Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Debate: Candidates Graded While Consuming Large Amounts of Sugar

There are many ways to grade debates. Usually you grade on how well someone attacks there opponents or how well they presented their arguments, blah blah... etc. There will be no such grading here. No sir. This will be a purely aesthetic grading system, sometimes snarky, and but always butt-honest. Here goes.


Bad Points

(In no specific order, as they occur to me. This is a blog after all.)

McCain, brother, you didn't acknowledge Obama one time during the evening. Your laughing was a little creepy at times. I did think your suite was a better shade of Blue than Obama's and contrasting with your white hair you appeared a tad sunnier. However, the aging was an issue. You seem old when the camera flashed from Obama to yourself. And, I'm sorry, but the presidency is famous for aging men doubly fast. It is astounding. So, just going off how much Clinton and Bush aged... you are going to be looking mighty ghoulish by the fourth year. I think that some medical records might be in order for future consideration. Maybe a mandatory defibrillator.

Plus, mentioning Palin didn't go so well, did it? It was even a bit embarrassing. You mentioned her, hoping and expecting the applause you have so grow accustomed to, and you got zilcho clippidy-clops instead. Nada. Whole cricket families could be heard. I cringed as the smile melted from your face where you were used to pausing for long periods of time reveling in automatic Palin applause. I do feel for you there. I mean, just mentioning Palin's name at one of your rallies gets the blood pressure up 30 points at least. You never have to worry about people going comatose in your speeches, you've got the equivalent of a verbal Red Bull waiting to inject into your listeners ears. Not so at the debates.

Good Points:

You were obviously more educated in foreign affairs. Every time you mentioned a complicated and scary Arab-sounding name that I didn't know if felt a little safer about choosing you. Plus, you've had a tad bit of experience in the war arena. I think we'd be alright with you at the helm of our forces. I like that whole "you don't understand, business." It made Obama look like the confident but naive upstart in the college class where you are professor. It definitely got under Obama's skin.


Bad stuff:

You are slick. No doubt about it. But, your overconfidence is unnerving. You are so slick that you are are almost rubber. You don't seem to open to many things that would go against your established world view. It isn't compromise that you look for, it is total convincing your opponent or nothing. There is a difference between Wisdom and being Stubbornly confident. John's got you beat there.

And, the worst thing of the night... Your tender and touching story... of your very own bracelet. That, my friend, was embarrassing. When you said "I have a bracelet too," after McCain (for the 500th time) told the touching story about his bracelet, I outright laughed. It was hilarious. It was so obvious at that point that you had planned a point-counterpoint to every single one of McCain's strengths, as you should. But here's the deal, we never want to know that or notice it. It has to be smooth as though it is on the tip of your tongue. It was contrived and cringe-worthy. I mightily injured me as far as how I view you as a candidate.

I felt you were disrespectful. You never addressed John McCain as "Senator McCain" but you called him "John." Not only that, you referred to the President as "George Bush." You are a senator and a statesmen, buddy. He is your president. Show some respect, even if you don't feel it. It revealed a great arrogance to me.

Good Stuff:

I'm actually feeling a little riled up about Obama's bad stuff to report the good stuff. And I'm hungry. You all help me out. Seriously. Let me hear some stuff you liked about him. He did tell John "good job" at the end, which I thought was nice.


Chaotic Hammer said...

Let me hear some stuff you liked about him.


tiny dancer said...

from someone who didn't watch the debate... i highly enjoyed this blog :)

Baca's Head said...

me too :)

Joanna Martens said...

He has really nice skin.

Joanna Martens said...

seriously the lack of respect for authority in this country is shocking.

Susanne said...

Good stuff about Obama.......hmmmm........I give up. Can't think of one single thing. I though McCain totally schooled the guy. My favorite parts were when Obama said, "You're right, John." He must have said those words at least 10 times that night. I think Giuliani was right; McCain gave Obama a lesson in foreign policy. And here's an interesting tidbit concerning the economic mess we're in:

Now if the American people will just wise up and look through Hussein's slick exterior and see him for the disaster that he is. We can only hope and pray.

portorikan said...

You know, I'm glad you mentioned the thing about calling Senator McCain 'John' and President Bush 'George Bush'. It was disrespectful and bothered me somewhat and I'm surprised no one mentioned anything about it. That, and I'm a 28 Gen Xer which, you know, we don't care about those things, right?

Christopher Robinson said...

Followed a link here, so I'll say the same thing:

They are colleagues. Under what circumstances would it be disrespectful to call your colleague, that is your equal, by his first name? And What on earth does age have to do with it? And McCain called Obama "Senator Obama" because he wanted to keep things nice and formal so he could seem more stern and presidential.

Do you call the older guy with your same job title "Mister" or "sir"?


P.S. As for George Bush, you can't even find a Republican that will say his name. His own party doesn't respect him. He can't even get them to vote the way he wants.

Seth Ward said...

