I watched the first Presidential Debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama that was held last Friday in Oxford, Mississippi. I wish I could have been there, especially considering it was only about a 90 minute drive from home, but I didn’t make the tiny list allowed to attend.
As for the debate, I was hoping more personal and policy differences would be highlighted. It also seemed that in an effort to strengthen his jellyfish-like stature on many issues, Obama kept pointing out that he agreed with McCain. In fact, Obama must have verbalized his agreement 7 or 8 times — especially regarding Iran and Russia where he is incredibly weak. Likewise, many commentators pointed that out after the debate. It was so obvious that the McCain campaign quickly released the following video:
As for the debate, I wish John McCain had been more aggressive in his style. He is not as smooth a speaker as Obama; however, McCain is much more credible given his straight talk record. In spite of his sometimes choppy tone, McCain can speak with soaring rhetoric and a lot of passion, especially regarding patriotism and national security. I wish he had stressed these areas more.
I feel McCain needs to fully acknowledge the domestic and international challenges ahead and point to his proven ability to work with others in getting things accomplished. He is truly bipartisan and does not hog the glory. His critics even agree that he wants what he believes is best for the country.
I also wish McCain had explained why he suspended his campaign to focus on the current banking challenge. He left a lot unsaid about that issue. A quick update in his opening question would have been very powerful in an area where he demonstrated leadership at the expense of his own campaign.
Overall, while McCain won the debate in my opinion, he failed to capitalize on many opportunities handed to him by Obama’s weakness. McCain was restrained when he should have towered over Obama’s failed policies and ideas. Such a demonstration would have shown Americans who is the seasoned leader and who is the unworthy “wannabe.”