Tuesday, October 7, 2008

McCain-Obama Debate 2 - A Town Hall Travesty

The second McCain-Obama debate is in the books. The format, faux town hall, was horrid. The questions varied from reasonable to mindless - why do we need to know who either one of these two would appoint as Treasury Secretary? The time allotted for answers was ridiculously short with no follow-ups. This all worked in favor of Obama who is sitting on a lead in the polls and a commonly held belief among far too many Americans that the tanking economy is the fault of George Bush and Republicans.

This was by far the worst debate I can recall every watching. McCain needed to be aggressive and to attack on the economy. He did that within the limits of the debate format. Unfortunately, the debate format was so limiting, I doubt whether he was able to impact many people at all. My notes from the debate:

- Finally, McCain goes on the attack over Fannie and Freddie. That was good, but he needs to extend out that attack and repeat it every day between now and the election.

- Obama is referring to a letter written in 2006 when he supposedly warned of the subprime crisis and the need to take action against Fannie Mae. I want to see that letter. It doesn't appear on his website. Obama is a political coward who does not go against the grain of his party - all of whom were in strong support of Fannie Mae and their mission to purchase subprime mortgages at the time. Bottom line, I am not taking the One at his word on this one. Show me the letter. Release it to the public. McCain should have demanded this at the debate.

- McCain is going to buy up all distressed mortgages. My initial reaction is to recoil in horror. I will have to sleep on whether it actually makes some fiscal sense given that, one, it was government intervention in the market place that got us here in the first place, and two, McCain is selling it as a way to stabilize markets. I have more than a little doubt.

- McCain hit on a point I have been thinking about for a few days. How similar Obama's plans sound to Herbert Hoover's when he found himself facing a down economy.

- Conbama Law 101 - The right of the people to health care shall not be infringed. If we are staring disaster in the face in the long run from the growth of medicaid, what is going to happen when we extend health care to the nation as a whole as a fundamental right?

- Obama is going to add a trillion in spending while cutting the budget and reducing taxes. That will no doubt come after he walks on water and feeds the nation with a loaf and a few fish. I wish he would name one program he intends to cut with that scalpel of his. Fannie Mae would be a start.

- The foreign policy questions were mostly a repeat of the same ones asked at the last debate, bringing out repeat responses.

- Why does McCain allow Obama to get away with saying he will end the war in Iraq? We've won the damn thing - Obama cannot ideologically admit to it.

- Did anyone else notice Obama's refusal to answer the question whether he would immediately rise to Israel's defense in the event of an attack by Iran. He spent two minutes trying to wind his way around the question without ever answering it. This guy really is dangerous.

- Overall, McCain needed a far more freewheeling debate format if he was to have any chance of turning things around. Tonight was just horrid. If the next debate is like this, say hello to Presidnt Obama.


musicgrinder said...

Oh come on.. the debates FORMAT was why McCain lost? Be serious man. This is McCain's preferred stage: the Town Hall. He professes to love it! You can't blame the format.. you've got to blame the candidate on this one.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Interesting post.
Musicgrinder is correct about the format.
McCain missed about a dozen opportunities to wipe up the floor with Obama, and just couldn't bring himself to do it.
Who's coaching him?
I don't think he knows how much he misses having Mike Murphy on board.

vinny said...

Well, I thought the format was not so fair. Obama got a chance to follow up, after asking for no follow-ups. However, I expected even less. Head lizard posted an interesting quote that sums up your reaction to this debate: "Assertions made without proof, can be dismissed without proof."

GW said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and commenting.

This debate format was a real town hall format the way the Salvation Army is an actual army. Both bear the name, but beyond that, there is precious little similarity. As to who won or lost, the answers of the two candidates were so superficial that I think it more a comparison of stump speeches than a give and take of a debate.

Paul_In_Houston said...

"This debate format was a real town hall format the way the Salvation Army is an actual army."

GW, I couldn't help thinking that myself.
They mentioned how so many questions were provided by the audience and from the internet, but they ALL had to pass the filter of Tom Brokaw.

Michell Malkin gets some nice ones off once in a while. Her latest:
Who was the Obama plant at last night’s debate?
had the following ...
Greg Ransom e-mailed me the answer:
“The Obama plant was Tom Brokaw.”

Har. Indeed. From my liveblogging last night:

Brokaw gets rolled again: “I’m just hired help here.”
Obama: “You’re doing a good job, Tom.”

Might as well have called him “sweetie.”

suek said...

paul in houston...

Well said!!

From now on, I'll be unable to see Tom Brokaw without thinking of him as "Sweetie"....

vinny said...

where are you gw? I keep checking to see if any new posts came.

Scott said...

Like what Vinny said.

Look, man, I'm at work, trying to look busy, and you're the best bet I've got on that. You, sir, have an obligation to keep me with reading material. So unless you are in a coma, or had an accident that resulted in the spurty kind of bleeding and not the oozy kind of bleeding, you need to get back to work.

You people have so little concern for my well being.

Anonymous said...

blaming mccain's inablity to hold his own on a liberal "plant"? oh no, it's not that everyone could actually hear that he bombed, it's tom brokaw's fault that he did.

if we have already "won" (whatever that means) the war in Iraq, then why don't we just pull out already, come home, and stop spending the bazillions of dollars that we are spending on it? maybe then, Obama could get to work walking on water.

what the hell is still going on there then, if we've won??
oh, i know- we're securing our ol' american eagle talons so far in Iraqi flesh that they are not going to be able to pull those things out without bleeding to death. and you're worried about Obama being a dangerous president? haha...you're about 8 years too late- look at the mess we're in now!! damn right it's the fundamental republican belief system that scored us the winner of the position we're in. but forge on, "my friends" and trust in the McCain/Palin ticket- because we cut taxes for the rich, take pride in destroying wildlife preserves, and can't even tell you what publications are keeping us informed of world news. True Mavericks we are!

Jeff said...

You've been gone uncharacteristically long. Hope you are okay!

Anonymous said...

he probably became a democrat and had to jump ship. i hear they do that sometimes.

Jeff said...

I'm getting seriously worried about you, man!

If anybody knows anything, please post it here...

Ymarsakar said...

The funny thing is that people criticized Palin's debate due to McCain's campaign calling for less follow ups.

I saw plenty of follow ups in the VP debate, however. But it seems like the Presidential debates have less follow ups and counter-arguments from the opponents once a question has been answered.

Ymarsakar said...

I think it is time to pull out the secret weapon, Wolf. palin vs Obama debate and McCain vs Biden.

Newbie vs Newbie and old style politicians vs old style politicians.

Would you watch that matchup, Wolf?