The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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The Morning After – The Presidential Debate

Posted by ALmod on September 27, 2008 has it’s first installment of their take on the debate, so I see no need to repeat any of it.  It looks like they caught the same things I did plus a few more.  I can’t think of anything else that caught my eye.

By the way, here’s a transcript of the debate, in case you missed it.  And here’s the CBS poll that was taken afterward.

My own thoughts the morning after?  I’m still in shock for the most part.  McCain’s noted strength is in foreign policy and defense, and I fully expected him to excel in his answers on those subjects.  He did have a few good moments, but it wasn’t the spectacular performance I was expecting.  At some points, he seemed unprepared.  It just seemed out of character.

At the same time, Obama didn’t necessarily deliver a spectacular performance in these areas, but he didn’t flop, either.  I was fully expecting a flop, but he seemed to at the very least hold his own against McCain.  He definitely dominated on the subject of the economy, but that was what was expected.  He’s no Ron Paul, but he does at least have a good grasp of how a lot of things work.  McCain has admitted on several occasions that he’s pretty uninformed when it comes to economics.

Neither candidate has ever fared very well in debate.  Both have improved a great deal.  There was noticeably less stumbling on the part of McCain, though he still seemed to have problems selling his own talking points.  Obama had the biggest noticeable improvement.  I immediately picked up on the lack of “um” and “uh”– an Obama trademark.  And he spoke directly to the camera, as if speaking to the American people– a Clinton trademark.  If you were watching the debates to study mannerisms, then I’d say that Obama definitely looked and felt more presidential.  I could picture him addressing the U.S. from the Oval Office.

My biggest beef with both of them was the question about what each of them would cut if elected president.  Neither candidate addressed this question to my satisfaction, although I did think Obama got a bit of a one up on McCain by saying that he’s trying to use a hatchet when you need a scalpel.

All in all, I declare Jim Lehrer the winner of this debate.


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