Open Thread: US Presidential Debate #1

John Dehlingeneral, politics 16 Comments

Apparently the debate will go forward, despite McCain’s earlier statement that he would be spending time working on the economy instead, and Obama rejoinder that he is capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time.

Let’s discuss the debate as it unfolds, who scores points, who is the ultimate winner and loser in this all important initial presidential debate.  Listen for points to be scored on:

  • Whose brand of patriotism is more patriotic?
  • Who stands for the changiest change?
  • Who has the brightest hope?
  • Who has the least disastrous plans for the US economy?
  • Who panders the most effectively to the blue-collar set?

Let the games begin.

Comments 16

  1. I just came here to say that the debate put me to sleep at an hour and 15 in. Bleh.

    They are both boring–and I care about the issues.

    Honestly though, I think McCain has a tougher sell on some issues with regard to the war but certainly was doing a decent job of making Obama seem a bit off his game. Not ignorant or even dumb, just off his game. It was a mistake for Obama to bring up Kissinger when McCain has known the man for so long. You don’t put words in the mouth of your opponent’s close friends. Chances are they know them better than you do.

  2. McCain was rather rude, never once turning to face Obama whilst Obama felt quite comfortable facing either Lehrer or McCain. McCain was rude in continuing to say the line that Obama just doesn’t understand, when afterwards, Obama would cite much showing he does undestand; he just doesn’t agree with McCain. McCain thinks that understanding = agreeing with John McCain.

    I think a lot will be made of these two points and eventually most will come to the conclusion that McCain didn’t do so well on the debate on his home turf, foreign policy.

  3. I think this debate was quite good and both McCain and Obama performed well. Since this area was supposed to be McCain’s forte and he didn’t KO Obama, I would give the win to Obama. Jim Lehrer was an excellent moderator.

  4. I thought both Obama and McCain held their own. Obama was more respectful and stayed on higher ground. McCain had some pre-rehearsed jokes that fell flat. He looked tired and older. Obama definately has more energy and vision. McCain may have really blown it at the end when they touched on alternative energy. McCain said “I’ve always voted for alternate energy”.

    It’s well known that in all his years he has never supported any energy form except oil. Perhaps it was a calculated mis-speak when he said ‘ alternate energy’ (as in alternate current electricity) as opposed to alternative energy 9solar, wind, etc)

    If he’s not familiar enough with the concepts to speak it…
    and he never voted for it in his entire career,
    then he lies and says he did….that might bite him in the behind.

    His record is pretty clear: more non-renewable polluting oil, and more wars.

  5. I thought both candidates were in better form than I have seen either of them before. I am and continue to be an Obama supporter, and I think he was more persuasive than McCain, but this may be because of my predisposition on the debate. I agree, though, that neither candidate landed any knock out punches.

  6. “Who panders the most effectively to the blue-collar set?”

    Not a loaded question? Just take the vote away from blue collar workers instead, fixes the problem, right?

    About this debate seems to me that McCain is OK for more war in Iraq and maybe expand it to Iran but he doesn’t want to touch Al-Qaeda at all in northern Pakistan, were there is no government. Seems that terrorism isn’t his main concern at all. And a ‘Republican Guard’ in Iran?, really? Seems senator McCain doesn’t know that much after all about foreign affairs nor does the other guy.

  7. CarlosJC – ““Who panders the most effectively to the blue-collar set?” Not a loaded question? Just take the vote away from blue collar workers instead, fixes the problem, right?” Regardless of one’s position (populist or not), both these candidates are trying their darnedest to show they have Wal-Mart appeal. Probably due to the economy.

  8. I thoughtful McCain was petty, condescending and repetitious as usual. I thought he looked mad at times and I was hoping he’s boil over so the American people could see him for the angry, petulant potty-mouth that he is. In spite of that fact that he “doesn’t like” to discuss his POW days, he brought it up yet again. I thought it interesting that McCain wouldn’t look or speak directly at Obama much, indicating a general lack of respect.

    BTW, having a lot of passport stamps doesn’t give a person good judgment, only frequent flyer miles! I thought Obama did OK, certainly held his own against the “foreign policy expert.”

    No knock outs or significant knockdowns.

  9. Oboma greatforsight

    “Two years ago, I warned that, because of the sub prime lending mess, because of the lax regulation, that we were potentially going to have a problem and tried to stop some of the abuses in mortgages that were taking place at the time”

  10. Jeff,

    Nice to see we agree on something! 🙂

    I can hardly wait for Thursday’s Biden/Palin debate! I wonder if this will be reminiscent of 88’s Bentsen/Quayle smack-down…

    Although, given Palin’s Couric interview, I think she makes Quayle look like a Rhodes scholar!

  11. Hi John,

    Yes, it should be interesting on Thursday to say the least. 🙂 I have a gig that night so I will have to record it. But I am so interested to see how Sarah does when she can’t repeat herself over and over again.

  12. Jeff,

    You ought to be careful there because if this ‘Sarah’ is as hopeless as the media says she is then people may just vote republican just to help the underdog (no pun intended!).

    She’s about ready now for the sympathy vote which all these media attacks may end up giving her.

  13. Just watched the recording.

    I agree McCain came off as petty and rude towards Obama. He also pulled out too many stock politician phrases and semantics. I would say he flexed the experience muscle on Obama by rather clearly demonstrating his knowledge of geography and individuals in leadership in various regions. Not that he proved Obama doesn’t have comparable knowledge, just that he showed it off for himself. McCain’s biggest loss in this debate was that although the primary topic was foreign affairs, the current financial crisis triggered an initial domestic focus… and McCain seemed to have nothing but either attacks on Obama or a repetition of the position that government spending is out of control. When he did try to go into any detail, he went deep into minutia that will not resonate with the undecided voters they are desperately seeking.

    Obama wasn’t as smooth as he normally sounds, but I had heard already that debate wasn’t his forte. I think McCain is uncomfortably stiff and awkward in his physicality, so a little roughness in Obama won’t stand out that much. I did get the impression that Obama was restraining himself to an extent to avoid over-reaching and possibly exposing his inexperience. That was probably a smart thing to do as it saved him from any major hits in this debate, and he is likely to destroy McCain in the other topics. McCain doesn’t seem to know how to talk to anyone but politicians, veterans, and active soldiers.

    At this point, winning the undecided voters is about making impressions on people. Its not like presenting a bill to congress. Obama’s charisma and McCain’s complete lack of it will probably play a big role in the end result.

    p.s. If I hear one more main street/wall street line I’m going to hurl.

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