Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Final Presidential Debate!

First off, let me just say that I am so glad that there will be no more debates this election season. I mean, I love politics just as much as the next nerd, but this has been a long and tiring two years and frankly I look forward to this being over with.

Now on to the debate...

It looks like (from my first impression and later the instant polls on all the major news channels) that McCain is 0-3 in terms of these debates. That is a shame too, because this was McCain's best debate performance yet. It appears that no matter how good McCain does, Obama appears to much better. Why is that? Well, here's my theory.

It all comes down to temperament (Obama called way back in Denver). McCain has managed to prove Obama's point in regards to the qualities of leadership, throughout this general election. Its not about experience, it’s about judgment. Its not about patriotism, it’s about temperament.

When it comes to the type of leadership qualities that I look want in a president I look for the following:

1. Wisdom
2. Integrity
3. Competence
4. Intelligence (including intellectual curiosity)
5. Stability
6. Charisma
7. Compassion
8. Conviction

Those are the major virtues of leadership in order of importance (to me). So far I have only seen number seven from John McCain (especially during the debate). During this final debate, it appeared to me that McCain really believed what he was saying (whether accurate or not) and became increasingly unsettled when he sensed that he was not connecting with...well...anyone but those in his base. This is when things went downhill for McCain (and when he transformed into McGrumps again).

The more unsettled McCain became the more snarky, sarcastic, and visibly upset he became. In a televised debate delivery is just as important as message, and McCain's delivery was horrible (meaning that his message suffered as a result). That's how we got the jokes that only McCain himself laughed at, Health in quotation marks, McCain informing Joe the Plumber that he's rich now (among a lot of other unnecessary references to Joe), the constant blinking, and the barely contained rage.

Meanwhile Obama remained as cool as glass of ice water in the summer time, which only made McGrumps seem McGrumpier. In the end calm and steady won the race again.

On a side note, I have to give props to the moderator for keeping the debate moving and hitting the candidates with follow up questions.


*Picture Courtesy of

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