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Who won the debate? Obama or McCain?

 
 
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 02:48 am
CBS Poll



Fox Focus Group



I've only read the transcript so far and while the "debate" was as vapid as I expected I'd give the slight edge to Obama. What do you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 26 • Views: 6,508 • Replies: 126

 
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 05:01 am
@Robert Gentel,
I disagree. The players were making their comments for the viewing audience and, IMHO, theaudience is as as dumb as sheep. McCain adapted the old "revert to a simple mantra" tactic that is often reccomended for "expert witnesses" in depositions. McCain was carefully spreading stuff like
"What Sen Obama doesnt understand" or "Sen Obama, once again shows his lack of understanding..." Its a cheap trick, having nothing to do with facts(yet its very effective).

McCain also had distorted the truth several times, like his actual invoking of his "energy Record" in Congress, when its clearly checkable on Congressional voting records that McCain has probably the worst voting record on this topic in recent years(I dont mean that hes voted incorrectly--hes mostly failed to even vote on an issues, or else hes voted "present")


In just tactics, Id say that McCain had the edge. Obama had better learn to stop being so damn cerebral and stop saying **** like"I agree with Sen McCain". In these debates he needs to cultivate a street fighter mentality.
I k now that his strategy was more to introduce himself to the audience, and in that fashion Obama had held his own and reaped several post-debate percentage points because Americans are, for the most part, just sick and tired of anything that smacks of BUSH, and one small area that Obama had some success, was to associate McCain with Bush. (There was a laughble exchange where McCain had attempted to acceuter Obama with the vestments of BUSHISM, that indeed was kind of funny, even Obama was laughing.

In thiw one, Im giving the edge to McCain , but with a realization that Obama was adopting a strategy of gradual unfolding of his personality and , in that respect, Obama looked like a huge detached intellect compared to the easily perturbed, petty, and kind of doddering old guard that is McCain.

Of course thats my HO, I was more pissed that they preempted a "FAmily Guy" mini-marathon.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 05:43 am
@Robert Gentel,
I think responses will be partisan.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 05:49 am
@Robert Gentel,
Ive attempted to be objective. Im an Obama supporter but, when viewing the debate dispassionately, my feeling was that McCain won.
Joe Biden, in a post debate "spin session" claimed that "The MAerican voter is smarter than that..." Boy is he gonna be disappointed if McCain slips past and convinces the puiblic that the GOP is an ACTUAL AGENT FOR CHANGE.
Loodikrus
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 06:45 am
@Robert Gentel,
Personally, I thought Obama did well but not quite as well as I'd hoped. His filters were removed, as I expected (the ones that were in place via Hillary) -- he was more relaxed and more assertive/ aggressive. He directly engaged McCain and seemed to enjoy having the opportunity.

There were a few opportunities I think he missed, though. For example, McCain repeated a lie about Obama planning to raise taxes on people who make $42,000 a year, and Obama forcefully said "that's not true" but he didn't hammer it home. He didn't say that's not true, here is what is true, and stop lying about it, John. You've been lying about that for [time period] and factchecks have proven that you are lying, repeatedly, but you keep doing it. Do the honorable thing, John, stop telling that lie.

Something like that. Involving the words "lie" and "honor."

I noted last night that McCain refused to look at Obama during the debate. He also got simpery and flustered when Obama made a damaging point. These were both signs of weakness -- I don't know if he made up for it sufficiently with the style and content of what he said.

I think Obama scored points when, by contrast, he oriented himself towards McCain, gestured at him, and made eye contact (or would have if McCain had looked up). Especially during the "you're wrong" section. That was good.

Anyway, overall I think Obama won it but not by a lot -- but I think that context makes it a less narrow win. This was McCain's chance to regain ground, and I don't think it was enough of a stand for that. This was a debate (supposed to be advantage = McCain) on foreign policy (supposed to be advantage = McCain) and Obama stood his ground at the very least.

It may be enough to stop McCain's polls numbers from sliding a lot further, but I don't think it will give him a big boost, either. And he needed a big boost.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 06:49 am
Winning the debate is a strange concept when the real goal is winning the election.

Obama and his campaign seem to understand a key point. This election will be won by the side that can convince the low-information, undecided voters. Most (if not all) of the people who read these posts are already completely decided.

One item that makes my point. Obama several time said "You are right John". This was questioned by several pundits... and the McCain people even have an ad made now showing all these points. Was this a mistake? Or... was this a very smart way to reach out to independents.

The clips that Robert posts to start the thread are encouraging to me (as a strong Obama supporter). Obama doesn't need to do anything to win my vote (and my support).

The fact that independents are responding positively to Obama's performance is a very good thing.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 07:17 am
Several polls and analyses have McCain "winning" the thing...

But the main thing McCain had to do was not win, but convince voters that at 70 years of age, he still has it together and is not fogeyed-out. He appeared to have done that.
squinney
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 07:57 am
I too am pleased that the undecideds appear to have thought Obama won.

