It almost didn’t happen, but now that it’s over the analysis is flying and both campaigns are spinning like whirling dervishes. Obama’s campaign declared victory, but so did John McCain’s… so who won? Honestly, I think it was a draw – which essentially means Obama came out the winner.
After the week the McCain campaign has had, John McCain really needed to hit this one out of the park. He needed to sound much more authoritative than Obama, and emerge from the foreign policy debate gaffe free. Unfortunately for the McCain campaign, that did not happen. John McCain came off as snarly, angry and condescending. He never looked Obama in the eye and repeatedly addressed him as Senator Obama while Barack addressed him as John.
Obama started off much better than McCain. The beginning of the debate focused squarely on the economy, which is Obama’s strong point, but McCain gained steam earlier on thus making the end result of the debate a draw. Senator Obama appeared comfortable and fully informed on the issues. He made no gaffes, pronounced all the names of world leaders effortlessly (unlike McCain) and came off as calm and level headed. McCain was altogether not very likable. He constantly belittled Barack Obama which was a surprising tactic as it turned off the viewer. Furthermore, John McCain made quite a few gaffes for someone with his experience. He had difficulty with a few names of foreign leaders and referred to pre-Musharraf Pakistan as a “rogue state,” which is simply untrue.
In the end, both men came off as knowledgeable, but it was Barack Obama who came off as presidential. Sure, McCain may have more experience, but it is Obama who has demonstrated the temperament to command this country at this precarious time. After watching McCain’s actions this week, I would be worried were he the president. He vacillated all over the place. He went from the campaign trail, to suspending his campaign, to calling off the debate to then agreeing to debate after all. It appeared to me like a last ditch effort- try this! No – try this! No? How about this?
Frankly, neither candidate hit a home run during this debate. If anyone won, I think it was Obama, simply because he held his own, appeared knowledgeable and confident. In my opinion, John McCain came off as petulant and chiding, but still well informed and experienced. So basically it was a draw. Now on to debate number two…