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Old 09-27-2008, 12:07 PM   #166
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The key number I keep seeing is that people believe that Obama understands people's problems and McCain doesn't. Which I think is an accurate reflection of the two.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:12 PM   #167
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McCain also did quite poorly with women last night based on the immediate polling.

I think it was his refusal to look Obama in the eye, his sneering and strange giggling at times that comes across very condescending. Female focus groups tend to react more to negative tone and body language, it really is quite an accurate predictor, so I can't say that I'm surprised.

I remember very well back when we were interviewing for jobs in law school, they set up training sessions on how to properly interview. And one trainer was absolutely excellent and she said, look I can point to study after study that tells you that there is nothing better at preventing you from getting an offer from a female lawyer or executive than when you interview with a man and a woman, you choose to speak to the man or not make continuous eye contact with the woman. I have always felt that women were more keenly aware of such a snub so I think that McCain's persistent refusal to even so much as look at Obama, much less speak to him directly, is really, really off-putting to female viewers because it comes across as very patronizing.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #168
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GRADING THE DEBATE:

John McCain:

Substance: His arguments were hard to follow at the beginning, but he found his voice as the debate progressed, although he never seemed fully in control of his message. He had plenty to say about the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia, but often bogged down his own answers when trying to unfurl quips and soundbites. Stuck with bumper sticker slogans on the economy, and while he got a bit more detailed on foreign policy, he stayed at his usual level of abstraction. If he truly knows more about the world than Obama, he didn't show it in this debate.


Grade: B-


Style: Cluttered, jumpy, and often muddled. Frequent coughing early on helped neither his arguments nor his image. Jokes about being deaf and anecdotes about Normandy and George Shultz seemed ill-advised - even his pen was old. His presentation was further hindered by his wandering discussion of the differing heights of North and South Koreans and his angry assertion about how well he knows Henry Kissinger. Fell into the classic politician's trap of inserting familiar stump speech applause lines into debate responses - which only works if done with enthusiasm and clarity (and if received by applause - a big No-No in Lehrer's auditorium, which the audience obeyed seriously and silently). Keenly aware of the grand, grave occasion, McCain wavered between respectful and domineering, and ended up awkward and edgy.


Grade: C-


Offense: Emphasized his bread and butter issues of taxes and spending, and hit Obama on his failure to visit Iraq and his expressed willingness to meet with dictators. But while mocking his opponent on a few occasions, which reflected his acute disrespect for Obama, he did so in an insufficiently sharp and detailed manner - and unevenly worked elements of his rival's record into his attacks. Still he was utterly confident about his own experience, knowledge, and policies, even when tripped by his own tongue and distracted by the strains of debate practice. The main problem: Obama's obvious preparation and sharp answers contradicted McCain's frequent claims that the Democrat was uninformed and "didn't understand" key issues.


Grade: C+


Defense: He managed to ignore most of Obama's jibes, but was eventually baited into giving an extended answer about his policy differences with President Bush, after his opponent repeatedly mentioned McCain's regular support of Bush's budgets. Was visibly riled when clashing with Obama over a variety of issues, including Iraq, sanctions, and spending. He also chose to boast about Sarah Palin (although not by name) as his maverick partner, who, after her shaky week, may no longer be his ace in the hole.


Grade: B-


Overall: McCain was McCain - evocative, intense, and at times emotional, but also vague, elliptical, and atonal. Failed to deliver his "country first versus Obama first" message cleanly, even when offered several opportunities. Surprisingly, did not talk much about "change," virtually ceding the dominant issue of the race.


Overall grade: B-



Barack Obama:


Substance: Quite manifestly immersed in the past, present, and future details of policy, and eager to express his views, which have been expanded, honed, and solidified during the last 18 months of hard campaigning. Still, he did avoid the nitty-gritty details of policy positions in favor of broad principles and references to working Americans, thereby not presenting the kind of specifics that some voters are waiting to hear from him.


Grade: B+


Style: Polished, confident, focused. Fully prepared, and able to convey a real depth of knowledge on nearly every issue. He was unhurried, and rarely lost his train of thought even when the debate wended and winded - and uttered far fewer of his trademark, distracting, "ums." At times, however, Obama revealed the level of his preparation by faltering over a rehearsed answer. He seemed to deliberately focus on the moderator and the home audience, with McCain as an afterthought - except when on the attack. Chose to avoid humor, for the most part, in favor of a stern demeanor, and in the process, came off as cool as a cucumber.


Grade: A


Offense: Linking McCain to Bush in his very first answer, he kept it up as his primary line of attack. Forcefully hit McCain for his early support of the Iraq War. Though he never drew blood, he did keep McCain a bit off balance, often with clever references to McCain's recent statements.

