Friday, September 26, 2008

What I Saw

It was probably a draw.

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain both did well staying on message and getting their points across. McCain surprisingly kept most of his temper in check.

Yet, what I really saw was an old man who thinks this young man doesn't belong here. An old man who wonders what all the hoopla is about and why everybody is so convinced this wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper is wonderful.

You could feel his contempt in the way the told Obama, "you don't understand..." Maybe is it was simply a strategy, but it seemed real to me. John McCain really doesn't believe Obama has put in the time to deserve to challenge him for this position and it showed Friday night.

Funny, it was almost like a replay of the Democratic primary.

I remember Hillary Clinton giving off the same aura. She seemed surprised, annoyed and, most importantly, angry that Obama dared to challenge her for what she deemed her right to be president. John McCain become Hillary Clinton last night in many ways. He couldn't stop harping on certain small victories and interrupting and belitting his opponent at every turn.

It makes me confident.

We've seen this movie before. Sure, Obama only had to win over Democrats last time. But, let us make no mistake, many, MANY Democrats were just as skeptical of a black man as Republicans. Obama didn't win the Democratic Primary by luck, he won because he had a superior strategy and a superior message that resonated with the American people. He won because he had foresight.

That's the thing about Obama. The brother has vision. He's not perfect, he's not the Messiah, but he is an intelligent and uncommonly composed black man. He is able to absorb and deflect insults. He is able to parlay most attacks. Big Homie ain't no fool.

So, I'm cool.

I can't wait to see what Palin does next week. When was the last time presidential debates were must see television?


aegil said...

Big Man,
I checked your blog just on the off chance that you had posted already, and here you are!
My thoughts - Obama looks so damn good - sounds so intelligent, thoughtful, and warm - can't I please have him as my president, please?! Every time I listen to the man, I am struck with such hope.
Obama has got to stop being nice - don't agree, don't give McCain credit - he will get nothing for his trouble. I'm afraid that between a thoughtful knowledgeable man, and a bull-dog, the uninformed idiots in our country will pick the bulldog - mistaking aggression for strength.
What I said before about character? Obama IS a mensch - but he's got to be tough too.

Darth Whitey said...

Wow the reactions I've seen so far are completely contrary to what I saw in the debate. My heart sank lower and lower as the debate went on, I saw Obama getting crushed. McCain was much more specific on a lot of things. But I'm really glad I seem to be in the minority, I guess I was watching in a very fretful mood! I was imagining new polls showing 60-40 for McCain!! Whew!

Imhotep said...

My initial reaction is that McSurge won. I believe that's partly due to the relatively low expectation that I held for him going into the debate.

It seemed to me that McSurge kept Sen. Obama on the defensive for much of the night. In addition, Mc Surge either started or ended his statements with "you don't understand, your are naive or you don't have the experience" and rarely did Barack effectively counter those dismissive comments. More on this later.

Now, it was obvious that Barack was well prepared, he had tremendous command of the facts, and was able to go into details on a wide range of topics, but I expected that from Barack. Where I thought Barack was particular effective with his counter points.
As always he was respectful, but assertive with his comments. He's always a gentleman. Someone(s) did a great job in raising that man.

After the debate when the poll numbers started to come in, they showed a boost to Obama from middle age women. IMO that boost directly related to those dismissive comments "you don't understand,, you're naive, etc." It seems to me many women have heard those words over the years, and viewed the words as insulting, therefore advantage Barack.

Anonymous said...

McCain is being evaluated on events leading up to this debate: suspending his campaign wanting to move the debate; all of the lies; the Palin pick; McCain has damaged his image. This is how America is he is losing his HERO STATUS. It did not help how he deliberately disrespected Obama; he could not even look at him.

Deacon Blue said...

I would be looking forward to the VP debates if I wasn't 90% certain that Sarah will develop walking pneumonia or some other convenient problem and have to pass on the debate...and wow! we just can't figure out how to fit another one in her schedule this close to the election. Sorry!

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I walked away with a different impression. McCain's mantra of "You don't understand..." was very effective because long after people will forget the specifics of who said what, they'll remember that. Obama missed a golden opportunity by not turning this phrase back on McCain, by simply saying, "No John, it's you who doesn't understand, and this is why..."

Barack was also much too generous with McCain, giving him praise and compliments which was not returned, nor was it earned considering that his opponent behaved like an old style redneck who was too racist and contemptuous to even look at the black man. This will appeal to the many white voters with racist inclinations.

One can only hope that most of the white voters will perceive Obama as having 'team spirit' as opposed to being a yes man. Otherwise, thank God there are more debates ahead; Obama is a quick study and surely will knows where the landmines are now.

Big Man said...

Thanks for all the comments y'all. The thing is, Obama has done this before. With Clinton he had the same habit of staying on the defensive and refusing to swing haymakers. He also consistently agreed with her and played nice.

