Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Presidential debate # 2

One commentator labels Obama the winner of debate #2: Ahead of the debate, the prevailing thought was that Senator McCain needed one of those game-changers and that all Senator Obama needed was a steady performance that avoided any serious gaffes, a much lower bar. The flash polls taken immediately after the debate showed Obama cleared the bar and then some: Both the CBS and CNN polls, as well as the focus groups various news organizations had put together, indicated that Obama had “won,” however that is defined.

For Obama to win was simply to look presidential, stay even, and move on; he did. For McCain to win was to score a knockout; he didn't. So Obama won.

McCain did commit a gaffe that is beginning to get a life in the media: John McCain calls Barack Obama 'that one' during debate: Was it rude or not?

ABC News: One thing that people were talking about, however, was McCain's dismissive reference to Obama as "that one" after asking a question about which candidate voted for an energy bill that was "loaded with goodies."

McCain looked exasperated and dismissive of Obama at points; a couple of times I saw him let the microphone slide out of his hand: once I thought the unspoken words were zinged him there, another I thought they were amateur.

After the debate, some analysts noted that McCain left the debate site quickly, which some of our viewers noted as well. James Rickman, a Patchwork Nation blogger in Los Alamos, N.M. (our wealthy, well-educated “Monied ’Burb” community), watched the debate on C-SPAN, which often broadcasts the milling around before and after events. “It was weird how quickly McCain and his wife flew the coop,” Mr. Rickman wrote. “A president is supposed to be a Man of The People, someone who can inspire America. Seeing Obama roaming the hall and talking to everyone makes him blow away the competition in those two departments.”

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