Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Caveman's Take On The Debate...
Obama kicked McCain's ass all over the stage

I watched the debate tonight with one question in mind: how and what will the average American rate and remember from this debate? From what I saw, below is what most will retain. Keep in mind, most citizens of this country have the attention span of a gnat, and are more interested in image over substance.

1. Obama gave specific accusations against McCain. McCain gave a stump speech.

2. Obama spoke with conviction and fervor. McCain spoke flatly, uninspired... and at times, seemed like a befuddled old man.

3. Obama looked McCain in the eye. McCain looked the other way, and quite honestly, sometimes looked scared.

4. When Obama was ramming his accusations home against McCain, McCain tried to defend himself, but allowed Obama to repeatedly to speak over him.

5. McCain had chance after chance to shove it down Obama's throat, but didn't. Example: when Obama was lecturing McCain about war, McCain should have interrupted him with a Reaganesque line like; "Don't lecture me about war. I know more of the horrors of war than you'll ever know". Instead, McCain just stared at the audience with the deer-in-the-headlights look on his face.

6. Twice McCain said "I wasn't voted Miss Congeniality in the US Senate". OK... we get it.

7. The moderator put more pressure on Obama than did McCain. Never a good sign.

8. Only towards the end did McCain seem to even have a clue. But by then, it was too late.

Bottom line -- overall, Obama seemed prepped, ready and sure of himself. McCain didn't. Don't be surprised if Obama rises 10 points in the polls.


From the Kansas City Star; Poll results for first presidential debate (with update of independent voter poll): Obama wins
By George Harris, Kansas City Star Readers Advisory Panel 2008

Who won the debate?

Ignore all commentators' opinions expressed without evidence. The winner is determined by the numbers, especially the votes of the undecided. Here are some preliminary answers:

CBS Insta Poll shows Barack Obama won 39% to John McCain's 25% with 36% saying the debate was a draw.

Insider Advantage reports of those polled Obama won 42% to McCain's 41% with Undecided 17%

CNN reports voter opinions that Obama "did better" 51%, McCain "did better" 38%

The CNN poll showed men were evenly split, but women gave
Obama higher marks 59% to 41% for McCain.

The CNN pollster noted a slight Democratic bias in the survey. Well, there just are more Democrats in the country. So more Democrats watched. However, this may also suggest Democratic enthusiasm which will help turn out the vote.

The MSNBC on-line (non-scientific) poll showed Obama winning the debate 52% to 33%. (But this is what one would expect from such a poll at MSNBC because of the nature of its viewers.) reported Independents favored Obama overall 61% to 38%. (I do not know this organization or know how it conducts polls, so take results with a couple of grains of salt.)
This from The Drudge Report; (non-scientific) {{{{DRUDGE POLL}}}} WHO WON THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE?...

68% 209,576

30% 92,298

2% 7,378

Total Votes: 309,252
And this from; Declared Obama the winner: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, pollster Frank Luntz on Fox, Slate’s John Dickerson, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin, CBS News instant poll and CNN post-debate poll.

Declared McCain the winner: Politico’s Roger Simon (“The Mac is back”), Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton, The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol and Fred Barnes, Fox News Texting Poll and Drudge online poll.

Tie: Republican strategist Mike Murphy, who said on MSNBC: “No game-changer, and we're going to have a rematch.”


Blogger Robert said...

I wasn't able to watch the debates, but as I write this, a Drudge Report poll of more than 41,000 has McCain the winner...73% McCain....25% Obama...2% neither

9:54 PM  
Blogger SonarMan said...

Wow, what a quick post!

However, I disagree. McCain frequently trounced Obama on his record and his experience, frequently hammering home on that fact.

To me, at least, McCain answers, while the delivery may have been a bit flat, exuded confidence and experience.

Obama seemed to be prepped, but it was more like a regurgitation of talking points type of prep. He knew his lines, and that's about it.

