Six Thoughts About Last Night’s Debate

  1. I watched the entire thing from beginning to end without a break. On the other hand, I couldn’t watch any of the speeches at the conventions without a break.  Conclusion: hearing people speak in a Q&A format is much more interesting than hearing people speak for an hour without stopping.
  2. McCain is far better in this format than in a canned speech.  When he’s reading a speech, he seems stiff and phony. When he’s speaking in response to questions, he connects in a personal way. Even though Obama reads a TelePrompter better than anyone in history, he also came off better in this more informal setting. Conclusion: the less formal the better.
  3. With the economy in such a dire mess, I was particularly interested in hearing plans for fixing the economic system.  Conclusion: listeners in a burning house are very interested in hearing the plans of a firefighter. 
  4. I thought Obama did a better job of walking the stage. He would approach the questioners and address them personally.  McCain seemed to be trying to connect with everyone, turning around in a herky jerky manner.  Conclusion: Stay calm.
  5. I found it distracting that McCain paced around in the background when Obama was speaking. Maybe he had to do that because of his war injuries. If that’s the case, then I’m sorry.  But it did bother me. Conclusion: When someone else has the stage, focus your attention on him or her. To do anything else seems rude.
  6. Brokaw’s protests that the candidates were violating the rules seemed silly. Who cares?  They were keeping it short. The format was working fine.  Conclusion: Brokaw is a grumpus.
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