Well I sat through it, analyzed various points and simply put, while it wasn’t everything we wanted, Senator John McCain came out on top. He missed opportunities, but he responded to everything Obama brought up, and turned the tables on the Junior Senator over spending and his foreign policy mistakes. For most of the night, we saw simple lines of rhetoric, backtracking and contradiction, and yet CNN’s news team likes to claim that he stood his own against McCain. Talk about political spin and pure partisan fiction…
On the economy, Barack came out swinging, tying McCain to Bush and blaming the President for our economy’s downturn. While I will discuss this in full on my next post, I will quickly state it here; The economy was going through a downturn when Bush took office, and following the 9/11 attacks and various other events, mostly out of his control, America finds itself in the position it is in, something the President can’t take the full blame for. Obama also ignored the job growth we have seen in the last four years that to the tax cuts the Bush administration brought about. When he said “you can’t hope that it (prosperity) will trickle down” he was ignoring evidence to the contrary. While McCain should have pounded him on this, he did hammer “The One” when he tried to discuss over spending. What this for the most came down to was Obama repeating party lines, while McCain was taking shots directly at his opponent.
John’s constant references to Obama’s overspending played very well, especially when he cited that Barack’s earmarks had averaged out to one million for every day he has been in the Senate. At times it seemed Barack was trying to signal to moderator Jim Lehrer for assistance. Roger Simon at Politico even quotes Obama, “Let’s move on” as a sign of this desperation. This is also where you start seeing Obama slipping up on his opponents name. Various others have mentioned this, calling McCain everything from Jim to Tom. It would have been nice to see John come out swinging over Obama’s record of voting for things like the “Bridge to Nowhere”, which Barack and his running mate supported even after Sarah Palin gave it the axe, but he still did a very good job at not only holding his own, but staying on the offensive. It would also have been nice to see him correct Obama on alternate energy policy. Barack likes to take credit for other’s work, and when he started up on how he pioneered the discussion on being energy self-sufficient, I was hoping that McCain would remind everyone that it was his running mate, Sarah Palin, who opened this up, but he didn’t.
All in all, McCain seemed far more in control of this section of the debate, no matter what CNN’s news team likes to claim. McCain quoted precise incidents, his relationships with those in the know, his experience in fixing economic problems, etc while Obama repeated false rhetoric, lied about his history of reform, and hoped no one would remember that is was his opponent who stepped up this week to fix Wall Street when he was still playing politics. One could only hope many other viewers noticed this as well…
On foreign policy, McCain was the clear winner. Obama tried to make the point that McCain was wrong about things like how the Iraqis would greet us, and that al-Qaeda was now stronger, ignoring that for the most part, coalition forces has been greeted as liberators and that al-Qaeda is on the run according to various intelligent reports dating back to May of this year. A clear sign that Barack didn’t want the facts to get in the way of his rhetoric. He also ignored the the threat which Iran poses, trying to argue this “Hollywood bomb-in-a-suitcase” scenario. He also came out and attacked McCain on diplomacy with Iran, stating that even Henry Kissinger, one of Jon’s advisers, supported his beliefs. Well McCain shot back at that, discussing not only that he has known the man for thirty years, but that there is a difference between diplomacy with the country and sitting down with the villain himself. It is no surprise that Kissinger also released a statement following the debate that McCain was right and Obama was wrong. This wasn’t all though, it got worse…
It was clear that McCain was more knowledgeable and that Obama came off as naive, especially over Afghanistan. For the last few weeks Barack has been attacking Bush and McCain over Afghanistan, ignoring a variety of facts which resolve the paradox which “The One” is trying to portray. Yes, Afghanistan is the central point to the War on Terror, BUT it isn’t just American troops in that country. NATO allies, including Canada, are fighting there as well. As Times Online reported, Canadian, Dutch and British troops make up the bulk of the fighting force there. Why does America have a majority of its troops in Iraq then? Because Iraq ISN’T a NATO mission. Canada took over control to allow the US to focus its power there, a sign of this being the successful surge which Barack likes to ignore, something McCain hammered him on last night. For a man who has made one mistake after another, his credibility on the issue is a moot point, and it showed, no matter what his supporters say.
