Barack Educated by Elder Statesman
No less than 8 times in 90 minutes, Senator Obama audibly agreed with his rival on several key points. From a true Lincoln-Douglas debate format, Obama was crushed tonight. For an Ivy League educated lawyer to be so keenly whipped by a middle-of-the-road Naval Academy graduate- it is a true embarrassment. Obama will be licking his wounds for days to come as he no doubt replays the tape looking for talking points as he once more takes to the campaign trail. This writer is already looking forward to the Monday poll results. I’m betting a minimum 5 point bounce for McCain – Palin. If Governor Palin hands Biden a corollary cuffing next Thursday evening, that number should increase and secure the Republicans another term. Make no mistake, whoever leads in the majority of vetted polls by at least 5% will come out on top. There will not be time to overcome a significant lead should it materialize.
While both candidates sidestepped the opportunity to expound his views on the current economic meltdown, the key topic that emerged at the urging of moderator Jim Lehrer, was that of national security - the main lightening rod that keeps the Democratic candidate from surging ahead in the polls. For all intents and purposes, these two Presidential candidates are in a statistical dead heat. When one considers that the Democratic candidate has been campaigning on one central issue for 2 YEARS, against the incumbent party’s President, it’s amazing that the Challenger isn’t 10-20 points ahead. Looking at polling data, however, the answer is very clear. Most conservative Democrats and voters who consider themselves either independents or ‘moderates’ cannot fathom a man with less than two years’ national exposure and experience at the serious helm of the world’s leading superpower. Especially when it comes time to decide whether or not aggression is the answer- and for how long, where, at what level, and whether or not the Junior Senator is worried about what Kenya, Canada, North Korea, Iran and France might think.
Several times (4?) Sen. McCain was interrupted by Sen. Obama. It was not only rude, it goes to the credibility of statesman-like maturity and patience- something Barack clearly does not possess as he unerringly proved tonight. He was simply out of his element, and fresh out of teleprompters. Not once did Senator McCain interrupt Obama's 2-minute oratories, though he did attempt to set the record straight during rebuttals after Obama clearly misstepped on the issue of Henry Kissinger's position on table discussions with aggressive foreign leaders.
The lynch-pin, though, was when McCain aptly told the entire viewing audience that he had been to both Iraq and Afghanistan to discuss military strategy with current military leaders- even though Sen. Obama is on the sub-committee for military affairs and has not once set foot in Afghanistan where Sen. Obama feels the most pressure needs to be applied. McCain was poignant, "So, I ask you, why hasn't he visited with those making the decisions when he talks about failed strategies and policies?" (OUCH- Obama actually winced on camera here.)
No, it was perfectly clear who had the ability to lead, to discuss intelligently and from personal experience on any of a variety of security issues. Now on to taxes...Sen. Obama clearly stated that he was for investment in alternative fuels, bio diesels, solar and wind energy, subsidized college tuition for all, socialized medicine, subsidized mortgages, socialized retirement, etc. By that count alone, he would have to raise taxes some $1Trillion dollars on top of the current 3/4 of a Trillion bail-out occurring on Capitol Hill for Wall Street. This country can't afford another government-mandated tax of any size, let alone of titanic proportions. The markets have not yet stabilized even with the infusion of congress-mandated revenue (borrowed revenue), and Obama is happily crying for more. He has no idea how free markets operate, what stimulus' are required, and when to act. His timing on raising taxes at this juncture of the campaign, in the midst of economic chaos, is a godsend to the McCain advising think tank. They should hit this hard, repeatedly, over the next 6 weeks along with the security issue.
Obama's own words, used against him, would prove very effective. Ad folks, pay attention.
Biggest gaffe of the evening? Obama's reference to the Great Depression under Franklin Roosevelt. (The Depression started with the Crash of '29- under Herbert Hoover's Presidency, 1929-1933.) While it is debatable about when the Great Depression truly ended, it certainly started and matured under Hoover- 4 years prior to Roosevelt taking office. Talk about revisionist History...is this what "change" means to Mr. Obama?