And the blogosphere went nuts.
The first presidential debate is over, the hands down winner… no one.
McCain seemed a bit doddering out of the gate but picked up speed as the debate wore on. Obama, eloquent as always, seemed a bit less shinny and new. McCain presents as having a stronger grasp of military and diplomatic concepts, if not a strong a grasp of language. Obama is clearly better versed on domestic and social issues.
I am still wondering who this guy Obama is. McCain has been exposed to the light of scrutiny for many years which brings a sense of knowledge as to who he is. Obama seems to be a manufactured persona, who is he in the real world? Although this is a personality and likability factor, the campaign is being fought on this battleground just as strongly as it is on the issues.
Is the important realm of concern domestic or foreign policy? From a non-partisan position, that’s what this whole election boils down to. The U.S. is going to get screwed one way or the other. Which way do you prefer? At home, or overseas? It’s kind of like “paper or plastic?” Neither is a good choice. Cut down trees or pollute the air, land and water. I am inclined to bring my own bags to the store, but we don’t have that option in this election.
So now I am at “the better of two evils” phase. Unfortunately for McCain, Sarah Palin seems to be pure evil. Or at least an inexperienced, right-wing extremist, who holds grudges and won’t flinch when it’s time for payback. Seriously, she scares me, and at this juncture, I can’t see myself putting her one loud “boo!” around the corner from the big desk.
This leaves me with Obama. I have nothing I can positively put my finger on; I just don’t trust his abilities to see the country through the next eight years. What’s that? Eight years you say? Yup. It is very unlikely we would see a presidential change in 2012 unless the next president screws the pooch in such a huge way that they won’t get away with the “we are so close to turning this one around” speech.
Things a going to get dicey in short order. We have a weakening economy, two active off shore military engagements with, at last count, four more that could precipitate into active engagements in January. Our domestic environment is just as volatile in several areas and nether candidate is, IMHO, up to the entire challenge.
The next decade is going to require leadership with strong foreign relations skills, a thorough understanding of the diplomacy and force, both economic and military, a strong set of domestic policy skills, be fiscally conservative, extremely strong on national defense, and a hell of a PR person to get the public to buy everything they are selling to keep the country safe and rebuild the economy. Does ether of the candidates fit that bill?
So for this election I am still undecided. I really am not sure who can be “more” than the other. The whole VP thing is unfortunate because it brings more baggage to the table. I must admit however, I am looking forward to the Biden / Palin debate on the 2nd of October. It should be very amusing, in a train wreck sort of way.