Posted by: Joshua Gross | October 8, 2008

Presidential Debate thoughts

Since Leroy apparently missed his deadline last night, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Presidential debate…

Clearly, John McCain won the night, and I would expect a small bounce out of this debate, just enough to put the poll numbers in the margins. His idea to have Treasury buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate them would have cost much less than the bailout passed last week – I only wish this one had come up sooner.

But it was his attacks on the record and rhetoric of Barack Obama that defined the night, and will define this campaign in the 4 weeks ahead. McCain pounded Obama’s record and his proposals, and painted the picture of a tax-and-spend liberal who will say anything to get elected while doing the opposite in power. His line of attack connecting the dots between Obama and the Freddie/Fannie mess is a powerful one, and one that let’s people know Obama’s culpability in the housing and financial mess. His mention of Obama’s past campaign promise to cut taxes for the middle class, when he never voted for a single tax cut while in the Senate cut to Obama’s credibility.

McCain did this while never mentioning the connections with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, which we now know to have been much deeper than previously reported, including $50 million in taxpayer moneys that Obama funneled to Ayers in the 1990s. McCain never mentioned the anti-American rantings of Obama cronies Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Father Michael Flegler. Clearly Obama expected those (more personal) attacks, and came out swinging – but in the wrong direction. Instead, McCain’s attacks on Obama’s record and his proposals left Obama on the wrong footing, answering the wrong questions while McCain connected with the audience in the room by answering their questions directly – and by extension connecting with voters across the country.

While Tom Brokaw was, in a word, awful, the town hall format still gave McCain a chance to shine, and his command of the facts (and Obama’s record) gave him the clear win tonight. That should even things up with 4 weeks to go. (Note: The best moderator so far has still been Rev. Rick Warren… someone alert the MSM – they need new blood.)

Funny moment of the night: Tom Brokaw asking John McCain who his Treasury Secretary would be, and McCain answering “Not you, Tom.”

Hang on, folks, it’s going to be a crazy last month…

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