I Don’t Usually Get Political Here, but…

…I am an Obama supporter and I think he's getting decimated by McCain in the debate. It is painful and disappointing to watch. McCain is making his points with more clarity, directness and passion than Obama, who I agree with but who can't seem to clearly articulate his point of view tonight. And I've lost track of how many times Obama has told McCain that he is "absolutely right." It has practically become an endorsement of McCain.

UPDATE (9/28/08) : This USA Today/Gallup poll makes me feel a lot better.  It indicates that viewers of the debate gave Barack Obama the edge
over John McCain by a 46% to 34% margin.

(Thanks to Joel Goldman for the heads-up)

24 thoughts on “I Don’t Usually Get Political Here, but…”

  1. If you are a smart man, stay away from getting political on your blog. There are wolves out there.
    But after seeing the debate, McCain looks strong and seems to have the experience that Obama lacks. Maybe, that is best for us Americans.
    Joseph Travis Garnett

  2. I take a more balanced approach here. While I think McCain had some passion behind some of his answers, he also looked mean and impatient with having to go through these debates. At one point, he assumed a Neanderthal-like unibrow that made him look like a thug. What Barack Obama did so well was demonstrate his command of the responsibilities and levers of presidential power. He came off as somebody with both the character and confidence of a real leader. McCain came off as someone short of temper and with only force as a means of dealing with any situation.
    Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that these sorts of debates don’t win or lose someone the presidency. Look back at 2004, when John Kerry clearly won the debates against George W. Bush. Yet he didn’t win the White House.
    McCain is just Bush with an even shorter trigger and, if possible, a narrower view of what constitutes an able leader.

  3. Boy, I disagree with Mr. Pierce. It was Obama that looked sinister and had the evil eyebrows going. As for McCain being like Georgie, that’s not true. He’s a Republican yes, but he has been against many Bush proposals and has been historically more middle than conservative in the party representing his state and country. McCain has a record of working across the aisles in the Senate, he is respected there. This is what we need to get things done in Washington.
    Like I said Lee, stay away from political posts.

  4. Part of good leadership is the ability to weigh and value views rising in other people. It was very nice to see Mr. Obama weigh and acknowledge the validity of some of the views of his opponent. That is a quality that would help him to be a good president and would help ensure that he is not surrounded by yes-men.

  5. I think Lee’s comment was right on, but feel, as others do, that he might want to stray from politics. I am an ordained priest serving and living in the D.C. beltway with a congregation made up of both “sides” of the aisle…so I will stay nuetral. I would like to quote what pastor Rick Warren said in that very first religious forum – I think no matter which way this one goes, the country will be in good hands.

  6. I think Obama was excellent but he addressed McCain as “John” in the first part of the debate and as Senator McCain in the second part. That was painfully obvious. I think it is always better to address formally in a debate in spite of the fact they are in the Senate together. The Senate is a somewhat gentleman’s club.
    As far as McCain goes, he took a stand not to debate, the fact that Barack dragged him into the debate does not bode well for him.

  7. For me, the problem with the debate and the election so far is that both spend all of their time telling us why the other guy is wrong – and neither is saying why they are right. I want to know the plan – the step-by-step plan to resolving the problems we face and running the counry.
    Skip the negative sound bites, tell me what you are going to do. The specifics. Not on your website – on the TV. No shortage of coverage – tell us your plan.
    – Bill

  8. Go McCain! Yeaaaah! You Go Boy! Wah-hoo! Yes. Woo hoo! Maybe the debate should have postponed the debate. Hmm.
    and, Mr. Goldberg, you aren’t usually ‘overtly’ political, but you are political.
    And now, a moment of silence for Mr. Paul Newman.