Obama frequently lost his temper and talked over McCain, a debate faux pas. McCain allowed him to do so with a smile on his face. Remember that McCain is well versed in psychological warfare, and his age and maturity keeps his temper in check. Obama was hot and brash.

Sure, McCain lost some golden opportunities, but by all appearances, McCain won it handily.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Esther said...

Fox News' Greta Van Susteran's poll has Sen. McCain winning too. Sorry but I can't remember the breakdown.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Hey guys,
Yep, it's only a hanful of hours since the debate has ended, and I've heard of the polls you cite, and I've also heard of others (CNN, and Fox's Luntz Focus Group) giving either Obama the win overall, or Obama winning in certain demographics (senior citizens, women overall, etc).

I guess it'll take a few days for both the public and the pollsters to digest this.

I will say this -- prior to the debate, McCain is either at a dead heat, or McCain is a few points behind.

McCain needed to kick ass in a big way. He didn't.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Mary RN said...

Encore to sonarman. I could not have said it better.
Obama demonstrated handily that he is inept at foreign policy. McCain demonstrated that he knows what is going on. McCain even let us know that we need to be watching the the blogosphere news yesterday..Somali pirates steal a Ukranian ship loaded with weapons (going where)...??!! McCain is right on top of it.
In a Candidate preview with Diane Sawyer on ABC immediately preceding the debates, Obama stated that he is very calm that he never gets flustered...what?? Maybe he does not see what the American public saw last night. Obama was giving McCain 'looks to kill' as the expression goes.

The MSM states that because Obama looked at McCain as he spoke Obama showed that he was the leader and McCain was afraid...I do not think so! McCain was speaking to the American people. I think that he despises this young wippersnapper so much regarding his lack of foreign policy and that he, Obama was threatening an ally of the US government in a presidential debate that he just could no longer look at him.

Plaudits to McCain. Also, check out his website regarding the stem cell research issue. I have written before on this issue. Methinks you are prejudiced against McCain because of his past history on this point. He just needed some education like Reagan and the abortion issue. Reagan signed abortion into law in California and then, got educated and apologized.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Mary RN said...

Oh yes...regarding the polls.....DRUDGE had an online poll going and within 1/2 hour after the debate 71% were showing McCain winning. As I write this it is 67% for McCain. Only one vote per URL so that keeps the KOS players and democratic underground from swelling the vote and provides a much more accurate picture of America.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Methinks you are prejudiced against McCain because of his past history on this point. He just needed some education like Reagan and the abortion issue. Reagan signed abortion into law in California and then, got educated and apologized.

So Mary.... why hasn't McCain retracted his ESCR stance and apologized yet?

Simple, because he hasn't. He's still riding the fence trying to have it both ways.

As far as the debate is concerned, using baseball terms, McCain not only needed to hit homers... he needed grand slams. In fact, a couple of 'em. At best, McCain slapped a couple of solid singles.

If McCain really wants to pull ahead, he needs to come on like another Ronald Reagan.... not Mr. Mediocre.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Mary RN said...

Did you check out the McCain website like I suggested?

That is

go to the section under issues.

I think it is apparent.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mary RN said...

And......regarding the this from another blogger comment......

Barack Obama made a colossal mistake last night no one has yet to mention: He threw EVERYTHING he had at John McCain in the first debate! Everything! Obama cited his talking points on everything from taxes to Iraq and everything in between.

BIG Mistake!

Now Obama has painted himself into a corner for the second and third debates because all he can do is repeat his talking points ad nauseam. His rhetoric in Debates Two and Three will sound precisely like what he said last night in Debate One.

John McCain was sly like a fox. While I am sure many conservatives were yelling at the TV last night, wondering when McCain was going to get specific, attack Obama's plans head-on, and deliver memorable one-liners, I was smiling because he did NOT do these things. McCain was like a master jockey, holding back his horse from running too fast right out of the starting gate and expending all the horse's energy too early. He let Obama hang himself...and Obama obliged! McCain made his points, left more for later, and watched as Obama used every single talking point in his repertoire iin ONE evening.

