Saturday, September 27, 2008
Depends on whom you talk to.
To those people that consider the Drudge Report a right wing hate site and Huffington Post or MSNBC fair and balanced, Obama was the obvious winner. But Drudge's online poll with almost 350,000 respondents had McCain winning with 68%, with about 2% undecided.MSNBC, CBS and CNN had Obama winning...which was to be expected, simply because of their own bias and who watches them.
And, by the way, one thing I found personally fascinating is the relatively low numbers of viewers for the debate. Apparently it was far less than the numbers for the first Bush-Kerry faceoff.People are obviously wishing for this forever campaign to end.
My own impressions? McCain definitely won, but on a decision - he let Obama slide with some key points that could have resulted in a knockout had he pursued them. I know I would have.
McCain started out slowly. He was obviously tired from the last minute flight to Mississippi, and it showed....had I been his campaign manager I would have insisted he take a day or so to rest and get ready. But about 30 minutes into it, he go this second wind and began hammering Obama, particularly in the final part of the debate that dealt with foreign policy.
The beginning part of the debate, 45 minutes or so was devoted to economics and the proposed bailout, and McCain certainly did no harm to himself talking about out of control spending and earmarks. One place he let Obama slide was when the Chosen One claimed that '95% of Americans will be getting a tax break.'
Had I been McCain, I would have shot back with "Senator, your plan calls for a large increase in payroll taxes and in capital gains taxes. That's obviously a tax on all Americans, since businesses don't pay taxes....they make it up with price increases to their customers. And how many jobs will be lost, especially in small businesses because of the increased cost of investment and expansion and because businesses have to lay off employees to cut costs because of your tax increases?"
Instead, McCain kept to his mantra of cutting spending, which was good, but also allowed Obama to slide by with the sound bite that he was giving a tax break to the middle class rather than a whopping increase.
Another zinger I would might have pulled out of the hat when Obama kept repeating 'John is right' for the third time would have been 'Thank you for that, Senator..I'm glad we agree, experience and judgment count.'
On the foreign policy front, McCain did pretty well, and I especially liked the part where Obama stumbled and had to read the bracelet on his wrist to remember the name of the dead veteran he was supposedly honoring.Yet again, there were two major gaffes McCain could have exploited that he let Obama get away with.
After Obama went into his spiel about how the McCain-Bush administration had `taken their eye off the ball in Afghanistan', McCain responded by reminding Obama that Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda had declared Iraq their central front in their war on us and that if Obama had his way , the US military would have come home in defeat. And he mentioned that Obama chairs the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs but has yet to convene it..without explaining to the audience that that committee has the direct responsibility of negotiating to increase the European's lack of combat troop support for NATO's mission in Afghanistan!
McCain actually let Obama sluff this off by mumbling ` well,you know that no actual business comes before that subcommittee, this is kind of inside baseball stuff..but let me go on...'
if I were McCain, I would have simply responded, `Senator,I beg to differ...this subcommittee you head is charged with negotiating with our European allies to provide more boots on the ground in Afghanistan. Obviously nothing is going to come of that if its' chairman takes his eye off the ball and never convenes them even once.'
I would also have mentioned that the Europeans actually showed some signs of putting more combat troops into Afghanistan until Barack Obama came along pledging to remove US troops from Iraq and send extra US troops to Afghanistan - thus taking the heat off of countries like France, Italy and Germany, who will now, of course be prepared to wait until after the election and see if the Americans and others do the heavy lifting under an Obama administration.
Had McCain said something like that I think we might have had a deer-in-the-headlights moment.
Next, when Obama was criticizing all that aid we give to Pakistan and talking about how we that money was all wasted,McCain should have reminded Obama politely that that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and that map reading is an important and necessary skill for a commander-in-chief. He should have reminded the audience that Afghanistan is landlocked, that 75% of the supplies for our troops in Afghanistan pass through the Pakistani port of Karachi and comes into Afghhanistan overland through through the Torkham border crossing, and that the Pakistanis closed that corridor for over a day in response to the last US attack in Waziristan. And he should have finished by saying that the alternative if Obama creates a hostile Pakistan is either a costly and inefficient airlift or shipping the stuff through the Black Sea into Georgia and Azerbaijan (assuming they let us) and then crossing the Caspian Sea and shipping the stuff through Turkmenistan and then over rough, mountainous country into Afghanistan from the Northwest.
Again, had McCain said that, I think we would have seen Obama motor boating as he tried to pick himself up off the canvas.
As it is, McCain scored significant points,but not decisive ones. That will have to wait until the next outing, a townhall style debate that McCain will hopefully be more in shape for.
Posted by Freedom Fighter at 8:53 PM