>> Thursday, October 16, 2008
Well, this will go down as the Joe the Plumber Debate. There must have been 20 mentions of this random plumber from ohio who was supposed to represent America at large. he was a small business owner a family man, pretty much whatever the situation called for. I can say everyone is hoping to never hear about this guy again.
On the expectations for the night Obama retained his cool and steady demeanor. McCain exacerbated the angry narrative. McCain started strong with some passionate rhetoric designed to make the case for him as a maverick. He laid out an impressive list of things he has bucked his party on and really stuck Obama on the issue of being an orthodox dem. Putting aside whether this point is makes any sense when the country has agreed the gop has done everything wrong the last eight years it was a highpoint for McCain.
McCain really began to fall apart though after the issue of the campaign tone was introduced. he tried to pin the negativity on Obama and his refusal to do town halls. this would have simply been an eye roll and move on if he had not followed up with the john lewis comments. Getting into lewis mccain tried to make himself look like the victim. it really did not work. He claimed that he denounced everyone who made comments that were out of bounds but of course this was untrue. The entire segment played false on McCain's part to anyone who has been paying attention.
I was wrong in my prediction that Ayers and Acorn would be either go unremarked or be brought up by Obama.McCain did go there but failed to do it in a coherent way and Obama handled it without issue. It was made even worse by obama's ruthless focus on the issues which made mccain look small when he talked about ayers. so ayers should just be over at this point.
Obama dominated the health care segment and it was by far his best part of the debate. Obama looked into the camera and laid out his health care plan in concrete and easy to grasp terms. he was confident and direct. McCain in contrast tried to explain his plan and to attack obama's. He was clearly uninformed about both his and obamas. Obama made the point that McCain would tax benefits and that his tax credit was less than the cost of buying a plan. Obama destroyed mccain on the mandate and fine point. Zero? ouch.
McCain also ran into a great amount of trouble on the issue of abortion and judicial nominees. His ridicule of a health of the mother exemption will not play well. it looked cruel. He claimed it was a extreme left position when it is not. I cant help but think mccain really blew it on the issue. He also was very incoherent and contradictory on how he would select judges. No litmus test on roe but if you like roe your unqualified?
Again McCain was completely unable to handle himself in a calm and detached manner. his body language and actual language was far too hostile. He exudes contempt at these debates and it is not apparent why when obama is calm and polite. McCain's anger issues will be one of the lasting narratives of the campaign.
McCain was wrong on education policy but by then the debate was already over and mccain failed on all of his objectives.