The debate just finished a while ago and I stayed up to watch it in Amman (4am). Divided between foreign policy and the economy, the latter seemed to get a bit more emphasis which is only natural given the times. I think both candidates presented themselves differently. On the one hand you have Obama who was as cool as a cucumber, appearing confident and perhaps a bit presidential, and then you have McCain who could often be seeing walking around and interacting a bit more with the audience; restless and circling for a kill. Suffice to say, the rhetoric of the past few days coming from both campaigns, which was largely attacks on the fellow candidates on a personal level was a bit absent tonight. Instead the attacks centered on being critical of the other candidate’s proposed policies.
Already behind in the polls, I think McCain put up a pretty good fight and kept Obama constantly on the defensive. He did nothing short of pour lighter fluid on him, yet, Obama kept his cool, which is also telling. When he wasn’t wasting most of his allotted time defending himself, Obama was able to get his solutions across more clearly than McCain who spent most of the time pointing to his record in an attempt to demonstrate the contrast of the two candidates (a strategy that isn’t so bad with the undecided votes up for grab one month out). However, if the last debates demonstrated anything, I’m not so sure political aggression is the best way to score points with either the undecideds or the general electorate sitting at home.
Most interesting question of the night: how would each candidate react to Iran attacking Israel? Would they wait for a UN resolution? More dancing around the answer but I think the beneath the rhetoric and campaign poetry there was a “no” to that last question. For me, it conjured up the ancient old wondering of whether the average American voter has actually thought about why Israel is so important in the first place?
I think it was McCain who suggested that Iran’s acquiring of nuclear weapons would mean “all the other countries would get them too.”
Is there a waiting list?
I’d like one.