  9. As for Obama doing poorly in the debate, the majority of polls don’t seem to agree with you. Most people thought the debate was tied/in Obama’s favor. For me it was tied. I thought both men seemed articulate and cognizant of the issues. Obama got his point across, to me, VERY clearly. He is a measured speaker, taking care to choose his words carefully. McCain isn’t an idiot, made good points, so in true bipartisan nature, Obama acknowledged this. BUT. Each of those “Senator McCain is right” comments was usually followed by a big “however” or a “…on paper…”
    And a minor point, there has only been one debate so far, not “debates” plural. Obama has two more debates in which to redeem himself in your eyes. And let’s not forget the Biden-Palin extravaganza on Thursday. You may have used the phrase “painful and disappointing” too soon. 😉

  10. Diane,
    I’ve watched the pundits and read the papers…and you’re right, the prevailing opinion seems to be that it was a tie. I want Obama to win and for the most part I agree with his approach on things. But I think he fared poorly in the debate. I’m hoping he does better in the subsequent match-ups with McCain because I want Obama in the White House. The idea that Palin could be one heart-beat away from the Presidency scares the hell out of me. Did you see her interview with Couric? Or even the one on ABC? My 13-year-old daughter is better prepared to be president than Palin is…
    PS – I loved McCain’s line about how when he looked into Putin’s eyes, he didn’t see the man’s soul, he saw the letters KGB.

  11. Lee,
    Perhaps the reason some Obama supporters felt as you did was because they had set the bar rather low for McCain. They didn’t feel that he was as articulate as Obama. They thought their guy was going to wipe the stage with the old codger, and they were shocked and surprised by how well McCain actually did. Because they don’t follow McCain much, they didn’t realize how many of his lines were repeated and rehashed from his stump speeches. The line you liked about Putin and the KGB? That wasn’t off-the-cuff cleverness. He’s used that one again and again, for example here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2007/12/mccain_man_of_the_year_should.asp
    Isn’t it interesting how our expectations, be they for politicians or for novelists, set the bar, and if the wordsmith doesn’t live up to our preconceived notions, we react emotionally with disappointment.

  12. So, the media had to tell you something that you didn’t originally see? Which was that McCain ‘won’ the debate. Wow. Hooray for the liberal readers of the liberal press for giving Barak “Oops, I pushed the wrong button – again” Obama a “slight edge” over McCain! LOL. What’s the news with the latest Monk book, Mr. Pundit Man?

  13. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Palin debate, since I haven’t seen a decent horror movie all year.
    Posted by: tod goldberg | Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 01:57 PM
    I agree with Tod – Politics should be the domain of the White Male (the only ones in the 2008 election who are even relatively unscathed by the media). Women, really, what are they thinking? They should stick with what they know best. Home making. Maybe teaching – If they know evolutionary facts.

  14. Ann,
    My view of Obama’s performance in the debate hasn’t changed. I’m just glad the public doesn’t seem to share it.
    But I take exception to your last comment, which I find patronizing and inane.
    I can’t speak for Tod, but I share his view about Palin. I have no problem with women in politics. I voted for Clinton in the primary and would have voted for her in November. But I have a big problem with Palin. My problem is with her inexperience, lack of knowledge, and her disturbing religious views. I don’t like Pat Robertson or Pat Buchanon either…does that make me a man-hater? Or am I only allowed to dislike the politics of males without being charged with sexism?
    My wife, my mother and my sisters all find Palin disturbing, too. Does that make them anti-feminist? Or are they only allowed to criticize politicians of the opposite sex?
    PS – For what it’s worth, if Clinton won, I would have loved a Clinton/Obama ticket. But I have no hard feelings that Obama didn’t pick Clinton as his running mate. His choice to go with someone else makes perfect sense to me. Why would he want to go into the Presidency overshadowed by the presence of a two-term President sitting down the hall? He’d be carrying a lot of baggage that wasn’t his own.

