1st Presidential Debate – my perspective

I’d give the edge to Obama (50.1 – 49.9)…mainly due to style.

Obama seemed to be a little out of his element when talking budget. He seemed to want us to buy the notion that we can cut spending by not cutting a single program…I guess I’m still confused.

Both presented their points like Presidents…Obama was willing to say over and over “when I’m President” McCain did not do so. But Obama while seemed presidential did not seem to have any depth of the information.

I think that Obama got a schooling when it came to how government works…he seems to not understand the intricacy of the office of the President and McCain did a good job of pointing that out time and again.

Obama was willing to use the format of talking toward McCain and McCain did not meet his gaze once…McCain talked to the audience and the moderator and did not talk to Obama…I think that was a mistake the format offered it and since McCain was schooling him on the operation of the government it would have scored higher marks if those jabs would have been directed toward Obama not about him.

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2 comments so far

  1. angelMt on

    What bothered me is the fact that every time Obama addressed McCain he called him John.
    Every time McCain addressed Obama he called him senator.

    The actual debate, I think McCain is slightly ahead. Obama stuttered too much and immediately started laying blame instead of talking about his plans.
    McCain was calm and measured his responses.

  2. William Tucker on

    Since my area of expertise is in terrorism and geopolitical issues I found this debate mainly focused on issues that are not really issues.

    First, increasing troops in Afghanistan won’t make a difference since the majority of the problem resides in Pakistan. Nor will the killing of bin Laden or all of the al-Qaeda leadership make a dent in the problem. All major terrorist groups are state sponsored and without this issue being tackled terrorism will continue in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Second, Senator Obama claiming that he warned the White House that Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia and Ossetia was a bad idea is laughable. Senator McCain not beating him over the head for that remark is inexcusable. Russian and Georgian peacekeepers have been in both regions since the early 90’s following a framework that both nations agreed to.

    Third, and this one chaps my ass more than most, is the claim that al-Qaeda was not in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. The group Ansar al-Islam was founded in November 2001 with the backing and financial support of bin Laden. The group threw their support to al-Qaeda as did several others such as the GSPC in Algeria, Fath al-Islam in Lebanon, the Haqqani clan in Pakistan, and al-Sahab in Somalia. Once the U.S. invaded Afghanistan bin Laden needed to move assets and influence around the globe to survive, this should have come as no surprise.

    Fourth, negotiating with Iran has been occurring over the last eight years with low level talks over Iraq, and of course, the nuclear issue. One of the elements of the surge was to remove Iranian influence in a few areas of Southern Iraq. While Iran did not enjoy having influence over all Shia factions they did have enough sway to cause problems. The negotiations removed this factor. Read my article at http://theworldofterrorism.blogspot.com/2008/08/military-strikes-against-iran-not.html for more information.

    Both candidates discussed how they would work with Pakistan, but they didn’t discuss how they would turn the tide against al-Qaeda. What needs to be done is almost impossible to discuss in a public forum and that is separating al-Qaeda elements from the various Taliban clans. These are two different groups that have different desires in the region. While most believe that removing the Taliban elements is the only way to defeat terrorism in South Asia this is essentially impossible. The only way to leave Afghanistan is to create an understanding with the local population that would reward them for working with the U.S. instead of harboring al-Qaeda. Insurgencies do not survive without local support and if it means working with clans that follow Taliban ideology then it is what must be done. It’s not popular, but working in world affairs always upsets somebody.

    If you want to read some good articles on foreign policy I recommend George Friedman at Stratfor http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20080922_new_president_and_global_landscape , and of course, my blog http://www.theworldofterrorism.blogspot.com/ .


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