Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate

It would take hours, a few thousand words, and a complete transcript of the whole 100-minute teeth-pulling episode to say all we have to say about the debate. So, instead, let's throw out a couple of comments for the masses:

In response to Lehrer's question about the lessons learned in Iraq, the correct answer is not how right McCain was about the counter-insurgency. The right answer - first, foremost, before, after, and ever since the time of Sun Tsu - is "Never get into a war in the first place." Obama sorta came 'round to that, but really that is all he needed to say: the best way to win a war is not fight one in the first place. For crying out loud, just watch the Princess Bride.

"Maverick" should, like oh-so-many political cliches, be officially declared a four-letter word.

The road to the White House does not lead through bracelets from war mothers. If you think anyone's vote can be won in a contest of who has the best sob stories, I would very much ike to vomit all over you.

I suppose it is well that Obama's game is basketball. It is clear, from the number of leads from McCain that he could have knocked out of the park with a single sentence, that baseball will never be his game. In response to every instance where McCain touted his long experience in foreign policy as evidence that he's all set to make the decisions for the next four years, all Obama needed to say was "How much use is experience if you keep making bad decisions?"

If McCain thinks it's all so great that he's going to not need any on-the-job training to be commander-in-chief, what the hell does he think of his running mate?

I appreciated that this debate had some time for back and forth, rather than being merely a joint press conference. However, let this be a lesson for the future: the moderator must always be empowered with a switch to cut the mike of either or both candidate.

The sentiment in this room is that, far more than either candidate's performance, the debate itself failed to meet expectations.

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