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Ok, I watched it.....some comments

by Steven Haninger / September 26, 2008 10:11 PM PDT

I thought the questions were fair enough but no of the variety that would be easy to answer with a lot of adlib comments attached. I though those adlib comments strayed away from the question too much, however. Both candidates were, IMO, equally as guilty of this. It's as if they both had remarks that needed to be worked in somewhere regardless of the moderator trying...or not trying...to keep on course. This was shades of Kerry vs Bush. Both candidates would ramble way off topic and seem to get lost looking for a place to conclude their responses.

I thought both candidates did fairly well at staying composed during the mild attacks of the other though it was obvious there was a lot of gritting of teeth. They were fair to each other, IMO.

I didn't hear any real "zingers" or memorable phrases from either. There were only soft punches and no hard blows.

I was impressed by some of Obama's grasp of international issues, world leaders and their potential cause/affect on US objectives. But, it was more than obvious that McCain was far superior in his knowledge of the same. This would be proper due to longer time of exposure to such.

I would hope the remaining debates will find the candidates looking more comfortable than this one did. We could potentially learn more about them in these three events than in all the paid advertising and sloppy news articles combined.

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Felt about the same.
by James Denison / September 26, 2008 11:27 PM PDT

Obama did better than I expected he would. McCain held up his end quite well, also better than I expected since I thought he might be overly tired from all the weekend economic mess for the govt he was involved in too. Obama was more polite than I'd expected him to be. I know McCain was writing during times when Obama was addressing him to be sure of points he wanted to answer, but felt McCain should have looked up at Obama more than he did. I think it gave some the impression he was pretending to ignore Obama, although I don't think that appearance was deliberate. I think they both did a good job of the debate.

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I didn't know that Obama had a bracelet
by critic411 / September 26, 2008 11:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Felt about the same.

He should have known the name on it.

Unless it was just a prop

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He mentioned the name...
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 12:56 AM PDT

...either of the soldier or his mother. FWIW McCain didn't take his out either. I don't think either of them would have been foolish enough to claim to have a bracelet that turned out not to be real. These things are fact-checked in real time and if either one had tried to pull that, it would have backfired big-time.

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I agree Obama would not lie about it
by WOODS-HICK / September 27, 2008 1:49 AM PDT

McCain did reference his and it was visible when he did.

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I actually laughed at that.
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 1:49 AM PDT

First thing came to my mind was kids trying to impress their teacher. One kid shows something that teacher will like and then the other kid quickly realizes he must do the same to win teacher's approval. When Obama said, "I have a bracelet too!" I just lost it, LOL. I'm just glad they didn't get down to comparing who wore Hanes and who wore Fruit of the Loom.

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It was a low point.
by Dan McC / September 27, 2008 8:42 AM PDT

It was crass of McCain to bring it up. Don't try to prove you care by wearing a bracelet, John.

Obama had not choice but to follow suit.


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McCain didn't take his out ...
by J. Vega / September 27, 2008 1:52 AM PDT

Just before he mentioned it, McCain appeared to be looking at his watch. This immediately caught my eye, as that is considered to be a bad thing to do. But just after that he held up his hand and there appeared to be a bracelet with writing on it. I think what I first thought might be a watch check was a check to see if the jacket sleeve was positioned so that the bracelet showed when he raised his hand and mentioned it.

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I believe it's very hard to be in this position
by Steven Haninger / September 26, 2008 11:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Felt about the same.

of needing to "shoot from the hip". It's important to begin speaking immediately after the question is asked rather than pause to think. I doubt you always...or even often...get the responders best answer under these circumstances. Any hesitation could be perceived as being indecisive or unresolved on the matter. But, as president, I would hope careful thought goes into every action rather than just jumping in feet first as is expected during these debates.

I also saw the two candidates on a split screen. It would be hard to just stand there while the other spoke. I do think Obama looked more attentive at times when McCain was speaking and McCain seemed to be looking down. This doesn't mean one is ignoring the other. In my job we are taught listening skills which even include deliberately generating the type of body language that shows such even when we have no interest in what's being said. It's a very difficult skill to learn and I'm not so good at it myself.

Obama definitely gets the win in he category of vocal quality. I'll not be out looking for McCain's Christmas album. Happy

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A couple of "body language talking heads"....
by JP Bill / September 26, 2008 11:49 PM PDT

Remarked on McCain hardly ever (if at all) looked at Obama.

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From what I saw...
by EdHannigan / September 27, 2008 12:04 AM PDT

which was very little, McCain would have been better off looking directly at the camera instead of at the moderator. Obama did this better.

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I mentioned looking at a split screen
by Steven Haninger / September 27, 2008 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: From what I saw...

