Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Town Hall Debate

Without looking at any poll results, I'm confident tonight's debate was not a game changer.

First, I want to comment on what wasn't discussed tonight: the whole guilt by association bullshit. Neither candidate pursued the attacks face-to-face. That's good, but clearly McCain is leaving that job up to his attack dog Sarah Palin. It must be tricky for McCain to run two very different campaigns at the same time...

On the economy, both candidates seem like socialists. That's no surprise from a Democratic candidate, but from a Republican? And the guy who says government needs to get out of the way? Well, now McCain says he would "order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America..." Is this in addition to the $800 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization bill? McCain the gambler wants to double down?

On energy independence, McCain is really pushing nuclear power now. I don't understand why this subject is getting a free pass. It needs to be debated and the public needs to be informed. Solar and wind power are clean and abundant and would lead to true independence. Calling nuclear power "clean" is misleading, and the necessary uranium is mined from a few friendly and not-so-friendly countries. This whole nuclear power revival is estimated to cost $315 billion.

On national security and terrorism, both candidates are confident they know how to catch Osama Bin Laden. Obama sounds like he's sticking to Bush's current course: "encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our nonmilitary aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants." He emphasized that catching Bin Laden and crushing Al Qaeda would be a national security priority.

McCain's response to that same issue was one of the stranger moments tonight. First he twisted Obama's reply claiming that Obama would attack Pakistan. Does he think we're all deaf or does he think we all lack short-term memory? Or are those McCain's own deficiencies? Anyway, I trust my own hearing-aids and I know Obama did NOT say that. Obama insisted on having a moment to correct the issue where he repeated his strategy once again. I hope McCain got it the second time around.

Let's avoid bizarre moments in the next debate. I offer some advice to the candidates:
  • Refrain from patronizing your opponent. Phrases like "that one" sound belittling.
  • Stop joking. You proved that you're not funny tonight (McCain, I'm looking at you) with your odd jab at Tom Brokaw. Anyway, your audience has been instructed to not laugh or applaud, and I don't think they wanted to.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Mention the middle class. Most people think they are middle class.
  • Don't admit you were a fraternity brother with Teddy Roosevelt. It makes you sound old.

Finally, explain to me how we can afford all these bailouts, bombs and nuke plants without raising taxes on somebody! This country can't run on fumes any longer.

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