Grade: B

Defense: Had a reasonable answer for every charge that came his way - with little anger, bluster, or anxiety. Often interrupting McCain attacks with swift explanations and comebacks, he managed to spin accusations of being liberal as evidence of his relentless opposition to George Bush (in replies that were clearly planned). Offered a rather clumsy alternative to McCain's well-known, moving story of wearing the bracelet of a soldier lost in Iraq (a gift from the soldier's mother), with a story about a bracelet of his own. Fearless, without condescension, he attempted the gracious move of agreeing with or complimenting a McCain position, occasionally to his own detriment.

Grade: A-

Overall: Went for a solid, consistent performance to introduce himself to the country. He did not seem nervous, tentative, or intimidated by the event, and avoided mistakes from his weak debate performances during nomination season (a professorial tone and long winded answers). Standing comfortably on the stage with his rival, he showed he belonged - evocative of Reagan, circa 1980. He was so confident by the end that he reminded his biggest audience yet that his father was from Kenya. Two more performances like that and he will be very tough to beat on Election Day.

Overall grade: A-
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by JOFO View Post
GRADING THE DEBATE:

John McCain:

Substance: His arguments were hard to follow at the beginning, but he found his voice as the debate progressed, although he never seemed fully in control of his message. He had plenty to say about the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia, but often bogged down his own answers when trying to unfurl quips and soundbites. Stuck with bumper sticker slogans on the economy, and while he got a bit more detailed on foreign policy, he stayed at his usual level of abstraction. If he truly knows more about the world than Obama, he didn't show it in this debate.


Grade: B-


Style: Cluttered, jumpy, and often muddled. Frequent coughing early on helped neither his arguments nor his image. Jokes about being deaf and anecdotes about Normandy and George Shultz seemed ill-advised - even his pen was old. His presentation was further hindered by his wandering discussion of the differing heights of North and South Koreans and his angry assertion about how well he knows Henry Kissinger. Fell into the classic politician's trap of inserting familiar stump speech applause lines into debate responses - which only works if done with enthusiasm and clarity (and if received by applause - a big No-No in Lehrer's auditorium, which the audience obeyed seriously and silently). Keenly aware of the grand, grave occasion, McCain wavered between respectful and domineering, and ended up awkward and edgy.


Grade: C-


Offense: Emphasized his bread and butter issues of taxes and spending, and hit Obama on his failure to visit Iraq and his expressed willingness to meet with dictators. But while mocking his opponent on a few occasions, which reflected his acute disrespect for Obama, he did so in an insufficiently sharp and detailed manner - and unevenly worked elements of his rival's record into his attacks. Still he was utterly confident about his own experience, knowledge, and policies, even when tripped by his own tongue and distracted by the strains of debate practice. The main problem: Obama's obvious preparation and sharp answers contradicted McCain's frequent claims that the Democrat was uninformed and "didn't understand" key issues.


Grade: C+


Defense: He managed to ignore most of Obama's jibes, but was eventually baited into giving an extended answer about his policy differences with President Bush, after his opponent repeatedly mentioned McCain's regular support of Bush's budgets. Was visibly riled when clashing with Obama over a variety of issues, including Iraq, sanctions, and spending. He also chose to boast about Sarah Palin (although not by name) as his maverick partner, who, after her shaky week, may no longer be his ace in the hole.


Grade: B-


Overall: McCain was McCain - evocative, intense, and at times emotional, but also vague, elliptical, and atonal. Failed to deliver his "country first versus Obama first" message cleanly, even when offered several opportunities. Surprisingly, did not talk much about "change," virtually ceding the dominant issue of the race.


Overall grade: B-



Barack Obama:


Substance: Quite manifestly immersed in the past, present, and future details of policy, and eager to express his views, which have been expanded, honed, and solidified during the last 18 months of hard campaigning. Still, he did avoid the nitty-gritty details of policy positions in favor of broad principles and references to working Americans, thereby not presenting the kind of specifics that some voters are waiting to hear from him.


Grade: B+


Style: Polished, confident, focused. Fully prepared, and able to convey a real depth of knowledge on nearly every issue. He was unhurried, and rarely lost his train of thought even when the debate wended and winded - and uttered far fewer of his trademark, distracting, "ums." At times, however, Obama revealed the level of his preparation by faltering over a rehearsed answer. He seemed to deliberately focus on the moderator and the home audience, with McCain as an afterthought - except when on the attack. Chose to avoid humor, for the most part, in favor of a stern demeanor, and in the process, came off as cool as a cucumber.


