US FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

TEXAN JOKE ABOUT SERAH PALIN

while suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.
Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.
The old rancher said, ‘Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.’
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.
The old rancher said, ‘When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, it’s a post turtle.’
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain.
‘You know she didn’t get up there by herself, she doesn’t belong up there, she doesn’t know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb a*s put her up there to begin with.

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IMPRESSION ON FIRST DEBATE:

After listening and reading most of the reactions from news pundits, blogs, news-both cable and e-news and having watched the debate live as it proceeded. It became increasingly clear that the Democratic candidate did a good job! And maybe-just maybe this country could be ready for a change and make history while at it.

At this point I am willing to bet a democratic presidency this time around. I usually don’t bet and as a matter of fact, I am anti-betting. But history is looking at me in the face and I want to be a tiny part of it, even if it means breaking my own rules.

Having said the above, given that the “right leanings” said the debate was a tie and the “left leanings” and “in-betweens” said Obama won I am going to go with Mr. Mark Halperin’s of US TIMES grading. I think he summed it up pretty good-What do you think!

Here we go….

John McCain
Substance: His arguments were hard to follow at the beginning, but he found his voice as the debate progressed, although he never seemed fully in control of his message. He had plenty to say about the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia, but often bogged down his own answers when trying to unfurl quips and sound bites. Stuck with bumper sticker slogans on the economy, and while he got a bit more detailed on foreign policy, he stayed at his usual level of abstraction. If he truly knows more about the world than Obama, he didn’t show it in this debate.
Grade: B-

Style: Cluttered, jumpy, and often muddled. Frequent coughing early on helped neither his arguments nor his image. Jokes about being deaf and anecdotes about Normandy and George Shultz seemed ill-advised — even his pen was old. His presentation was further hindered by his wandering discussion of the differing heights of North and South Koreans and his angry assertion about how well he knows Henry Kissinger. Fell into the classic politician’s trap of inserting familiar stump speech applause lines into debate responses — which only works if done with enthusiasm and clarity (and if received by applause — a big No-No in Lehrer’s auditorium, which the audience obeyed seriously and silently). Keenly aware of the grand, grave occasion, McCain wavered between respectful and domineering, and ended up awkward and edgy.
Grade: C-

Offense: Emphasized his bread and butter issues of taxes and spending, and hit Obama on his failure to visit Iraq and his expressed willingness to meet with dictators. But while mocking his opponent on a few occasions, which reflected his acute disrespect for Obama, he did so in an insufficiently sharp and detailed manner — and unevenly worked elements of his rival’s record into his attacks. Still he was utterly confident about his own experience, knowledge, and policies, even when tripped by his own tongue and distracted by the strains of debate practice. The main problem: Obama’s obvious preparation and sharp answers contradicted McCain’s frequent claims that the Democrat was uninformed and “didn’t understand” key issues.
Grade: C+

Defense: He managed to ignore most of Obama’s jibes, but was eventually baited into giving an extended answer about his policy differences with President Bush, after his opponent repeatedly mentioned McCain’s regular support of Bush’s budgets. Was visibly riled when clashing with Obama over a variety of issues, including Iraq, sanctions, and spending. He also chose to boast about Sarah Palin (although not by name) as his maverick partner, who, after her shaky week, may no longer be his ace in the hole.
Grade: B-

Overall: McCain was McCain — evocative, intense, and at times emotional, but also vague, elliptical, and atonal. Failed to deliver his “country first versus Obama first” message cleanly, even when offered several opportunities. Surprisingly, did not talk much about “change,” virtually ceding the dominant issue of the race.
Overall grade: B-

Barack Obama
Substance: Quite manifestly immersed in the past, present, and future details of policy, and eager to express his views, which have been expanded, honed, and solidified during the last 18 months of hard campaigning. Still, he did avoid the nitty-gritty details of policy positions in favor of broad principles and references to working Americans, thereby not presenting the kind of specifics that some voters are waiting to hear from him.
Grade: B+

Style: Polished, confident, focused. Fully prepared, and able to convey a real depth of knowledge on nearly every issue. He was unhurried, and rarely lost his train of thought even when the debate wended and winded — and uttered far fewer of his trademark, distracting, “ums.” At times, however, Obama revealed the level of his preparation by faltering over a rehearsed answer. He seemed to deliberately focus on the moderator and the home audience, with McCain as an afterthought — except when on the attack. Chose to avoid humor, for the most part, in favor of a stern demeanor, and in the process, came off as cool as a cucumber.
Grade: A

Offense: Linking McCain to Bush in his very first answer, he kept it up as his primary line of attack. Forcefully hit McCain for his early support of the Iraq War. Though he never drew blood, he did keep McCain a bit off balance, often with clever references to McCain’s recent statements.
Grade: B

Defense: Had a reasonable answer for every charge that came his way — with little anger, bluster, or anxiety. Often interrupting McCain attacks with swift explanations and comebacks, he managed to spin accusations of being liberal as evidence of his relentless opposition to George Bush (in replies that were clearly planned). Offered a rather clumsy alternative to McCain’s well-known, moving story of wearing the bracelet of a soldier lost in Iraq (a gift from the soldier’s mother), with a story about a bracelet of his own. Fearless, without condescension, he attempted the gracious move of agreeing with or complimenting a McCain position, occasionally to his own detriment.
Grade: A-

Overall: Went for a solid, consistent performance to introduce himself to the country. He did not seem nervous, tentative, or intimidated by the event, and avoided mistakes from his weak debate performances during nomination season (a professorial tone and long winded answers). Standing comfortably on the stage with his rival, he showed he belonged — evocative of Reagan, circa 1980. He was so confident by the end that he reminded his biggest audience yet that his father was from Kenya. Two more performances like that and he will be very tough to beat on Election Day.
Overall grade: A-

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~ by ikenya5 on September 29, 2008.

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