This debate was a bit less entertaining than the past two and I was kind of bored at the beginning. But I thought Obama did much better and clearly won this debate.
When McCain talks about domestic and economic policy he looks like a fish out of water. But when he talks about foreign policy you can see his eyes light up. Obama on the other hand looks comfortable talking about both foreign and domestic policy and seems quite bright.
These are some of my thoughts from the debate.
Unlike the first debate, this time McCain was a bit more civil and would occasionally glance at Obama. And while he is not showing utter disdain for him like he did with Romney I get the sense he really does not like Obama. A CNN analyst said that it is clear that McCain “despises” Obama.
Obama on the other hand seemed pretty loose and confident. And what was interesting was after the debate was over I saw Obama pose for a few photos with members of the audience but I never saw that happen with McCain. Also Obama does a lot of that friendly finger pointing, kind of like the Palin wink.
Based on my experience as a self-employed person who has had to purchase his own health care insurance for his family I think McCain’s health care proposal is horrible. Not allowing employers to deduct health care benefits would result in more employers not providing health care. This is effectively a tax raise and would mean more uninsured people. McCain says he will offset this with a $5,000 tax credit. But health care plans cost over $10,000 per family. McCain would counter that by saying the free market will lower costs but the current free market punishes individuals and give better rates to employers and other large groups. It’s just a terrible idea.
And I’m glad Obama pointed out the folly in getting health care from another state whose laws could be completely different. Also I applaud Obama for seeking to enact laws that will prevent health insurers from denying health care to people with pre-existing conditions (which includes pregnancy).
I honestly think McCain’s plan is just a handout to the insurance companies who stand to profit more as more individuals, without the leverage of being part of a group, have to purchase health care insurance at high prices. I am looking forward to purchasing good health care from the government at a reasonable rate.
Obama this time more forcefully pointed out the questionable judgement of McCain and others for going into Iraq, saying it would be a quick war, saying we would be greeted as victors, saying it would not cost much. I noticed McCain really could not say much to defend himself on that point, he just keeps talking about the surge.
McCain tried to paint Obama as this naive guy who declares war on other nations, like Pakistan. Obama had an excellent counter, pointing out when McCain said “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” and something similar about North Korea. Not sure why McCain would be so belligerent towards the people of North Korea and still sign a letter promoting North Korean human rights.
I expected there would be at least some comments about Obama being characterized by Palin as “friends of terrorists” and McCain being linked to the Keating Five scandal. I think it was probably smart of them to avoid it during the debate but I am concerned about how negative this campaign will go. I am especially concerned about comments Palin made such as “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America.” That is a comment with racist overtones and I am concerned about it not only being condoned but being effective, like the Willie Horton ads that got the first George Bush elected.
Overall it looks like the next President will be Barack Obama but I will believe it when I see it. I am still amazed at the thought that an African-American could become the President of the United States. I never though it would happen in my lifetime yet here we are on the verge.