Grade: A


Offense: Linking McCain to Bush in his very first answer, he kept it up as his primary line of attack. Forcefully hit McCain for his early support of the Iraq War. Though he never drew blood, he did keep McCain a bit off balance, often with clever references to McCain's recent statements.

Grade: B

Defense: Had a reasonable answer for every charge that came his way - with little anger, bluster, or anxiety. Often interrupting McCain attacks with swift explanations and comebacks, he managed to spin accusations of being liberal as evidence of his relentless opposition to George Bush (in replies that were clearly planned). Offered a rather clumsy alternative to McCain's well-known, moving story of wearing the bracelet of a soldier lost in Iraq (a gift from the soldier's mother), with a story about a bracelet of his own. Fearless, without condescension, he attempted the gracious move of agreeing with or complimenting a McCain position, occasionally to his own detriment.

Grade: A-

Overall: Went for a solid, consistent performance to introduce himself to the country. He did not seem nervous, tentative, or intimidated by the event, and avoided mistakes from his weak debate performances during nomination season (a professorial tone and long winded answers). Standing comfortably on the stage with his rival, he showed he belonged - evocative of Reagan, circa 1980. He was so confident by the end that he reminded his biggest audience yet that his father was from Kenya. Two more performances like that and he will be very tough to beat on Election Day.

Overall grade: A-
It should be pointed out that MARK HALPERIN, the person who wrote the above piece, is a well known liberal.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:49 PM   #170
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It should be pointed out that MARK HALPERIN, the person who wrote the above piece, is a well known liberal.
Do you have a source to back this up?
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #171
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In other words, a landslide win for Obama .
301 to 237 would be more than a marginal victory, but its not a landslide.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maoilbheannacht View Post
It should be pointed out that MARK HALPERIN, the person who wrote the above piece, is a well known liberal.


you're kidding, right?

do you know anything about HALPERIN?
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:29 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Maoilbheannacht View Post
It should be pointed out that MARK HALPERIN, the person who wrote the above piece, is a well known liberal.
Because he said Bush used more election-altering distortions than Kerry?

Maybe, just maybe, he said that because he believed it was true.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:38 PM   #174
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Time Magazine:

Quote:
McCain was seen as the more negative of the two—by 7 points before the debate and by 26 points after. The audience did not like it when he went after Obama for being "naïve" or used his oft-repeated "what Senator Obama doesn't understand" line. When the two clashed directly in the second half of the debate, with Obama repeatedly protesting McCain's characterization of his statements or positions, the voter dials went down. Voters appear to have judged McCain too negative in those encounters and Obama more favorably.
Sounds about right.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:55 PM   #175
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned:

"So let me get this straight," McCain said, still on the attack, "you sit down with Ahmadinejad and he says, 'We're going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth,' and you say, 'No, you're not.' Oh, please."

I thought that was the most condesending statement of the debates. John McCain seems to think that he is the only one that has the experience and knowledge to lead the country.

Obama, i thought, should have hit him twice:

1) When McCain mentioned Ireland and their low business tax, Obama should have cut him off and pointed out the fact the Ireland is in a recision. Would have made McCain look like he does'nt know what he's talking about and probably would have shut him up.

2) After McCain had said all night that Obama "doesn't understand", at some point Obama should have just said out right that he does understand and that America knows that he understands the issues. It would have been seen as Obama sticking up for himself, probably would have made 60% of the audience kinda cheer or pump a fist. There is nothing worse then speaking down to people, as evidence in the polls, and Obama could have taken the opputunity to look strong.

But all in all not a bad debate. Obama did enough to not look scary, which in his books should be a win.

Now, Oct 2 is gonna be the fun one to watch. But ask youself this: If Biden rips her apart does she get the sympathy of the people? I'm trying to be sexist, but the fact is the average person doesn't like to see a man beat up on a woman. Biden doesn't want to come off as being an asshole, and it won't be hard, considering Palins obvious lack of knowledge on pretty much everything.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:03 PM   #176
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^I think Biden will certainly treat her with a lot more respect than McCain showed Obama last night. However, the reaction I've been getting from nearly everyone I've talked to, is that they're sick of excuses being made for Palin, and they want to see if she can stand on her own two feet when there's no one around to help her. Most of the Independent/Undecideds clearly thought McCain was condescending and arrogant last night, not because of the thoughts they might have on his knowledge level compared to Obama's, but because of the way he addressed Obama. I think if, for some reason, we see Biden treat Palin similar to the way McCain treated Obama last night, he'll have a problem. If he demonstrates his far superior intelligence and depth of nuance and understanding of the issues, while still showing he respects Palin, he'll do exactly what a VP candidate is supposed to do in a debate: He'll show why he is clearly far more qualified and equipped to be second in command.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:25 PM   #177
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If he demonstrates his far superior intelligence and depth of nuance and understanding of the issues, while still showing he respects Palin, he'll do exactly what a VP candidate is supposed to do in a debate: He'll show why he is clearly far more qualified and equipped to be second in command.
Thats what I'm talking about. Even if he kills her on substance you are still going to have loads of people that are going to make him out to be an asshole. Thats the unfortunate side of being a man. It's sad but true.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:49 PM   #178
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speaking of starting to feel sorry (or not) for Sarah, here's quite a post from one of The Atlantic's columnists:


