The First Presidential Debate

The Washington Post has posted video of the entire debate. The verdict is out on who won this round. At this point, the candidates are not competing for the votes of their respective bases. They are competing for the votes of the undecided—that amorphous group that at this late date continues to be either uninformed or without core convictions. In many ways, the substance of the issues is not always decisive for these people, but the style and finesse of presentation often is. Stay tuned.

16 Responses to The First Presidential Debate

  1. Don September 27, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    On CNN they had a running poll among some audience made up of 3 groups, Reps, Dems, and Inds. FWIIW, when Obama was speaking, the lines seemed to be higher more often for the first part of the debate than when McCain was speaking. My take was this meant that Obama was a better speaker, or if using negative terms, a more polished demagogue.

    They both seemed to stay on script the vast majority of the time.

    I think Obama interrupted McCain more than vice versa, to deny what McCain was saying WHILE he was saying it; which I thought was rude but was not called out by the host.

  2. Dylan September 27, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    “the undecided—that amorphous group that at this late date continues to be either uninformed or without core convictions”

    I think this is too simplistic. I’m an undecided, not out of ignorance or a lack of core values but precisely because of core values; I have not limited myself to the two parties and am still considering how my faith in Christ should be expressed in the political arena this election cycle. Voting third party, write-in, or staying home from the polls remain viable options in my mind alongside the McCain/Palin ticket.

  3. Christopher Lake September 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm #


    At this stage in the political process, would not voting for a third party or writing in a candidate amount to an ineffectual use of one’s vote? The only candidates that actually have a hope of winning (humanly speaking– I know that God can do anything, but it would take a miracle here) are McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden. Why vote for someone who has so little hope of winning at this point (unless you are utterly convinced that McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden are completely equal “evils”)?

  4. Bridget September 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm #

    I think that McCain won hands down in the national defense part of the debate. In this age of terrorism, who would honestly feel more comfortable with Obama at the helm?

    One thing that did irritate me about McCain though (maybe I’m the only one), I never once saw him look at Obama during the debate. Obama often looked at McCain while he was addressing things that McCain said, but McCain never looked at Obama even when he was directly addressing something he said. He looked down or he looked straight ahead. It just got to be uncomfortable to me.


  5. Wade Troutman September 28, 2008 at 7:38 am #

    This short video is the best “go vote” ad or commercial that I’ve seen this year.

    I have watched this several times, and am reminded that what should unite us is often what gets lost in partisan politics.

  6. Lydia September 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Well, this has certainly been a huge disappointment. I have spent the last 15 years being against McCain! Now I am stuck between him or a young man with a messianic complex who is an empty suit and whom I question his loyalty to America.

    And yes, a third party vote is a vote for Obama. It always works like that. Have everyone forgotten Perot who helped to elect Clinton.

    As always, the contest is between bad or worse so I will hold my nose and vote for McCain who is the most qualified and hopefully will not sell us out anymore to the UN than we already are.

  7. Branden September 29, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    The choice of the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    Come out of her and do not partake of her plagues.

  8. Ken September 29, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    And go where? Is there some wilderness where the faithful can go reconstitute the City of God? Who is the Joshua around whom we’re supposed to rally?

  9. Darius September 29, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    Branden, wrong! We chose for a time Stalin over Hitler because it was necessary. Avoid being a moral simpleton and seeing things so black and white.

  10. Darius September 29, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    Ken, don’t you know? Ron Paul of course, he’s the libertarians’ messiah.

  11. Branden September 30, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    Darius, wrong! Avoid being a spiritual simpleton and regard the Higher.

  12. Darius September 30, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    Practically speaking, what does that look like, Branden?

  13. Branden September 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    Darius Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Practically speaking, what does that look like, Branden?

    Don’t vote and withdraw your consent.
    A vote in this system is to consent to the system. If you vote for Obama or McCain, then you have consented, and de facto, approved of what they do. If you agree with all that they will do, then no problem.

    I don’t recall a single Biblical example where God instructed, showed, or blessed the choosing of a lesser evil. Now, we could argue about if this is about choosing real evil, but that does not matter to me. I see two evils here, one lesser and one greater.

    This is a thumbnail sketch. God commands/implores us to ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues’

    Are you so sure that Babylon is not an apt characterisation (rhetorical)?

    Perhaps it is better to be the Remnant and to proclaim what is true rather than choose one of the two sides of evil (again rhetorical) ?

  14. Paul September 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    “Don’t vote and withdraw your consent.”

    uhhh, constitution party, anyone?

    unless you live in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin or a small handful of other swing states, that garbage about “throwing away your vote” is nonsense.

    If you live in Illinois, New York or California, you might as well vote for mickey mouse, because your vote will have about that much impact. Obama’s gettin’ those states.

    And, if you live in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia or Wyoming, you might as well vote for Spider Man, because, again, your vote will have about that much impact. McCain is gettin’ those states.

    So, if you live in a state where there will be no surprises, then, yeah, vote your conscience. If your conscience won’t let you vote for McCain or Obama, then vote for who you CAN stomach voting for.

    I was thinking green party until I noticed that Cynthia McKinney is running on their ticket. I think I really WILL be voting for Mickey Mouse. Mickey would be a better president than either of our “two” choices anyway.

  15. Branden September 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm #

    that garbage about “throwing away your vote” is nonsense.

    On that Paul, we agree. There is no such thing as throwing away your vote. Your conscience should be your guide. If you vote in such a way, you have not thrown away your vote.

    Now, I still believe that voting in this system is validating it. My own belief is that you are enabling the evil by voting.

    And no, I don’t require anyone’s approval in my belief….My beliefs do not require them to.

  16. Brittany October 7, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    All people who are undecided must be uninformed or lack convictions? Really? Really?

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