Ok so I fell asleep and woke up as the debate was ending. I’m watching it now and I’ll be doing something slightly different than usual. Since I’m not actually watching it live I will be able to pause it and give more measured responses. There will be fewer of them but they will be meatier. Also there are already benefits of not watching it live as I’ve gotten text messages telling me that Joe the plumber isn’t a real person. Scoundrels.
Ok at this is getting kind of infuriating. There were far too many sound bites and canned lines in that. Brokaw should have let them get into it more. Now is the time to hash out the details and these events need to be more than a recitation of talking points. There were almost fruitful exchanges but every time they’d get started they’d be pulled back by Brokaw. In all fairness he seemed frustrated by the format too but apparently it was agreed by the campaigns that there would not be follow-ups which to me makes the whole thing sort of one big jerk off. I realize that is a rude thing to say but it’s true.
The questions were almost all excellent and pointed and really got to the heart of the things that the voters want to know from these two men and to some degree they were answered but too often the heart of a question was ignored. I would love to hear how McCain plains to achieve peace with something other than the military or economic sanctions which amount to a war on the common person by denying them medicine and food. I would like to have some insight into how John McCain integrates new pieces of information into his thought process because from the looks of it he hasn’t changed an opinion in a long time. We’ve just suffered through 8 years of a president who couldn’t deal with constructive criticism and we can’t afford 4 more.
Obama was good for the most part and he tried to hit back but was somewhat limited by the format. I hope that what is being whispered among the few paying attention to Pakistan is correct and that is that Obama’s discussion of strikes is more political posturing than an actual plan because we can see from what the Bush administration has been doing for the last two months there that such tactics only enflame militants and drive regular people into their ranks. And it does nothing to address the real problem in Pakistan which is the multiple factions vying for control. Until that issue is resolved you don’t even know who you’re bargaining with.
McCain consistently misrepresented Patraeus’s position on Afghanistan and Obama should have hit him harder on that but the pundits will get around to it no doubt. The problem is I don’t think that Obama’s strategy of simply shifting the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan is a solid one either. We clearly are in desparate need of a new approach in the region and that was not articulated tonight. Obama realizes that the same strategies aren’t going to work but he hasn’t suggested any different ones.
As far as who won I will give this one to Obama by quite a bit but as I said it matters little when the questions, GOOD questions, from citizens no less, are ignored in favor of repetition of sound bites. People want details and if you won’t give them to them then how can you expect their vote? I’m very frustrated with this whole situation right now. The entire event is a farce. A real debate would have more than those two men on stage. Grrrrrrr.
McCain is bungling the answer. He seems to be saying that the unknown is scary and he’s used to being scared so we should all be scared with him because tomorrow we could be fighting in a country we’ve never heard of today. Wow…this is lame. He believes the country is great but that is no response. Again he says a steady hand but that is NOT him!
Excellent final question. Obama is working it perfectly thus far. I would like to know more about his mental process but getting into that minutia would probably turn people off. I Think it’s a bit of a cop out to say he learns it from his wife but it was an excellently crafted response.
The question presupposes that Iran is a threat and the candidates are eating it up. This bothers me. At least Obama is talking about options beyond war…too bad he’s for sanctions (at least it sounds like it). He’s tying in the Bush failures well here.
Interesting and direct question about U.N.’s role in our foreign military actions. McCain would not wait because of Russia and China but what does that mean about his ability to build coalitions with other nations? We’ve used a lot of capital already in the last 8 years. Sanctions on the Iranians will only kill regular people just like in Iraq. That is not something any moral person could support.
I don’t think most American’s like the idea of helping former soviet states monetarily. I like the idea of anticipating challenges but does that correlate to pre-emptive military strikes? I’m confused about that.