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.