Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final Presidential Debate

Thank goodness the debates are FINALLY over! My mind was already made up who gets my vote and nothing during the debates (both Presidential or Vice-Presidential) was going to change my mind. The debates only confirmed the reason of why I made my choice.

Be that as it may, I’d like to give full disclosure here that I was on the road when tonight’s debate started. So I missed the first 14 minutes via television and I’m grateful for NPR for carrying the debate live so I could listen while driving.

Here’s my take on the debate: I thought John McCain came out swinging (which was no surprise) and he landed a few hard knocks but he got tired like a boxer who wastes his punches in the early rounds, his strength waned in the last 45 minutes of the debate and Obama was still left standing since he maintained his composure.

Now enough with the boxing terminologies and into the meat: I want to know who the heck is Joe DePlummer (I hope that’s his last name but that’s what it sounded like)? Or was it Joe, the plumber? OMG! Whoever Joe is, his ears must be ringing! I almost got to the point of saying to my TV: “Enough about Joe, What About Mo? (My stake in this debate)”

And what about the line of the night from John McCain – “I am not President Bush!” Well he isn’t technically but if a guy like him says (it’s on tape) I’m in support of President Bush and I’ve voted with him over 90 percent of the time” means you’re kind of similar. Also, for John McCain to say, “education is a civil rights issue” during the debate made my brain go hmmm, that phrase sounds familiar; I wonder who made that statement? Oh, oh, oh, I know; that’s straight up from W’s mouth!

Then there was the William Ayers issue. Enough already! I heard about this guy during the Primaries now I have to be subjected to it for over 10 minutes of the debate. What does an action a guy did 40 years ago, long before my parents even met have anything to do with the state of the economy, energy or health care? But McCain wanted to milk the Ayers issue as much as he could. I could dissect this Ayers issue between both candidates but I’m already drained.

Another significant moment was the issue of abortion. Now let me say something about this issue. I’ve been following Presidential elections since my mid-teens (Bill Clinton’s first run) and this issue came up and I’ve almost doubled my years and this issue remains a bone of contention among candidates. As I grew older, I’ve made my decision that I don’t agree with act of abortion.

However, I’m one of those people who can’t be easily swayed just because a candidate is against abortion but is unethical on other issues that are vital. What am I saying? You cannot be against abortion but vote against funding for children’s healthcare (SCHIP anyone)? So until our government could be balanced in all areas (you don’t torture, you don’t let a certain group of people live in poverty and hunger to force mothers to do atrocious things to their children) then Roe V. Wade should stay!

Then there was that issue about the qualifications of each of the Vice-Presidential candidates to be President. Obama seemed very comfortable (as he should) about describing Joe Biden but McCain had to resort to clich├ęs like “reformer,” “shake things up” to describe Sarah Palin. To this viewer (and I’m sure many viewers), the Palin qualifications to be President (a scary thought) just didn’t sell.

I could go on about various issues but let’s talk about the tone and body languages. As usual, Obama was just too cool for school. Even when McCain attacked him, he had this disarming smile (it seems he took a page from Biden) while McCain on the other hand, seemed agitated. There was the sighing, eye rolling, I had to ask myself does McCain know much about history? Check out Nixon V. Kennedy or Gore V. Bush; the former lost the debates and election (though Gore’s was stolen). Hel-lo McCain, over 60 percent of what you’re saying, is not coming out of your mouth.

So what’s my verdict? On the debate, I would say a draw but on the tone, I give it to Obama.

Tags: Final Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, Joe the Plumber