Here’s a few interesting comments by Mark Impomeni. I find it hard to believe that people honestly feel Obama won the debate. BO far exceeded what he has done before in debates against HRC and McCain looked (devilishly) at home and enjoying himself. He is a worthy opponent – no matter how the BO camp tries to paint him as ‘unstable’, ‘erratic’ or ‘ ready to explode’. I liked McCain’s: “My friends.”
MARK IMPOMENI: (emphasis added)
Sen. Obama is more comfortable talking about the economy, and it showed in this portion of the debate. Sen. McCain did not make any major mistakes, and managed to score some good points on Obama’s earmark requests and out of control government spending. But a fair assessment of the first portion of the debate has to lean toward Obama.
The earmark discussion was what I think hit home most. The comment about BO has a million/day earmarks -especially when Gov Palin’s have been discussed.
McCain: “He didn’t happen to see that light during the first three years as a member of the United States Senate, $932 million in requests….that’s a million dollars for every day that he’s been in the United States Senate.”
Obama: “Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.”
Favorite McCain wording: We had an energy bill before the United States Senate. It was festooned with Christmas tree ornaments. It had all kinds of breaks for the oil companies, I mean, billions of dollars worth. I voted against it; Senator Obama voted for it.” Festooned with Christmas ornaments!
IMPOMENI: But Obama’s barbs did not stick to McCain, who has a long history of opposing his party on any number of issues. One particularly effective way McCain demonstrated this was when he rattled off a list of U.S. military actions and explained why he either supported them or opposed them. Another tactic McCain used effectively was to point out that he has traveled to many of the world’s hot spots, like Georgia, Pakistan’s frontier, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and has seen first hand the security challenges each poses to the United States. McCain demonstrated a depth of knowledge of world affairs that Obama, however well studied and prepped he may be, cannot possibly match.
(Nor could he Clinton.) Though I’m not sure how that knowledge will matter to BO’s youth support. They weren’t alive, so they don’t exist and substance points are not necessarily something they care about. And they think that Obama actually ‘voted’ against the war…still.
Liked the shout out to Sen Clinton holdouts. McCain: “Nuclear power is not only important as far as eliminating our dependence on foreign oil but it’s also responsibility as far as climate change is concerned and the issue I have been involved in for many, many years and I’m proud of the work of the work that I’ve done there along with President Clinton.” Subtle but effective. Didn’t look like he was waiting to deliver the line like many of Obama’s planned canned responses.
And here’s a shout out to his VP, Gov. Palin. McCain: “It’s well-known that I have not been elected Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate nor with the administration. I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoner, on – on Guantanamo Bay. On a — on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record and the American people know me very well and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate and I’m happy to say that I’ve got a partner that’s a good maverick along with me now.”
Unfortunately, she has to go for McCain to really have a serious chance. Palin on Couric was bad…very bad. I can’t watch her interviews…too painful. I find it sad that BO’s camp continue to pile on – we can all see and hear. Piling on it makes BO look even more elitist. When are they going to learn? November 5th?
IMPOMENI: McCain also succeeded in getting under Obama’s skin with his criticism of Obama’s understanding of world affairs. That led to Obama interrupting, protesting, and attempting to correct the record while McCain was speaking.
BO even jumped in when McCain had trouble pronouncing “Ahmandinejad”. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Somebody better rein in his arrogance. I didn’t know about Gore’s “sighing”. Will have to check that out. I didn’t watch politics till seven months ago.
IMPOMENI: Obama’s interruptions are a tell for when he feels that he has been hurt by something McCain has said. McCain, on the other hand, was cool and calm throughout, except for one time when, appearing exasperated, he cut into an Obama answer on meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad. But even that was an effective moment for McCain, as he made the point that Obama’s desire to talk to the Iranians is naive and showed some emotion in doing so.
I really and truly was surprised with McCains’s command of foreign policy – especially with Russia, Georgia and the area. I thought his Sunni/Shiite was a big deal.
Obama: You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong.”
BO had to be pleased he didn’t have to go first and LEHRER give him BO a hand: “You see any — do you have a major difference with what he just said?”
Obama:“No, actually, I think Senator McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.” His advisors had to have a collective groan there and the McCain camp had an ad put together before the debate was over.
IMPOMENI: McCain gets points for his vastly greater knowledge and experience in dealing with foreign policy issues and for taking Obama off his game and making him play defense. Stylistically, McCain wins again for frustrating Obama into losing his poise a little.
Obama does give away a lot with his body language, though he was much more in control than usual. Must have been schooled by a body language expert. But he couldn’t control is facial expressions, especially the one where he puts his chin up like he’s better than everyone. Biggest zinger was when McCain said I know the veterans – they trust me.
McCain: “As far as our other issues that he brought up are concerned, I know the veterans. I know them well. And I know that they know that I’ll take care of them. And I’ve been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans. And I love them. And I’ll take care of them. And they know that I’ll take care of them. And that’s going to be my job.”
Obama’s face at that moment is priceless. He knew he opened the door with: “We haven’t adequately funded veterans’ care. I sit on the Veterans Affairs Committee, and we’ve got — I meet veterans all across the country who are trying to figure out, “How can I get disability payments? I’ve got post-traumatic stress disorder, and yet I can’t get treatment.“ and the “old man” happily skipped right through it – but did so in a heartfelt way – not – yeah, and your camp says I use the “POW card”? And he only directly mention his POW experience after Obama did his “my father’s from Kenya – no where on earth could this happen line. Guess McCain learned something from Leno.
McCain: But, also, I have the ability, and the knowledge, and the background to make the right judgments, to keep this country safe and secure. Reform, prosperity, and peace, these are major challenges to the United States of America. I don’t think I need any on-the-job training. I’m ready to go at it right now.
Game, set and match.
BO had to look down at his bracelet for the fallen soldier’s name, who died in a roadside bombing in 2006. It was very sad. “I’ve got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant—from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, given to me in Green Bay. She asked me, ‘Can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I’m going through?’ No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain because they’re carrying out the missions of their commander in chief. And we honor all the service that they’ve provided.”
I hope the family is ok with that.
UPDATE: As it turns out, his mother didn’t want Obama to say anything but after he did she’s “ecstatic”.
Jopek acknowledged e-mailing the Obama campaign in February asking that the presidential candidate not mention her son in speeches or debates. But she said Obama’s mention on Friday was appropriate because he was responding after Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, said a soldier’s mother gave him a bracelet.
Jopek says Obama’s comment rightfully suggested there’s more than one viewpoint on the war.
What else is Mrs. Jopek going to say? And why did the press fell the need to descend upon her? Once again barry says one thing and does another…
Full coverage of Jopek story from Media Matters.