Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain Won Last Night's Debate

(image via washpo)

This debate was kind of a disappointment for Obama supporters, considering all the build-up over McCain's "postponement" argument. He didn't win by a large margin, but Senator McCain was the more aggressive and more often than not got in the last word. Only the most myopic Obama voters would argue that it was a draw. Accept this fact: McCain won, narrowly; there was no draw.

Actually, McCain was quite impressive, name-dropping in such a way as to contrast his experience with Obama's relative inexperience. And while Obama did okay -- meh -- standing toe-to-toe, looking "Presidential" -- McCain got off the line of the evening saying he was friends with Kissinger for more than 35-years. Obama should have answered, as we would have: "You might want to ask your friend of 35 years what he thinks of your plan to kick Russia out of the G8? And while, yes, this blog believes Kissinger to be a fungal blight on America, and a filthy Machiavel, that "35-years" part made us wonder -- however briefly and evocatively -- if Senator Obama were not in shortpants in Hawaii when McCain and Kissinger began palling around all those decades ago.

A few observations: 1) Senator Obama must resist the urge of being too "nice." Gentlemanliness is for Secretary of State, and if he wants that position he should have stepped aside for Hillary, who is perfectly capable at being "not nice." Both Kerry and Al Gore were gentlemen at the debates -- is this a psychological marker of Democrat men? -- and both got their clocks cleaned.

2) Obama has to get in touch with his anger. Is America ready to see Obama -- an African-American -- angry? I don't know. Pennsylvania and Ohio certainly would, if in a contained, righteous manner. We may not be ready to see an angry black man nationally; still, the working class of Pennsyltucky and blue-collar Ohio needs to know he feels their pain and is scorching mad over it.

3) Obama should not reflexively pull back from the killing strike. This is the gladiatorial fundament of American politics; the Arena; the big leagues. We thought he had McCain on the ropes with that remark about the bomb-Iran singer lecturing him on how to speak on foreign policy. Unfortunately, Obama didn't follow up. Nor did he deliver the coup de grace. Obama concluded that it was "hard to swallow." Weak. You see, if Obama had the killer instinct in argument -- as The Corsair most surely does -- he would have said something sort-of-vicious, like "To have the Bomb Iran singing Senator who wants to throw Russia out of the G8 lecture me on how to speak about Pakistan is, quite frankly, laughable."

He should then follow with an exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment. Corsair style.


Anonymous Sec's said...

Hmmm. I dunno. If Obama is touting as his campaign tent pole "Change" in the way politics is done, can he really then go slinging vitriolic bon mots in front of everyone?

Lookit, gentle Corsair, Obama (as Hillary ably put it, I believe) has been thinking about this since the fifth grade. I think he's got this.

As for McCain winning this debate? Perhaps. But there are two more to go. America needs its angry righteousness from black men in, say, inoculations. The booster shots may be in the forthcoming debates.

Ron said...

You are probably right. All the weekend talk shows scored it a draw. The argument was that Obama was aiming for the Independents who, apparently, liked Obama's more concilliatory and less aggro style ("McCain was right about this .."). Perhaps there is a grand scheme here which I cannot accurately divine. As you noted, Obama has been thinking about this since the fifth grade ...