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gwd-scouter

The Debate

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First I must admit that I have already chosen my candidate and I don't think anything could change my mind about that decision. But, because I am a politics junkie, I watched the debate the other night and plan to watch the debates to follow.

 

One thing struck me while watching the first Presidential debate. While Obama at times spoke directly to McCain, McCain never once looked at Obama. I don't remember him even saying Obama's name. Obama on the other hand has received criticism for saying several times that he agreed with McCain or that McCain made a good point.

 

It seems to me that for all McCain's statements about working across the aisle, his condescending demeanor towards Obama sure didn't demonstrate an ability to work with those with whom he disagrees (or in this case with someone he clearly dislikes). Obama, by admitting that McCain was right at times, showed an ability to see that an opponent's viewpoint may have merit.

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I agree that Senator McCain should have been more polite, make some eye contact, and address his opponent at times. I have watched Senator McCain for years and some of this is just who he is. He gets focused on an issue and seems to have trouble with standard decorum.

 

As far as working across the aisle, Senator McCain's record speaks for itself. His problems with his base is entirely because he works with the democrats, compromises with them, and tries to move legislation forward. If he didn't work across the aisle so much, he would not have had such issues with his base.

 

Senator Obama, according the MSM, has voted with his party 100% when he has voted. I have known many who talk about working in a bipartisan manner who never do so. Actions speak louder than words. If Obama was interested in working in a bipartisan manner, I would expect at least one vote out side of the party line.

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I consider both candidates and nearly everyone else in DC to be dunces when it comes to energy policy. I consider the entire political establishment to be deceitful when it comes to the current economic situation. I am happy with Joe Biden's understanding of foreign policy. So my choice is based on that plus science and education policy.

 

That said, I think vol_scouter makes a good point about McCain. Until his recent embrace of George Bush's failed approaches to most issues, he did demonstrate an understanding of the need to work 'across the aisle'. I believe that Obama also recognizes this although it seems clear that the Democrats are going to have even stronger control of both houses of congress, thus giving McCain fewer choices other than bipartisanship.

 

In the 'debate' I was struck by the failure of either candidate to address the current economic crisis with any kind of clear, specific policy statements. I think this is because they are both too caught up in politics and afraid to confront the truth openly. Nevertheless I suppose that is better than the profound incompetence of the current administration.

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In the 'debate' I was struck by the failure of either candidate to address the current economic crisis with any kind of clear, specific policy statements.

 

Yah, that was my reaction too, eh?

 

I really dislike it when they completely dodge a question so as to do a riff on one of their pre-programmed "talking points." McCain was doin' a lot of that, but Obama did some as well. Too bad. A lot of those dodged questions were really important ones.

 

Obama had courage to admit the surge has worked, or at least helped cause al-Sadr to bide his time. Wish McCain had da same courage to admit that Afghanistan, the pursuit of Bin Laden, the conduct of da Iraq war and the reconstruction were all bungled because of the choice to go to war in haste.

 

B

 

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Well said by both Packsaddle and Beavah. To be fair to both candidates, since the bail out plan was just completed, they could not respond to the question posed by Leherer about how it will change their plans. Still I would have appreciated more candor. Whether one liked President Reagan or not, he did well by being more direct and saying what he thought [though he was far from perfect in that regard either]. I think that we as the public tend to like candidates who are direct and consistent.

 

Also, as in these post, most of us want the same things for our country though we may differ on how to reach those goals. The goals are national security, more energy independence, 'protection' of the family so that more families are successful [i.e. policies that encourage families], some level of economic prosperity, peace, concern for the environment, access to reasonably priced healthcare, good public education, and control of crime. While we may disagree with the way to achieve these goals, we would all be happy if our elected officials would make these goals their job and forget some of the ideology.

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well I have seen a lot of debates - having kids later in life, I remember when many of the debates were held and those key moments, such as the "you're no Jack Kennedy" one by Benson.

 

At least my kids know a lot (more than they would like) about politics. We tape the AM sunday morning shows, watch the daily show pretty much daily, watch a lot of CNN, etc. I even took my daughter out of school to stand in line to meet Hillary Clinton when she came to San Diego to sign her book, WAY before her political intentions were out. I wanted her to see the first lady AND to see the side show which was a real eye opener.

 

And I am very happy that in my 13 year olds history class this year they are learning about the middle eastern cultures, so hopefully their generation will understand the roots of those areas and not base decisions about what they can see from their house. But I digress.

 

Despite my leanings, I agree I would like to have seen more direct answers about the current economic situation from both. The problem is that with the speed that media moves these days, every statement is taken in snippets and thrown back at you with lightning spped so their handlers on both sides have them so trained to stay away from promising anything that is really boils down to digging info out of them.

 

I was super disappointed in Jim Lehrer - he acted more like a parent.

 

Why cant we have a debate moderated with John Stewart and Newt Gingrich. Both are strong on their side but not overly radical (like say Bill Mahrer and Sean Hannity)

 

my opinion is that McCain didnt look at him because if he had we would have lost it and they are trying to keep that from happening (the handlers)

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gwd-scouter,

I take it your a Obama fan, your choice, though I feel bad for you.

 

My choice is neither, I think we should draft someone like Beavah or Bob White for the job.

 

 

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I also have made up my mind on who to vote for, and I think the candidate I am voting for did better in the debate. I suspect that most of those who have decided to vote for the other candidate think that their candidate did better. In fact, the day after the debate one of the tv news channels reported on a poll in which they asked those favoring one of the candidates who they thought won, and the people who went into the debate and thought their candidate won outnumbered those who thought their candidate lost, something like 60-70 percent to 2 percent, in each case. What a surprise.

