Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate, (Election?) Over

Okay, listen - John ate an extra dose of brains and baby blood before tonight's debate, and brought a little fire. So I was happy to see that... mostly just because I was convinced he was an android. More machine now than man. Twisted and evil. Rise, and serve me, Darth McCain.

Problem is, in Pat's humble opinion, he skewed too far the other way... he got a little too angry. One of CNN's pundits just said he went too far towards "Cranky McNasty saying 'get off my lawn young man!'" CNN doesn't make me laugh that often but a broken clock is right twice a day.

Johnny POW went too far. He was TOO animated. TOO angry. In short, he was too much. In past debates, he wouldn't mix it up. Tonight, he mixed it up too much. He got too chippy. He was aggressive. He was assertive. He just might have overshot the green.

What I don't understand is why Obama never takes on McCain's errors or miscues, or some of his more, um, questionable statements during these debates. Obama sticks to the talking points, but he can't go off script and really put the hammer down it seems. For example, either I mistake quite, or McCain said that Obama voted against the confirmation of Justice Breyer during what he described as a despicable campaign of judicial filibustering by Senate Democrats. Here's the transcript section:

I voted for Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences when presidents are nominated. This is a very important issue we're talking about.

Sen. Obama voted against Justice Breyer and Justice Roberts on the grounds that they didn't meet his ideological standards. That's not the way we should judge these nominees. Elections have consequences. They should be judged on their qualifications. And so that's what I will do.

Now, that sounds pretty bad. But Obama neglected to correct him that he wasn't in Congress back in 1994 when Justice Breyer was confirmed under Clinton. Now, did McCain simply mess up a name? Yeah. But he can't keep facts straight and Bam doesn't - ever - take him to task. I suppose Obama is like a boxer in the 15th round with an insurmountable points lead just trying not to lead with his chin. But he's so "cool" sometimes that it is offputting.

Maybe I'm wrong and there's no reason to take someone on who you've already likely beaten if you just run out the clock. That certainly seemed to me to be the Obama strategy strategy tonight. I suppose time (three weeks worth) will tell if letting McCain run wild tonight, both good and bad, was wise.


Defective Pants said...

I think most of Obama's supporters wanted him to go on the attack - but if the instant feedback on CNN was at all accurate, it would have been the wrong move. The approval rating went down on every single attack, from either candidate. One of the things that impressed me most about Obama during his debates with Hillary was his ability to show contrast by always ending on a positive note. It works. People dig that this year. People actually seem to want solutions instead of soundbites. You go, America! I'm proud of you! What does Terrence Mann have to do with this?

Warm Apple Pie said...

I concur, D. Pants. I was irked at his first debate performance for a seeming refusal to engage the enemy, but I was proven wrong during debate #2 and this evening. The better course was to give McCain just enough rope to keep hanging himself again and again and again.

During the confused, frenzied Ayers-ACORN-Voter Fraud-Terrorist presentation, in the nanosecond before McCain opted for non-sequiturs (ie, "my campaign is about the economy") I really thought he was going to forfeit or take a nap.

That's not a good sign as a presidential candidate.

Economy bad = Democrats = reservedness and pragmatism.

Wars bad = Republican = shrill patriotism and American pride.

That simple.

Pat Bateman said...

Agreed - I think it was ultimately the RIGHT move not to engage in a tit-for-tit. No, I meant to say that. But it doesn't mean that you want to see your high powered offense take a knee...