27 September 2008

Had to be there to be condescending

Obama: And the problem, John, with the strategy that's been pursued was that, for 10 years, we coddled Musharraf, we alienated the Pakistani population, because we were anti-democratic. We had a 20th-century mindset that basically said, "Well, you know, he may be a dictator, but he's our dictator."

McCain: I -- I don't think that Senator Obama understands that there was a failed state in Pakistan when Musharraf came to power. Everybody who was around then, and had been there, and knew about it knew that it was a failed state.

FACT: The Musharraf coup was immediately condemned by the U.S. State Department, The European Union, Great Britain, and Germany, all of whom called for a "return to consititutional order" to a nation whose recent development of nuclear weapons was not met with major international concern.


Ian Keenan said...

other impressions:

All the polls are calling the debate for Obama, none for McCain, Halperin and Dick Morris have called it for Obama and no independent pundit has called it for McCain. This was the one McCain needed to win and for the most part McCain did a solid job.

But he didn't win. Coming up are Palin v. Biden and the economics debate. Obama was winning and had to look presidential and he looked much more presidential than McCain.

I don't know how McCain's gesturing will play, but I can't imagine a mentor showing a tape of McCain's reactions on a split screen and telling debaters to emulate him, but I can imagine people pointing to Obama's composure. Obama didn't let McCain take him off message or take the risk of responding to one of his low blows about readyness.

What I also think is most important in a debate that doesn't have a major decisive moment that stays on policy is how the candidates draw advantages from the policy positions they take. This is where the polls disagree with the 'draw' called by many pundits. Obama repeatedly clarified his position on taxes in a highly rated venue, refuting the false claims in the McCain-Palin RNC speeches that caused 51% to think Obama favored a tax hike. Where the Iraq debate didn't bring any new, compelling argument for one position, it's one where the public agrees more with Obama. Ditto earmarks vs. corporate tax breaks.

The MSM fact checkers didn't mention McCain's Pakistan error, which followed one of his unpresidential displays of condescension. I hope that the MSM takes this up, and surrogates and netroots push the point.

Ryan W. said...

did you know MSM upsidedown is not only WSW but W5W?

I listend to the whole debate on the radio and initially I felt like mccain was the better debater. more incisive. then I thought about the positions they were taking, and the content, and realized that for many people, the overriding impression from the debate must be that mccain is someone who really likes talking up the iraq war, a war that is not only unpopular among U.S. voters but also just plain not a top priority for many U.S. voters. so then I realized that regardless of delivery & technique, obama would be helped by this debate. then I read some commentary on how they came across visually -- who was making eye contact where, etc, gesturing and such -- and how obama had done better in that respect. then I watched some web videos that confirmed that obama was much more effective when you can both hear and see him, whereas mccain had the better delivery when you could only hear him. obama was much more effective and motivated in this debate than in the primaries, where he often seemed bored to me during debates.

Ian Keenan said...

William Solrac Williams.

It was very Kennedy-Nixon in that way. Much was said of his never looking at Obama, and he was twitching and sneering on the split screen when Obama spoke. When Obama said Mc would break diplomacy with spain he said 'horseshit!'

Plus Obama and JFK both looked better than their counterparts. Half the men want grandpop Rambo, two thirds of the women want to check out Obama's suits on the news for eight years.

Schmidt is explaining that Obama changed his tax position, which has the added benefit of making it look like McCain and Palin weren't lying while getting free network time last month. Obama's tax position has been reviewed by thinktanks and was the same in the primaries.