That seemed on everyone's mind last night and this morning. I have received a few emails asking for my opinion and them giving me theirs. What's my analysis? Well, the fact that everyone is asking, including the media, it seems to me that the media is calling it a draw. I was a boxer in my youth and using that metaphor, there was not a knockout punch, nor was there a clear victor on points. I was disappointed in both of them but for different reasons. I'll comment on those disappointments in a moment, and I how would rate the outcome, but first, comments on what was good.
The first thing that was good was that the debate was actually held. Everyone who has been keeping up on my views know I am a Barack Obama supporter in this race, after having initially supported Joe Biden for President in the Primary. McCain had threatened not to debate, as he wanted to go "save the country" by stopping his campaign and going back to Washington to help get something passed with bipartisan support for the governments $700 Billion rescue plan of the Banking industry and ensure that credit was available for business to borrow needed cash. I was angry McCain said he wasn't going to debate, but then I thought, if he could truly do something to help, then he should. I thought he could do both, but who am I to criticize, as I have a hard time just putting on socks in the morning and remembering to take my morning pills. (Multitasking is more difficult as one gets older. :) So I said let's see what McCain actually does. Well I got my answer, NOTHING! Most at the meeting said McCain spoke last at the meeting with the President and when he did speak, they say no one understood what he said, as it was garbled.
So, in retrospect, since the deal was not done, and he had stated he would not debate unless it was done, I am left feeling it was purely political theater by McCain. That is unspeakable during this crisis in our economy. Nevertheless, he did debate and was knowledgeable about facts and his historical recollections were good as well, although his comment about Eisenhower writing 2 letters, one with his resignation, was not true. But he passed the exam by most.
Now for my major disappointment. McCain would not look at Barack Obama the entire debate. His language and body language appeared to disdain Obama and his wise guy comments and humor did nothing but make me angry. In my local San Francisco Chronicle newspaper front page today, there was a picture from the end of the debate with Obama and McCain shaking hands. Guess what? McCain isn't looking at him while shaking his hand, either!
When you treat a Presidential candidate with disrespect, which is what McCain did to Obama, (someone who has earned their Party's nomination after a hard fought Primary race against a very competent candidate as Hillary Clinton,) then you disrespect all Americans. If you are going to disrespect your opponent, who is equally a patriotic American, how can we trust you to talk to the Russians, whom you despise, the Chinese, the Syrians, the North Koreans, the Venezuelan's and other leaders we must engage with. It was contempt of the lowest form and not becoming a Presidential candidate like John McCain. You will notice that I have not made one negative comment on Sarah Palin as a person. I criticized her politic, thought she gave a good speech at the Republican Convention but I did not disrespect her. I did defend her against supposed negative attacks. I would expect McCain to respect Barack Obama not just in words, but in deeds. Let's see if that is possible in the next debate Senator Mccain.
Barack was Presidential, gracious and respectful. Some say he was too respectful, but I don't think so. What disappointed me with Barack was that on several occasions he could have answered McCain with facts that could have made their differences clearer and he chose not to, or forgot the points at the moment. Barack never made the point that, for example, it is the Iraqi's now that want us to leave and that McCain acts like Iraqi's concerns don't matter to him. He could have more clearly stated that it is the Republican Party's mantra for deregulation these past 20 plus years, that got us into this financial mess. And it is the very Lobbyists that are part of McCain's senior staff that had major contracts with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
When I think about the debate, I saw Barack being Presidential, respectful and a clear distinction from the failed policies of the Bush Administration AND McCain. McCain is tied to the failed policies of Bush /Cheney Administration and voted for those policies 90% of the time. The choice is clear with Obama, but the challenge is whether the American people can put their country and their real needs first and vote for him and Joe Biden. Or will they let any Party loyalty or racial prejudice creep into their decision. For the good of the country I hope they can rise to the occasion.
Labels: Barack, Barack Obama, Bush, Cheney, failed policies, first Presidential debate, John McCain, Republican party, Sarah Palin, Who won the debate