What did you think of the debate?

I’ve got a lot of thoughts about it, but I’m typing this laboriously on my Treo while listening to a panel of readers discuss it.

When this discussion is over, I’m heading home to crash. I’ll comment tomorrow when my braincells return.

But I didn’t want to hold y’all up. Have at it.

(One quick thought — I don’t think that debate changed many minds…)

20 thoughts on “What did you think of the debate?

  1. Lee Muller

    McCain should have been more agressive, mentioning the Obama advisors who had to resign (how do we know the did?) because they supported Hamas and Hezbollah.
    McCain should have asked the questions Jim Lehrer is afraid to ask,
    “Mr. Obama, all your friends and advisors are terrorists, radical Muslims, and other haters of America. How do you plan to have any credibility with civilized nations?”

  2. wtf

    Looks like fanboy forgot his meds again.
    -Both sides didn’t really knock each other out directly but were laying the foundation for Episode II & Episode III to follow.
    -McCain looked a little more on track in the beginning with his answers and clearly making his points. Towards the end it looked like he was about to loose it and just errupt but got saved by the bell. He was clearly not a happy camper at the end of the debate.
    -Obama did a good job of not taking any bull**** lies from McCain and immediately correcting them to a point where McCain wouldn’t & couldn’t respond. Laid the quiet foundation that McCain is a liar with out having to say “you’re a liar”.
    -Both sides took a lot of swings and rambled on a bit. Opinions will vary on how many punches landed good blows.
    -Calling it a tie. more or less. no big zingers.
    -McCain clearly was supposed to have an advantage on the International/Security topic. He showed his experience.
    -If Obama was seen as being able to keep up and debate a 26 year veteran toe to toe and even factually correct him at times, it negates the “inexperience” mantra of the McCain attack.
    -Obama had to look Presidential and he did.
    -McCain had some weird body gestures and refused to address Obama directly and kept looking down at the podium & Jim Leher. Not a healthy sign. It’s either a sign of defeat or submission. Not good.
    Flag pins. Obama (1) McCain (0)
    -Since McCain is behind in the polls and sliding, a tie tonight is a net loss for him.
    Seeing how the best team McCain can hope for with the VP debate is another tie, McCain is in serious trouble.

  3. Political Kitty

    I watched the debate with my online PUMA (Party Unity My A**)community which hosted an open thread. We all thought McCain did very well. I was pleasantly surprised. I was dreading tonight and was resigned to a drudging, but thought Obama looked petulant and lost his cool. Of course, we all loved the shoutout to Hillary from JMac right off the top and the gaffe by Obama of not mentioning Sen. Kennedy. Didn’t like the format much or Jim Lehrer as moderator. He was like the kids on the playground who stand behind a kid egging him on to fight. I did not find it weird that JM wouldn’t engage that way. Found Obama uncomfortably vague when pressed for specifics. We signed off excited and hopeful.

  4. Norm

    I couldn’t help thinking that the “Audience Response” line at the bottom of the screen on CNN would have been more useful had it been a polygraph of each candidate while speaking.

  5. Ron Kelderman

    I think that this debate was pretty much a wash. Obama, did not explain why his health care plan will not cover 15 million adults.
    Both men got a lot of their facts wrong. And McCain could have won this debate if he would have told everyone, that he does not agree with bush on giving away 700 billion dollars of the tax payers money for this bail out. And that Obama is voting in favor of this bail out.
    Now, you decide! Are you going to vote for a man that sometimes get his facts wrong while speeking in public, but puts his campiagn on hold to go to Washington to do his job and try his best to keep the out of control government from taking more money out of your pocket. Or, are you going to vote for a man that wants to see this country have the kind of change that he wants. Just keep this in mind. While Obama was sitting in a hotel room prepairing for the debate, John McCain was busy doing his job. Obamas’ call me if you need me additude does not impress me that he can be a leader. For me it has been a toss up. I would have liked to vote for the first black President of The United States. But I have come to see that I must vote for a man with a Military back ground that knows the danger this country is facing. I guess what I am trying to say is that voting for a Harvard Law student isn’t going to out smart the terrorist, know matter how good of a speaker he is.

