Final 2008 Presidential Debate Wrapup

by Sal on October 16, 2008

in Election 2008,Politics

Some random thoughts on the final Presidential Debate of 2008. 

  • I am somewhat pumped for McCain and the rest of the campaign after last night’s debate.  McCain gave me, a Conservative, a reason to support him again, other than the fact that he’s not Obama.  I appear to not be alone on this.  People who were not excited after the first two debates, like K-Lo, Michael Graham, and even Michelle Malkin, who has been less-than-enthusiastic about McCain during each of the last two debates,
  • The reason McCain resonated is that he was Conservative and he made his case.  Not as well as someone else may have made it (Palin, for example) but he made his case. 
  • The star of the night was Joe the Plumber, who McCain was able to successfully use to expose Obama’s views on Wealth Redistribution.  Joe the Plumber was the focus earlier this week because he asked a question to Obama about why he should be taxed and punished for success?  Obama responded that it was important to “Spread the wealth around.”  McCain had some great lines as a result of this thread, including pointing out that he wants Joe the Plumber to redistribute wealth through his small business. 
  • Katie Couric interviewed Joe the Plumber after the debate, and he sounds like a McCain supporter to me.  Team McCain should capitalize on this, and use Joe the Plumber in a series of ads. Video of the interview below:

  • Line of the night:  “I’m not President Bush.  If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”
  • I said it after the last debate, and I’ll say it again.  The InstaPolls are crap.  For example, the CNN poll oversampled Democrats, giving them a 10-point party advantage in the poll.  The CBS poll sampled pre-determined ”undecideds” who are not the only dynamic in-play (you also have previously despondent Republicans, and people who were leaning Obama but were not fully committed to him yet).  The key will be to watch the tracking polls over the next 3-4 days to see if the race tightens a bit (note, today’s polls will not be representative, as they were all taken before the debate). 
  • The format and questions of the debate were much better than the last one.  Despite my expectations to the contrary, Bob Schieffer actually did a good job as moderator.  He did interrupt a bit too much, but his questions were good and a bit more probing than any of the other moderators we have had in this election.  Kudos to Schieffer (never thought I’d say that). 
  • Many pundits are arging that McCain did not get a game changer.  He probably doesn’t need one.  He certainly helped his cause tonight, and now has the home stretch to finish up.  Go Mac!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

BR October 16, 2008 at 7:58 am

McCain did seem strong last night. There were moments where he faltered though. Here is a pretty good, brief analysis of what went down last night.

The Matter at Hand: The final debate is over


Ryan October 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I assigned watcing the debate to my students so that they could watch at least three issues, give the candidate’s position and provide their opinion on the positions.

As we discussed the issue today, the debate reinforced whatever opinion the students had. More of the McCain swipes were about how he looked (his laugh, his blinking, etc.) rather than on the issues. In the end a few students told the class they thought “Joe the Plumber” won! I work in a hopelessly liberal town, but there are a few McCainiacs in every class. Yet, they are louder than the Bushies from 2004.


Chris October 16, 2008 at 11:39 pm

With my students today, we also discussed the debate. We have a few Obama Kool-Aid drinkers, but there are many more McCain supporters than in Ryan’s school. My school is located in the most populated Republican county in the state, but unfortunately as in most of The Garden State, some towns in the county are starting to turn ‘purple.’ They felt that McCain was on the offense and felt he did what he needed to do.

I pretty much agree with Sal in his debate analysis except one area: Bob Scheiffer. I really thought he was a horrible moderator. He interrupted way to much (especially McCain) and whenever it looked as though McCain was about to make a point about Obama’s tax policy, liberalism, etc, he introduced a new topic. Frankly, I thought he was more offensive as a moderator than Gwen Ifill (and he doesn’t have a book showing he’s in the Obama tank).

This was John McCain’s strongest performance, but he could have been better. He assumes voters are intelligent (in the current polls, at least 49% are not…sorry, but I don’t see how someone can intelligently support a Marxist/Sociaist who wants to destroy the greatness of the US) in that he did not explain or follow through on his attacks. This was most prevalent when talking about Ayers, ACORN and the “T-Shirts” (The shirts called Sarah Palin the “See you next Tuesday” word…totally disgusting). During the middle of the debate, it seemed he started to lose steam, but in the end, especially on the education question, he got his mojo back. Obama was flat and frankly went into this debate thinking he was going to mark time and filibuster until the thing ended.

I cannot make any predictions about what will happen on 11/4. Anything can happen in these final weeks whether it be the economy or something influencing national security. The majority of the polls are skewed, I’m tired of the “Henny Penny, Sky is Falling Mentality,” and unlike the rest of the Drive-by media (and even the Fox News talking heads in this case) I’m staying optimistic and positive. The stakes are too great to risk an Obama presidency and it will be a mess we’ll be cleaning up for the next 30 years. McCain is in the fight for his life…let’s go McCain-Palin 08!


movie fan October 17, 2008 at 4:01 am

the fact that anyone is praising McCain for his performance in the third debate proves that he and Palin have lowered people’s expectations down to nothing (don’t forget, the VP debates were a tie!)


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: