Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate This!

Like many of you, I tuned in nervously to last night's debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. With the McCain camp becoming more and more negative in the past several days, I wasn't really sure how nasty McCain would get when Obama was standing right there.

Fortunately, outside of the "that one" bit which didn't really register with me as offensive in the moment, McCain kept the bile a little under control, but he still came across as a grumpy, petulant old man who was pissed to have to go through this. I don't get a sense of joy or passion from McCain -- and that's troubling. I don't want a President who doesn't have a passion for the job. We've all seen (or even worked with) people who hate their jobs. It's not pleasant -- the bitching and moaning and lackluster effort that often results makes everyone feeling lousy, even the people who DO like their jobs. Is that the guy we want leading us? The guy who'd rather be on the golf course than working on the big presentation? Or the guy who brings an intensity and excitement to the job and keeps striving to be better -- and encouraging us to be better, too.

I pick option #2.


Jen said...

I was nervous about watching the second debate, too--mainly because I don't think I like the incarnation of myself that screams at the TV. I didn't do much screaming this time, though. I was struck by how very uncomfortable McCain looked, and how awkward he was in the debate format. His instincts were clearly not good about when to move and when to stay still, when to face his questioner and when to try to open his comments to the rest of the audience, or even how close to get to people. The "that one" comment struck me at the time as dismissive. I think he was trying to be offhand, even funny, and failed. (The shop at has about a million pro-Obama "that one" t-shirts up now, though, so maybe it was just his plan to stimulate the American economy.)

I'm with you. I want to vote for a candidate who inspires us to reach for our better selves. That isn't McCain.

Mike said...

I couldn't watch the debate because it's like cheering on a sports team that you desperately want to win in a game that you can't stand to watch. By this point, how I respond to the debate doesn't matter; all that matters is how other people score it and trying to watch the debate AND interpret it through the lens of how I perceive the media and the potentially undecided voters in swing state is not really a healthy pasttime.

That said, since it seems like Obama came across a lot better than McCain, I can't help but wonder if some folks on the Obama side wish they wouldn't have accepted McCain's offer of multiple town hall meetings -- though I still think Obama made the right decision. Given fewer big events gives McCain fewer free opportunities to change the course of the race.

McCain does seem like he'd rather retire -- and let's hope, if he does lose, that he just throws in the towel and stay quiet, rather than being a thorn in the Obama administration's ass back in the Senate.