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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Obama - McCain Debate Last Night: Who Won?

Despite Barack Obama's seedy ties and lack of experience, the man is a fantastic orator. He is smooth as silk, silver tongued, and projects a somewhat cocky confidence which is, undoubtedly, how he's earned his screaming legions of groupies who confess breathlessly that he is as sexy as a rock star.

Bland little John McCain blinked repeatedly, reminding me of a nervous lizard on a hot rock. He moved stiffly, and his hand movements were jerky. His body language was markedly different from Obama's.

So from a purely physical standpoint, Obama's body language reigned supreme.

And in these days of American Idol and America's Got Talent, substance is no longer important and performance is king. So, from that standpoint, Obama was clearly the winner.

Perhaps I am being unfair to our modern society. I remember that Bill Clinton was also proclaimed to be beyond sexy. Does anyone remember Dreams of Bill (1994)? It was a nauseating compilation of women's dreams and (urk!) sexual fantasies about a man that always reminded me of W.C. Fields with a bad accent.

Anyway, if everything Obama said was true, and everything he promised would be guaranteed under his Presidency, then we would have a fine President indeed and I would vote for him gladly. Sadly, Obama's record speaks differently.

In facts and talking points, I believe that McCain held his own and even exceeded Obama at times. From years of experience both in an outside the political arena, I have to say that McCain's ideas were superior, and his facts better. However, neither side was infallible and there were mistakes and distortions made. This seems to be the norm in political debating today, and I find it very distressful.

I have not been particularly impressed with either candidate, and this debate didn't help.

I call it a tie.

25 comments:

mckay said...

i used to feel the same way about McCain's stiff body movements, until i learned both his arms were broken and not repaired properly while he was a prisoner of war. i'm sure all the torture to which he was subjected reeked more havoc on his body than i can imagine.

personally, i care more about what the new president will do in office than how smooth he glides. let's leave that to the snakes.

Saur♥Kraut said...

McKay, I certainly agree that McCain is preferable. And there's no doubt that he's elderly and has war wounds. I'm not making fun of him - I'm just stating the facts. And the facts are that he doesn't have the animal charisma that Obama has.

Where McCain excels is in his experience, ideas, and policy.

To be fair, I must add that McCain still doesn't impress me all that much. He just impresses me more.

Uncle Joe said...

leave gliding to the snakes.
I love it!
Obama is well aware he's got the glide down and he makes it work for him.

There must be something wrong with me.
After last nights debate? Obama almost sounded believable.

One thing struck me funny. A few of the commentators said that McCain showed "disdain" for Obama when he said "That One".
We're so damn politically correct that disdain is a no no.
I'll have to look that word up and make sure it doesn't mean "I want to kick your a**"

Uncle Joe said...

btw,
I know what disdain means.

Ed Abbey said...

Once again, I was left with very little substance to go on after watching the debates. I've grown tired of listening to the bickering, finger pointing, chest thumping and not hearing any details on what actually they will have to do to achieve what they promise. Although I feel Obama one simply for how he presented his side (still with no substance) I would declare the debate a tie specifically because they both lacked substance.

I also felt the townhall debate was a joke and was no different than the previous debate. A true townhall debate would have let the questioners ask followups and nail politicians to the wall. With no rules to that effect, getting them to answer a question with specifics is like trying to fish that last cheerio from the side of your morning cereal bowl, damn near impossible.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, Great comments, and I agree with them all.

Ed, BRILLIANT!

undergroundlogician said...

Just once, I'd like to see a real debate, not the multiple 30 second to 60 second campaign snippets.

Maybe not in this round of elections, but when Sara Palin runs for president, then maybe we'll if anyone has the brass ones to face her.

Oh, did any of you know that Sara Palin is going to do a spoof on Tina Fey doing Sara Palin? It's either going to be a commercial or it will be on SNL. Wait for the details...

Dr. Ethiopia said...

It has come to this. Obama is showing what we need in a president in this historical time in the world. Leadership and the ability to be the pack-leader. Republicans are finally going to their dispecable proven-and-failed Karl Rove tactics. Attack, attack, attack, and make up some more lies, that is irrelevant to the voters.

The Doozie said...

We should vote for the ugly guy. The hot one might be distracted by interns at the White House ;)

I didn't know about McCains arms being broken, however I did know that his head was severed and instead of putting it on ice in order to re-attach it, they left it festering in the hot afternoon sun, and some of it rotted.

It's all good now.

I agree with Ed, on a serious note...there is very little substance to go on anymore. I mean really...after all of these years, isn't it the same old stuff? They need some new material to make promises about.

I for one would like to hear a politician make a promise to bring back the cotton candy flavor ice cream at baskin robbins. That is something the Americans could really appreciate.

Scott said...

I too was very dissapointed in the debate. There is no actual debating that occurs, just the chance for people to reiterate their prefabricated talking points.

