Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Episode 6: Round 2 - Debate Thoughts


Chalk this one up in the W column for Barack Obama.  

As many commentators duly noted, McCain needed a decisive victory in this debate if he was to have any chance at derailing the Obama campaign. His message failed to extend beyond his republican base, and immediate polls showed that undecided voters and independents weren’t moved by McCain’s message.

Still, the candidates performed well. To McCain’s credit, he did deliver a spirited performance, prefacing each response to selected audience members by saying “thank you” for their questions. Sen. McCain enjoys the town hall environment (though not a traditional town hall setting) and appeared confident and in familiar territory. He was more aggressive in this debate, but his responses to Obama seemed cold and condescending. An interesting note: not once in this debate did McCain directly address the middle class, which may not fare well with the voters, considering the economy is the primary issue of this election.


Barack Obama remained very presidential. Despite the nasty GOP smear campaign, Obama didn’t seem phased by it. He was incredibly calm, cool, and collected. He gave thoughtful answers that directly addressed the middle class most every time. However, I would have liked to see more flair. Obama was at his best when he delivered his incredibly insightful speeches at his rallies. He of course has to dial down his professorial tone to effectively speak to all Americans, but I think a little more flair could serve him well. If he increases his intensity just a notch, he will easily win the final debate.

This debate was a do-or-die situation for McCain. It is much like football game, when a team is losing by 4 with 30 seconds remaining in the game… he needed a touchdown to win, and he missed the mark.

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