Easy now, Christopher...

I was hard on them both.

It is pretty common in debates, or in congressional session, or even on the news for that matter, to address one another as "Senator..." So if McCain was trying to appear all, God forbid, "Presidential" then 10 points for him, since it was after all a Presidential debate.

As for the President... they (dem's or rebup's) may not like him, but he's still the President. They call Presidents "President..." until they die, even Nixon. It was an obvious calculated decision to call him "George Bush." Point is, they aren't average Joes. They are government officials. They should and usually do address each other as such.

Whenever you were mad at your mom or dad or your professor did you call them by their first name?

I'm not the biggest W fan, but I'd have enough respect in a Presidential debate to address the president as "President Bush" or "The President" But, as far as foreign policy goes or the economy, it doesn't matter much... but again, this post was mostly in jest. And if it did anything at all, it simply exhibit Obama's immaturity to me.

Christopher Robinson said...


In the Repub primaries McCain regularly refrered to his opponents by their first names.

There were governors and senators and ex-mayors and ministers and he called them by their first names.

As for Bush, there isn't a politician in America that isn't running away from or against his abysmal record.

There's nothing immature about not calling him "President". And if there is, the talking heads and other politicians do it every single day.

Obama didn't break any new ground.


P.S. I'm less invested in this than I sound, but I had an argument earlier today with a guy that claimed McCain disrespected Obama by calling him "Senator Obama" instead of Barack! WTH? This election is crazy.

Seth Ward said...

Fair enough...

A minor quibble on my part anywho. I think I could handle the "John" business if the "George Bush" thing wasn't so blatant.

Yeah, W's record is bad, for sure. However, call me old-fashioned, but when you are addressing the entire nation in a presidential debate, however unpopular, the Pres is still the Pres. Personally, I'd have respect for the office unless the President was the Antichrist or something. And he's not.

By all accounts, (even his haters) he's a good guy and who knows? Maybe his record will be less tarnished as the years go on. It can't get any worse, that's for sure. And it's happened before... Truman, for one.

You gotta say one thing: He sure has had a bunch on his plate as far as presidential crisis goes. Maybe Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln and a few others fared worse. (But did much better.) Clinton, on the other hand enjoyed the internet ride. A monkey could have been president and been sitting pretty as far as economic prosperity went.

I'm committing evangelical blasphemy here but... I always sorta liked old Bill. Even when you hate the guy you kinda like him. His presidency is even more tragic if you ask me. Talk about potential! But we were all too hungry for sin-blood to let his personal life be. He probably achieved half of what he could have if he could have kept it behind the zipper and if the media/public hadn't been so ravenously hungry for more smut.

Yeah, this is a crazy one. I've never met so many militant admirers, on both sides. I think conservatives for Obama want to clear their conscience and liberals want Gore-revenge.

I just want a good President. Is that too much to ask, Alfie????

Christopher Robinson said...

Hard to argue with. Except Bush has my deep and abiding contempt. Many of the crises in his administration were either started by him or exacerbated by him. Just am incompetent, over-confident boob. Iraq, Gitmo, Katrina, Afghanistan, U.S. Attorney's, missing emails, there is no end to it.

We will be uncovering wrongdoing by this bunch for the next 30 years. I suspect it may be the most far-reachingly corrupt, out-of-control administration EVAR.

Seth Ward said...

Boob, yes. Administration, evil.

He's a good, well-meaning guy, just not a good president.

His worst mistakes come from his VP and Rums, one of which, he fired, and as for Cheney, I think he'd like to. Those two men are PURE evil. Honestly, I think they could easily be in the slammer.

An eye-opening documentary is "Frontline: Bush's War." Download it on iTunes.

I started out watching it skeptical, even though I usually really like Frontline documentaries. I fully expected to discover that Bush was just evil as they come. Not so, he just picked the wrong administration and had too much confidence in them and not enough in his own judgement. His initial response to the Iraq ordeal was "Is this all we got?" They convinced him that it was "Iron Clad" and he trusted them. He should have said hell no, finish Bin Laden you bunch of war-mongering ass-holes.

Dick and Donald are probably two of the most evil men that have ever been near the White House.

Anyways, the special is great. It interviews the real folks: Condy, Colon... just everyone that was there.

A president these days is usually about as good as his administration/advisors, because the scope of the presidential duties and decision-making is so unbelievably vast. Take Reagan. His first four years were stellar because of his brilliant 4-man team. After first term they took higher-paying jobs and Reagan hired idiots who ran up the deficit a bazillion dollars and then all that Iran crap and so-forth. He was pretty bad by then with Altzheiemers anyways so it was Nancy and his dippity staff.

Bush's presidency is tragic on many levels. Mostly because he didn't have the confidence of his initial convictions. He had a lot of good ideas going in, which is why we elected him. 9/11 changed him, or scared him and he pretty much handed over his decision making powers to the evil twins.