Quote:
I've been thinking a lot about this nomination and rewatching the videos of Palin's interview. Honestly, it's all made me tremendously sad. There are lot of us lefties who are guffawing right now and are happy to see Palin seemingly stumbling drunkenly from occasional interview to occasional interview. I may have been one of them. But I'm out of that group now.

The Palin pick was the most crassest, most bigoted decision that I've seen in national electoral politics, in my--admittedly short--lifetime. There can be no doubt that they picked Palin strictly as a stick to drum up the victimhood narrative--small town, hunters, big families and most importantly, women. Had Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton, there simply is no way they would have picked Sarah Palin. To the McCain camp, Palin isn't important as a politician, or even as a person. Her moose-hunting, her sprawling fam, her hockey momdom, her impending grandmother status are a symbol of some vague, possibly endangered American thing, one last chance to yell from the rafters "We wuz robbed." Lineup all your instances of national politicians using white victimhood to get into offices--Willie Horton, White Hands, Sista Souljah, Reagan in Philadelphia etc.--they were all awful no doubt. But I have never seen a politician subject an alleged ally to something like this.


Let us take this story seriously for a moment. I have watched this whole Palin thing with some twinge of personal recognition. I come from a family of seven kids by four women. As I've said before, I've got brothers born in the same year, and brothers born to best friends. My father was a high-school drop-out. I am a college drop-out. I was a father by 24--my father had kids when he was 22. I come to books and learned things in a hard, organic way. I was watching Palin explain to Couric how it could be that she just got a passport last year, and I was thinking, "Shit, I don't have a passport now." What can I say? Azeroth was always a foreign country to me.

My point is that, Sarah Palin never struck me as stupid. When she talked about not backpacking across Europe and working her whole life, beneath the dumb anti-intellectual dig, I saw a gem of truth. I wish she had have mined it, instead of trying to score a cheap point. Rambling aside, she simply isn't ready. Maybe she would be eight years from now, but she isn't ready now, any campaign worth its salt would have known this.

In election season, there is a price for being turned into a symbol. When actual journalists, with a rep to protect, show up, they are going to do their job. Which brings me to the sexism of John McCain. He knew full well what Sarah Palin was going to face if he nominated her. He knew that reporters would go through her past, that they'd quizz her on the present, that she would need to be ready, and he shunted concern aside, and tossed her to the wolves. Think on that for a mement. For one last run at the White House, he risked a future star of the party he claims to call home. How do you do that? I don't meant to rob Palin of agency, certainly she is also a victim of her own calculations and ambitions. But where I am from the elders protect you, and pull you back when you've gone too far, when your head has gotten too big.

Of course the irony of all this is how conservatives have, for years, lampooned the liberal pursuit of multiculturalism/identity politics. But here's the thing, even when done haphazardly, awkwardly, and imprudently, the fight against bigotry and ignorance has rewards. But when you decide to not be a leader in the fight against sexism/racism and simply criticize those who do, you rob yourself of political experience. Put differently, there is a price--bigger than the black vote--to be paid for disengagement. You become ignorant of a growing sector of the world. They expected Hillary. And if it were a black man, they never even knew it could be someone like Barack Obama. So these guys go to the well one more time, and ressurect the old spectres of "Us against Them." But the fools haven't been paying attention--the"Us" has changed. This isn't Alabama, and it ain't 1968. There is a whole class of educated, working women, themselves, the children of educated working women. And this is what McCain has to say to them, "I don't care if you know a thing about foreign policy. I don't care if you know a damn thing about the economy. Here is what you are to me--breasts, hair and a lovely smile."

Turns out it helps to actually care about the fate of women, to know something about them, beyond your own lust, when going for their votes. Who'da thunk it?
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:50 PM   #179
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Before I begin with my review of the debate, I want to point something interesting out. I'm not sure if this happened to any of you, but....


The first 15 minutes I was really involved with thing. Keeping notes on what both candidates said. Then I just watched and listen.


