Silent Archimedes

Obama beats McCain in first presidential debate

Posted by silentarchimedes on September 27, 2008

A quick list of my observations of the debate last night:

Presidential Debate

First Presidential Debate

1. McCain was too high on himself – Everyone knows that McCain is more experienced than Obama when it comes to foreign policy. I was more interested in what he was going to do with that experience when he becomes president. However, he kept referring to the past and his record. He must have said that he was proud of himself at least four times during the debate. Although more experience usually indicates better judgment, it becomes a negative when your long track record is inconsistent and is associated with the negatives of the past eight years. McCain made it seem like that his experiences should be the sole reason to vote for him and not Obama. We know what you have done. The question is what will you do for change.

2. McCain was very condescending towards Obama – This is related to the first point. If Obama had failed miserably in his foreign policy answers last night, McCain would get a pass at sounding condescending and patronizing towards Obama. However, Obama definitely held his own last night. The result is McCain seemed like an old man scolding a young man. He would speak in this higher pitch whisper when he was in his “I’m smarter and more experienced than you” rants. What made it worse is that in his quest to show that Obama was dumber than him in foreign policy, McCain made several incorrect assertions. He made fun of Obama for not knowing the difference between tactic and strategy when in fact he was the one that was wrong (as explained by many analysts on the news networks).

3. Obama was too nice – Obama is too nice of a man. He must have said “John is right” in some form or another at least eight times during the debate. McCain gave him several openings for Obama to throw a strong punch, but he resisted. When McCain asked Obama what was his definition of rich, Obama should have responded, “someone who has 12 cars and 7 houses.” Even as McCain continued his condescending rants, Obama stayed nice and imperturbed. Sometimes one would like to see a little more offensive emotion from him. We are sick of political ploys, lies and trying to pull the cover over the public.

4. Where was Palin?? – After the debate was over, both the VP candidates, Biden and Palin, were invited by the major television networks to give their assessment of the debate. Biden accepted all the networks invitations. However, Palin was nowhere to be seen! She declined all invitations. Instead, surrogates like  Rudy Guiliani were used to represent her. All it reminded me was how inexperienced she is and that even if McCain was indeed better than Obama on foreign policy, I would rather vote for Obama  and Biden then know that Palin is one heartbeat away from becoming Commander in Chief. She has been pretty incognito since her RNC bounce. I personally treat that as an insult. America is in the heart of a major election campaign and one of the major VP candidates is being kept away from the public for obvious reasons.

5. Did McCain even know Obama was on the stage with him? – Not once did McCain look at Obama during the debate. Obama engaged McCain, Jim Lehrer and even spoke to the camera and the public. McCain spent the entire debate talking directly to Lehrer. Even when he lambasted Obama or the rare times he talked about what he would do, it was towards Lehrer. Even when Obama was talking to McCain, McCain always looked down at the podium. Show your opponent some respect. The tactics, and yes, I mean tactics, used by McCain have been dishonest, condescending and downright conceited. Here is a funny comic about this.


Overall, I think the general public feels the same about me as most polls showed Obama slightly winning the debate. It wasn’t a knockout blow by Obama. It might have even been a tie because Obama was too even-keeled. However, when the topic is McCain’s specialty, a tie is considered a win for Obama. Obama was professional, suscinct and knowledgeable. McCain sounded like what has been wrong with America the past eight years; the I’m better than you mentality. Next week’s vice presidential debate between Biden and Palin should be even more interesting. The question is does Palin show up or one of her surrogates?

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