McCain and Obama went head-to-head tonight. Here’s what I thought.

Having the first 30-minutes devoted to the economy was a great idea. The candidates got a chance to stretch their economic muscles at a time of heavy uncertainty.

McCain said he would back a spending freeze on everything except defense. That’s more of a small scale solution. Obama said he wants to fund in need programs at home, while cutting funding for the programs that aren’t working.

Obama refused to take a stance on the bailout since the final details are still unknown.

The next 60 were about foreign policy as planned. If you watched it on CNN, you saw the ticker line fluctuate a few times, but mostly stay around the center. After the debate, some people were asked whether they were satisfied with the night’s discussion, most said no.

That’s because while foreign policy is immensely important, people wanted that 30-minute economy debate to turn into a 90-minute national affairs debate. If only that was possible.

McCain accused Obama of being ignorant in his handling of the Georgia crisis earlier this year. Obama had called for both sides to exercise restraint, while McCain said he’d support both Georgia and Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO.

McCain also talked about nuclear weapons in Iran, saying that if Iran acquired them, more mid-east countries would try to do the same, presenting a huge threat to much of the world.

Obama blasted McCain for being wrong about the war from the get-go, after McCain accused Obama of not acknowledging that they are now “winning” that war.

Obama said that wasn’t true.‚  He then exemplified the need for more troops to move to Afghanistan where real help is needed.

Even though McCain is more experienced when it comes to foreign policy, he couldn’t put Obama away. That’s a loss I think.

Obama has been accused of being inexperienced and inept when it comes to foreign policy, (he probably did get some pre-debate advice from Biden) but that didn’t show tonight.

He came out swinging on every topic. McCain did well, but the topic was a strength for McCain, he should have won and he didn’t.

More than 30 registered voters, (democrats, republicans and independents) were polled after the debate ended. More than 60% said they’d vote Obama come Nov. 4. It’s a small sample of course, but even CNN flash polls marked Obama as the clear victor, even when it came to McCain territory, Iraq war.

I do agree.‚  It wasn’t so clear cut but this one leans Obama’s way.‚  He wasn’t nervous, he showed sound judgement and quick response.‚  McCain was a little jumpy at times, and Obama kept his cool.‚  McCain should’ve put Obama away in a foreign policy debate and he didn’t.‚  McCain comes out the less appealing candidate.

PS.‚  McCain didn’t wear an American flag pin on his lapel.‚  Oh no!

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

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