Saturday, September 27, 2008

I have a bracelet too...

My guess is that many amongst the 'undecided' will have found the first televised debate between McCain and Obama rather inconclusive.

The pronounced contrast in styles can shoulder some of the blame, but then I think McCain set out to stylistically ambush his opponent, adopting a chummier persona whilst addressing the audience more obviously than he did Obama ("HE doesn't understand..."). The latter had a cold start but soon looked the more eager to turn this discussion into an actual debate, and I grew quite weary of McCain's homeliness which started to bring back memories of Reagan. (And who cares how many political dinosaurs McCain can count amongst his most intimate compadres?) 

Both appeared to have a very simplistic grasp of the state of Iraq, though only Obama could possibly have been deliberately dumbing down. On the other hand his babble about Russia and Georgia didn't offer me any more insight than I could have gleaned from a quality newspaper. He also admonished Venezuela for acting like a rogue state, before backing up his enthusiasm for the Bin Laden chase in Afghanistan with some dubious contentions about Al Qaeda expansionism in America's back yard. 

In a proper debate however, Obama would have been allowed to make more of his key insight that US behaviour in Iraq has contributed to the rabidisation of Iran.  Neither was forced to address the issue of how much of a long-term ally a Shia-led Iraq will be unless America can patch things up a bit with the nutters next door. 

McCain struggled with the name of the new president of Pakistan, but then Obama called McCain 'Jim'...and anything has to be better than "General". 

Both duly trotted out their over-familiar back-stories: POW / Scion of bright-eyed Kenyan student, though Obama cleverly allowed McCain to take the lead on all the corny stuff. 

Palin v Biden should be much more entertaining. 

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