I am, by nature, an aggressive political speaker much like Joe Biden. [This is Video of a speech after the Republican Convention.] In a debate I take my opposition by the ankles and use them for a golf club if the facts are so completely on my side. This serves well in Congressional elections or state offices. For a Presidential Debate it is counter productive.
After a night’s sleep and listening to various analysis I believe that Obama did an acceptable job in all parts of the debate and he excelled in some. He corrected the domestic and foreign record record, reacting calmly and deliberately. Barrack Obama flatly won the foreign policy debate.
On the ‘earmarks’ condemnation from McCain, his most aggressive attack, I would have prepared Obama to say:
‘Was the new school that children attend a mistake? Was the playground on 1st street a mistake? If you dislike earmarks so much how about the millions you’ve earmarked, openly, in legislation for the state of Arizona? I don’t disagree with the $10 million for your university systems. You funded the land acquisition around one of your military bases with an earmark. I don’t disagree with those earmarks. Let’s not be hypocritical and say all earmarks are necessarily evil since you used them as well. Make up a list of mine and you won’t find any true pork in mine either. By the way, John, if you dislike earmarks so much you should have a talk with Sara Palin who has requested more earmarks per person in her state than any other Governor. Also do want a list of those items? (Then have him pull a list from his suit pocket.) ‘
Given the physical language was so different Obama won that portion of the debate hands down. He was comfortable and relaxed. McCain was uptight and resentful.
So in short, after more thinking it, even his comments ‘John was right…’ make sense in context. Obama has repeatedly said he wants a bi-partisan policy development mechanism in his administration. His comments were part of that context. While the Republican’s have already cut a commercial with those comments edited to show Obama as if he is supporting McCain, the American people aren’t stupid enough, regardless of the Republican campaign leaderships thoughts, to believe that the Democratic Nominee agrees with his Republican opponent.
To sum up, I think Obama faced down his most important task: he did very well on the foreign policy issue and look overwhelmingly Presidential.
The Vice-Presidential debate may be a complete blow out for Joe Biden. It will be essential that he do very well. He said last night he wasn’t planning on holding anything back. As I said in an earlier post I want Joe Shark to show up for dinner. Joe Biden is well known for enjoying a good political fight. Let’s hope he clearly shows her inability to be in the WH.
The full transcript of the debate is here.