Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCain Won the Debate, Hands Down, No Contest

Here’s a prediction: If the networks are still around in all their glorious gory (sic) in four years, the winner of the first presidential debate will be the Democratic nominee. He or she will go on to win the second and the third debate, this streak being interrupted only by the victory in his/her own right of the Democratic vice presidential nominee during of ’12 veep debates.

And here’s another prediction. If the pompous cast of liberals at ABC are still made up of the same group of clueless windbags in 2016, the Democrats will be the hands down winners of the entire debating season. In fact, if Robert Byrd, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ever form their own baseball team, you may as well cancel the World Series, as the outcome will be a foregone conclusion, at least in the eyes of the media. Indeed, who needs Roger Clemens at the mound when you can have Charlie Rangel?

Among the past debates that Democrats “won,” at least as far as the talking heads were concerned, was the second Reagan-Mondale debate, the one in which President Reagan decided “not to capitalize on the youth and inexperience of (his) opponent.” That debate is legendary now, and not exactly as a smashing success for Mondale. But at the time, the network pundits declared Fritz the winner.

Here’s another debate that the talking heads once saw fit to award the Democrats: The 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, the “there you go again” debate. Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not drunk. Neither were they. They’re just media liberals.

The agenda driven crowd also gave Al Gore the win in all three debates in 2000, and this great victory helped Al Gore go from plus 8 in the polls to minus 4 during the same time period. In 2004 they rightly awarded the first debate to John Kerry, but then wrongly awarded the last two to him as well. Their analysis that year is even more shocking than their 1980 call when one watches the third debate in that series (the one in which Kerry attacks Cheney’s daughter as Bush delivers the funniest line in recent presidential sparring history).

Which brings us to last night’s debate:

McCain rocked the house.

Yes, he could have done more. He should have exposed Obama’s “tax cut” to 95% of Americans as the lie that it is. Yes, the marginal rates would be cut under the current incarnation of Obama’s proposal, but anyone earning slightly over 100K would see a 6% tax increase on part of their earnings and who knows how much seniors and anyone who owns stock would have to pay on their investment savings. Families selling their primary home after less than two years would also face higher taxes. And that’s just the beginning.

Similarly, when Obama made the outlandish claim that that McCain’s $5,000 tax rebate for purchase of health insurance amounts to “one hand giveth and the other hand taketh” or some other spin, McCain should have told Obama that he was “almost as funny and as big a distortion as your economic package is, Senator,” or something along that line. It is spin. The McCain plan gives people $5,000 to purchase $2,000 or so of insurance. Only the most elaborate plans in the nation would receive a net negative. The average American would save thousands. Of course, expect Obama to try to block that in the Senate, assuming he isn’t offered a more attractive position from his friends in the Weather Underground.

All in all, McCain’s attacks need to be sharper and more on point, especially when countering those lies with the simple truth. And yes, he must strive to do so in the last debate. After all, it’s not “simple truth” if it’s not simple.

But that doesn’t change the following:

- McCain was sharper, livelier and more pronounced at all times than Obama, the latter giving off the impression that someone had been short on Nyquil the night before (though even Obama looked positively vigorous compared with Biden last week, who also “won” his debate according to ABC - which he did if his goal was to drag his ticket down, as shown by the CBS poll conducted in its aftermath)

- McCain, not Obama, hit hard on foreign policy and came across as a real Commander in Chief. Add to that; one who shows understanding and caring for our soldiers on the ground

- McCain, not Obama, was the only one to offer anything of substance on the economy. Even the talking heads marveled over this fact, saying that McCain’s new proposal would be tomorrow’s headlines. Of course, they still saw no irony in giving the night to Obama

- McCain was in touch with voters while Obama’s performance was more robotic than even the general demeanor of his Obamaton followers, assuming that such a thing is possible.

All in all, McCain was in control, had clear ideas and connected with voters. Obama, in turn, allowed chronic insomniacs to get a good night’s sleep. And that was his only accomplishment in last night’s debate.

As for the media, don’t worry. If Dan Quayle had been a Democrat in 1988, Lloyd Bentsen would have been said to have “blown it” with “an over the top attack” in “one of the worst displays of presidential politics.”

At least the media is finally getting their act together. In 2000 and 2004 they awarded 5 out of 6 debates to Bush (all but the 1st in 2004), only to change their minds hours later. This year, they know that the Greek templed one must not be denied his (perceived) victory for even one minute. The trouble for them is that no one is paying attention to their amateurish analysis antics any more. And that’s good news for America.

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