  6. Rich Lussier

    McCain’s body language, his scowling, and his evident contempt for Obama all made clear that he doesn’t think he should have to deal with this guy and doesn’t consider him his equal. Once again, he harped on his experience, but managed to say some awfully stupid things in public–such as the idea that Pakistan is a failed state (it is a weak state, but by no means “failed;” an example of that would be Somalia or Cote d’Ivoire. If I were Pakistani, I’d be asking some serious questions about McCain’s commitment to my country’s evolving democratic institutions. Within the last few months, that has been the really positive story coming out Pakistan.
    Then there’s McCain’s suggestion that reducing earmarks (not to mention his suggestion that we should reduce corporate taxes when loopholes, as Obama noted, make them the lowest effective tax rates in the world) would somehow improve the federal budget situation. 18b in earmarks is a drop in the bucket!
    Republicans cut taxes while dramatically increasing spending over the last eight years. We have a federal deficit of $200-400b a year to prove it. We’re like a family that cuts income and increases spending. What’s going to happen? The family is going to go backrupt when credit eventually dries up to cover the deficit spending!
    Cutting back earmarks is not going to do it. Since we cannot cut social security (about 32%), we must cut the military and severely curtail our imperial ambitions around the world.
    Obama did deal with these issues in the debate, but he’s much too pleasant, too professorial, and simply too intellectual in his approach to these debates. The American people want dramatic moments in the debates, and with all that’s going on in the country, Obama could have delivered some serious blows to McCain over the endless war in Iraq and the spend-spend-spend Republicans!
    Also, I still think a lot of this comes down to race. We still have a plurality of voters who would never vote for a you-know-what for the White House. They are too busy nursing their grievances and clutching their bibles and their guns–holding onto a worldview that is bankrupting them and their country.
    McCain means at least four more years of INCOMPETENT Republican government; Obama at least offers us the hope that we will look before we leap (he does not shoot from the hip like McCain) and begin to heal this nation’s wounds.
    As Reagan once asked, “are you better off now than you were eight years ago?” Vote accordingly.
    P.S., Lee Muller and some of the people who agree with him on this blog need to sit down and take their Ritalin.

  7. david

    Disappointing. Disingenuous.
    Neither candidate forthright enough to tell Americans the truth, which is that we cannot afford to meet the financial promises we’ve already made and that we must stop looking to government for increasing support, further handouts and more freebies.
    Neither courageous enough to promise to lead with necessary government cutbacks to present support, handouts and freebies.
    Both trying desperately to avoid losing rather than being bold and leading out…playing loose and big.
    Weak performances by an old man and a poser.
    Disappointing indeed.

  8. h

    @Lee: mcsame fanboi strikes again, yet adding no substance.
    I am so happy, that after 8 years, we finally had a presidential debate between TWO intelligent people!

  9. Lee Muller

    Obama fans avoid the plague of Obama’s entourage of socialists, communists, terrorists and radical Muslims. His loyalty to America is very much in question.

  10. Phillip

    Tim, that’s great, and I’m happy for you. You should vote for McCain then. But if we have do have a national referendum strictly on the question Rich posed, Obama wins. Also, there is the question of looking beyond one’s own personal circumstances towards what is best for the greater number of Americans, and for the nation in general. Country first, I believe the expression goes.
    But on the debate, I agree with “h” about “two intelligent people.” I thought they both did pretty well and the debate focused mostly on the issues. Also agree, surprisingly, with David, about a less-than-100% forthrightness from both, especially in their early non-answers about the bailout package and also Obama’s dancing around what he would have to eliminate because of the budgetary burden the next Prez will face. And I do feel that Obama missed a number of opportunities to more pointedly link McCain to the general anti-regulation, unrestrained-free-market-worship policies that have gotten us into this current mess, early on in the economic part of the debate. Also, I don’t know why Obama did not criticize McCain for his erratic and pointless showboating in the days leading up to the debate.
    McCain argued well about the success of the surge, and I think scored by pointing out that the next Prez faces Iraq as it is, not as it was pre-invasion. However, Obama made the necessary link that McCain’s signing-on to bad judgement in advocating the war in the first place shows that he might show bad judgement in the future by being too quickly predisposed towards impulsive and ill-advised military ventures.
    The whole “talking with Ahmedinejad” argument is ridiculous linguistic nitpicking. What the debate showed me last night, with McCain unable to face Obama, McCain clearly squirming, Obama unafraid to look right at McCain, is that McCain doesn’t have enough confidence in himself to sit in a room with somebody like Ahmedinejad or Chavez. Obama, by contrast, is clearly unafraid of anybody or anything. He’s not afraid to talk to anybody, no matter how nasty a dictator. This guy is totally Presidential, and inspires confidence.
    Amplifying what Rich said, it was also clearly a class act for Barack and Michelle Obama to be the ones, post-debate, to traverse the entire width of the stage to reach out to shake hands with Cindy and John McCain.
    Was glad to hear McCain reiterate his opposition to torture. Anybody catch him saying that we’ll “never again” torture? I thought Bush had said we don’t do torture. Oops.
    Overall, this being the foreign policy debate, Obama’s unruffled demeanor and more-or-less holding his own meant that McCain’s biggest chance to score in the debates has come and gone.

