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1st Presidential Debate

In Disconnected on September 27, 2008 at 12:34 pm

This is more what I just watched and follow than the drama in Malaysia, re Badawi vs Anwar (vs Mahathir?). If you’ve felt that American politics has no real impact locally, just ask your friendly local branch manager whether the Wall Street crisis has directly impacted you.

It’s certainly affected my thinking, plans, etc.

Anyway, here’s what I got from the 1st presidential debate and the pundits’ thoughts immediately after:

Obama: “(regarding the Wall St crisis) … this is the final verdict of 8 years of Bush administration …

McCain: “(persistently repeating to Obama) … You don’t understand“.

Pundits (CNN political analysts & reporters) think McCain was condescending and talking down to Obama

David Gergen: McCain close to a neo-con, especially like Bush’s 1st term – attack, attack, attack, ignore everyone else.

David Gergen: Obama reminded him of Kennedy, younger Senator, taking on more experienced Vice-President Nixon and held his own in the first debate. Therefore, established his status – younger, smarter, better.

Christiane Amanpour: Need for America to lift its reputation in the world, and clear difference between McCain and Obama. The recent ex-Secretaries of State discussion clearly favours the approach of more diplomacy, less hostility. One also proposed by Obama.

Early poll numbers: Obama 50-60+%, McCain 30-40+%.

Mood of the audience after the debate: Frustration – foreign policy given more prominence whereas economy (and health-care and energy) were people’s concern.

Roland Martin: McCain did not talk to middle-class, the largest segment of the electorate. McCain got beat by Obama on tax-cuts which McCain want to give to rich people, USD300billion e.g. USD4billion to oil companies.

Gloria Borger: Obama tied McCain to Bush’s failed administration quite effectively.

Campbell Brown: McCain’s strongest area – foreign policy – will not likely be raised till election early Nov. Yet, McCain didn’t win in this debate. So, McCain blew his best opportunity to show he can be a better president.

What struck me:
John King’s preliminary numbers of CNN polls after the debate
Men – went to Obama
Women – went to Obama
Older age group (50 and above) – also went for Obama.

Every single target group liked Obama!

Have a good weekend folks.

PS. For polls and another take, go to Huffpost.

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  1. If I remember correctly, I think McCain had led by a few percentage points just some weeks ago – I think it was after he had announced his running mate.

    BTW I had read Obama: From Promise to Power by David Mendell (“Given”, not bought. Can’t afford too many books/magazines after the 1998 currency crisis). I may not have voting rights but I sure know whom I’m rooting for to win. I just hope he won’t be too much of a disappointment later on.

  2. mat,

    Mendell’s book is good. Altho’ as a biography, it lacks the distance required for critical evaluation. Cynically, I feel Mendell has drunk the kool aid and is there for the ride (all the way to the top, I hope!).

    To be fair, Mendell never said it was a biography. Obama’s own books, ‘Dreams from my Father’ and ‘Audacity of Hope’, gives a good idea too – I believe – of how the man thinks. He sure is good with words.

    Have you seen this site: http://obamaspeeches.com/. It’s pretty comprehensive.

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