After about the first hour I started to get quite bored with the debate. My mind began zoning in and out and sometimes I didn't even really know what either was saying.


Then, I missed the moderator saying the 'final remarks' bit, so I heard Obama suddenly switch gears on the topic and started thinking, "Dude, what are you doing?" Then McCain spoke and it had nothing to do with Obama said, and I thought, "Dude, what are YOU doing as well??"

Then I realized it was their closing remarks. That's how much I kind of zoned out.


But anyway, now onto my review.


I'll begin first, with as best as I can, an objective review. Then I will delve into my personal thoughts.


At the start of this debate I was split pretty evenly between the two candidates. Obama started it off. Now I know I have said that Obama is full of charm, but my golly, it sure as hell worked on me. Everytime I see Obama talk I am just drawn in and listen like a little kid watching Santa.


Then McCain spoke and the debate begin.


Overall, I do not believe there was a hands down, clearly defined winner of the debate. And I am not going on my personal views, I am strictly going on their ability to debate and public speak. I think it definitely was leaning in favor of Obama, but I don't think where was anything, to me, that stood out that gave Obama that huge jump. Someone on CNN said Obama is a great public speaker and a horrible debater, and McCain is a great debater and a horrible public speaker. So I wanted to watch for that and see if that was true.


What I discovered was indeed that Obama is a great public speaker. No doubt about it. In his public speaking ability, I think he clobbered McCain. In terms of debating, I think, for the most part, they are split. I say for the most part because I want to point out a couple of things.


1) After the debate, the Republican analysts were saying Obama seemed defensive, and the Democratic analysts were saying McCain seemed defensive. Here is what I have to say to the CNN analysts - You do realize, CNN, that if someone is either calling you out on something that is a negative thing, or saying a false fact about you, that yes, indeed, naturally you will be defensive. Frankly I didn't see it as defensive, I saw it as debating.


2) Obama and McCain's style of debating is vastly different. I don't think one is better than the other, but I think it's different. Obama looked at both the moderator and McCain and would talk directly to McCain. Obama also praised McCain and said "I agree with Senator McCain" a few times. McCain only looked at the moderator. He never talked directly to Obama.


Obama debate pros: Spoke directly to McCain, looked at McCain, praised McCain on issues, proved that he is in fact a good debater, continued to show that regardless of lack of experience, has the ability to lead this country with calling out where the government has failed, and what needs to be done to fix it. He gave examples and facts and actual concrete 'what he will do' things. I didn't hear him say 'change' all night. I think. I was listening closely and I didn't hear that word, defended himself if a false fact or negative statement was made.


Obama debate cons: Non evident.


McCain debate pros: Defended himself if a false fact or negative statement was made, spoke excessively about his experience in other countries and working with world leaders, made it evident that he is passionate about the military (very clear, not vague as some politicians do, whether we agree with his stance on this or not, he is open about it).


McCain debate cons: Did not look at Obama. Did not speak to Obama directly. spoke excessively about his experience in other countries and working with world leaders (I put this in pros and cons because after a while it got tiresome).



Now onto my personal views -

I love watching/listening to Obama The man could tell me I am going to die in 24 hours and I'd still be thrilled at how he presents it. That is how GOOD of a public speaker and charismatic this man is. His words sound so good, and tonight he didn't let me down any.


I think, if you're an Obama supporter, you can easily say Obama walked all over McCain. And I can definitely see how that view point could be made, as whenever McCain spoke I kind of got bored, and whenever Obama spoke I perked up.


I think if you're a McCain supporter, you can easily say that McCain debated his best and held his own with his experience and knowledge. And I can definitely see how that view point could be made because whenever McCain spoke, you have to admit, the man has been around a long time and has seen a lot of political stuff. And whether one agrees with what he says, one has to admit he has a true grasp on where the country has been, and where it is now. So to answer the question if he has experience, he definitely does.


And now the verdict of where I personally have moved, if I have, on the political plane with Obama and McCain:









I have shifted from the middle more into Obama territory. He is great to watch, to listen to, I think if elected President he would be a fine speaker and better than Bush. Well, anyone is a better speaker than Bush. Gilbert Gottfried would be more intellectual to watch than Bush.


I'm not quite 100 percent sold on Obama, but I have definitely begun down that path. The points he made tonight I truly agree with a lot of. The things McCain said tonight didn't really jive with my views as much as Obama.


So, if I have to score this debate, I will say:

Obama 1, McCain 0
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:29 PM   #180
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Given Obama's messianic levels of oratorical skill one would expect McCain to have been completely annihilated, instead we get more complaints that the GOP is being mean, wtf.
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