Friday, June 13, 2008

Townhall Debates

Several weeks ago, John McCain extended an invitation to Barack Obama—both candidates would commit to a series of ten town hall meetings, during which each candidate would answer questions from ordinary people. It’s a hard idea to argue with, and the Obama campaign agreed to it, saying that it only needed to work out the details. After thinking the matter over, the Obama campaign came back with their counteroffer—they wanted the three traditional fall debates, a August debate about foreign policy, and one [!] town hall meeting. On the Fourth of July [!!!]. In effect, the Obama campaign shot down the whole idea.

Everyone interested in politics knows that Obama is much better at reading from a TelePrompTer than at thinking on his feet, and that the opposite is true of McCain. But can the Obama campaign possibly really be that concerned about a debate with McCain? Obama must know that his refusal to debate McCain will be seen as weak by many voters—does he think his debating skills are so poor that he simply cannot afford to debate McCain in the loose, unscripted town hall environment?

McCain should hope so. If Obama is as poor a debater as his response indicates, then he will probably trip up at some point in the debating process anyway. And Obama’s refusal to debate should make political hay for McCain, who needs all the good press he can get.

(On the other hand, maybe this won’t be a boost at all. At this point, McCain has no friends in the media—the liberal media find him too conservative, and the conservative media find him too liberal. I’m not sure there is any political commentator who really likes McCain. Possibly, Fox News will give him some favorable coverage, but realistically, cable news is becoming so nakedly partisan that it is hard to take anything said on cable seriously. The cable division seems to be Fox News—conservative; CNN—boring; and MSNBC: liberal and boring).

Even though Obama refused to attend any of McCain’s proposed town halls, McCain went ahead with them anyway. He held his first yesterday; it was televised on Fox News. The questions were pretty standard—how would you achieve bipartisanship as president, what would your Supreme Court look like, how would you improve education; and McCain’s answers weren’t very exciting either—the Democrats would work with me, John Roberts, whatever the typical line on education reform is. It was more interesting than, say, some the Democrat debates, but Obama’s presence would have made it much more exciting.

Watching McCain, it was hard not to notice the contrast with Obama. Obama is tall, athletic (he’s a very good basketball player), young, and speaks in nice, rolling tones. McCain is shorter, awkward (which may actually work in McCain’s favor; it’s hard to forget that his arms were broken by his North Vietnamese torturers), old (though he does look good for his age), and speaks in an annoying monotone. Obama’s image is much, much better, which may explain why he would rather reply on lofty, content free speeches than complicated debates.


At June 14, 2008 at 4:40 AM , Blogger Beth said...

To me, it's more important what is said than how it is said. But I know the vast majority of voters a.) are influenced by charisma moreso than character and b.) think the government should have solutions for every problem they face.

Therefore, I predict Obama will win in November.

At June 14, 2008 at 4:44 AM , Blogger DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Well don’t forget the fact that McCain don’t wear a thick gold pendant with a gold or platinum chain around his neck and his teeth aren’t gold plated, he don’t wear a baseball cap turned around backwards, oversize sunglasses, a cool shirt not tucked in his pants oversized pants so oversized that you can see his ass crack or like a classic basketball jersey saying Brooklyn on it , with the latest Nike, Reebok, Adida’s or Timberland’s on his feet.

At June 14, 2008 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Your point being what DD2?

At June 15, 2008 at 3:38 AM , Anonymous The KooKoo’s Nest said...

I too am sick and tired of those conservatives who whine that McCain isn't conservative enough. They can't get a candidate who agrees with them 100% on all their pet issues, so they will either not vote or vote for a third party. They deride us for "picking the lesser of two evils." Sheesh! I've read that until I'm sick of it! McCain is not "evil". He is a man of good character and he will buck any plan of either party if he doesn't agree with it. No, I don't agree with him on all issues but so what? At least he honestly cares about our troops and the safety of this country.
You bet I will vote McCain.

To stay home because someone is not conservative enough is so cowardly.

You see, that is how life is, no such thing as perfection.

Oh, yes, there is a big giant globalization movement afoot, has been for years, and you can rest assured Mr. Obama is all for it.

He has already informed us he will talk to all the bad guys of the world, give em a hug and feel their pain.He will be sure to go after war criminals, sure has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? And after this decision by SCOTUS , I can see who will be helping in this endeavor.

He wants to Change America.

Third parties will simply give us more watered down parties, I think.
The fact is, voting is about civic duty to our country, not our own pet peeves, so I wil be a grown up and vote for a grown up, because it is not about me, it is about the future of AMERICA.

What others says, resonates with me.
I am not lock step on every single issue with other Conservative types either.

So to those who choose to stay home I only have this to say: If Obama becomes the President in 09 then you who withhold your vote will be as much to blame for that as will the people who vote for him. Please roll that around in your brains for a few minutes at least, because it's people like Steve who refuse to vote that threw Congress and the Senate to the libs! Thanks a bunch! GRRRR!