  15. I don’t find Palin frightening because she’s a woman, Ann. I find Palin frightening because she’s a moron. If you can watch her interview with Katie Couric and dispute that point, I’m eager to hear it.
    I want my elected officials to have both intellectual curiosity and an ability to think for themselves — things, frankly, John McCain used to have about 8 years ago. And I don’t want my president or vice president to be just like me — I want them to be smarter than me, to know more about the world than me, to have a better education than me and to not be afraid of being questioned. When even arch conservative pundits — who have the same education as their liberal media elite cohorts, incidentally, and even a notable few that I know well — think Palin is a moron, too, I think it’s a good barometer of her Evil Dead-ness.

  16. You know I think I will love watching Palin stumble her way through a debate. I think her mre, umm, fervent supporters will find a way to spin even her most ridiculous answers to her favor.
    I’m hoping it will go something like the SNL skit, I haven’t laughed that hard in years.

  17. Oh, you find Palin a moron, and Barak is some kind of a genius? Is he really smarter than any of us? The guy who said we have 58 states?(Not including Alaska or Hawaii) The guy who ‘accidently’ voted wrong, (where the big, terribly confusing choice was a decision between a big green Yay button or a big red Nay button? (Six times he hit the wrong big brightly colored button!) The guy who claimed his great uncle Charlie Payne was among the first American troops to free the concentration camp survivors in Auschwitz. Or was that Buchanwal. Well, obviously it was somewhere where there was a concentration camp.
    Is he a moron or is he a little kid who “makes things up” (euphamism for He’s a LIAR Stottlemeyer!!!) as he goes along and tries not to get caught…IF shows like SNL were doing charactures of the liberal public officials, they would probably make Barak Obama into a kid who made things up about his acheivements and family and the lies just keep getting bigger.
    The reason: It may have to do with the Fox News Segment (Fair and Balanced) where a liberal reporter asked a room full of Obama supporters if they could name one achievement Obama made (first in office, then at all) and this room full of Obama supporters couldn’t come up with an achievement…LOL. One lady said he spoke eloquently. That’s not an achievement, tho. That’s a talent.
    BTW, the reason I found those remarks sexist is the back slapping you did over the West Wing writer who characatured Palin as a “Lancombe rep” – because she was a woman. Maybe because she was an attractive woman? I dunno. Would he, if the candidate were a man from the “other party”, classify any man – especially a governer (the first woman and youngest person to hold the office) as being a makeup sales person. My problem isn’t that you ‘attack’ the opposing party,heck, I take took the time to take the Micky out of you because Obama didn’t talk as pretty as he usually does, It was the fact that you “endorsed’ – by putting it on your webpage – tactics that, supposedly are counter to your party’s “beliefs”. (Unless Sexism is a new party platform which came up since I left the party – LOL) Excuse my typos and spelling errors.
    I love Monk – as any right thinking person does. God Bless.

  18. OK, I’m a little late getting here, but I feel the need to add something… I was 9 years old in 1960, and almost all the Irish-Catholic kids in my grade school were fired up over the prospect of Jack Kennedy – one of US – becoming the next President. There was no hard-line religio-right to speak of in those days, and when the election turned turned out to be a photo finish, hard feelings were at a minimum (of course, growing up in Chicago, where disputing election results is almost as popular as pro sports, helped establish perspective).Now, 48 years on, I hope I’ve learned a few things, not least that our candidate isn’t going to be the Savior, and their guy isn’t going to be the Destructor. Since this election is likely to be the closest ever – there’s a real (if remote) possibility of a tie in the Electoral College – maybe we all ought to cool our jets just a bit. Now, if the Cubs and the White Sox both get into the World Series – then maybe we ought to get really worried.

  19. I’m conflicted about this. I don’t share Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs. But is that a legitimate reason to vote against her? It’s like people who were against Joe Lieberman because he’s an orthodox Jew or opposed Romney because he’s a Mormon. I think it’s a slippery slope. Would anyone come out and publicly say they’re opposed to a candidate because he’s a Jew? No. They’d be decried as a bigot. But we all know that people felt this way about Lieberman. Same with Palin.


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