Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Second Presidential Debate

McCain's opening statement that he would solve the economic crisis by buying up "the bad home-loan mortgages" sounded preposterous. What about prudent home-owners? or the already bankrupt? Where would the money come from? I think this was a tactical mistake, one which will probably negate the brilliance and poll gains of choosing Palin as a running-mate. I think the town-hall format actually worked against McCain, he seemed to forget that he had to impress many more people than were in the room. Furthermore, despite his familiarity with the setting, he couldn't refrain from high-browing and drumming "greed and excess," "bipartisanship," and "cronyism and special interest"(anyway, doesn't he mean Cheneyism?) into the audience. Also how can American workers be the "best importers"? McCain also failed because he provided no details on health care, rather he referred it to a commission because "we're talking about very complex and difficult issues." He did redeem himself at times with statements, such as, "one of them [programs with overspending] is defense spending."

Barack on the other hand rose above the fray, he did not shy away from prioritizing energy, Medicare, and entitlements and he rose above comments, such as, "You know, nailing down Senator Obama's various tax proposals is like nailing Jell-O to the wall." Obama stuck to the issues. Now the question is whether Americans will do the same. Timothy Garton Ash notes that Democrats score better on the economy (he cites Kinsley's post), but that "Americans are gripped by the politics of fear." McCain spoke of the need for the government to "give some trust and confidence back to America," but doesn't America need a dose of reality, out of which they can begin to hope rather than fear?

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