Sunday, September 28, 2008

First debate was a wash, but that gives Obama an advantage

I watched the first presidential debate online and felt that it was a wash. McCain scored a lot of points for experience and judgment and Barack Obama scores a lot of points for the need for change. They both made a lot of really good points. I did feel that McCain came across a little weaker than his actual record would have argued for, but I also felt that a lot of Barack's claims for what he would accomplish seemed somewhat exaggerated and not completely credible. Overall, a wash, but since defense and foreign policy is supposed to be McCan's forte, a wash on this stuff means that Obama actually did quite well.

One interesting point: For all of the supposed anxiety and anger over Iraq, why wasn't Barack able to bury McCain? I think the answer is that so much of the intensity of anti-Iraq sentiment comes from the far-left wing Progressives who had a lot of power in the Democratic primary, but are far less representative in the general election.

I remain likely to vote for Barack because he seems to be a little closer to being a centrist than McCain, but I am by no means comfortable with the majority of his positions and proposed policies. One can only hope that many of his public statements are merely posturing and "campaign promises" and that he in fact will revert to a Clinton-esque centrism when actually in office. That is my current belief. If if does that, he could do quite well over the next eight years, but if he sticks to scatter-brained left-wing Progressive dogma in his first term, he will not be likely to get a second term. Yes, people want change, but it has to work for them. If Barack Obama does not deliver significant change to the vast majority of Americans (including a fair number of conservatives) over the next four years, his goose will be cooked.

One last thing... I find that although Barack has the best intentions, I do not think he has a credible plan for dealing with either Afghanistan or Pakistan. But then, neither does McCain. My plan: wind down the whole "war" on terror and deal with terrorism as more of a international law enforcement issue and use only limited military strikes when it actually makes a lot of sense.

And one other thing... I find Barack's get-tough with Iran attitude completely unacceptable. I hope and believe that he is simply posturing to get pro-Israel votes, but his talk sounded a lot like he was saying that he had a boatload of "preconditions" in mind. Sure, McCain is just as bad if not worse on this front, but Barack's position is so bad that it is one of the reasons I cannot get excited about supporting him.

-- Jack Krupansky


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