This allows a more close up look where one can see facial expressions and head movements. McCain seems to look mostly up and down while Obama also looked left and right. These close ups don't really give a true sense of what the person is actually looking at. I'd have preferred a better mix of camera angles if my desire was to observe reaction by the other candidate to the other's time to speak.

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wouldn't that have been funny?
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 1:51 AM PDT

If McCain had looked up at Obama and given him a silly grin, lol, Obama would have started stuttering and lost his train of thought I believe.

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My thoughts
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 12:50 AM PDT

I thought it was pretty much a draw. McCain did better on some things, Obama on others. Obama's best moment was when he spoke directly to McCain and laid out different things he had been wrong about. I thought McCain's repeated "what Senator Obama doesn't understand...." will backfire on him. He came across as condescending, trying to paint Obama as some annoying kid. I thought Obama missed an opportunity early on when the subject of earmarks came up. McCain pointed out some examples of silly projects and Obama could have nailed him on some of Palin's funding requests but he didn't. He also could have called McCain out on his claimed support for veterans. His voting record does not correspond to what he says he stands for.

There were a couple of times when McCain's answers seemed to ramble; in one case by the time he was done I had forgotten what the question was.

McCain did come off as more comfortable and less nervous. Obama had a couple of (probably nerves-induced) verbal slip-ups, as when he said he was not opposed to nuclear waste, and when he talked about capturing AND killing bin Laden (not that there's anything wrong with that). Neither candidate really knocked one out of the park.

The VP debate could well tank McCain's campaign though if it has any impact on undecided voters. Maybe Palin can "come down with the flu" or something to get out of it.

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I'd say the rambling was quite equally shared
by Steven Haninger / September 27, 2008 1:50 AM PDT
In reply to: My thoughts

and may well be deliberate as candidates try to work in their own messages along with responses to the questions. These messages don't always seem to come out in a manner that has continuity with their opening remarks. It's very awkward to watch this. I'd really like to see both persons do well and be comfortable in being themselves. Otherwise, we never get to truly know them. I'm not wanting to see neither a contest of gladiators nor an acting production. I can score winners and losers in such quite easily but...hey...this is a bit more important than a few minutes of entertainment. Wink

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You assume that Palin will do poorly...
by EdHannigan / September 27, 2008 1:53 AM PDT
In reply to: My thoughts

and gasbag Biden will do well. I think that is a very bad assumption to make. She may well mop up the floor with him. Biden is not very formidable or bright, and prone to gaffes and rambling on pointlessly.

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Palin has been in training.
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 1:57 AM PDT

Ever since the convention for the most part. I suspect she's coming loaded for bear, or moose. I suspect Biden will count on his experience to sort of "wing it" during the debate.

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I'm sure Biden has been prepping too
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 2:07 AM PDT

And he'll be ready. She'll have to have something better than her stock sound bytes or she's toast. My prediction is that as long as Biden doesn't say anything stupid, he's going to tear her to pieces.

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As long as Biden doesn't say anything stupid.
by EdHannigan / September 27, 2008 2:33 AM PDT

What are the chances of him not saying something stupid? Maybe if he doesn't talk at all?

But, dream on.

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Probably a bit better....
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 3:24 AM PDT

....than Palin's chances of saying something substantive.

You walked right into that one, Ed. Wink

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Yeah, that was devastating!
by EdHannigan / September 27, 2008 3:48 AM PDT


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(NT) She sure didn't use any ammo on Katie Couric.
by Dan McC / September 27, 2008 8:48 AM PDT
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what did you think about the Pakistan give and take?
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 1:55 AM PDT
In reply to: My thoughts

I thought Obama looked very uncomfortable when McCain nailed him on that one. Especially when John said "you don't say that out loud!"

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that was a good moment
by WOODS-HICK / September 27, 2008 2:07 AM PDT

so the fellow that didn't have to vote on going into Iraq now wants to cross into nuclear-armed Pakistan and start blasting away. YIKES!!!

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Yeah, but then Obama retorted....
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 2:09 AM PDT

...with reminders of McCain doing the same thing and much more crassly. Singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" for example. If you're going to chastise somebody for something, first make sure you haven't also done it.

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There's a difference between joking around and reality.
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 2:22 AM PDT
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He also "joked" about killing all the Iranians
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 2:24 AM PDT

How far do you think comments like that will go when it comes time for diplomatic efforts?

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when you're speaking to vets
by James Denison / September 27, 2008 2:35 AM PDT
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(NT) But that's "out lond", isn't it?
by Dan McC / September 27, 2008 8:51 AM PDT
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With cigarettes!!!!
by EdHannigan / September 27, 2008 2:38 AM PDT

Yeeesh! No sense of humor.

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I'm sure the Iranians got a laugh out of it too
by Josh K / September 27, 2008 3:22 AM PDT
In reply to: With cigarettes!!!!

And yes, I know you don't care whether they thought it was funny.

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