the first debate- reviews are in.

Deep breath. Try to remain unbiased. Oh fuck it. Obama ruled! On the topic in which many argue to be his clear  weakness- foreign policy, Obama still managed to win the night. His debate experience showed, as McCain fumbled over his words and failed to clearly articulate his position. He spent most of the night smirking as Obama spoke. Tsk tsk. Weren’t manners a big thing in the 1890s?

A focus group of 45 voters with an “unmistakenly Republican tilt” believed that Obama won the night handily: By a 38 to 27% margin, these voters said that Obama had won this debate… A look at the underlying numbers shows that Obama made important gains that could ensure through Election Day. These undecided voters had a strong positive reaction to Obama on a personal level. Before the debate just 40% viewed him positively, yet this skyrocketed to 69% afterwards. He also made large strides on being seen as independent, from 44 percent to 65 percent. And in head-to-head matchups against McCain, Obama made significant gains on who “shares your values” and is “on your side.”

The New York Times editorial board writes that Obama won the discussion of the economy and that McCain seemed out of step with the current moment:

Mr. McCain fumbled his way through the economic portion of the debate, while Mr. Obama seemed clear and confident. Mr. McCain was more fluent on foreign affairs, and scored points by repeatedly calling Mr. Obama naïve and inexperienced.

But Mr. McCain’s talk of experience too often made him sound like a tinny echo of the 20th century. At one point, he talked about how Ronald Reagan’s “S.D.I.” helped end the cold war. We suspect that few people under the age of 50 caught the reference. If he was reaching for Reagan’s affable style, he missed by a mile, clenching his teeth and sounding crotchety where Reagan was sunny and avuncular.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on September 29, 2008.

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