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 The rivals for the US presidency clashed bitterly in their first presidential debate last night as Barack Obama sought to tie John McCain to the failed policies of the Bush administration at home and abroad.

Mr Obama, seen by voters as weaker on foreign affairs, was judged to have held his own in the debate, while Mr McCain did not manage to expose any major weaknesses in his opponent. But his contempt for his rival was on display throughout, as he could not bring himself to look his opponent directly in the eye during the debate. Read more.

Simple question: Who do you think won the debate?

Edit: The Independent called it a draw


( Comment )
izuko wrote:
Sep. 27th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
I don't agree with the issue of McCain looking at Obama. He was probably taught, as I was, to address the moderator. It's an old habit.

Unfortunately, it also cost him the ability to seriously hammer some points home, as far as body language goes. When Lloyd Bentsen dropped the "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" bomb on Dan Quayle (still one of my favorite moments in politics - even though I'm on the other side, I can still appreciate its brilliance), his body language was at least a thrid of the impact.

I don't see it as personal.

I do note, however, that McCain referred to Obama as "Senator Obama," while Obama always called McCain "John" (or, occasionally Jim or Tim). Probably more a generational thing than anything else.
isara wrote:
Sep. 27th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think it was generational. Remember that McCain and Obama have worked on legislation before in the past, and senate colleagues do address each other by their first names.

Regardless of whether or not it was debate training, and all issues and substance aside, the net effect is that it made Obama look collegial and open to new ideas. McCain just looked cranky, a jerk, and unwilling to listen to differences of opinion (his constant smirking and tut-tutting didn't help in that respect either).
waichimak wrote:
Sep. 27th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
I think it is possible that it could be generational;
(Though I can only speak for my own generation of 20-somethings)

Many of us (in my personal experience) went to school being asked to call out teachers by their first names if we felt 'comfortable' with it.
I also know many people, myself included, who refer to celebrities they hold respect or admiration for by their first names.

I think in this instance, it is a matter of Obama trying to display respect and familiarity for a professional rival; someone he plainly dislikes. But he knows it is best to maintain politeness and be the better man.
( Comment )