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The Presidential Debates!

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 07:58 am
I have been looking forward to this for such a long time. I'm going to be a bundle of nerves Friday night.

How do you think Obama and McCain will do? What do you expect to see?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 37 • Views: 8,751 • Replies: 153

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 08:04 am
@sozobe,
The NYT has a pair of front-page articles today:

Quote:
John McCain
A Scrappy Style
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Senator McCain honed his debate skills both in and out of politics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/us/politics/23mccain.html?hp

Quote:
Barack Obama
An Uneven Record
By JOHN M. BRODER
Senator Obama has shown that his strengths may also pose vulnerabilities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/us/politics/23obama.html?hp

While I initially hmphed a bit at the Obama article, I think I'm actually happy about it overall -- set those expectations low.

Meanwhile, interesting analysis from Nate Silver on the fact that the foreign policy debate is first, and domestic policy is last:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/09/debates-somebodys-wrong.html

The whole thing is worth a read but I'll skip to the conclusion:

Nate Silver wrote:
When push comes to shove, the equilibrium of this campaign favors Barack Obama by a couple of points. McCain's goal is to knock the campaign off equilibrium for just long enough that one of these periods coincides with November 4. It would be easier for him to do that if the foreign policy debate, in which Obama is more likely to stumble, were held last. Conversely, a bad performance on Friday would leave Obama with two debates and 40 days to recover, and a media that will probably be happy to help him along. So, I'm giving Steve Schmidt an error on this one. Somewhat true to form, it's a decision focused on winning McCain the battle rather than the war.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 08:22 am
@sozobe,
I'm already a bundle of nerves. I'm not sure what I expect to see, but I hope to see Obama smooth and direct, and I hope he uses the phrase "there you go again" at least once.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:16 am
It should be more like a thriatlon, you know? Test them in different fields so to speak. The debate could still be the centerpiece, but first they'd have a dance-off, and they could close it off with a boxing match. Maybe a chessmatch in between too.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:19 am
@nimh,
Ballroom dancing.

Definitely a cook-off. Maybe Bobby Flay can moderate.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:20 am
I think the probability of Obama scoring a knockout is small, but I think the probability of a poor performance is small as well. I think McCain's probability of a knockout is small, but his probability of a poor performance is up there. If he loses his temper or confuses Sunis with Catholics, it's going to be hard to hide it.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:32 am
McCain will reign supreme over Obama's youth and inexperience.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/NOBAMA.jpg
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:47 am
@H2O MAN,
I agree H2o-man... the expectations for Obama should be set very very low. In fact, if he is able to walk out on his own two feet after the debate-- it should be considered a victory.


((I love to hear this type of talk before an important debate))
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:10 am
McCain will repeat what he's been saying during the whole campaign, but Obama will come out with new ideas about the issues being presented.

Since most of McCain's speeches have been an attack on Obama, he's already lost the debates - if anybody cares to listen.
H2O MAN
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:17 am
@cicerone imposter,
Will Obama have his teleprompters set up?

Laughing
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:38 am
will mccain have his teeth in?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:44 am
@dyslexia,
Will McCain survive the debate without a heart attack?
H2O MAN
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:56 am
@cicerone imposter,
Can Obama prevail without playing the race card?
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 12:41 pm
I wonder if McCains Uncle Sam suit will be out of the cleaners? I wonder how many times he'll remind everyone he was a POW and therefore qualified to do any damn thing?

I wonder how many times Obama will say hope?

I wonder if either of them will actually address an issue with any specifics?
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:12 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
How do you think Obama and McCain will do? What do you expect to see?

I expect that Obama will obliterate McCain on all substantive issues, but the debate will be deemed a tie because McCain is a nice guy and a POW and because people would like to have a beer with him.
Cliff Hanger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:15 pm
@sozobe,
There will be metaphorical black eyes and bruises as these two take to the big boy playground and duke it out.

At the moment it's in Obama's favor because the economy has tanked and he can pretty much make his point with the redundant "8 more years" mantra.

Also in Obama's favor-- the more he campaigns against a single opponent, the better he gets at strategizing their weaknesses and playing up his strengths-- he was quite effective in doing this with Clinton.

It's all in the approach.

McCain will have national security in his favor-- no matter what.

McCain will paint Obama as an inexperienced.

Visually, Obama has it over McCain-- height matters, and McCain is shrimpy in comparison. McCain will also appear like an old man, regardless of his relative good health. There's no comparison.

I predict Obama will wear a red tie-- it exudes Power. McCain, a George Bush light blue tie.

kickycan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:18 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Quote:
How do you think Obama and McCain will do? What do you expect to see?

I expect that Obama will obliterate McCain on all substantive issues, but the debate will be deemed a tie because McCain is a nice guy and a POW and because people would like to have a beer with him.



Yep. I remember when Kerry made Bush look like a talking chimp in the debates, but it didn't matter.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:23 pm
@kickycan,
kicky wrote:
Quote:
Yep. I remember when Kerry made Bush look like a talking chimp in the debates, but it didn't matter.


We not only have a candidate that talks like a ch'u'mp, he's close to his deathbed to give the presidency to a housewife who don't know beans about national and international issues.

Oh, wait; she's now meeting with some world leaders as we speak. She does have "experience."
0 Replies
 
George
 
  8  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:26 pm
No matter what, each question will be ignored and the candidate will answer the
question he wanted to be asked.

No matter what, everyone will try to score the performances rather than learn
anything from what was said.

No matter what, each side's supporters will award an overwhelming victory to
their man.

No matter what, no one will change his or her mind.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:26 pm
@Cliff Hanger,
Quote:
At the moment it's in Obama's favor because the economy has tanked and he can pretty much make his point with the redundant "8 more years" mantra.


The first one -- on Friday -- will be on foreign policy though. Then there's one in a town hall format that's on all issues; then the last one is on domestic policy.

Interesting about "visually," I agree. I seem to remember (not certain) that they will be standing, at podiums, for the first debate, and sitting at the last one.

At any rate, I agree that standing side-by-side at podiums will be arresting, visually.
0 Replies
 
 

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