What Would Peggy Hill Say About the Obama-McCain Debate?

PEGGY: “Bobby Hill, put that phone down! The school could be calling me in to sub at any moment. What if an algebra teacher died in a car accident? It would be a tragedy if they couldn’t reach me.”

I think John McCain will want to stay out of automobiles for a while. Sarah Palin is not available for comment.

On a more personal level:

  1. McCain needed to assert his superiority on foreign affairs and on this point he did not succeed. Repeating ad nauseum that Obama “doesn’t understand” does not make for foreign policy superiority. At some point it sounds like whining.
  2. Obama pushed back effectively regarding his desire to meet with non-allied foreign heads of state. Obama got McCain to blink on this point by getting McCain to concede that Obama would precede any head of state meeting with lower level diplomatic contacts. And when it gets to the level of parsing Henry Kissinger’s words, then it doesn’t make McCain look good. I don’t think McCain’s tactic of listing names of places he has visited is an effective show of foreign policy experience. Or if it is, then what must he think of Sarah “I got my passport last year. My parents aren’t the kind of send me off with a backpack and a passport after high school. I learn from books.” Palin.
  3. McCain certainly generated a lot of bad feelings in the audience by trying to postpone the debate then announcing the day of the debate that he would show.  I don’t get a sense that he won them over. If Obama were a petty person, he would have ZINGED McCain when McCain repeatedly stated that he was not the “Miss. Congeniality” of the Senate. If only we could have at that moment interspersed video of Sarah Palin in the Miss. Wasilla competition.  A girl’s allowed to dream.
  4. Bracelets. Okay, McCain has one and Obama has one. I’m certain they both have drawerfuls of them. The point was well expressed that some mothers want to carry on the war to victory and others want to never see another mother go through what they did. It’s called America is of many minds regarding the wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  5. Iraq. We finally remembered that we’re close to spending a trillion dollars there and Afghanistan is crumbling. Unlike Sarah Palin, I don’t believe that McCain’s willing to say that we are victorious in Iraq. But John McCain’s support for war in Iraq has reemerged in the same room where we are simultaneously discussion a potential US government bailout of Wall Street that may cost us $700 billion.
  6. On the “looks” and “sounds” department I think Obama won. It’s difficult to sound presidential when you are such a difficult guest to schedule. And regardless of the $5,000 makeup session, John McCain is still a 72-year old man who has survived multiple bouts of melanoma and who refuses to release his medical records from the last eight years. This thought is reinforced in my mind whenever he talks about his many years of “experience”. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Obama does not come across as someone who just fell off the turnip truck. McCain carped about how much Obama “doesn’t understand” while Obama refuted and then asserted. It was, to borrow a phrase from Obama during the debate, a vision of McCain swinging a hatchet and Obama wielding a scalpel.
  7. No knock outs, no gaffes. Slight edge to Obama.
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