They debated, for the second time, their positions on the economy, health care and energy independence, as well as a host of other issues affecting Americans all over the country.
Obama won this one.‚ He was articulate in his speech, meticulous in most of his policy and overall very calm.‚ He knocked the economy debate out of the park and effectively linked McCain to Bush on that issue, as well as on the debt and deficit.
McCain again proposed a spending freeze.‚ He proposed that the government buy and renegotiate bad loans to stabalize the economy.‚ I’m sorry, but how will you do that with no money?
McCain spoke well, but on the major issues like the economy and foreign policy, he was pretty weak.‚ It was surprising that he didn’t give better insight into his policy on foreign affairs, Obama came out on top on that topic which was surprising.
In the end both candidates were still quite unspecific, which was expected.‚ A lot of it was broad, especially their plans for health care.‚ You could hear a lot of their stump speeches incorporated into the answers.
What I found odd was McCain reluctance to priortize and order the issues he will tackle if elected.‚ He basically said he’ll work on everything at the same time. Sure.
Obama said he’d kill Bin Laden and crush Al Qaeda.‚ That’s a pretty bold promise.‚ He said he’d act if Pakistan refuses to aid or gets in the way of their hunt.
McCain, at one point, referred to Obama as “that one.”‚ It’s pretty clear these guys aren’t exactly amiable.‚ McCain initiated post-debate contact, but when Obama stretched out his hand to shake McCain’s he seemed to ignore it, and Obama settled on shaking Cindy McCain’s hand.
The candidates, for the most part, only attacked each other on policy; I was happy with that.
The bottom line is, right now people don’t care about Ayers or the Keating 5, they care about keeping their heads above stormy economic waters.‚ Having a large portion of this debate centered around the economy showed how unprepared McCain is to tackle the current crisis.‚ Neither is prepared, Obama just has a better outlook and implementation plan.
Obama did however dodge some questions, most obviously the last one.‚ The candidates were asked to specify something they do not know, and how they would go about learning it.‚ Obama told the audience what he DOES know; that America is in crisis blah, blah, blah.‚ His answer was an indirect one.
McCain answered the question directly and said what he does not know is “what is going to happen.”‚ He then told the audience exactly what shape the country is in and again, blah, blah, blah.‚ His answer was better organized.
It was a good debate, the idea for the format was great, I just rather the candidates got a chance to talk to each other directly.‚ Everyone wants to see that exchange.‚ The town hall setting made it seem very personal, but it was a safe setting for each candidate. It didn’t allow for any major slip-ups.
A CNN poll reports that 54% of viewers thought Obama won the debate, as opposed to 30% for McCain.‚ On CNN.com however, an overwhelming 83% of over 40,000 quick poll voters tagged Obama as the victor.
It’s starting to get pretty dangerous for McCain.‚ He’s loosing ground in key states like Florida and Ohio and to top it all off, he’s not performing well in the debates.‚ With only one debate left, republicans hope he steps it up.