Good, but Hardly Exceptional

From watching the debate last night, did anyone get the impression that John McCain could have had almost the exact same debate against Hillary Clinton?

Before saying anything else, he did just fine. On the issues he chose to address, he did so in a calm, rational way which seemed to connect pretty well with the audience on both sides of the television. Just as he has done before, he set forth nicely the need for earmark reform, the need to tighten the federal belt, the plans by his rival to raise taxes on pretty much everyone. Personally, he mentioned reaching across the aisle with Joe Lieberman and Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy a little too much for my taste–lamenting that the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, a nightmare of a bill, did not pass brought out a loud groan in my living room–but addressed healthcare and climate change and domestic and foreign policy in a competent, down-to-Earth manner. The “Town Hall” style suits him well, and it shows.

However, should Hillary Clinton have been in Barack Obama’s chair across the bright red carpet, I get the feeling that he would have had the exact same things to say. That, my friends, was the problem.

McCain needs to count on a little of the “comfortable old shoe” vote, people who walk into the voting booth with their mortgage or their job security or their monthly budget on the mind and pull the lever or push the button for the known entity, the well-worn, scuffed-out, beat-up pair of New Balance sneakers, rather than the flashy, shiny new pair of Nikes. As the flashy, new Nikes, Barack Obama just needed to show that he, too, can elicit comfort — and he did.

All Barack Obama needed to do was convey, to American voters, that he was a safe, smart, thinking man’s average center-left senator who, when push comes to shove, would keep the perspective of the American public at heart rather than govern strictly from his far left ideological standpoint. And, with the exception of repeatedly stating his intention to make “investments” in the economy (read: increased taxes and spending) and his argument that healthcare is a “right” for all, he did that. He was, largely, not actively exposed as the radical he is.

While McCain did point out Obama’s and the democrats’ responsibility in the economic crisis, you’d never know that he was sharing the stage with a guy who has just about the worst judgment in friends and acquaintances that a guy can have. While the format doesn’t necessarily lend itself to personal attacks, it would have been nice for McCain to ask the audience four simple questions:

  1. First, how many of you, by show of hands, know who Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson or Jamie Gorelick are? (Then, he should tell them about their former positions.)
  2. Jim Johnson was advising Sen. Obama on his vice presidential pick, until he stepped down amidst the mortgage controversy. Raines and Gorelick continue to advise Sen. Obama on economic policy. Who would you like to see put in charge of the economic recovery of America?
  3. Second, in your own circle of friends, how many of them are corrupt Syrian businessmen, PLO operatives, advisers to Saudi billionaires, card-carrying communists, mentors and founders of the Black Panthers, unrepentant domestic terrorists, or rabid racists who blame the United States government for trying to kill black people with AIDS?
  4. Often times, the men or women who sitting U.S. presidents nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court are people with which they’re comfortable, ideologically and otherwise. Who would you like to see on the bench of the United States Supreme Court, shaping our laws, culture and country for a generation?

All Monday-morning quarterbacking aside, as the GOP candidate debating his rival, McCain did just fine. He won. As John McCain debating Barack Hussein Obama, however, he may have won but could have done a whole lot better.

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Comments

  1. John Galt says:

    McCain’s plan, which some say isn’t his, but he seems to have taken hold of it, to stablize the housing values is the solution to the problem.

    That is the solution to the guy who has mortgage problems.

    The Los Angeles Times even gave it a large front section inside write up.

    McCain and Palin seem like normal people whom you would invite to your home for holiday dinners.

    Obama and Biden seem like folk whom you would go to a public University speaking event organized by extreme left wing radicals.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The problem with the debate is that the questions were the SAME. NOthing new and nothing I wanted to hear AGAIN. Half way through it the thought occurred to me…
    Brokaw wanted questions that Obama could answer. If it came out a draw, Obama would win again.

    Why couldn’t they have asked these questions:

    “Why did the financial crisis happen?”

