The first much-anticipated debate between Obama and McCain is over and there's a winner for the following reasons:
- Obama looked presidential and knowledgeable.
McCain failed to win, especially when this topic--foreign policy and national security--was his strong point. Next up, the economy...
- Obama connected more with independents and the undecideds.
- McCain, through this debate and his performance in the last week, did not gain any points or close the gap. I believe the polls that will come out in the next few days will show that either BO maintains his 4-5% advantage or even increase it.
- McCain missed this chance; he will have to wait a couple weeks to try to knock Obama down a few notches--a task that will become even harder after next Thursday's VP debate. Biden was all over the networks whereas Palin was nowhere post-debate. As I've said before, she is going to be a net negative to the GOP ticket. Even cons don't really believe that Palin is qualified to be VP or a 73-year old heartbeat away from the presidency!
Back to the debate. I didn't think either man did such a great job as to dislodge people who were in one camp to jump to the other. But, again, that's OK, because it solidified BO's presidential stature--the more acceptable of a choice he appears, the better his chances. I suspect that there are (and will be more) Republicans who could "live" under a BO administration. This will translate into less excitement (and votes) for Mac. If Mac couldn't beat BO on this topic of the first debate, there isn't much hope he can do it on the economy or anything else. The GOP now has to hope for an external factor to reverse the national trend against their ticket.We need change and the country seems to want that. Obama leads by big numbers in this category. The economy's horrible mess also favors BO. I suspect that Mac lost points by talking about winning in Iraq,and bringing home the troops only in victory. Most Americans know we've lost the occupation and the peace there. I thought BO could have done a better job to destroy Mac's argument that he has "the right judgment" to be commander in chief. When it came down to make a judgment call about Iraq, McCain said yes to the war while BO said no! And, initially McCain kept repeating all that nonsense about a short war, liberators, and spare change.
I'm glad to see the national economy being part of national security. War has been a distraction & occupation for most of human history; militarism has been the main activity of government besides taxing the people who can least afford it. This robs society of resources that can be better used to promote the general welfare. When the US spends more on armaments than the whole world combined, it surely means that we're not spending enough on health care, education, etc. [Check this Bill Moyers essay on the cost of war]
BO should remind the voters that Mac and the whole Bush administration were telling us (just a few months ago) that the US economy was good, no recession/depression in sight, and that the fundamentals were strong! Hmmm. This is either lying or really bad judgment!Besides, keeping Americans as safe as possible should mean that improving and prolonging human lives is a good thing. Isn't it? But, some 20,000 Americans die every year because they don't have health insurance. McCain would be dead already had he not been treated 4 times for cancer; he, like all members of Congress, have the best health care coverage. Same for president Bush who had precancerous polyps removed during a regular checkup--a benefit tens of millions of Americans do not have!
Finally, Obama must hit harder McCain and Republicans for being hypocrites when it comes to caring for the veterans. First, they trick Americans [including many non-citizens] into service. Then they send them to battle on false pretences and without appropriate armor or in sufficient numbers. Once injured, they put them in filthy facilities to recover. They make them serve longer tours of duty, including those in the National Guard. When Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a 21st century GI bill [free college tuition for the veterans], guess what, McCain and the GOP voted against it! That's how much the Cons "love" the vets. Love to me means to take care of those you love, not expose them to unnecessary danger and give them all the support you can.
On a sad note, we lost a liberal in Connecticut today. Paul Newman died battling cancer at 83.PS. The Washington Post has a good coverage of the debate, plus the whole video.