  11. Phillip

    I forgot to give props to John McCain for a great little jujitsu move he pulled late in the debate…somewhere in the argument about the surge McCain flipped the tables on Obama and linked what McCain termed Obama’s “inflexibility” on the surge and Iraq to the inflexibility of the Bush Administration. Obama smiled I think in part in admiration for that deft little maneuver by McCain. Takes cojones but made McCain’s point well.

  12. Lee Muller

    Anyone who makes up their mind based on a debate or all the debates is being pretty shallow.
    The real meat is the character issue, which you have to research. Just as many people figured out before the 1992 election that Bill Clinton was a slimy crook, those who research Obama with an open mind will find his entire life associating with criminals, terrorists, socialist, communists and radical Muslims who hate whites and Jews.

  13. Randy E

    Political Kitty, I am baffled by your reasoning. If you truely believe in the principles Hillary claims to champion, then your willingness to support McCain amounts to little more than petty vindictiveness.
    A vote for Palin is a vote against Hillary. The political expediency involved in choosing Palin diminishes and demeans the efforts and sacrifice of HRC. Electing Palin would continue the catastrophic policies of the past 7 1/2 years that Hillary and every single PUMA supporter should abhor.

  14. Lee Muller

    Ralph, how do you feel about Obama’s history of anti-Jewish rhetoric? Why does he get a pass for being such a racial bigot?

  15. Tim

    Phillip, what really ticks me off to no end is the mentality that my success depends on who is or isn’t in office in the first place. I somewhat resent the notion that I should vote for John McCain because I have worked hard and I have been successful. My success isn’t because of George Bush or a Republican Congress, and my success won’t be because of Obama or a Democratic Congress. My success comes from MY hard work. So I categorically reject the notion from you or anyone else that I should vote for a certain party because I’m in a different position than I was 8 years ago. That’s one of the main differences between libs and conservatives. We conservatives don’t rely on a nanny state to take care of us. We do it ourselves.

  16. Phillip

    Tim, you took my reasoning backwards. It’s not who is in office that determined your success (though you were the one who made the implied link, since your comment about being better off was offered as a refutation to Rich’s point).
    The point is that many who attain success tend to forget those who have not, or to attribute it to moral failings of those individuals. And typical of a conservative, you speak of a nanny state, to throw the debate into the realm extremism.
    It’s not about a nanny state, but of things like public education, public transportation, health care, basic services that allow individuals regardless of the socio-economic status they are born into or find themselves in, to pursue the same self-generated paths toward success that you appear to have done.
    But many conservatives, having attained financial success, adopt the anti-tax “if I don’t use it why should I help pay for it” attitude, which would be fine if we all lived in a vacuum.
    But if you ever attended a public school, drove on an interstate highway, flown on an airplane after having been screened by TSA, been protected by police, etc., then at least part of your success has been made possible by the society, by taxes, by government.
    When the anti-government ideology becomes dominant, we see what happens. Government is not some other thing. Government is us.

  17. Lee Muller

    No one has a RIGHT to material wealth earned by others. If those who create wealth decide to hand out some charity to them, that is fine, but they don’t OWE it to them, because that makes the worker a slave to the indolent members of society.
    And I am tired of the big-government supporters who dismiss any criticism of spending as “opposing all taxes”. They just don’t want face the failures of their programs, the waste, fraud and corruption which STEALS most of our tax money.
    In 2007, 31% of Medicare was stolen.
    In 2007, 95% of the tobacco settlement money in SC was diverted to non-health spending.
    So don’t ask me to pay more taxes while you are stealing 30 to 90% of it from its intended use.

  18. Lee Muller

    Tim, your success may be due mostly to your efforts, without much help from Republicans, but an authoritarian socialist like Obama can take it all away in a minute, because his ilk don’t like hard work by the individual.

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