Strongest and best Obama ever!!
While declining to land any personal blows on John McCain, Barack Obama remained cool, confident and dare I say it? Presidential in tonight’s debate to John McCain’s Grampy McCrankypants routine. It appears that the pundits and flash polls agree, as the majority of those polls scored it for Obama, including Frank “The Hair” Luntz’s dial polls on *gasp* FOX News (maybe that’s why they don’t have them up on the website).
But there was one moment where Obama was direct and on the offense, without the petulance of McCain, as he confronted McCain’s rote recitation of being smart but unpopular by supporting the surge. From the flash polls I’ve seen, this moment resonated deeply with those undecided voters, especially since McCain would not even look Obama in the eye.
OBAMA: But understand, that was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the previous four years of mismanagment of this war. And so John likes…John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge, the war started in 2003. And at the time, when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were, you were wrong. You said that we would be greeted as liberators, you were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni and you were wrong. And so the question is the judgment of whether or not…
MCCAIN: Senator Obama…Senator Obama…Senator Obama doesn’t….
OBAMA: …whether or not the question is who is best equipped as the next president to make good decisions about how we use our military, how we make sure that we are prepared and ready for the next conflict and I think we can take a look at our judgment.
Live-Blogging Ole Miss (from Andrew Sullivan's blog:)
27 Sep 2008 12:14 am
Unless it happened when I glanced away, up until this moment, 77 minutes into the 90-minute debates, John McCain has not once looked at Obama -- while listening to him, while addressing him, while disagreeing with him, while finding moments of accord.
This is distinctly strange -- if anyone else notices. Obama is acting as if this is a conversation; McCain, as if he cannot acknowledge the other party in the discussion.
Rod Dreher from BeliefNet:
I think Obama has to be judged the winner. Nobody's mind will be changed by this debate, but Obama seemed loose and confident and not intimidate by McCain. McCain seemed growly and tense, though more focused than usual. Because McCain didn't beat Obama, and because Obama is ahead right now, Obama wins a narrow victory.
No memorable moments. Fascinating body language. No major gaffes by either candidates. No major surprises...A good debate for both men...Thresholds are artificial, but both candidates seemed to meet them - although Obama's threshold was arguably higher. The press will probably conclude that McCain did not fundamentally change impressions tonight. And that Obama held his own.
9:12 Obama just put McCain in his place by saying "Even Henry Kissinger says we should sit down with Iran without pre-conditions. Then Obama hit McCain hard and said, "Senator McCain won't even sit down with Spain! And Spain is a NATO ally." - Lydia
10.02 pm. Obama just pwned McCain on using the troops as an emotional weapon. And then he has kept intense focus on Afghanistan. All McCain can do is suggest that Petraeus opposes Obama which is untrue, and to say how far he's traveled around the world.
9.53 pm. McCain concedes the failure in Afghanistan. Obama seems very authoritative. He seems to be passing the presidential. His exchange on Pakistan seemed to me to be a real turning point. He basically outed McCains distortion of his position and yet managed to seem more aggressive in foreign policy than the Republican. He's no Dukakis. He's no Kerry. He's winning on the issue of national defense. That's new. And McCain keeps gong back to claims that he knows more. And goes back to the Reagan era. This is the first exchange on national security in a presidential debate where the Democrat out-hawked, in a responsible way, the Republican.
9:37 pm. Finally Obama manages to pin the massive spending increases in spending on the Republicans. About time!
"John characterizes me as "wildly liberal" -- mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's policies."
9.28 pm. What strikes me is McCain's insistence on pork. What strikes me about Obama is his forcefulness. He doesn't sound academic or pointy-headed. He seems decisive and executive. McCain seems more of a debater.
26 Sep 2008 09:10 pm
9.15 pm. Does McCain really believe that earmarks are the only problem with government spending? They're bad, but they are not anything like the real problem.
9.11 pm. McCain is still defending his silly proposal to fire Chris Cox. Obama keeps bringing it back to ordinary Americans and the recent past. He keeps trying to return to the theme of the Republican responsibility.
9.08 pm. McCain seemed a little less engaged and forceful. And the reference to the Republicans in Congress seemed a little insidery to me.
9.06 pm. Obama's opening statement struck me as more forceful and energetic, and less academic than usual.