Ben Buchwalter

McCain Trounced

After the first two Presidential debates, I was pretty sure the candidates had tied. If anything, I thought McCain might have won. But in both cases, post-debate polls overwhelmingly showed Obama to be the winner. Last night’s debate was different. McCain got trounced.

I think the debate probably was, as the pundits were saying, McCain’s best debate. He was aggressive and got Obama to talk about his association with Ayers and ACORN in a way that didn’t make McCain seem overtly negative. But in every instance where McCain was good, Obama was better. His description of his association with Ayers was complete and direct.

The same was true of his defense of his tax and health care policies. Each time that McCain attacked those policies gave Obama an opportunity to talk more about them. And if anyone going into the debate had a doubt about whether Obama wants to raise taxes on the middle class or about the details of his health care plan, they left the debate alleviated.

McCain’s worst and most shameful moment was when the subject of abortion and Roe v. Wade came up. He criticized Obama for supporting choice in late-term pregnancies when the mother’s heath is at risk. He called this one of the radical ideas of the pro-abortion movement. See the video:

I posted before the debate that the main test would be whether McCain would seem Presidential. He absolutely did not. It was clear by his constant snickering and grimacing that he simply does not like Obama and is incapable of acting like a statesman. The fact is, McCain is too much of a Maverick to be President. You can’t act like a ten year old every time that someone disagrees with you. Not even George W. Bush does that.

Obama, on the other hand, seemed very presidential. Most so when he directly addressed the allegations about his connection to Ayers and the hateful comments at Palin rallies. His consistent plea to talk about today’s pressing issues rather than character attacks was particularly strong. In response, McCain seemed even more childish, repeating the same nonsense about taxes and plumbers upwards of a million times in 1.5 hours.

McCain didn’t get the final push that he needed in the final debate. So what matters now is what he will do in the next 20 days. He might be on to something with this attack on Obama for wanting to raise taxes even on the top 5%. But if that doesn’t catch on, we might see McCain give up and start to preserve his legacy rather than win the White House.

Some interesting articles about the debate:
Karl Rove, WSJ
The Economist
Snap Polls show Obama win


2 Comments so far
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The picture at yop left has got to be one of the all-time best McCain photos!!!

Comment by Charlie

You acted like a ten year old once, too, you know. You were 10.

Comment by lisabu

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