Fact Checking the Debate
I have small issues with a few of the things said, but overall, I thought it was fair.
Who Won Debate? TV Pundits Don't Agree On a Winner.
Again, pretty fair overall.
For my money (I watched it twice) I thought it was mighty close. In the end, I have to give the smallest of margins to McCain for a couple of reasons:
- He finished strong. He got better and better while Obama just seemed to become more and more flustered.
- Unlike some others out there, I didn't think McCain had to wow people over with this debate. In fact, I think that although Obama was more eloquent "off-the-cuff" than he usually is, I'm not sure if he rose to the expectations people had for him. That performance was a far cry from a candidate who is supposed to lead us into the promised land, or send a tingle up our legs, or whatever. Is that, then, a failure? A letdown? I don't know. I'm not sure I want to watch either one of them for the next 4-8 years, honestly.
- One moment that really stood out to me. After McCain talked about the bracelet from the soldier's mother, Obama tried to counter with his own "I have a bracelet" story. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't remember the soldier's name, and had to look down at his notes. It was a cringe-worthy moment, and made McCain look genuine while making Obama look too rehearsed and phony.
- One last thought. It worries me that Obama argued that going into Iraq to remove Saddam created our problems today with Iran by taking away an enemy of theirs. I'm sure it's true, of course, that Iran becomes stronger when you take away their aggressive enemy, but is Obama really implying that we should have left a guy who was not only torturing and killing hundreds of thousands of his own people, but also participating in the largest scam in history (oil-for-food) in power simply because he might have kept his neighbor in line? That's genuinely scary. That's like the FBI saying "let's not bother going after Al Capone because he keeps the other families in check." First of all, I could make the argument that if we were to leave Saddam in power, that would have been an even more risky move as Iran still would have had plenty of reason (if not more reason) to pursue nuclear weapons with a psychotic dictator just over the border. Add to that that Saddam would likely have become even more aggressive in return, and you have a bit of a powder keg. Not good. Second, the only reason that Iran is stronger with Saddam gone is because the country (Iraq) is "in between" governments right now. I think the argument can be made that once a new government is firmly established in Iraq, especially one that is on friendly terms with the west, not only will Iran lose any strength they may have gained, they will lose some of what they originally had. Of course, all this is speculation, but as I said, that kind of logic, that kind of thinking, from someone about to take the oval office, really scares me. I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone else comment on it yet.