This last Wednesday night I saw the first 2/3 of the presidential debate (the first one I've actually watched, and more geared toward doemstic policy) before my wife distracted me with what she likes to call better action than politics, which she hates.
(3 points for the wife)
First off, IF this was my first exposure to the whole campaign, and I came in totally ignorant of everything, Obama won the debate, and I would definitely be voting for him over McCain.
(1 point Obama)
My take on the negative campaigning question, I had issue with both of them. Neither really answered. Obama tip-toed around the question, while McCain expressed disgust with negativity while simultaneously throwing in a few negative sounding jabs at the democrats.
On the economy, Obama sounded really great. McCain's plan was pretty sound on the surface. However its amazing to me that the moderator showed results of both plans adding about $200 billion to the deficit annually. Obama later retorted something to the effect of all independent organizations showed his plan to be perfectly sound and on target (I dont have the exact words, so don't quote me). McCain wasn't exactly on target either, but I think he had a greater grasp on the simple math...added to the fact that he supports line-item vetos, which would greatly help to reduce useless expenditures. Obama said programs would need to be cut in order to make room for some of his programs. I get that, however, his plan still leaves way too much taxation on the group that will provide more tax money either directly, or through new jobs that provide for more taxes through those people. Everytime in history has shown unfair taxation on the producers has resulted in less overall tax rolls.
So just what is Obama going to cut???
I do agree with Obama on working the tax code to encourage American companies to bring their production back home, while discouraging further outsourcing of manufacturing jobs.
(draw- 1 point each)
On energy policy, both had great ideas. Obama is still pondering the whole drilling issue, while McCain is ready to act. I score McCain that point. No matter what we do, we have to utilize all options, not just drilling, and not just anti drilling. As cheap as it makes gas in Iowa, the ethanol mandate needs to go, along with their subsidies. Obama made a point about the oil cmpanies having 68million undrilled acres of land they have leased,where they COULD get oil. The problem with that is, IS THERE ACTUALLY ANY OIL THERE? I'm in favor of them "using it or losing it", but I think we ought to concentrate efforts of drilling where we KNOW its at. I think Obama is, while not saying it, against going that direction. (1 point McCain.
On healthcare, I think both candidates have great ideas, and some not so great ideas, but both fall short.
So tallying it up, Obama and McCain score 2 points in my book each. My wife gets her 3 points...so she wins....but I'm biased and she's not running or elegible for the office. Pure scoring would show Obama as the winner of this debate. So given the draw, in my books, the debate goes to McCain for not totally flubbing this one up. Noone expected him to be anywhere near close, at least not according to main stream media outlets, and even a lot of conservative media outlets. He held his own, despite poor coaching from the leadership of the GOP.
Both candidates stuck almost squarely to their side of the aisles arguments. Obama talks about reaching across the aisle, but his words arent as loud as his voting history. He's going to have to adopt a few conservative perspectives to get all those things done he says he will, unless of course the DNC achieves filibuster proof control of Congress. McCain talks about issues, but his words give way in favor of hard-right perspectives on what should be said and done. While associations with certain people can come into question and are important, along with judgement calls on things, the issues based solely on provable facts are the only real strength of a republican platform. Unfortunately the republicans always fall short on following a real gameplan.