Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Deflate

I sorta feel unqualified to comment on the debates these days. Mind you, not because I'm not engaged, but almost because I'm too engaged. I spend so much time researching the candidates and campaigns, and listening to their blurbs on TV and the internet, and the debates are on message to the point of being repetitive. I mean, I could probably create a word-for-word replication of this debate using only old video clips from before tonight. That is, of course, excluding the pissy moments displayed in the debate on the parts of both candidates.

I also tend to see the debates, between McCain and Obama at least, as draws, because I don't perceive either of them as the most skilled of debaters. However, there's a lot more to public perception than a scorecard, and on that count, I feel pretty certain that public sentiment has been swung our way, if only a minute amount, after all three debates. Kudos to Obama for working the room like he did when it was all over, even the undecideds (and probably plenty of the Republicans) can't resist that charisma of his. Funnily, the truth is that Joe Biden beat them all down with his performance, especially on the front of connecting with the electorate in a way that seemed unaffected and apolitical. If either of the principals could do that in the third debate, it could change the game for sure. It's sorta weird to me how Biden's presence has emerged over the last couple of months, despite the fact that he was never a serious contender for the presidency. He was *such* a smart pick on Obama's part, not a flashy one, but such a very smart one. That is to be contrasted with McCain's choice of Governor Palin, which I feel borders on irresponsible, and it seems that an increasing number of the electorate agrees.

I'd be super interested to hear what others think, especially if they are still undecided. I laugh as I wonder if there's anyone left who might ever read this blog who is still undecided. Seems like most everyone I know comes down pretty strongly on one side or the other, and, admittedly just like me, after a formula that is pretty predictable. I'll tell you, I wish that this was a contest between McCain from days of yore and Obama. Not because it would make it more likely for my guy to win (no doubt it wouldn't), but because I would feel certain that, either way, our nation would be on the verge of electing a President who possesses a powerful mix of principle and pragmatism. Over the last eight years, Senator McCain has disappointed me repeatedly on both counts, and I know I'm not alone. And the truth is, it's personally disappointing for me as well, because Senator McCain was once a bonafide hero of mine, not to mention a man who was a friend of my family and for whom my family campaigned. Even as my politics continued to diverge from his, he was someone for whom I long maintained a healthy dose of admiration. I can still admire McCain the man, for his service and determination, but my last shred of reverence for McCain the politician was obliterated a while ago.

Anyway, I'm so over boring-ish debates. I'm pretty much a wonk and these debates bore me, so I'm guessing that most people, for whom this ain't exactly their bread and butter, aren't moved by hearing the same crap over and over. That's especially true when all anyone wants today are solid answers on the economy, and it is becomng more and more evident that our economy has grown into a juggernaut so complex that it even eludes the grasp of our leaders. Someday I will figure out how to get Americans interested in politics and civics; I will figure out how to make the direct connection in the American psyche between our daily lives and our choice of leaders. We're headed that way, I think, but there's some trick that remains undiscovered. Some smart political analyst, maybe with a background in psychology, will do it eventually, and why shouldn't it be me? And when I do I will rule the world! Muahahaha. Just kidding, I'll never make a good candidate myself. Too many, uh, background issues. But I can Rove it up through others! LOLOL!

Ugh, I'm tired.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm... I agree, all of these debates have been a draw, at least as far as being a "game changer" for either party. What I think is interesting is the desperation/enthusiasm with which my friends on the right claim McCain or Palin "crushed" or "obliterated" their opponent. I mean, what debates are they watching? I am not claiming Biden or Obama have "crushed" or "obliterated" McCain or Palin. The facts just don't bear it out. Most of the focus group results after all of the debates have been split pretty much right down the middle. I realize "focus groups" can be hand picked, but have you compared them between networks? Last night I did a quick, unscientific check. when asking, "who won the debate":

    PBS: no focus group, but the pundits gave a minimal advantage to Obama

    CNN: focus group was divided almost right down the middle (1 or 2 person advantage to obama)

    MSNBC: focus group was divided almost right down the middle (1 or 2 person advantage to obama)

    Fox News: focus group was overwhelmingly in favor of McCain winning.

    hmmmm... "Fair and Balanced" must just be bullsh*t?

    my two copper coins...