, the vetting on Joe Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber) was not very good.

I am interested to see the real story on Joe the Plumber come to light. There are many entertaining rumors about old Joe that are out there.

As we've seen with Governor Palin,, sometimes it's better to do your homework on a person, before basing your campaign on it.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I spent most of the debate screaming at Obama trying to get him to toughen up. So I'm in the 17 People camp in that I wanted something from him he didn't give us.

In keeping with the theme, I was Toby Zigler before Barlett's last debate. Obama came out as Professor Friendly again and let pitches he could have hit out of the park sail by him.

I do wonder if Obama is in a weird position, however. I don't know if you've heard, but he's a black guy. I expressed my desire for Obama to do some punching to a couple of black friends and they looked at me like I was crazy.

"A young black man can't get angry on tv, even if it is completely reasonable, and expect to win. The minute he gets mad he's just another angry nigger to a whole lot of America and that loses him votes. Instead he comes off as calm, intelligent, and so well spoken and white people like him."

They are, of course, in a better position to have an opinion on that than me, but it still sorta makes me sad.