My Thoughts on the Debate

I have no great insight on who the public thinks won or lost the debate.  Already the polls are pouring in and they are going to be the most important part of deciding who won the debate.  The early returns are that Obama won.    Things have been known to change when the spinsters start to grab the headlines, so that may still change.

Not shockingly, I thought Obama won.  Check that, I thought Obama did well and what he needed to do.  I do not believe either candidate hit a homerun.  I am from the school of thought that you typically don’t win a debate, you lose one.

Having said that, both candidates had goals coming in.  Obama had to prove he was competent enough to handle foreign policy.  McCain had to prove he could handle the economy and demonstrate he is a leader.

I believe these were the goals – not from what the commentators wanted to see, but what those who still had to decide wanted to see.

Obama never came off shakey on his answers.  Only on the meeting with foreign leaders of rogue nations did he even seem the slightest uncomfortable.  However, McCain’s plan to pound him on the surge did not work.  Overall, I think Obama hit his target.  There was no issue he didn’t have a clear response and was able to counter McCain.   McCain had to demonstrate he felt the pain of the middle class American and was a leader.  I don’t think he did particularly well on either point.

Where McCain did do well is being able to articulate clear foreign policy positions, demonstrate his experience and knowledge of areas of the World and World leaders.  The problem is that unless he could make Obama seem incompetent, it wasn’t going to be enough to change the direction of the election, particularly with the economy still being the front and center issue.

My two favorite ‘gotchya’ moments were both Obama’s.  The first was when McCain produced a bracelet from a veteran and Obama did the same.  The second was when Obama went after McCain directly on Iraq.

Just also remember, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses – per sey.  92% of this country has made up their mind.  There might be another 5-10% who are ‘soft’ on their support and will change.  The soft 5-10% are not probably going to change their mind on this debate.  There we no game changers.  So, that only leaves the 8% undecided.  Of those, maybe 1/2 will make their decision tonight.  So, to end game this based on this debate, I think that is going to be very hard.  Certainly, that will give who ever won a slight boost in the polls, but I think that almost would be mitigated as debate bounce by the time the next debate occurs.  The moral of the story is the dynamics of this race hasn’t changed.  That’s fine for Obama, but not fine for McCain.

We’ll know the real impact in a couple of days.


One Response

  1. I think that’s a great sum-up.

    For me, Obama came across as a lot more knowledgeable and in control of a subject the pundits had said would be “all McCain”. When you take both Economy and Foreign Policy together, McCain came across as the gambler, Obama as the safe pair of hands. McCain was out of touch and stuck in the past, Obama was connected and looking to getting things done. McCain came across as condescending and patronising, Obama came across as reasonable and a nice guy.

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