Post-Debate Thread

Flipping back and forth between CNN and MSNBC, it seems on the whole a consensus is forming among the bobbleheads that this debate was not a “game changer.” McCain needed a “decisive win,” Wolf Blitzer says, and he didn’t get it.

McCain was less dismissive of Obama as in the first debate — I don’t believe he said Obama “didn’t understand” this time — but he still seemed condescending, and I don’t think this is helping him.

Taegan Goddard gives it to Obama.

Tonight’s debate wasn’t even close. Sen. Barack Obama ran away with it — particularly when speaking about the economy and health care. Talking about his mother’s death from cancer was very powerful. On nearly every issue, Obama was more substantive, showed more compassion and was more presidential.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain was extremely erratic. Sometimes he was too aggressive (referring to Obama as “that one.”) Other times, he just couldn’t answer the question (on how he would ask Americans to sacrifice.) And his random attempts at jokes (hair transplants?) were just bad.

Update: From the Right — Andrew McCarthy at The Corner

We have a disaster here — which is what you should expect when you delegate a non-conservative to make the conservative (nay, the American) case. We can parse it eight ways to Sunday, but I think the commentary is missing the big picture. …

…Now, as the night went along, did you get the impression that Obama comes from the radical Left? Did you sense that he funded Leftist causes to the tune of tens of millions of dollars? Would you have guessed that he’s pals with a guy who brags about bombing the Pentagon? Would you have guessed that he helped underwrite raging anti-Semites? Would you come away thinking, “Gee, he’s proposing to transfer nearly a trillion dollars of wealth to third-world dictators through the UN”?

This view of Obama is a complete fantasy, of course, but let’s go on …

Nope. McCain didn’t want to go there. So Obama comes off as just your average Center-Left politician. Gonna raise your taxes a little, gonna negotiate reasonably with America’s enemies; gonna rely on our very talented federal courts to fight terrorists and solve most of America’s problems; gonna legalize millions of hard-working illegal immigrants.

McCain? He comes off as Center-Right .. or maybe Center-Left … but, either way, deeply respectful of Obama despite their policy quibbles.

McCain was hardly “deeply respectful” of Obama.

Great. Memo to McCain Campaign: Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn’t; someone is either disqualified as a terrorist sympathizer or he’s qualified for public office. You helped portray Obama as a clealy qualified presidential candidate who would fight terrorists.

The plain fact is that Obama is no terrorist sympathizer, and I think the American people finally are getting a close enough look at him to know that. However, they are also getting a close enough look at McCain to know he is an asshole.

If that’s what the public thinks, good luck trying to win this thing.

With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I’m dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?

What the Right is missing is that the rest of the country, finally, is moving on from the fantasyland they live in

13 thoughts on “Post-Debate Thread

  1. Maybe McC was less dismissive but there is palpable distain for “that one”.

    Fineman thought it was “an old guy” comment and he was the one bothering to mention the Teddy Roosevelt and Hoover Administrations as if he was reliving his time as a lad.

  2. Maha, it appears you missed on of the best moments of the night. McCain DID say Obama doesn’t understand and Obama slamdunked it! It was the only time all night that Obama said “Senator McCain is right.” The line was “Senator McCain is right. I don’t understand some things. I don’t understand why we attacked a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and let UBL and Al Qaeda…” I’m sure you know where he went from there. That and reprising his reminder of “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” were the 2 moments he truly pwned McCain. The most powerful moments tho, were when he was relating directly to the personal side of the issues and McCain may as well have been on Mars, such as his story about his grandmother dying. You know everyone in the audience felt that one right where they live.

  3. I like Andrew Sullivan’s take: “This was, I think, a mauling: a devastating and possibly electorally fatal debate for McCain. Even on Russia, he sounded a little out of it.” I think that pretty well sums it up. In their 1st debate, O merely bested him. In this one, to quote Sully again, he “wiped up the floor with him.”

  4. I still thought McLame was very dismissive, not even shaking hands at the end of the night. But good lord, with all of the complete falsehoods McLame put out there, how is it that anyone is supporting the GOP? Are they trying to “Enron” the country? Faith is one thing, but faith this blind is going to destroy us.

  5. Two words: That one.

    McCain referred to Obama as a thing, not a person. In front of the whole blinkin world.

    Morning-after polls, even among the old and enfeebled CBS viewers, give a decisive win to Obama. Apparently the days of the smug, dumbass CinC are over. Thank heaven.

  6. Maybe my skin has become a little thin over these last years, but “that one” really smacks of racism to me. “That one” what? Dunno, maybe I’m out of line here.

    I truly believe, that if Obama was a white man, this would be the biggest landslide in the history of this country. Instead, polls show McCain still in the race. Sad, really. Just sad.

  7. Maha,
    So Mr. McCarthy says that the conservative cause IS the American cause. Therefore, how can Obama be a real American? I mean, it’s so obvious. Only us righties are real Americans.
    I think all ideologues, of whatever kind, are ego driven. They have to have somebody to hate. They can’t even admit we’re Americans. No wonder McCain hates Obama so much. Obama poses some threat to McCain’s self image, which he’s spent years carefully building out of pure smoke. If he stopped believing his own BS, he’d go crazy.

  8. I saw Joe Biden speak about “that one” on a network news show – from having seen McCain in the Senate for years, Biden brushed it off as merely McCain’s attack style, to attack in the third person, instead of directly face to face. No biggie, was how Biden took it, but it doesn’t give any points to McCain.

    I thought Obama did well, and I especially liked his closing remarks. McCain said “my friends” so many times, gimping around on the stage, I felt he was like a aging car salesman, increasingly aware he wasn’t making the close. The fact is that Obama/Biden completely outclasses McCain/Palin, and the public is becoming more and more aware and comfortable with this.

  9. McCain’s habit of using the “my friend” attempt at endearment is an automatic red flag of insincerity to me. I reserve the right to designate who I consider a friend, and what criteria that friendship is based on. When you have to announce a friendship to acknowledge it..maybe it hasn’t been established as a real friendship? …Ya think?

    Love is an action.. and not words. And so is friendship! You show friendship..not talk it.

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