Substance and Style; The First Debate
I had to read to my two daughters and get them to bed. So, I only caught the briefest snippets of the first debate between McCain and Obama. Not that I really wanted to sit through ninety minutes since neither candidate was going to say something that was actually going to cover new ground. Anyway, this election is really turning into a first-class nail-biter and my narrowed coronaries really can’t handle the whole ninety minutes…
But, for anyone following this election, these debates are wholly unnecessary. They’re only a beauty contest staged for the benefit of the squishy, wishy-washy undecided voter. Like watching Miss Universe, all you really need to do is peak in and ogle during the swim suit competition. Therefore, all I really wanted was a feel for the “presence” and delivery.
And, so you have McCain winning on substance. McCain was rattling off fact and figures like a machine gun. From my days as a Navy officer, I know the type. He’d be one of those commanding officers who knew the answer before you had a chance to answer; and woe to you if you didn’t. (Hewitt) (Power Line)(Yepsen) (Simon, Politico)
Obama was an echo chamber–“I agree, but…” or “I agree, and here’s what I said, (or meant).” But, he didn’t make a fool of himself, either. But, I’ll have to defer to William Katz on matters of show-biz and give the style points to Obama. Katz’s comment from Urgent Agenda sums it up with “Obama sounded as if he could be president.”
Now, McCain needs to be sure that the Congressional Republicans are successful in insuring that the bailout bill is not a pork-laden give away that will function as the first act of Obama’s New Deal II.
And, a well-crafted bill will give McCain the ammunition, in the last debate, to squarely lay out the blame of the financial meltdown at the feet of Obama. Then demonstrate how his bill, that’s McCain’s, did not saddle Democratic Party corruption on the taxpayer.
As unfortunate as the meltdown was to McCain’s poll standings, at least there’s time to build a case to show that this crisis occurred because of corruption. And, he, McCain, has the bona fides to demonstrate that he was on to that corruption and made substantive efforts to stop that corruption back in 2005.