Did you watch the presidential debates on Friday? In what should have been a great Friday night debate, I’m afraid most of those who stayed in to watch the event were disappointed and could be found dozing in front of their televisions.
While the debate centered on foreign policy and national security, most viewers expected to hear more about the bailout plan and the true state of our economy. Those of us who waited for any such conversation to get started were just out of luck. Instead, we saw an odd display of posturing not unlike that befitting a chicken coop.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Obama’s intent stare straight into the camera. While I believe the intention was to “connect” with the viewers, I found myself a little unsettled by it. However, I gave him points for the attempt.
McCain, on the other hand, could learn a thing or two about body language. He refused to even acknowledge that Obama was on the same stage as he. Poor Jim Lehrer tried to get the two to address one another, but he was fighting a hard battle against a man who had decided to invoke an invisibility shield on the rest of the room. When Obama attempted to speak directly to him, McCain either stared straight ahead and made odd, crimped faces, or looked down at his podium with a look of disbelief directed toward his invisible opponent.
McCain wanted to drive home the point that Obama is young, and in his opinion, inexperienced. “I’m afraid Senator Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy.” He spent a great deal of his time repeating that Obama doesn’t “get it” and “doesn’t understand” what is going on in the world.
Obama didn’t get angry; instead, he more often than not kept responded by repeatedly offering words of agreement. “I think Senator McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.” Really? I thought the whole point of the debate was to highlight your differences.
I think the American people wanted to see more from these two. It didn’t feel like they were in the race of their career. Frankly, it wasn’t as interesting as the previous debates we’ve seen this year. Nothing new was revealed, the same barbs were thrown, and in the end the American public isn’t any clearer on who they should vote for come November.
Read the transcript of the debate.