There were many great things about this debate. For the first time, they were really able (willing?) to go through a lot more specifics on each of the key issues. I think both did very well, generally.
McCain was stronger at the beginning of the debate in presenting himself, and was clear about his plan for the ecnomy, which is something he really needed to do. Obama answered well, but was frankly boring. He didn’t seem very passionate about this issue thismorning, which is unfortunate since it’s such a big part of his campaign right now.
The negative advertising discussion didn’t really help either candidate. I feel that McCain started losing his momentum in the debate here and kept dragging this stuff on.
On healthcare, I feel like Obama was more clear about getting his strategy across, while McCain failed to show how his plan would actually work. I’ve read about more specifics and it would have been better for him to have spent less time attacking Obama’s plan and more time promoting his own and he would have done better here.
On abortion, I am happy that Obama explained some very tough things on this issue. I can safely say I understand Obama’s stance, and I feel that he is sensitive to the arguments of Pro-Life, which is something that was valuable get across for Independents. McCain wanted to make abortion a state’s rights issue, which didn’t bode well with me. I disagreed with Obama nixxing the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, which passed without his help, but I’m glad he explained his position.
When it came to education, both had valuable things to offer. I was very impressed with Obama pushing private schools as well as public – something that they both agreed with. McCain should have explained why vouchers would work and how it will make a nation-wide impact. Again, he should have spent more time promoting himself and less time criticizing Obama here.
All in all, it was a good debate. Unlike the last three that seemed to clearly have a winner for me, I think both performed well for themselves. McCain beat my expectations, and Obama was weaker tonight than I thought he would be. I doubt this will change the outcome of the election.
The last thing I want to say – Joe the Plumber. What Plumber makes over $250,000/year? I need to switch jobs.