Wednesday, 15 October 2008

That's more like it

The third and final presidential debate ended a few hours ago and it was by far and away the most interesting of the three. I guess I'm still an outsider since I don't have a vote, so could perhaps be considered the equivalent of an independent voter, therefore have actually been listening carefully to the things the candidates have been saying. Not that I get to choose mind you, but I will be affected in the same way as any other US worker by whatever policies get enacted over the next year or two.

The format was vastly improved over the previous two. Although there was still no audience participation in the way I'd love to see (why are they there in the first place?), the moderator made up for that. Best of all, the ridiculous rules that quashed any real debate in the candidates' last squaring off were gone. This time it was two minutes each to answer a question and then a good five minutes of followup and good old fashioned argument - with some flexibility on the timing when things got interesting.

Who won? I don't know. McCain had Obama on the defensive to start with but towards the end Obama came back strongly. If I were to score it on punches landed I would say McCain by a half point, but the punches were mainly jabs and didn't cause too much injury. McCain certainly scored points with his use of "Joe the Plumber", that was a good tactic, but countered towards the end by some clever policy talk on health and education by Obama.

I don't understand why autism kept coming up though. This must have been something I missed in earlier campaigning.


alice said...

I don't think you missed anything. I think McCain kept talking that way about autism because Sarah Palin has a son with Downs Syndrome and McCain is a senile old man.

Tom said...

I think that's a little harsh. I'm no medical expert but did work in a nursing home for six years with plenty of senile folk, and I see no evidence that he's senile.

alice said...

Fair enough. He's confusing downs syndrome and autism.

Tom said...

It does appear that he is - the autism stuff was right out of left field as far as I was concerned.

Since my post I found some interesting things depending on whether the debate was watched on the networks or online. Those that watched the networks and couldn't see the reaction of the non-speaking candidate gave the debate to McCain. Those that saw split screens and could see the reactions gave it to Obama.

Interesting. I never saw the split screen stuff (I'm on a dial-up and don't have cable or satellite).

alice said...

The split screen is cool. C-SPAN coverage is all split screen, whereas the cable news channels pop back and forth between the split and full screens. I used to have C-SPAN, but my cable company recently switched it so only the premium subscribers have access. ;-( So, I watch the regular coverage on the TV and catch the reaction shots on the highlight reels that appear on the internet after.

Now that I think about it, I suppose I could run the CSPAN online coverage through the computer that's hooked to the TV (we have multiple people watching, or I'd just watch on my computer)... d'oh! Too late now...