Posted by admin on 2008 September 27
To me, it looked like a wash. Neither candidate embarrassed his supporters, both appeared competent enough. But I think Obama allayed fears among fence sitters about his presidentiality. That means the debate was a win for Obama, because the fence sitters are ready for change, but they’re afraid to change too much. Now Obama looks more like a president to them, so they will lean in his direction.
McCain got a lot of facts wrong but that won’t have any effect on his supporters, they either won’t know or will shrug it off. For all the complaints about how presidential debates are not really debates, they’re too much like a dog and pony show and all that… well, this debate was pretty debaty. Especially Obama, to me he came off as wonky, Clarence Page said “professorial.” There weren’t any campaign changing soundbites from either of them, Obama seemed focused on actually debating the points, while McCain had a more political focus, except that it wasn’t delivered particularly well.
Visually, Obama was charming as usual, McCain was a little creepy with his fixed smile and his not looking at Obama ever. But to his supporters McCain probably looked okay.
Kind of a disappointing debate really. Didn’t learn anything new, didn’t have a Dan Quayle moment or a Ronald Reagan moment. Well, there’s the VP debate and another presidential debate to look forward to. Maybe Obama will pull out the stops for that one.