Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain and Obama square off in Nashville

With the ongoing economic crisis as a looming backdrop, John McCain and Barack Obama squared off at Belmont University in Nashville for the second of three presidential debates.

The town hall format arguably reaffirmed differences each candidate has a on a variety of domestic and international policy issues--most notably the economy. But style is so often the unfortunate barometer upon which American voters base their decisions, and one can easily conclude Obama came out on top on that aspect alone.

McCain's slipping poll numbers are a clear indication he needed to change the game last night. He stuck to the standard GOP talking points in much the same way Sarah Palin did last week in St. Louis. He even cited Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as his heroes. McCain's reference to Obama as "that one" in response to an energy policy question and other charges he made during the debate, however, reaffirmed the idea he is condescending--or worse.

McCain failed to garner the game changer he obviously needed last night. My always faithful mother in New Hampshire summed up the debate this way: "[He] didn't do himself any favors." Is the writing on the wall with less than a month before Nov. 4? You be the judge!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McCain has dropped 10 points behind Obama here in Wisconsin. And this has all occurred despite Sarah Palin grabbing headlines by claiming Obama's friends with "terrorists." I disagree with your analysis that voters decide based on style. A large percentage of voters are ideological-- they vote based on the conservative/liberal dichotomy. I've never once even considered voting for a Republican because anyone that would align themself with a party that advocates ignoring the sick and the poor and the (gay) outcastes is heartless as far as I'm concerned. The independents are the ones to watch, as they can be swayed by style or current affairs, in this case, the economy. I think it's hard to deny that McCain and the Republicans are being fairly targeted as responsible for the deregulation of the financial markets. They worship money to the point where McCain wanted to turn Social Security into a investment gambling game. Style has little to do with it, as McCain has always enjoyed popularity in the media and public based on his carefully constructed image (and nauseatingly repeated by Palin) as a "maverick." He's not a maverick, he's a Republican in a barbecuers clothing. --- Nick