Make no mistake: John McCain has many more things he will bring up in Debates Two and Three while Barack Obama will sound like a recording from Debate One. McCain won the next two debates by what he did -- and did not do -- last night.

My only criticism of John McCain last night is that he does not talk about himself very well. Like many of his generation, he is a humble man. He sees duty to his nation -- and his demonstrable heroim in its service -- as just something that goes with the job of a naval aviator, a congressman, a senator, and hopefully as president. McCain has accomplished much but is not one to brag. It's not in his genes.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Leo XIII said...

I don't care what the talking heads say. Once the debate shifted to foreign policy, McCain was on the offense and knew his stuff. He impressed me, and I think he won the debate because of his superior knowledge. Remember that we are not electing a president for his oratorical abilities, but to be the Commander in Chief and run the country.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I have checked McCain's website in the past. I even took your suggestion to heart and triple-checked today.

It hasn't changed. McCain still endorses ESCR under certain circumstances. Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.

As you said; "it is apparent".

Also, if you so desire to look upon McCain as the winner... fine. I happen to believe that McCain was not only beaten, but beaten soundly.

Maybe it's because of all those years of being both a Padres and a Fighting Irish fan, but even when my guys lose, I try to be objective.

With that said, I may have more respect for McCain than I do Obama, but I still believe that Obama won. I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree.

But thanks for posting, Mary.



I agree. But like I said at the opening of this post, the average American cares more about image over substance.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it mandate that the voting public be educated on the issues or use a lick of common sense.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Oops, sorry Mary...
I forgot to add --

If McCain REALLY DOES reject ESCR, then why doesn't he just unambiguously come out and say it?

I believe the answer is apparent.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Better to start weak and finish strong then the other way around. Maybe McCain wanted Obama to blow his wad in the first round (if so, he must have been delighted the gamble paid off). I, also, thought McC had that "deer in the headlight" look a few times, but overall (at least I hope) I think he was like the wily boxer who is letting his opponent tire himself out in the first round.

I think the VP debate is going to be particularly important. The liberal media has not let up on Palin (did you see that bitch Katie Couric's interview with that snotty, superior tone in her voice?) and the Obama lie-machine is working overtime to smear Palin. She will be going up against a veteran politician and we can only hope Biden puts his foot in his mouth.

4:27 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Quick thought - I didn't watch the debate, but I find it interesting that the next day, McCain is working the phones on the bailout while Obama is stumping. Two ways to read that, but the way I look at it, if McCain was really really worried, he'd be out there campaigning. Since Obama is back on the road right away, it makes me think he didn't do as well as he had hoped. IMHO

But I'm sure that Obama will rush to Washington as soon as someone calls for a community organizer.

9:18 PM  
Blogger The Digital Hairshirt said...


As I said over at The Hairshirt, I think Obama won on delivery but McCain on substance. As a lawyer who is a litigator, there were times that I wanted to run to Ole Miss and give McCain some pointers. I, too, was surprised at what I thought was a lack of aggression by McCain.

But for what was said, it was McCain hands-down. As someone who has studied the Russian empire and former Soviet Union, as someone who has served in the US military, Obama's answers demonstrated a "dangerous naivete", to paraphrase McCain. Obama could not fight his way out of a South Side barroom brawl much less deal with the thugs on the international level.

I am hopeful the two VPs will provide us fireworks this week.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Can't say there's much that you say that I disagree with.

I'd just like to point out to everyone that I haven't suddenly gone over to The Dark Side in my opinion that he won the debate.

Rather (as I pointed out in the very first paragraph); I watched the debate tonight with one question in mind: how and what will the average American rate and remember from this debate? From what I saw, below is what most will retain. Keep in mind, most citizens of this country have the attention span of a gnat, and are more interested in image over substance.

I hope no one confuses my opinion in Obama winning this debate, with Obama being in my opinion, an overall loser.

KnowwhatImean, Vern?

3:00 PM  

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