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Debate Format Just Drew Out Talking Points

October 8, 2008

The questions picked were horrible. Who told McCain he should articulate a plan of buying up mortgages the way he did? I simply think he didn’t explain it very well. As for Obama, he kept trying to say McCain wants to give tax cuts to the rich, when in fact McCain simply wants to leave all the current rates alone which was annoying for Obama to spin it the way he kept doing. The question on Israel was interesting, McCain said he would do whatever it took to protect Israel, while Obama’s answer was wishy washy – classic Obama. The debate as a whole was a dud. It was not a real town hall, the questions were like interview questions, too narrow, and the time management discussions took forever. What about guns, immigration, the Supreme Court, etc? The same old questions were asked. We needed questions that could draw fireworks, emotion, and allow the candidates to distinguish themselves as candidates and individuals. The Rick Warren questions from two months ago were way more interesting. Americans did not learn anything tonight.

Positives for McCain:

– I did like McCain calling Obama: “that one” [voted for the energy bill with all the Xmas ornaments]

-McCain did a pretty solid job on domestic issues, although nothing really stood out b/c of the questions.

– Obama finally admitted, although impliedly, that small business owners making over 250K will have to pay more taxes.

– McCain calling out Obama for not answering how much his fine to small business owners not buying into the health care plan will be.

Krauthammer’s insight was interesting:

He found the debate very interesting. He felt McCain, against all expectations, won the first hour on domestic. However, he felt McCain made some unforced errors on foreign affairs, walking into a discussion on when we should go to war, citing missteps in Somalia and Bosnia, leaving the door open for Obama to walk in regarding the Iraq war. Overall, he felt it was a pass/fail test for Obama and he passed.

This was not the game changer – the questions were horrible.

– AP

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