October 7, 2008

Tonight's debate

So the second presidential debate (third overall) is tonight at 6:00. Being as objective as I can, I would call the first McCain/Obama debate a draw and the Palin/Biden debate a win for Biden.

In last week's vice-presidential debate, I felt that Biden was repetitive but stayed mostly on topic. Palin exceeded (low) expectations by not repeating her poor interview showings and by not being Tina Fey, and seemed well prepped on certain subjects.

Though politicians rarely answer questions directly or completely, Palin seemed determined to get her talking points in regardless of the question or topic at hand. She also seemed to be trying to channel Ronald Reagan with her "Say it ain't so, Joe" comment, and seemed content to be running on the caricatures of "Maverick" and "Small Town Hockey Mom". I don't think either candidate made any gaffes or points significant enough to change minds of many voters.

Both campaigns have ramped up the character attacks over the weekend, so it will be interesting to see if tonight's debate ends up in more of a shouting match than the first one. Tonight's format is a town hall style debate will allow voters both in the audience and online to ask questions of the candidates, with Tom Brokaw moderating. The planned topics are domestic and foreign policy, but I am sure that the economy will be front and center.

52.4 million people watched the first debate, and 70 million watched last weeks vice-presidential debate. People are clearly tuning in to this very important election. Hopefully the candidates will give us something substantive to listen to tonight.

UPDATE: Meh. Nothing much to speak of from the debate. There was plenty of back and forth, but it didn't denigrate into many personal attacks. No mention of terrorist connections or Keating 5. Most of the night (not surprisingly) was about the economy. Lots of their answers veered into their stump speeches. Not a lot of new ground covered.

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