Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain vs. Obama debate part 2 analysis

For anyone who missed the debate, here is the transcript of the debate. I also have a video from YouTube below.

The UMass Twitter discussion once again got very popular as a trending topic, but was hijacked by the Obama and McCain campaigns correcting each other near the end of the debate. There was also a problem with lag time.

This time the delay was around 15 minutes per post, which made most of them either responses to what a candidate is saying or a repeat of what McCain or Obama just said.

One of the big stories about the actual debate, and something several posters commented on was on Tom Brokaw's moderating. The NBC anchor did a good job of trying to keep tabs on candidates.

I'm trying to play by the rules that you all established. One minute for discussion.

However the candidates ignored him and continued rambling on, but A+ for effort, Mr. Brokaw. He did the best job of moderating and unfortunately was probably the only one doing the straight talking or doing what was in the best interests of the American people. He was also popular with many of the students who were Twitting.

AlGiordano posed an interesting question: Is Brokaw overplaying the referee role in trying to enforce the clock?

My response to this was that Brokaw was doing his job in keeping them to the time limit and on topic. The reason why Brokaw's role was ok is because when the moderator lets the candidates ramble too long it becomes a speech contest rather than a debate.

Lehrer did a good job at trying to get the candidates to talk to each other. This debate it happened a lot more so maybe in the third debate, they can keep to the time limit.

Much of the debate had to do with the economy, specifically the candidates' health care plan. McCain's plan is to give a $5,000 tax cut while taxing the health insurance as part of a person's salary. Essentially, he is betting that the insurance is going to be worth more than the $5,000 so it's more like a discounted tax instead of a plan to make insurance cheaper.

Obama plans to make health insurance more affordable by rolling back the same taxes that George W. Bush initially cut (anyone making $250,000). That tax money will go to lower the costs of people's insurance or make the insurance that people already have a little cheaper.

Overall, the win goes to Obama because McCain took too many cheap shots and didn't offer enough solutions. It wasn't a knockout, but this debate was good for the Illinois senator to make his case for why he can get the American people out of this economic disaster.

You can bet the third debate is going to be a lot of defense from Obama, who will do everything he can to stick strictly to the question while McCain will be on the offensive. He needs to dig up something original that strikes a nerve with voters or else Obama will win this election in a landslide.


CEds said...

I agree with your analysis of this debate. I wanted to elaborate on why it truly was an Obama victory though. Basically, going into this debate, I feel like Obama had a lead on McCain. During the debate, both candidates basically expounded the same views that they have been hitting on during the whole campaign season. Therefore, it was really a maintenance of the status quo, so to speak. This is good for Obama because he was already in the lead. He didn't need anything else.

McCain, on the other hand, really needed to break out and do something outrageous in this debate. He did not do that so the tie goes to the winner: Obama.

Scott Brodeur said...

Adam: Interesting that you had Brokaw winning the debate. I saw him take a lot of guff from both sides of the aisle post-debate.

Adam said...

The way I see it is if he's getting criticism from both sides, he's probably doing the right thing. They don't like him because he did a better job than previous moderators of making the candidates follow the rules.