Thursday, October 16, 2008

On the Debate

A few moments of the debate that stuck out to me:

When the candidates were asked why their respective VP choices were qualified to be president, I had to pause the Tivo until I stopped laughing. I wanted Obama to say "Not only would Joe Biden be a fine president...but he's also a member."

I did start drinking around an hour in, when John McCain insisted on having us examine Joe the Plumber's* pipes one more time. Hooray, Scotch!

Was McCain even trying to win over moderates? He spoke in this weird shorthand that I don't think translated well to any but political junkies. I thought that when he scoffed during the abortion discussion and said "health of the mother," it came off especially dickish... like womens' health doesn't matter to him. I know that's not what he meant by that, but it's how he came across. Women's health is obviously a liberal issue, because vaginas have a well-known liberal bias.

And Ayres. There's just so clearly nothing there. All McCain has is the man's name and a 40-year-old rap sheet. I thought Obama's retort—here's who I associate with—was really well presented. The Ayres association is like a prop gun on a theater stage. Wave it around all you like—pepper his name in shady email forwards and 527 commercials—and it looks menacing. The name conjures up radicalism, but the reality is something as boring and normal as an education committee. There's nothing damaging in the association, other than implication of the association itself. It's a popgun, offering a loud noise but no result.

Ultimately, I'm not even sure the policies of the two candidates matter at this point, in terms of us making up our national mind. There's a sense of the personalities of the two men that trumps all their promises. Obama is analytical and intelligent, young, vital, and cool in a fight. He's strong, charismatic, and in control.

McCain has consistently shown himself to be his opposite in almost all ways. He's not particularly charismatic, but he's used to being thought of as such, and interrupts with little barbs and goofs off after the debate in a way that lets us know that he thinks we think he's adorable. He's whining and cranky and simply can't believe he's losing to Obama, when it's obviously his turn to be President. He's an old soldier who has already given his country his best days, and he's running against a man whose best days are still ahead of him, and are ours for the asking.

As Americans, we don't always vote with our heads. But this year, our gut is pointing us in the same direction.


*Note: Not an actual plumber. He just plays one during presidential campaigns.

1 comment:

Travis said...

The local sports station here has had a political commentator after each debate, and I have really enjoyed what he has had to say. when he talks I have no clue as to who he wants to win. As opposed to pretty much anyone I watch on TV.

Anyway, what I enjoyed this morning:
McCain has two looks on his face during the debate. 1. A smirk 2. Disgust
Obama does keep his cool, but to his own detriment sometimes.
No candidate has adequately provided a road map to how they will help the economy.

He said McCain needed a 10 run homer in last nights debate, and he got a double