The great debate verdict: Tie

Last night’s presidential debate was sort of torturous to watch. Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama particularly inspire me, personally, with confidence. But in all seriousness, it wasn’t a bad match as the actual art of debating goes.

John McCain showed what I believe to be great skill once both he and Obama struggled through the first questions regarding the economic crisis. I suppose what makes his performance even more impressive was that he probably spent more time than his opponent involved in his ploy of “suspending” the campaign and going to Washington for some face time in Congress on the fiscal meltdown. Thus, he must have had somewhat less opportunity for practice. Even though I must say, McCain strikes me as a person who thinks practice is for lightweights.

As for his negatives, McCain pulls off being a smart ass well. Perhaps it is a natural gift or something he honed as a fighter jock. However, he comes off annoying when doing condescending. And he didn’t do himself any favors telling Obama that the Dem nominee was just some little kid who should not be seen and not heard.

Obama did really well, once again, past the economic crisis part. Both men acted as if the subject was a toxic gas. The Illinois senator showed a more than ample grasp of the foreign policy issues and he stood his ground against McCain’s pedantic snipes.

Unlike many of the pundits (and I am not really a pundit) who, afterwards, examined the debate ad nauseum I think it would be charitable to call the outcome a tie. And I have to say that although a president doesn’t have to be likable to appear presidential, McCain’s attitude was clearly unattractive.

I can’t wait for the Thursday debate between veep candidates Biden and Palin although I will approach it with trepidation. Like someone I heard on TV say last night, I don’t really like watching humiliation and unless someone programs Miss Alaska correctly she is liable to start spewing smoke and flames like some overwrought robot.

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