I thought it was close. Like Sozobe, there were times I wanted Obama to hear me saying "McCain said... You need to say... C'Mon. Don't let that stand! You gotta counter that!" Unfortunately, there were a couple of times Obama didn't hear me.

dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:00 am
@squinney,
i hear that.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:13 am
I don't know that the debate generated a lot of 15 second sound bites that will live on after the debate. Without them, everything said last night will be history by tomorrow. One opportunity was when McCain said "I'd like to here Sen. Obama's definition of rich." This was clearly a trap and Obama did well not to fall into it, but it would have been interesting if he said "More than two houses, more than 5 cars."
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:32 am
@Robert Gentel,
I give the slight edge to Obama as well, but I'm not sure I am capable of watching it with an unbiased eye. Still, when Obama has done poorly before I've felt uneasy watching, I didn't feel that way last night because he really has improved some of his debating weaknesses.

I thought McCain did well but was playing to his base and smirked too much. The focus group was interesting.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:33 am
Charles Krauthammer said in advance of the debate that all Obama had to do to win the debate was for it to be a draw. I haven't heard his opinion since the debate.

No major gaffes from either. You didn't see an old, tired guy but rather a seasoned, experienced veteran when you looked at McCain. You didn't see an inexperienced novice when you looked at Obama but rather somebody who was in control and polished.

No great moments; nothing memorable.

Those supporting Obama think he won. Those supporting McCain think he won. Based on all the straw polls, the undecideds remain unconvinced either way. It was sufficiently rehearsed, canned, and predictable so that probably many people will choose not to endure a second or third debate.

The only really good sound bites anybody can get out of it is the eight or nine times Obama said that "Senator McCain is right" and the similar number of times that McCain said versions of "Senator Obama doesn't understand."
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:40 am
@Foxfyre,
...not endure a second and third debate?

Are you kidding? It's like a semi weeaving down the road. We have to watch just in case there's a wreck. I think we are still divided enough that we are (both sides) hoping for a major gaffe or wreck.

I got bored at times last night, but still couldn't turn it off. I'll watch all of the debates.

I've laid in two bottles of good cabernet for the vice debate. That'll be better than any of the Saturday Night Live skits of the good old Chevy/Murray/Curtain/ Martin days.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:42 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

McCain was carefully spreading stuff like
"What Sen Obama doesnt understand" or "Sen Obama, once again shows his lack of understanding..." Its a cheap trick, having nothing to do with facts(yet its very effective).

I actually think it wasn't that effective. I made a comment last night after the third "he doesn't understand" that every time he does that the fan-o-meter lines for Dems and Indys plummet and the Repub line flatlines. I don't think it plays well. It might have worked in the primaries, but Obama has sort of proved his mettle of understanding over time. I think it came across as dismissive and, well, snobby. Especially when he topped it off with name dropping and saying how he'd known Kissinger for 35 years. It sounded a bit like old boys club vs. fresh face to me, and I don't think McCain comes out on top with that. Of course that is just my opinion which is, admittedly, biased.
squinney
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 08:52 am
@FreeDuck,
Yep. When he mentioned Kissinger I thought Oh, yeah, 35 years he's known Kissinger... From the 70's!! McCain, Kissinger, Gramm,... Doesn't sound like change.
ebrown p
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 09:05 am
Looking at polls to decide who won the debate is fruitless.

We all know that the electorate has a liberal bias.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 09:05 am
@squinney,
Yep...

Just saw this, I thought it was interesting and is another problem for McCain:

Quote:
Some viewers at home seemed to think it was unfair that CNN interviewed Biden as part of the post-debate coverage, but didn't have Palin on. Eventually, Wolf Blitzer had to explain to the audience that the network wasn't slighting anyone.

"We've been getting some emails from views out there wondering why we spent some time interviewing Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and not Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee," Blitzer said. "We would have loved to interview -- we'd still love to interview Sarah Palin. Unfortunately we asked, we didn't get that interview.... We're hoping that Sarah Palin will join us at some point down the road."


The debate is one thing, the post-debate spin is another. Not even having Palin out there -- when Biden was everywhere, and sharp! -- definitely looks bad for the McCain/Palin ticket.
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 09:26 am
@sozobe,
Yep, I saw him make that statement. It seems like post debate spin is exactly where they would want to bring Palin out. It's relatively low risk, she's good with the snarky attacks, she wasn't at risk of getting tripped up with policy questions. They should have had her there.

I was wondering if anyone has any video of Palin in a one-on-one debate. I've seen her in a round table debate with two others, but not one-on-one. I wonder if she hasn't been sandbagging these interviews a little to set expectations low.
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 09:33 am
@FreeDuck,
I think she's really that bad. Laughing

I saw a video of a one-on-one debate a while ago and I think she did very well. I just think that the scope makes a big difference. She's been interested in Alaska, she lives in Alaska, and there are a relatively finite set of issues to address. I think the stuff she didn't know -- and that she had to learn -- fit within the broad parameters of what she already knew and understood.

She also evidently had some pretty fat targets.

I think she's been fundamentally incurious about national and international issues and that really affects her ability to learn and retain the kinds of things she'll be expected to debate on.

She might do less badly than people expect from her interviews -- the bar has been set REALLY low by now. And Biden really has to be careful. But I don't think she was intentionally sandbagging anything; I think her brain has been crammed with stuff that she hasn't really digested and that it makes for bad interviews/ debates.
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2008 09:39 am
@sozobe,
Here's the debate factcheck btw:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_debate_no_1.html

(I didn't know that McCain's thing about earmarks tripling was a bald-faced lie. Wish Obama would have called him on it.)
 

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