Friday, September 26, 2008

The McCain-Obama Debate

Well how about that?

UPDATE: Spencerblog's scorecard: Obama did fine but McCain won on points. McCain obviously has a better and deeper grasp on foreign policy and world events. But Obama hung in there and never got knocked out. He did fine early. Then McCain nailed him on his having not been to Iraq until very late in the game and never having gone to Afghanistan and refusing to acknowledge that the surge in Iraq actually worked.

All that said, Obama was credible, smooth and agreed with McCain where he should have agreed with him. Disagreed where his own supporters would have disagreed and gave the undecideds no reason to think he would be a complete screwball as president.

McCain reminded those same undecideds that experience and knowledge matters. On foreign policy, McCain has and maintained his edge on Obama.

6 Comments:

Blogger whynotus said...

O was more presidential. McCain was a grumpy old man.

I lost count, but how many times did McCain reference or alude to his being a POW? I do not see what that has to do wiht anything, but I guess Johnny Mac and his supporters do. I am waiting to hear that his war injuries preclude him from looking side to side as an excuse that he would not even look at Obama.

All of that aside, on balance, for substance, they both presented their points and stayed on message (of course I agree wiht Obama's ideas more than I do McCain's).

For style and demeanor and grace under pressure, Obama hit it out of the park.

September 26, 2008 at 11:34 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 27, 2008 at 12:08 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

I think both candidates did a good job, although it would have been great to have factcheck.org there to call each candidate on the carpet when they accused the other of misrepresentation. I did like Obamas claim that McCain acts as though the war stated just a few years ago, after the surge, and that the truth is that McCain said we would find WMD's, it would be over quickly, and that we would be greeted as liberators. McCain would like to make the point that Obama was wrong on the surge, but the bigger picture is the entire war, and on that issue, Obama has shown better judgement. All in all, I doubt if any minds were changed by the debate. Thursday might be a different story.

September 27, 2008 at 7:08 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

Factcheck.org looks at the debate:

Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.
Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.
McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.
McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.
Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.
McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.
Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.


McCain misrepresented Obama's plan by claiming he'd be "handing the health care system over to the federal government." Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.


McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.

September 27, 2008 at 7:32 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

After reading this, I guess I can't call McCain a Washington insider anymore:

Of the 100 senators in D.C., John McCain is the lone claimant to the title of “worst attendance.” Of 643 issues that have reached the Senate floor, the Arizona Senator and GOP presidential hopeful has cast votes on just 231 of them. All together, that amounts to a 45.9% job performance.

Now, let’s not be unfair. Running for president is extremely time consuming, and Senators who’ve taken up the task have never been expected to maintain an impeccable attendance record. Barack Obama ranks third on the worst attendance list, although his attendance is a full 15 points higher than McCain’s. At least Obama can honestly claim that he’s been there for more than half of scheduled floor votes.

But look back to the 109th Congress, when no one could claim that their visits to Capitol Hill were limited by a national campaign. Barack Obama missed just 11 votes out of 645 for the two-year period. That’s a 98.3% record, putting him among the most frequent Senators in attendance. But McCain was still near the bottom of the list, missing 9% of his total votes- that was the fifth worst.

In fact, McCain has been in the bottom ten in attendance in four of the last five sessions of Congress going back 10 years: the 110th (worst), the 109th (5th worst), the 107th (10th worst), and the 106th (worst).

September 28, 2008 at 10:08 AM 
Anonymous randal said...

Obama’s shortcomings are not merely “perception gaps” as his dishonest supporters try to spin.
And let us not forget Obama’s entire 143 days of experience with a similar number of “present” votes.

In all honesty, I think Osama did better talking off the cuff than most people expected. He was sharp and debated better than McCain. But his lack of depth, experience and substance really started to show through as he got frustrated and he had to resort to barking worn platitudes from the campaign trail as he lashed out.

Some talking head this week pointed out that Obama is “a mile wide but only an inch deep”. It showed tonight. I’d say, it doesn’t matter how polished a stone is if underneath it’s still just a common rock.

Gotta give this one to McCain. He was smarter and more knowledgeable. His experience showed. And he has the credentials to back what he says. He looked more presidential than Obama. It takes more than a nice suit. “Historic” election be damned, we need the better guy in that office. The presidency is no place for a Affirmative Action.

September 28, 2008 at 1:04 PM 

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