Round one goes to Obama
September 24, 2008
Filed under Opinion
Both presidential nominees stepped into the ring on Friday night. It’s the first of three rounds against Obama and McCain. There weren’t any knockout punches that night, just jabs and hooks to the body. Looking at our scorecard, Obama took the first debate by a couple of punches.
Let’s look at the tactics used between these two presidential candidates. McCain wanted to show the inexperience Obama lacks while Obama wanted to show that McCain would be another reincarnation of Bush. Both made their points across but added nothing new.
So next are the issues. Both agree that they’ll do what it takes to fix the financial crisis and support the $700 billion bailout. Granted, one wants to tax more and the other wants the market to play itself out but that’s political differences. Both would modify their priorities when in office due to the bailout, but none would eliminate anything off their agenda.
The biggest issue of the night though is the war in Iraq. McCain, for being such a Bush supporter, is very knowledgeable in trying to deal with foreign affairs. He is adamant in finishing this war and has no intention in pulling out.
“And peace comes to the country. And prosperity. That’s what’s happening in Iraq. And it wasn’t a tactic, it was a strategy,” McCain defends on his stance about Iraq.
Obama, on the other hand, wants to withdraw. He wants to focus on Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan rather than try to help a country that doesn’t want us there.
“You said it was going to be quick and easy. You said you knew where the weapons of mass destruction are. You were wrong,” Obama barks at McCain.
Many political pundits believe McCain has a better stance on foreign policy than Obama. Obama proved that night he could stand toe to toe with McCain. Every time McCain took a shot at Obama for not opening his eyes to the world around him, Obama just rubs the whole Iraq situation in his face and how it’s not getting them any closer to Bin Laden.
So if all those are even, how did Obama barely take this first debate? Simple, it’s all about image. Ever since Kennedy smoked the floor against sweaty Nixon, American viewers are persuaded to have a president that looks in charge, in command and sure of himself.
If this were back in the day before TV, maybe McCain would’ve taken this first debate. He knew what he wanted to discuss and made a conscientious effort to exploit Obama’s inexperience and did so with some effect.
But this isn’t a debate that people listen on the radio. People watch these two to see how they would react. Needless to say, McCain needs to fire his image coach, or whoever is responsible for how he reacts on TV. At the beginning of the debate, moderator Jim Lehrer wanted them to “discuss” the facts to each other, face-to-face. Obama was up to that challenge. At times, he would refer to John and look at him while defending his issues.
What does McCain do? Either look at Mr. Lehrer cockeyed or smile stupidly into the camera. He should be looking at Obama, following his every word, like Obama was doing. When McCain talked, Obama listened, taking an interest to what he might be saying. Nine times out of ten, the opponent really doesn’t care what the other person has to say but Obama stared at McCain, like he was giving a damn. That’s something we took into account and gave the slight edge to Obama.
Round two will be on Oct. 7. Hopefully, when both of these candidates come out of their corners, one of them will deliver a knockout punch. For now, Obama is leading in the scorer’s card.