At June 15, 2008 at 5:31 AM , Anonymous Tina said...

So Obama is afraid of Fox News and town hall debates. He will pee his pants when the enemy comes knocking. What a coward.
Liberals always want to do good with other people's money. Nanny state government relieves them of the responsibilities to their fellow citizens that come with living in society. They can feel good about themselves because they talk and vote the right way. Their solutions to problems are always first order only, never considering unintended consequences. For example some people are poor, so have the government take money from the rich and give it to the poor or even just take enough money from the rich so they are less rich (e.g. Obama's capital gains tax increase). Then the poor are relatively less poor. Never mind what it does to the economy.
The liberal way is simple, "Do as I say, NOT as I do" which explains why they don't mind putting 1/2 way houses in your neighbhorhood and keeping out of their gated communities! It explains why they waste resources telling you how to save them! But liberals are just fakes, and that's what makes them so unhappy and selfish. They don't want people to find out that their ideology, which has disappointed them their entire lives is a failure! No matter what libs do, it never works! But they're too angry to admit mistakes and do what's right, they'd rather do "what feels good" and "sounds good"
I thought that Mccain was awesome at his Town Hall. The man can speak extemporaneously on a variety of subjects at great length. Without dead air and Ahhhhhhs. Or a teleprompter. Obama was wise to avoid this type of unscripted format. Mccain would have whipped his behind.
I guess Mr. Inspiration doesn't want to attend because he won't be able to read from a teleprompter. Hope...change...chnage...err, hope...where's my teleprompter?
Obama will not win! Sooner or later he himself, not J. Wright, W. Ayers, Fr Flager, will be the culprit. It will be Obama himself "sticking foot-in-mouth" and his "deck of cards" will come crashing down. The reason Obama doesn't want the Town Hall format is blatantly obvious: He will be confronted with questions that he doesn't have the wherewithal to answer!
It is absolutely false to think that the vast majority of voters are influenced by charisma! The vast majority of voters already see right thru this empty suit of a say nothing phony. The vast majority of voters know what a anti American he and his ungrateful wife is.

The truth is that McCain is the candidate we should get in line with. Not only is he to the right of Bush on a whole range of subjects, he is also the Republican candidate most likely to dispense with Barack.
McCain is a very good representative of the American people. And with Romney on the McCain ticket, my enthusiasm for my Republican party goes way up.
What a great ticket! A distinguished war hero McCain, mature and calm paired with the super sharp, super articulate Romney. Kind of makes those Democrat neophytes look limp.

At June 15, 2008 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Kookoo - it isn't about "pet issues", conservatism is about a certain set of principles. There shouldn't be degrees of conservatism. It should not be unlikely to find a candidate who agrees with me 100%, if a candidate is conservative then agreeing with him or her would be automatic for any conservative, right?

I mean now the news says that black conservatives are thinking of voting for Obama, because he is black and having a black president is appealing to them. Do you consider these conservatives principled? I do not. Conservatism isn't about the person, it's about the ideals!

I apply the same measure to anyone who votes for someone who is not conservative, but they vote based on a party affiliation. That does not make you a conservative, it does not make their candidate a conservative. You either are, or you aren't conservative.

At June 15, 2008 at 3:55 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

great post and HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO YA! :)

At June 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All conservatives are loony and every one of them has "pet" issues... DD2 if you can't communicate with some semblence of education stay off the blogs...


At June 18, 2008 at 3:30 AM , Anonymous Voice of reason said...

Anonymous or Susan, ever hear of the Pot calling the Kettle black?

At June 18, 2008 at 6:20 AM , Anonymous John said...

I feel that John Mccain did a very good job at the Townhall debate.
Even if he was all alone

At June 19, 2008 at 8:16 AM , Blogger DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Anonymous, Susan said...
All conservatives are loony and every one of them has "pet" issues... DD2 if you can't communicate with some semblence of education stay off the blogs...

Number One: semblence is spelled with an “a” semblance
Number Two. I have always had a suspicion about anonymous "Trolls" posters It very well may be a figment of my imagination, but I doubt it. In my experiences on the Web, as a Forum Host and a Blogger as well as a Site host, I have learned that a majority of the people who surf the Internet, post on message boards and chat rooms, and generally little cowards that post under several names. There is a small group that are dishonest and deliberately target and attack others. The anonymous nature of internet life has allowed them to take advantage and downright hurt people. I am a true believer that the main defense against these individuals is education. Something that I highly advise you to get as soon as possible.

Trolls have a need to create conflict and get attention in order to fill that psychological need. If they are ignored……if they can’t cause trouble……if they do not get attention, it’s no fun for them and they usually move on elsewhere.
So although I did choose to answer your meaningless comment, rest assured I won’t do so anymore.
Have yourself a good time. And do get yourself some much needed help.

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