Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain swings harder, pulls off split decision; barely

First, I want to state that I do not think McCain won this debate more than I think Obama did not do what I had hoped in places he could have clearly won. He left false claims unanswered and did not fight back as hard as I wanted him to. McCain still came off as angry, cynical and instead of offering solutions, he attacked Obama on his policy and even his character. However, because of the lack of umph Obama fought back with, I am giving this debate to McCain.

Now, let's get the lies, half truths and misconceptions out of the way from FactCheck.

"McCain claimed the liberal group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.” He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.

McCain said “Joe the plumber” faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers.

Obama repeated a dubious claim that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.

McCain claimed that Obama’s real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that.

Obama incorrectly claimed all of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week, but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher percentage of attack ads than McCain.
McCain described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list.

Obama strained to portray himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.

In the "lie" department it is a tie. Lies were not the issue in this debate...defending the truth was.

Round 1: The Economy

In the opening round of the debate McCain was clearly getting his rear handed to him. He started out calling the 2 mortgage giants that are linked to the crisis we are now in, "Fannie & Freddie Mae." As often as they have come up, you would think he'd remember something so important correctly. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is not that hard to remember. I'll chalk it up to him being tired and worn out from all the campaigning he's doing. He also had his eyes wide and bugged out for much of the debate. I do not believe this is because he was "crazy eyed" as some people do. I believe this was also attributed to lack of sleep and his need to show America he can keep going and that age doesn't affect his ability to stay awake.

Unfortunately, McCain's first topic was the Economic Crisis we are clearly in. The DOW had dropped another 700+ points the day of the debate and there was no way possible for McCain to win the economic debate, considering he voted for many of the policies put into place that caused the crisis. He tried to spin it in his favor, he came out swinging, but I feel he did nothing but hit Obama's gloves in the first round.
Obama wins Round 1.

Round 2 - Joe the plumber:

Joe Wurzelbacher is a plumber in Ohio. Joe had an encounter with Barack Obama on buying a business that earned $250-$280,000 a year. McCain came out on top in this particular discussion because one thing was wasn't brought up; Joe doesn't make $250,000 a year. The business he buys will likely not pay him a salary of $250k/yr so Obama's plan truly is better for him starting off. However, when the business does begin earning enough to pay Joe $250,000 a year, the scale begins to grow wider between what he currently saves and what he would pay. Had Obama focused on that he would have won the exchange. As it stood, he did not.

The thing I didn't like categorized was that future Joe was a "normal, middle class" earner. If you're making $250,000 a year when the medium income in Ohio is $44,000, you are NOT an "average" middle class earner. That part was also lost in the discussion and lended to McCain winning the exchange.

It was after this that McCain said, "Yes. Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago." The only problem I have with that is that he's voted for Bush's policies 90% of the time. So perhaps McCain isn't Bush...but you know what McCain is? He's 90% Bush and 90% Bush is too much Bush for me. Despite that, McCain wins Round 2.

Round 3 Negative Ad Campaigning:

The negative ads are another example of a great opportunity squandered by Mr. Obama. He could have won this debate quite easily with the proper defense. I think one thing everyone needs to realize is there is a difference between negative ads attacking someones policy and negative ads attacking someones character. John McCain clearly takes the low road on attacking Barack Obama's character instead of focusing on policy. Had Mr. Obama pointed out that 100% of his ads are attacking John McCain's POLICY instead of his CHARACTER, he would have easily won this exchange.

There was also an interesting moment where John McCain kept pushing for Obama to refute comments made by John Lewis. Mr. McCain lied when he stated that he refuted anything negative towards Obama every time it came up. Really? If that were the case, 83 IQ Sarah Palin, would have been refuted for her "Palling around with terrorists" comments that clearly had no merit. He never did any such there's a lie that wasn't included on factcheck. I think Obama could have easily won with this response, but he didn't make it so, in my mind, he lost this exchange as well. Thankfully, the polls are showing the American people don't take kindly to the negativity and anger of John McCain. McCain wins Round 3.

Round 4 - Education:

Finally the debate rolls around to something I care deeply about; education. I am an extreme proponent of education reform. We need to reform the programs we are currently spending money on and spend even more money on making sure every single American that wants to go to college gets to and money not be an issue. Education is the key to America being great again. We need to educate our children with diligence and the extreme prudence. However, we also need to educated PARENTS. We need programs at each school that forces parents to get more involved in the lives of their children. We need programs that encourage all students to WANT to go to college. Bottom line: Education, Education, Education.

I do not agree with vouchers as John McCain does. However, the way with which both senators brought forth their arguments warrants a tie in this department. They both laid out their plans for education and it's just a matter of the American people choosing which one they like. I, of course, like Obama's plan more. I want to reform what we have AND spend more money on education. If that means cutting the military, trimming the fat in pork barrel projects and going without some things for a little while, so be it. Round 4 was a tie.

