27 September 2008

U.S. Presidential Debate

Last night was the first U.S. Presidential Debate between Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain.

In the past U.S. politics never interested me beyond who the current president was, and I would have never even thought about watching a debate. The past 7-8 years have changed my mind. Politicians are not all the same. Some are noticeably worse than others. In fact, some are downright scary.

Anywhoo... I watched last night's debate. Random thoughts follow.
  • McCain is much shorter than Obama, though CNN tried to hide it by zooming in on McCain and zooming out on Obama.
  • Had I known the debate was on other channels I would not have watched CNN. CNN had too much junk on the bottom of the screen.
  • McCain performed better than I expected after having watched his disastrous speeches. Ever watch the show Monk? Adrian Monk at his most painfully phobic is how I feel when I see a McCain speech, without the humour.
  • Behind in the polls, I think McCain had to perform noticeably better than Obama. Didn't happen. Ignoring the issues, at the most it was a tie and more likely a small lead for Obama.
  • Obama performed above expectations, given foreign policy is supposed to be McCain's strength. Obama displayed thorough and well versed knowledge on foreign policy.
  • McCain came off as cold.
  • McCain, please don't smile. It scares me. Really. Hallowe'en is next month.
  • They both had a couple good zingers. The best was Obama, paraphrasing, "I won't be lectured on unwise statements by someone who sings about bombing Iran". Another good one was Obama's reference to McCain's statement that he wouldn't meet with the President of Spain, a NATO ally.
  • On some topics I thought Obama provided much more substantive answers.
  • At times I was forced to mute McCain else risk aggravation. One such instance was when McCain started giving an anecdotal story to prove soldiers want to stay in Iraq. Even if true (which it is not if you read polls), anecdotal is anecdotal. It's not proof, and it should not be used as proof. Must be the scientist in me. Another instance was when McCain referred to the fact he was a POW. Yes, McCain, we KNOW. You use 'POW' like Rudy Guiliani uses '9/11': every sentence is a noun, a verb, and POW.

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