Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate post-mortem

(So, would it have killed McCain to look
Obama in the eye when he shook his hand?)

NYT Editorial: The First Debate

Michael Cohen: A Win for Obama

L.A. Times: A too-close-to-call debate

Washington Post: McCain's High Horse Meets Obama's High-Mindedness

MSNBC: 2 quick polls give Obama edge in debate

FOX NEWS General Election Poll
[Obama +4.3]
Obama -- 47.9%
McCain -- 43.6%


Sherry said...

yes... and I wondered about the way Sen. McCain grinned and kind of smirked while Sen. Obama was talking. It seemed so uncomfortable. I recall reading something about when you can't look a person in the eye... what does that say?

I am wondering why there has not been more commentary on this awkward/disrespectful "body language."

Thank you for the post.

Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

To be fair, an instantaneous photo may not have captured the whole encounter. In looking at the video of the exchange, it does appear that the two men looked each other in the eye.
McCain seems to glance off stage to someone sitting there. So I'm not sure it's fair to make any big implications on that.
I thought Barack was well-prepared and thought he did well.
My only argument continues to be why won't the two parties allow other voices (Nader-Barr) to be included in the dialogue. We are locking out of the debate some other vital voices.
I keep hoping (with little reason for success, I know) that the campaign could somehow turn away from the negative attacks to a more issue focused exchange. I thought Friday night was a rare good example of that.
Barack represents an exciting new voice. But, as a Vietnam veteran and one who has followed McCain's career and life, I hope we don't have to tear this American servant down to build Barack Obama up.
I don't feel McCain is the right person to be President. I'm not really sure about Barack either, but I don't think tearing them into shreds is the way to help our country when it needs it most.
It's OK not to like McCain's ideas, I know I don't like many of them, but whether a single photograph shows him looking Barack in the eye, says nothing about to me, about McCain.
Whatever happens in this election, McCain has my respect and admiration for a life filled with challenges, pain, sin, redemption and service. Sounds like a lot of us.
I even heard Barack criticize one of his own supporters for trying to denigrate McCain's Vietnam service at a recent rally. It was a rare, and welcome, moment of civility in an otherwise miserable process that has gone on too long.
What we are setting up, is that when Barack is elected, the party out of power will spend the next four years tearing down Obama and looking for his faults.
Nothing will ever change until we change the tone. In my humble opinion.
Those of us who follow Jesus should lead the way by thinking the best, even of those with whom we disagree.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim of Michigan

Wayne said...

Yes, Jim, I agree, we need a change in tone -- which is why, I think, Obama generated so much support among younger voters -- his message was not just about certain policies, but about a different way to think about the problems and the issues.

As I learned in my Lutheran youth from the Small Catechism (sort of a LuthEpisc, here):

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

"We should so love and fear God, that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, nor betray, slander or defame him, but should apologize for him, speak well of him, and put the most positive construction on all that he does."

My hope -- to use Obama's word -- is that he does not get seduced or pushed away from his core message by those who become desperate to win.