Round 5 - Energy:

Unfortunately for my eyelids, Energy was no different than Education. Both candidates laid out their plans and did so in a decent fashion. While I was more impressed with Obama's 10 year plan, neither of them did anything to further enhance their stance to be better than the other's. I think both candidates will do well on Energy. However, Obama will do so with less environmental impact (i.e. less Drilling) and McCain could care less about the environmental impact of oil (i.e. Drill Baby, Drill). Even when it's obvious the oil companies could care less either, McCain still wants to suck our planet dry. But alas, my view is my view and for the sake of debating, Round 5 was a tie.

Round 6 - Supreme Court Justices:

As with the round on Education and Energy, I feel both candidates did well to bring their plan on Supreme Court nominations to light. I differ strongly with McCain on who he would choose and totally agree with Obama voting against John Roberts. I believe turning over Roe v. Wade would be the biggest mistake in American history. John McCain wants the government out of our lives but he wants Government to run our women's reproductive systems. You can't have it both ways John. Either way, this Round is yet another tie because both of them conveyed their ideas in a good fashion. It will just come down to what direction America is wanting to go. Round 6 was a tie.


This debate was a bit better than the others. I enjoyed the format, I enjoyed the moderator and I enjoyed the extended time each was given to make their points or show their anger. I think Obama, once again, came off as distinguished, calm, cool, collected and McCain was, once again, angry, frustrated, haughty and overall a grumpy old man. Unfortunately, Obama did not attack back where he should and did not defend his positions with the urgency that was needed. Obama lost the debate more than McCain won it. McCain, in my opinion, seems very erratic and I'm not sure I'd want someone with anger management issues to run our economy, our military or our education system.

Stats: Obama won one round, McCain won 2 rounds and they tied 3 rounds. According to the score and comparatively in boxing, McCain eeked out a win with a split decision. Neither fighter was hurt but they both know they were in a battle.

Despite my opinion, the American people have decided who won the debate. While I think McCain won, it's apparent the American people disagree with me. In an interesting International development, it is also apparent that those who bet on Obama to win the election can now claim their winnings after this last debate.

I'm not counting my chickens. I have now moved any state with a 5% or less Obama lead to be McCain's state. Unless something major happens, McCain will win this election easily. I can only hope the swing heads in the left direction this time around.


Jack said...

redwing; I think you make a great deduction and assessment of the debate point by point for the most part. Although you did skip a 'round'. As they were smacking heads on Supreme Court Justices, the issue, as always, of abortion came up. McCain clearly loses that round based solely on the comment he made that a woman's 'health' was not sufficient enough a reason to seek abortion.
This was offensive and drew a very thick line between McCain and many women, whether for or against abortion. His remark simply discounted women period.
However, I totally agree this debate was more than the last two.
I too would have liked Obama to throw more punches on the defense than he did, but such is the character of his nature.
As for McCain's anger management issues..well to be honest I like them! I would have loved to have a man on the edge running this country on 9/11 :) had we, I doubt Bin Laden would even be an issue today hehe

RedWing said...

The issue of abortion was included in my Round 6 coverage. I didn't delve that deep into it because the issue is personal for many Americans. I think they both presented their stances well and thus the round was a tie. I agree with what you are saying, I just don't think it led to Obama winning the round.

And unfortunately, this will be the first time I have to disagree with you Jack. I do not think Bin Laden would have been caught had McCain been in charge. He's saying he can find him now, yet he doesn't tell anyone. He would likely have had someone like Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz in charge which would have led us down the same road. Anger management issues are NOT good in government. I don't care what level you are at or what you are doing. We need someone who is "cool under fire" and can take on problems with an even tempered thought process.

Larry said...

Jack, or Jackie, whoever you are, I don't understand you, but I think I'm done trying. Here is what McCain said:

"MCCAIN: Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything.

That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, "health." But, look, Cindy and I are adoptive parents. We know what a treasure and joy it is to have an adopted child in our lives. We'll do everything we can to improve adoption in this country."

If health means the mother will have morning sickness for 9 months, then of course this is ridiculous. And I wouldn't doubt pro-abortion people trying to use that one.

Jack said...

Larry for you to say that anyone would use 'morning sickness' as a 'health' reason to abort you are more close minded than I originally thought. Stating something like that only shows that you and McCain would grasp at any straw to cling to your insane belief that our government has the right to DICTATE our own bodies to us.
And does it really matter if its Jack or Jackie? neither has anything to do with my opinions ...does it?

Redwing: I do apologize for not being clearer with my statement of 'anger management'. I do not believe that McCain would have done anything better than George W in this arena. I was merely eluding to the FACT George himself was so 'calm and cool' during that crisis he could only recommend we all go shopping!!
Whereas if he were someone more prone to being 'rattled' by REAL horrors in this world Bin Laden wouldn't have survived long enough for us to invade Iraq :)
so what I reallllly meant was someone who could 'get pissed' and then 'do' something about it would be an asset to our country in my opinion. McCain, in my opinion, doesn't have the 'do' factor.