Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No zingers in the debate, but so what?

I actually had the chance to sit down and watch the second presidential debate last night (and because I am a super ultra-modern lass with no cable TV, I did the sensible thing and streamed it live through hulu.com, which was pretty great, actually). And while I think Obama could have done a better job of articulating some of his points, and not gone over time hashing out the same stump speech points as always, I was overall pretty pleased with how it went.

My slightly biased opinion is that Obama "won" - simply by dint of doing a better job of directly answering a higher percentage of the questions with actual policy ideas than McCain did, and by not making any weird references to overheard projectors and Jello.

It's interesting, though, to see so many people bemoaning what they saw as such a "boring" debate. No harsh zingers, no smack-downs. And hey, I'm all for a good smack-down, but when it comes to deciding the next president of the United States, I'm a bigger fan of getting actual substance. Should we really be hoping for nasty talking points? I think it's more important to expect our elected officials to actually talk about issues, which they did a fairly decent job of last night. Not great, but decent, and I think that's worth something.

Still, all the headlines call it a snooze-fest. Sigh. Maybe I'm just missing something here.

EDIT TO ADD: A tip of the ol' hat to John for passing this article along to me - this is an insightful and blunt look at McCain's newly minted call to buy up people's bad mortgages. I am about as far from an economist as you can get, so this kind of analysis is incredibly helpful.

2 comments:

apc said...

It was on the issues mostly, but it was on the same half dozen issues they've hashed out a thousand times before. At least that's why I thought it was a snoozefest.

Where are the questions about the ways the system of checks and balances has been trashed and what do you do about that? What about trade? Immigration was one of the hottest issues around less than a year ago. You can't tell me they didn't get those questions. Yet they, well, I guess I should say Tom Brokaw, chose to ask the same questions again.

It's depressing how bad the coverage of our national elections has become.

Emily said...

You're right, and I think my expectations are just that low these days.

The Lost Albatross