 

For that reason, it would be interesting to hear from those in this forum who can truly say that they went into the debate undecided (remember, a Scout is trustworthy) and see who they thought won, or at least what they thought each candidates' strengths and weaknesses were. Another interesting group would those who went into the debate favoring one candidate but thought the other candidate did better, or that the two did equally well. What do they think? I'd find that interesting; on the other hand, if the discussion turns into "my candidate is better than your candidate" (as several threads in this forum have already done) it is not very productive or interesting, in my opinion.

 

Nevertheless, I will give a few brief thoughts. The main thrust of McCain's criticism of Obama (and of Hillary Clinton's criticism of Obama during the primaries) is that Obama is "not ready to lead", especially in the areas of foreign and defense policy. Those subjects were what Friday's debate was supposedly about, although the moderator understandably chose to focus on the economic situation for the first half hour or so. Despite some of the "spin" I heard after the debate, I think that in order for McCain to "win", the viewers had to come away convinced that Obama is "not ready." I didn't see that. He sounded "ready" to me, and quite frankly, I thought he stayed with McCain on foreign and defense policy every step of the way. I also thought that all the focusing on who a president should or shouldn't meet with was kind of silly, and that the average undecided voter isn't really going to care about that. In fact, that point kind of descended into low comedy for me, when the issue (admittedly raised by Obama) became what Henry Kissinger thinks. Henry Kissinger? You've got to be kidding me. And when McCain said he's known Kissinger for 35 years, I don't think he really helped himself very much. Did McCain hang out with Richard Nixon, too?

 

I can only hope that this sort of thing is not what people are basing their decisions on, and I don't think it is. The point is, you had two candidates who sounded like they knew what they were talking about, presenting two somewhat (though not extremely) different views of the world and our place in it. I have to think that is not what McCain was hoping for. I also have to agree with those who say that McCain's condescending tone probably didn't help him. It is not a question of whether he was "polite" enough, it is really a question of, did he turn off some people who want to vote for someone they "like". I think it is possible that he did. I also think that Obama's point that the war in Iraq took the focus off the war in Afghanistan and tracking down the remnants of al Quaeda, probably struck a chord with a number of viewers, as it does with me.

 

But, again, what did the "undecideds" and the "leaners" think?

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As far as foreign policy is concerned we have had a president for the last eight years with a dismal almost non exsistent record in that area. The truth of the matter is, as both candidates pointed out, we still are not truly safer from terrorist attacks today than 9/11, a formation of a new agency to coordinate all federal law enforcement agencies still hasn't proven itself after seven years to be better able to handle these kind of situations. The ports are wide open to attack. TSA is little better than a joke in guarding our airports, even early on when it was discovered they had hired illegal aliens in security positions, and how they had failed every security breach test given to them. We do not need eight more years of these same failures. While I don't agree with either candidate on some serious issues there still is a clear correct decision to make.

 

To quote an old song, "Oh the times they are a'changin"

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the comment from ndlsscout "gwd-scouter,I take it your a Obama fan, your choice, though I feel bad for you."

 

do we have to as parents act this way? would you let your child say this of another child? I wouldnt.

 

NJ scouter - good points. Good discussion of issues.

 

If we want our kids to "play nice" cant we rationally discuss issues? I can as easily as the next degrade into name calling but does that move us forward?

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And up steps good ol Zahnada,

Ready to vote for Obama.

But if Baracks fate,

Was decided by this debate,

Id say it helped him, absolutely nada.

 

While McCain had distain and he muttered,

Obama had a lotta times where he stuttered.

He didnt fire back,

To Johns relentless attacks.

Baracks performance gave me some shudders.

 

Although I just gave him some knocks,

Im still going to vote for Barack.

Im sad to confess,

Our economys a mess,

And McCains budget strategies are just a crock.

 

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Debate Round Two.

 

I watched. Was a bit more lively than the first, but what was with all the rules and restrictions? Came down to little more than talking points. No follow up. No talking to each other. Yuck, what a bore.

 

I did think it was interesting to listen to the commentary after. Most of the news shows reported on post-debate polls showing Obama won the debate. Usually the numbers were around 50-something to 30-something in favor of Obama.

 

Turned to Fox channel and Hannity and Colmes. They had folks call in to say who they thought won the debate. Big surprise - almost 90% said McCain won.

 

With the mudslinging that's going on now in the candidate rallies (and, sorry folks, I admit to being partisan on this, but I do believe the McCain camp has gotten much dirtier than the Obama camp), what do you suppose the third debate will be like? Probably just more of the same as the first two. Certainly is more entertaining to watch the "debates" on SNL.

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Biden got a good laugh out of SNL as well. I really like the guy.

I too watched the second debate and I wasn't sure but did I see Obama offer his hand to McCain and have it rejected? I could be wrong but that's what it looked like?

 

Edited part: I just saw the Youtube video and it looks more innocent than that, especially after they shook hands right after the end of the debate. I'll give McCain the benefit of the doubt.

 

Back to original post:

I agree with you on the dirt and so do the polls. McCain is taking a calculated risk, using the negative stuff. It doesn't seem to be doing anything other than inflaming kooks on the extreme right.

I still want to think of McCain as an honorable man but he needs to start acting more honorable through his campaign. I do have some sympathy for him, he must terribly frustrated at how the real-life circumstances of the economy have bitten so hard. If only we had elected HIM instead of the liar back in 2000. Sigh.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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