Well, we had the first debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain and overall they both presented themselves well. You could say the debate was a bit...stiff. It was clear both candidates were trying to be cautious and it showed. There were no real knockouts. Since debates are all about who won and who lost I will give you my assessment of the evening.
Going in McCain had to accomplish three things:
1. Show that he could effectively deal with the economic crisis.
On the economic crisis McCain offered little more than he had in the pass. He tried to distance himself from the Bush administration, but in the end it is impossible to call for change when you are embracing the same old policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
2. Show that Obama was not prepared to take the role of President.
McCain was completely ineffective at rattling Obama. For some odd reason McCain refused to look at his rival. To me this made him look mean. In fact that would be the overall view I had of McCain. He never seemed at ease. This is common for someone who is nervous. They focus so hard on the deliver that they loose site of their presence.
3. Show that the McCain/Palin ticket was a winner.
Where was Sarah Palin? For the Republican Vice Presidential nominee not to be at the first debate goes to only strengthen the argument of the naysayers who state Palin is not ready for prime time. Now normally a vice presidential nominee is not the key deciding factor in selecting a president, but these are different times. If elected McCain would be the oldest person to ever ascend to the presidency; couple that with questionable health one can see the importance of a qualified vice president.
Obama on the other hand had only one main task:
1. Show that he is presidential material.
Senator Obama seemed at ease from the moment he walked on stage. He greeted Senator McCain with a broad smile. He repeatedly pointed out why he was the true voice of Change, and never stumbled. Throughout the debate Obama addressed McCain by looking him square in the eye and laying out their differences. McCain's refusal to do the same made him look petty.
In a recent FOXNews.com poll Obama was currently ahead 55 percent to 45 percent. The poll may not be scientific but given that FOXNews.com readers are more conservative than the general population it can only be a positive sign for Obama.
Nearly every poll is showing Senator Barack Obama is pulling away from McCain. I predict that in their next debate McCain will be far more aggressive. He has no choice; he has to take the battle to Obama. In my view, the war is already over. Can you say President Obama?
UPDATE: Please read the statement I made in the opinion section of this post. This war is far from being over.