You are right though, Obama sure can speek. My Uncle saw Reagen give a speech way back and could not believe what a great orator he was in his younger days. It really does matter.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dr. Ethiopia, I don't believe you exist.

UL, Agreed. And I heard that about Palin/Fay. Should be interesting! It's a smart move on Palin's part.

Doozie, you always make me chuckle when you go off the deep end.

Scott, I agree completely with you. And Reagan was an amazing orator - no doubt his charisma was the deciding factor. One comeback that was so memorable was when Mondale was debating him and made a snide reference to his age. Reagan said (I'm paraphrasing here) "I will not hold my opponent's youth and inexperience against him."

No one's ever used the old-fogey-trick again.

Jungle Mom said...

I think we may have discovered the cure for insomnia last night. However, due to the poor presentation, one is left to focus on the facts, and as you said, McCain has the record, Obama does not.

undergroundlogician said...

Dr. Ethiopia:

Wha? Obama doesn't attack? Are you blind, deaf and dumb? Is someone typing your comments for you as you do sign language for them? Man oh man!

Obama is for change, right? I have seen NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE in Obama's platform from previous platforms of the Democratic Party in past elections. The same ol' liberal pablum puking diatribe. The only difference, if you call it change is, that He is THE ONE! There is evangelical fervor over this man. That isn't real change other than a change in rhetoric.

Come on, Doc, come clean...who are you, really?

daveawayfromhome said...

What might be different about Obama's platform from the Democratic norm is if he actually followed it, rather than buckling to the GOP and continuing the enabling of the Bush Administration. That would be a change.

The Lazy Iguana said...

UL - McCain has been the clear leader in the attack ad front. In fact, Obama has been criticized for NOT attacking more. And not just during the general election, the same was said in the primaries too.

I do not know what McCain stands for at this point. NOBODY DOES. For example:

He was a cheerleader for deregulation, today he claims he was always about regulation and oversight.

He claims to support the veterans, but he was against the new GI bill. There are other things too, for instance the friction he has got (and still gets) from various POW/MIA groups. You can Google this yourself, I found plenty of hits but to the people involved, this issue is very personal and as such a lot of it is very angry sounding. By the way, these same groups also hate Kerry. Many of the "Swift Boat vets" are in these groups. In the early 90s McCain and Kerry were both in a senate committee on POWs. The report that was issued said that there was no evidence there were any more American POWs alive in Vietnam. Many veterans groups disagreed. This report paved the way for normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

Now this may or may not be a fair charge, but like I said to a lot of people this is personal.

There is this article, written by a fellow Navy Academy and 8 year POW. It is an opinion article, but very well written and it flows without an angry sounding tone.

http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,164859_1,00.html.dk

And then there is McCain's legendary anger. Senator "Hot Head" he has been called. His reputation for going off the deep end goes way back to his Navy Academy (and before) days.

And his anger has not been pointed out only by Democrats, Senator Thad Cochran (R) Mississippi said of McCain "The thought of his (McCain) being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

Yet he says we need a "cool and steady hand on the tiller". From someone who dropped the "C" word - the most foul word in the English language - on his wife.

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html

Again, the neutrality of this could be argued. But this is not a stand alone thing, his tirades and calling opponents (on both sides) things like "shithead" (and worse) is well documented.

This is who we want in high level meetings with foreign heads of state? This is who we want representing the USA - as President - in tense negotiations could very well get heated? Someone who will call a foreign leader something nasty? That will go over well.

A cool and steady hand indeed.

By the way none of this is brought up by the Obama camp. If all you did was watch Obama ads, listen to Obama speeches at rallies, and watch the debates you would not know about any of this stuff. All this stuff is really old news.

But not older news than Obama's middle name - which introductory speakers at McCain/Palin rallies can not seem to say enough. As if someones middle name has any relevance to anything.

To me, there is less and less substance on the McCain ticket every day. You even have examples of McCain saying one thing, and Palin saying something else within hours or days of each other. Are they even communicating? It does not seem like it. Just about everything McCain says he supports now at one point he was against. Why do you think the "base" did not want him to win?

By the way, about "past associations" and your previous post. Some of McCain's past associations are starting to surface. Now I know what will he said about that, more "Obama attacks". But McCain brought it up. This is the beginning, I am sure more will turn up.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27092691#27092691

As it turns out, McCain has a link to the people who FOUNDED the group that Obama and Ayers were board members of! Who would have thought!

But this does not matter, right? Naaa of course not.

You can apply a very simple principle to anyone on the planet and link them to almost anyone else. Degrees of separation. By the time you are a mover and/or a shaker, you can be linked to a whole lot of people in one or two degrees.

And that is why the "paling around terrorists" statement was just absurd. A remark of desperation. Using that logic think about who can be linked to a "major threat to the USA".