Many bloggers have also pointed to Barack’s misstep with his bracelet from a parent of a fallen soldier, something Michelle Malkin has made a serious issue on her blog. What is the story behind this? I honestly don’t see the serious significance for it, but it clearly shows a lack of sincerity on his part to not only forget the name of the soldier on his bracelet, but to stumble over where he got it. I think this is more consistent with the fact that he was getting pounded, he knew it and was having trouble dealing with it. It wasn’t just on Iran and Iraq though, he contradicted himself TWICE on Pakistan. He begins discussing going in to the country and fighting terrorism, something he has discussed before which has caused him problems, and something which McCain turned on him in a quick reply, “You don’t point a gun at someone unless you intend to pull the trigger”. Barack’s response was not only weak, but added credibility to his opponent’s claims, “I am not talking about invading Pakistan… but if they get in our sights, we will take them out”. Clearly Obama can’t help but stick to his stance on Pakistan being the enemy, and that we should be invading them as well. Ignoring that they have been an ally against al-Qaeda and the Talibam, he goes on to criticize funding of Pakistani troops in this War on Terror. Another point which McCain hammer him on. No matter which avenue of attack Obama took, it was quickly turned back on him.
No matter what anyone says, even if McCain didn’t have a knock out in this debate, Obama’s performance on foreign policy was definitely where John got most of his points. Watching CNN’s report on this is absolutely disgusting, quoting polls taken from bias sources, trying to make the case that Barack would handle the war in Iraq better than his opponent, ignoring the fact that he not only voted against going there in the first place, but he voted against the surge that has had substantial success which “The One” refuses to acknowledge.
I think Byron York put it best, “Obama did well enough, but McCain did better”. Ignore your own bias towards either candidate and what you have is one candidate who was on the defensive for most of the debate, and another who was not only on the attack, but so focused and to the point, his opponent agreed with him on various occasions. No CNN, you don’t win a debate by agreeing with your opponent EIGHT TIMES instead of trying to separate yourself from what you have argued is bad policy, you don’t win a debate by telling the moderator to move on when your opponent has more to say and you can’t defend against it, and you definitely don’t win a debate when you can’t even remember the names of those people who have put their unwavering support behind you. It was infuriating to watch him, and you could even see McCain’s frustration in listening to this man’s lies and slander.
Barack Obama has clearly showed in the first debate that he is nothing more than rhetoric and insincerity. Stumbling through answers, tying together empty statements to make hollow claims shows weakness. McCain stated his points, provided clear examples, showed his experience on the issues and didn’t waver or contradict himself. It is no wonder Republicans have been hammering the MSM on their obvious bias when no one, not even CNN’s John King who tried to point out the fact that their polls were heavily biased towards Democrats (41% Dems, 30% Ins, 27% Reps, 2% undecided), is allowed to discuss this fairly. It is disgusting to see that this political spin is painting a distorted picture of facts. It isn’t the first time I mentioned this problem, and it certainly won’t be the last. Let’s just hope McCain does an even better job at the next debate, so much so that CNN, MSNBC and the rest of them can’t spin it.
UPDATE: I would honestly like to see where Gallup gets its results since whoever they were polling either has the IQ of a Hollywood star or wasn’t watching the same debate the rest of us were. It is frustrating that we have the entire MSM working for Obama, and now it seems the pollsters are also in the tank. When Fox News has McCain pounding Obama 82% to 16% in post-debate polls, I think it is clear that something is funny with the voting samples the others are taking. This is definitely the pre-debate (Obama’s campaign spinning their candidate’s readiness) and post-debate (claiming since Obama didn’t lose, he won) spinning Mark Noonan over at Blogs For Victory was talking about.