You didn't think I wasn't going to say something about the presidential debate, did you? Ah, I can't help myself. Plus, this is my blog---I can write anything I want to, eh?
Well, I'm not going to get into the politics of it too much. I didn't think this debate really clarified anything political. In my opinion, it ended up being a display of two very distinct personalities. We got to see how the two candidates react when backed into a corner. I don't think it was a debate where one of the two could be declared winner.
McCain seemed to be the same as we've seen him throughout the campaign--tough, maybe a little stubborn, and unsuccessful with funny. Several times he showed frustration and even a bit of anger. He didn't really show up Obama with his politics. Like most politicians, he refuses to admit mistakes and likes to stretch the truth about personal successes. One thing that showed up in McCain's demeanor tonight is something that keeps me from seriously considering him for president, and that is his itchy trigger finger. He's not a thinker. He's not for study of the issues, looking at the many possibilities, and then choosing the best answer. Instead, he does what he did with Bush and Iraq---he shoots first, and then asks questions later. I commend him for finding the good and the positive possibilities of the Iraq War. But I also think it's imperative to learn from our mistakes. McCain, like Bush, refuses to talk about the Iraq War ever being a bad idea or a bad policy. I don't want someone as president who may or may not be able to get us out of a terrible situation, created by a bad policy. I'd rather select someone who I think will do everything they can to keep us out of those situations in the first place. While McCain seems a bit brighter than his partner, Gov. Sarah Palin, he's still no scholar.
Obama was pretty much cool and collected as always tonight, though his answers came somewhat more slowly than during his many brilliant speeches. Tonight's debate was supposed to be McCain's night, since he's considered to have an edge on foreign policy. Obama could've been tempted to talk "tougher" than usual about this, in order to keep up with McCain. But I was very impressed with his answers. This is a man who is bright, intelligent, well educated and well-spoken. He is obviously confident in himself and in his proposed policies---that they are what America truly needs right now. (With this, I strongly agree). He's a great communicator--someone who seems to handle pressure well. He believes in diplomacy and in talking to our allies, our potential allies, and our enemies. Maybe it's because he's young that he seems to be more optimistic about the world than McCain. He believes we can actually solve some of the world's great issues. He thinks change in Washington is greatly needed. Not many dispute that. And he thinks it's worth the risk to leave behind the old ways of government. I thought he answered question honestly and humbly, choosing not to tangle with McCain in a mud-slinging match. That I can respect.
All in all though, we didn't really hear a lot of different things, from either candidate, that we haven't already heard this election season. Like I said, I think the only thing I learned is the way their personalities are different. And I think personality is important--I think personality shapes policy. I came away, not feeling like McCain was a bad guy, not feeling like Obama was amazing. Just feeling confident about supporting my candidate. (Can you guess which one I like?)
Anyway, I love watching this stuff. Can't wait for the next one.