Reagan sent Rumsfeld to "pal around" with Saddam Hussein in the 80s.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

So....Reagan supported "terrorism"? W supports terrorism because he made Rumsfeld Secretary Of Defense? And then all the Senators (including McCain) who supported Regan by association also supported Saddam? I mean, with all the paling around done with Saddam back then!

Come on. It is silly.

The Doozie said...

Yes indeed, I spend most of my time off the deep end, it seems to be pretty peaceful there?

Do you think Lazy Ig uses the "hunt and peck" typing method? I'm thinking if he does use that method, he is probably pecking away for a good 3 hours on these comments of his. We should probably warn him about carpal tunnel syndrome

daveawayfromhome said...

Damn Lazy, where you been? I've been drowning alone in the kool-aide here.

I'm not seeing much evidence that McCain won the debate. Even conservative pundits seem to be dismayed by his performance.
Somebody pointed out that McCain is in a bit of a catch-22: When he appeals to the base, he loses the independents, but when he reaches out to the independents, the base screams "my way or the highway!". He's trying to have it both ways, apparently not understanding that the base's time is during the primary, and after that you pander left-wards (or right-wards if you're a Democrat) again to bring in the rest of the voters.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, Kool-Aid? Et tu, Brute? I said it was a tie, and I certainly wasn't impressed with either one of them.

Doozie, Your claws are dripping, dear. ;o)

Lazy, I'm certainly no great fan of McCain, and I'm aware that he's a real jerk at times. There was a documented instance of his calling his wife an extremely nasty name and going off on her on the campaign trail.

I'm just saying he's BETTER than Obama. Not by much.

And as for McCain's associations, there is a difference between MEETING or even knowing a casual acquaintance, and having a social life with them. Remember that Obama didn't just sit on a board with Ayers - he knew him well before, and Ayers wife worked in the same company with Michelle. And Ayers has highly recommended Obama, which is akin to have Osama bin Laden recommend him, IMHO.

Everyone else, carry on, and thanks for getting involved. ;o)

daveawayfromhome said...

The kool-aide referense refers more to the previous post, which Lazy missed also, and yeah, for that one, kool-aide, definitely.

Conspiracy theories are fun, and one shouldnt discount the facts contained within them, but you run into danger when you start to base your actions on them (aside from, perhaps, the action of keeping a weather eye on the possibility).

Ayers, by the way, is not "unrepentant", he recanted and had turned himself in to Authorities, who apparently botched the case afterwards and so he walked. Has anyone connected to the atrocities of Latin America in the 80's done as much?

Norma said...

Obama's stuttering and stammering bothers me. When he's not on a teleprompter he makes Bush look good.

Pam said...

After all these years, I finally know who it is Clinton has reminded me of - W.C. Fields! You got it girl!

So true - the debate was awful!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Pam, Glad you stopped by! Yeah - the resemblance IS uncanny, isn't it? Of course Bill looks like W.C. Fields in his younger years, as Fields' nose got REALLY big in the older years.

Norma, Yeah - Obama isn't as polished as he should be, but that's merely due to inexperience. However, he's a quick learner and good at adapting.

Dave, You are aware, aren't you, that Ayers only turned himself in after years of running and hiding and after the charges were dropped? If that's 'repentance,' any crook would sign up for that gig.

I'm not seeing any conspiracies here, sorry. Just a collection of facts. And 2+2 still equals 4.

Hey, I'm just as disappointed as you are. And, apparently as others are. I had hoped for more. But I won't make more out of less.

daveawayfromhome said...

Since I generally respect your intellect, I'm going to take the attitude that your subconscious is forcing you to buy into this "association" thing because it's the only way to rationalize away your unhappiness in having to vote for McCain. If labelling Obama as the Doom of America is what it takes for you to touch the screen for McCain, well, I guess you'll just have to do that, then.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, With all due respect, I could say the same for you. I am so surprised that the facts in my last post have been justified by you. You usually face them, whether they're pretty or not.

daveawayfromhome said...

It's not the "facts" I argue with, but their signifigance. Bill Ayers is not a danger to America. Barack Obama is not a danger to America because of his "association" with him.
The Republican Party has been the dominant force in American politics for the last quarter century, and their policies have led us to the point we are at today. The best the Democrats have been able to do over the years is hold back the tide a bit. Now we reap the rewards of those policies.

You want the American economy to get better? Vote for a Democrat. The Republican party needs an overhaul. I dont dislike conservatives, and I frequently acknowledge the need for them and liberals to keep each other in check from abuses. You have to admit, though, that there are serious problems within the Republican Party (if Democrats are guilty of anything, it's of not fullfilling their role as The Opposition during the Bush Administration), and those problems are never going to get fixed until those in power lose that power.
Are you going to tell me that McCain is the best choice for president? Second best? Fifteenth?
If he's elected, do you really think that any problems within the Republican Party will get solved? Winners dont do internal change - losers do.