Guess what? It worked. Because could not break his calm she became flustered and upset. She began to attack more and more just to get a rise out of him.

Last night, I thought Obama missed some opportunities but I thought his overall strategy was sound. He was gracious and he was polite. Plus, for the first time her referred to McCain as simplay "John," which was a huge change. Despite McCain's attempts to brand Obama as his inferior, Obama never seemed inferior throughout the entire debate. He never looked uncomfortable or ratteled.

I think people are appreciating that ability more and more. McCain had some good punches, but Obama was masterful at deflecting them. I think moving forward McCain becomes even more desperate and Obama looks better and better.

Lolo said...

You nailed it. He's not going to win by going hard in the way that some folks wish he would. Not going to happen, it's just not his nature. He may act cool and I do believe he is cool but until you see him in person you don't quite grasp how warm he really is. He likes people, really, and it's very apparent that he treats everyone with respect and graciousness.

I don't ever get angry anymore on his behalf because there's no point at all. He's got this, the rest of us just have to do our part to get people to listen to what he's saying.

MODI said...

Big Man, your cool-as-Obama post is reassuring, so I'll roll with it. I guess like everybody else, I get frightened at just how stupid at least half this country is. It is very scary, so I always feel like if Obama doesn't pitch a perfect game with 27 strikeouts, then something is lost.

But I was happy to see independent voters in polls favor Obama. It may have been a victory of graciousness over dickheadedness more than anything.

kit, while I agree about return fire, I think that agreeing with Mccain was effective. It showed viewers that Obama could separate the message from the messenger while McCain couldn't. With McCain, disagreeing and disagreeable are the same thing, but not cool hand Obama. I want him to keep his graciousness, but simply add a couple of combos in between.

Derek said...

Being a Libertarian (independent), with views on both sides I think Obama did exactly what he needed to do. He was calm and cool and showed vision for the future, not the past as McCain did. After 8 years this country needs a new vision for the future. I thought that Obama agreeing with McCain showed that he could work with rebublicans for the better of the country. If nothing major happens in the next month, Obama will win the election in a landslide!!

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Big Man, I had to come back after seeing the polls today. I am so relieved that the majority of Americans didn't fall for McCain's mantra, 'you don't understand'.

Initially the pundits were calling McCain the winner except in Round 1 but the polls prove otherwise. The American people were not fooled. I was sooo relieved.

the uppity negro said...

If nothing else, Obama's defensive stance, is nothing but a rope-a-dope. Although he was on the defensive clearly, he didn't seem worn down or flustered because he was on the defensive. Like McCain mighta thought he was whooping on that ass, and Obama was like "That's what YOU think!"

However, I will say, he can't do this for each debate, he pulls this again, perhaps it may not come off as well.

Anonymous said...

I really hope this election will be over come Friday morning, that is, after Palin has scared the living hell out of the entire electorate save for the doomsday predictors.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Yes, I called it a tie. I thought McCain seemed just like HRC. I thought it was a good debate.

However Obama was more gracious to his opponent.

It is clear that McCain liek HRC is mad that Obama is not putting in HIS time so to speak.

Must See TV I'm already thinking of a debate party at my house for the third and last debate! I'll be home in the H that week and what a perfect way to catch up with the crew than debate watching!

thepoliticalasssistant said...

Upon further review, the call on the lecturn stands...Obama wins. The only thing I thought he lost on was on foreign policy and not by that much. It was clear that McCain's travels gave him the edge on this but most of the night it felt like McCain was making stuff up, with Obama at one point questioning his figures.

I wrote a post about how cordial and gentle democrats can be...we really have to stop that. Republicans are not going to give you credit for a damn thing in public if you are democrat. All this "John is right" crap has to cease and desist. Because he may be right on a point, but he's wrong for this country for so many, many reasons. Again, this wasn't close and I'd have to disagree with the "draw" conclusion. Great post!

older_not_wiser said...

I didn't watch the "debate", I only read about it in the paper, but I second a lot of the previous posters' comments. McCain was obviously trying to drill that "you don't understand" chant into viewers' heads, and Obama was being himself: gracious and eloquent.

Those of you who want more bite and attack from the Obama campaign are missing something important. Not only is nastiness and condescension very obviously not in Barak's nature, but by refusing to wallow in the mud with the acknowledged masters of dirty politics he's accomplishing at least two important goals. First, he's demonstrating that, unlike the Republicans, he WON'T to absolutely anything to win. Second, perhaps more importantly, he's making it hard for them to unleash the full fury of their smears and inuendo by his very refusal to answer in kind. Americans have made it clear that they're sick and tired of negative campaigns. If Obama doesn't join in the Republicans can't risk letting the contrast between them and the Democratic campaign become too obvious.

Raving Black Lunatic