The Debates - Here they come!

The debates have been set, with the first of three to be held on Friday, September 26. There is also one Vice-Presidential debate scheduled for Thursday, October 2.

You have to believe Obama will completely own the debates. He is a smooth communicator who recalls facts and details readily. He functions well without a prompter and has an easy swagger on stage.

McCaine…ummmm. Not so much.

I believe Obama will pick up 5 points after each debate. More? Less?

Democrats are notorious for being toothless when attacked. Neither Gore nor Kerry mounted a spirited defense when they were attacked in '00 and '04. You can expect the Republican attack machine to gin up pretty quickly once summer distractions are over. But in defending himself in the debates Obama runs the risk of looking like he is beating up a dottering old veteran, disrespecting a hero.

Does Obama flex some muscle and destroy McCaine in the debate, or hold back lest he be seen an American-hero-hating bully?

For balance, Obama Gaffes.

The McCain gaffes are the same as the Obama ones in the links.

While it is an amusing mistake I think it is appropriate considering there are recent reports that showed the main subject in the Obama and McCain campaigns is the same: Obama.

The less McCain reminds people of what he is proposing or going to push forth if he becomes the POTUS, the better for him.


Mods, a hand please?


Watch for McCain to look down and ahead while Obama waxes eloquently The message is Obama is all talk and fluff irrelevant to the serious stakes ahead for the country.

Watch for Obama to look frequently to McCain when he speaks with grins alternating with expressions of incredulity.

I said it here first.

Obama’s performance in the primary debates was mediocre. I see no reason to think he’ll do any better in the general. That being said, the first debate is a month and a half away. A lot can happen between now and then.

Obama had to be careful. He was far from being the nominee, and was needed to leave the door open for a Clinton/Obama ticket. There were plenty of times when I thought he was holding back when he could have really made her look like bad. I don’t think he will have the same motivation to hold back with McCaine.

Sept 26th will be the 48th anniversary of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate. Hmmmm. Which man do you think will be most compared to Kennedy after this first debate?

McCain, obviously. Kennedy was white and born in 1917.

If they’re not debating, what exactly are they going to be doing in their Saddleback Church appearance on Aug 16?

Found the answer-

At the candidates’ request, this two-hour event will be held in a non-debate format, and will be open to all media. Both candidates also requested that questions be posed exclusively by Warren rather than by a panel or members of the audience. Each candidate will converse separately with Warren for approximately an hour, beginning with Sen. Obama, as determined by a coin toss.

This historic forum will be the only joint event for the two, and the last public appearance for either candidate prior to the two-week hiatus during each party’s national convention.

Thanks, this gave me my first chuckle in a few days.

I think Obama was holding off a bit on Hillary partly because of her gender and partly because of her party. Neither restriction applies to McCain and after these months of McCain’s negative ads he isn’t going to pull any punches.

I’ve found the debates a disappointment for such a long time. In 2000 and again in 2004, the Democratic candidate should, in theory, have wiped the floor with George Bush. Instead, Al Gore let himself get into a tedious description of the minutea of their competing Social Security plans, and John Kerry was just too polite.

(In the debate in which Bush brought up Dred Scott, I really thought, for a moment, that Kerry was going to respond to that with: “President Bush, you’re mistaken about that – the Dred Scott decision was in fact a strict constructionalist decision. If they had decided that a black man did in fact have rights, that would have been judicial activism – which, as we know, you’re against.”)

I just hope that whatever’s thrown at Obama, he takes head-on. Anything that looks like evasion or mealy-mouthed pandering can only hurt him. (With me, at least. It still amazes me how politicians get away with not ever answering questions.)

Friday night is a lousy night for a debate. The other debates will run the risk of being on the same night as baseball playoffs.

I thought he was mediocre because of the content of his answers, not because of how he sparred or didn’t spar with Hillary. And you have to be careful how you attack-- it’s easy for that to backfire.

I think it’s of a load that Obama was “mediocre” in the Primary debates. He was fine, and the more debates he did, the stronger he got. He was in a situation where he had to be a lot more measured and less aggressive, but his content was always solid and nuanced. He was also going against better competition than what he’s facing in McCain. Hillary is a much better debater than McCain, and Obama basically held his own with her, even getting in some small victories here and there (the way he parried her on the Farakhan endorsement, for instance).

Aside from his public speaking disabilities, McCain is also fatally crippled by being wrong on every single issue. Obama is smarter, better informed, better spoken and – most importantly – correct on the issues. I don’t think it’s going to be close. This idea that mcCain is somehow going to save himself by showing up Obama in the debates is just wishful thinking. Obama is fine without a teleprompter. McCain can’t even tell a joke without reading it off a card.

Obama has significant advantages both on substance and style, and he should “win” as far as things can ever be won, but if he makes any kind of verbal stumble, that’s all the media will fixate on. In terms of real effect, these debates are going to be all about the media trying to catch Obama in a gotchya ya.

McCain will be allowed to have Lieberman standing in back of him to help with the facts. Otherwise it would not be fair.

I can tell how objective you are when you tell us that Obama is “correct on the issues” while McCain is “wrong on every single issue”. That’s pretty funny.
In fact, Obama and McCain have opposite speaking qualities. McCain is better when he’s unscripted and does poorly when reading off a teleprompter. Obama gives a great speech, but isn’t quite so good extemporaneously-- especially when the format calls for short, concise answers. Obama didn’t need to go soft on Hillary, if he even consciously chose to do so. If he did, then he was a fool.

McCain sucks in any format. Did you see how pathetic he was at Sturgis? I’m also not seeing any basis to this meme that Obama doesn’t do well extemporaneously. He takes his time with answers and tries to be thoughtful and nuanced instead of barking out boilerplate and talking points. I guess that doesn’t make for good television sound bites.

You know what? To hell with the debates. I pretty much already know how they stand on issues, they aren’t going to astonish me, they will only repeat their talking points in each other’s immediate presence, beyond that, WTF? That’s my “citizenship” perspective.

As a partisan, the risk is largely McCain’s. He has moments, which is not to say anything very negative, but if anybody is more likely to totally screw the pooch in public, it will be him. And even as the pure-hearted citizen within disdains this whole gotchaya shit, the partisan whispers* McCain delenda est*.