Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Presidential Debate: A Great Cure for Insomnia?

I just got done watching the presidential debate tonight and was highly unimpressed with both candidates. I thought Obama did a better job, but found it difficult to pay attention to what either candidate was saying. It seemed like they kept talking about how much the government needed to reign in spending and then immediately shifted to all the new goodies they'd give the voters once they got into office. (Somehow, it reminded me of this.) I thought McCain was particularly bad about this. His phrase "I know what it's like to..." also got a little old after a while. At least Obama occasionally smiled. I'll take watching Biden and Palin debate over this any day.

Overall, I think I would have been better off going to bed earlier. I learned nothing new other than both candidates were engaging in politics as usual. In my opinion, Obama gave a better performance, but neither of them gave me any new reason to vote for them. Both gave me some good reasons to vote against them and both failed to inspire me on any level. Neither candidate seems serious about making any significant changes in government in response to the current economic mess. One of the few things they presented with any clarity was that they don't like each other. (I get the impression McCain doesn't like Obama much more than Obama doesn't like McCain. Recent poll information and prediction market data explains that quite easily.)

In my opinion, this was the least interesting of their three public forums thus far. (The previous two being Saddleback and the first debate.)

P.S. -- What was up with McCain calling Obama "that one?" It was something very minor, but also very strange...

P.P.S. -- Looks like Drudge agrees with my assessment:

1 comment:

thinking said...

No doubt it was a little boring, and yes, politicians do tend to repeat their talking points.

But part of this is also the fact that unfortunately, when people talk issues, however imperfectly, it is often taken as more boring than dealing with smears and character attacks.

I mean, how many people would rate a true academic discussion of issues as anything other than boring?

There's a reason why tabloids are displayed near the checkout counters in supermarkets, and not Foreign Affairs magazine, or the Economist.

That being said, I do think with the gravity of the problems confronting this nation, that people are ready for a discussion of the real issues.

And this is why Obama has been climbing in the polls: on the issues he is vastly superior to McCain. All McCain ever had going for him were petty character attacks and smears. But in troubled times people do not have the luxury of indulging themselves in the trivial.