    What are you doing to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    How much authority are you going to give your VP?

    How can we now afford NOT to increase taxes?

    Hey… Brokaw pick the questions that Obama wouldn’t have problems with… They were all boring.

    There was one woman behind Obama that only smiled when Obama spoke. Yea right, a bias group..NOT!

  3. Goldie says:

    I really wanted McCain to put Obama’s snout in the dirt but I heard a comment today that makes a little sense. The “town hall” forum isn’t really where you want him to do that. It’s a personal setting where you’re looking at and in close proximity to voters and it would be like ‘smashing china at a dinner party you were only a guest at’. I want him to come out swinging and hit dead on but I wonder if the right people telling these truths would protect McCain’s persona and keep public opinion favorable rather than seeing it come out of the man himself? Unless he’s going to make dead on points of Obama’s REAL dealings and with whom. Like you said, basically ask the people if they want this Islamic terrorist loving fraud as chief in command of the most powerful military in the world?

    On reference to the recent Corsi story… Obama used US money to fund the election of this Odinga who in turn murdered everyone, even burning down a church full of women and children fleeing for their lives, that spoke against him. Also he pals around with people HERE in the US that use those same terror tactics by intimidation toward anyone opposing them.

    I wonder how much of that was to prevent anyone getting a birth certificate? If there still is one now.

    The Democrats NEED to know this illegal alien is here to run this country the SAME WAY! Look at what’s happening with the press already. Anyone who calls him on the carpet for his anti American dealings or brings up anything in his crooked past that exposes him, get’s the “smear” label and paints the McCain campaign as using this because they have no real change to tell about while in the same breath LYING and DENYING everything he’s really done.

    McCain will only be seen as this unless he slams the ugliest truths about Obama in his face for all to see. So far he’s been too polite. He’s a gentleman and I like that but he’s got to roll up his sleeves and make the people see the Emporer has no clothes!

  4. Jeff Schreiber says:

    I really wanted McCain to put Obama’s snout in the dirt but I heard a comment today that makes a little sense. The “town hall” forum isn’t really where you want him to do that. It’s a personal setting where you’re looking at and in close proximity to voters and it would be like ‘smashing china at a dinner party you were only a guest at’. I want him to come out swinging and hit dead on but I wonder if the right people telling these truths would protect McCain’s persona and keep public opinion favorable rather than seeing it come out of the man himself? Unless he’s going to make dead on points of Obama’s REAL dealings and with whom. Like you said, basically ask the people if they want this Islamic terrorist loving fraud as chief in command of the most powerful military in the world?

    Brilliant, Goldie. You’re absolutely right. It’s hard, when the audience is within arm’s length, to attack someone personally — perhaps, in the final debate, he’ll do so.

  5. TypewriterStreaming says:

    OT – Please pass to everyone -
    This is from Real Clear Politics
    Web Archives Confirm Barack Obama Was Member Of Socialist ‘New Party’ In 1996
    http://politicallydrunk.blogspot.com/2008/10/web-archives-confirm-barack-obama-was.html
    There are 2 other articles with documentation on No Quarter and American Thinker
    Please consider passing this to media outlets. Voters have a right to know and they will care.
    Thank you Jeff.

  6. Hannabees says:

    Jeff please consider posting. This is something Americans will care about if they get to hear about it.
    Thanks!
    OT Obama documents show membership in Socialist Party.
    Obama is Hiding a Radical Past!
    http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/10/07/obama-is-hiding-a-radical-past/
    and:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/
    Archives prove Obama was a New Party member
    and
    http://politicallydrunk.blogspot.com/2008/10/web-archives-confirm-barack-obama-was.html

  7. Anonymous says:

    I guess we can all be mon am quarterbacks. I suspect that it is McCain’s strategy for he himself to remain above the fray you want him to leap into. At any rate, what we are seeing is the product of planning not oversight or poor execution.

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