Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great American Debate Between The Living Dead

So, round one is over. I think these debates are, in so many ways, a waste of time. Questions from moderators who don't press the point. Scripted policy positions and one-liners. Men who stand formal and lifeless - as if they have no humanity left. The only reason I watched was to see if John McCain would have a senior moment or if Barack Obama would play the race card. Maybe next time.

But for those of us who engage in amateur political analysis, the debates do provide some insight to the psyche of these candidates. After all, there are only three times in the whole campaign in which they have to be on the same stage with each other. The pressure is no doubt intense as each man has to monitor his composure and responses, as well as attempt to rattle your opponent in a cool and collected manner.

I thought Obama came off stronger than McCain, mainly because Obama makes lifelessness look erudite. He proved he was just as informed as McCain on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia, which is big. McCain played the seasoned statesman well, but seemed a bit dated as he brought up as examples of his judgment during the Lebanese mission in 1982 and various quips about the Soviet Union, Gorbachev and Glasnost (pop quiz for the youngsters: what is glasnost?). On the whole, I thought it was a draw, which in this environment is a win for Obama. The first debate, however, is likely to be the least consequential of the three, so McCain will have another day.

Mason Slidell

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