Last night, Senator McCain and Senator Obama appeared on a debate in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the first of the three debates between the two presidential hopefuls. Foreign policy was the main topic in this debate although there was no way the two candidates would not talk about the voters’ main concern, the economy and the financial crisis.
According to a CBS Poll, about 39% think that Senator Obama was the winner in this debate, 24% see Senator McCain as the winner and 37% think that neither of the two candidates was won the debate. Those results look acceptable to me.
My opinion goes with the majority. Senator McCain was everything but the winner in this debate. His staff has to be concerned, and try to compensate in the second debate. There is much work to do in terms of persuasiveness and self-confidence.
Like MSNBC commentators said today, Barack Obama looked in John McCain’s eyes several times and the GOP nominee didn’t respond with the same. No matter how much the stands on the issues are important, body language is also very important to many voters. Not looking in the eyes of the person you are arguing with creates the impression of your having no confidence in yourself as a person and in the stands on the issues that you endorse.
On the issues of foreign policy, I don’t remember anything consistent that Joh McCain said besides the thing with the mother of a dead soldier who wanted him to make sure that her son’s life was not given in vain. Barack Obama countered him very good when he gave an example of a mother of another dead soldier who wanted him to make sure that other mothers don’t go through what she has already gone through. I see this part of the debate on the issues of foreign policy as the only one that creates a debate because on the one hand, it is hard when you lose a child, but on the other hand, wars take lives.
What war, however? The war in Iraq? This war was supposed to be quick, easy and relatively cheap accordingly. However, five years passed and it is not over yet, it is a hard one and it has contributed to a huge budget deficit, financial crisis, energy crisis and the dollar’s weakness.
Like Senator Obama, I also think that this is not the war the United States of America should wage. The war USA should focus on is the war in Afghanistan. I think that Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria are the countries where terrorists that the U.S. troops are looking for are mainly located.
I see the situation in Pakistan, a U.S. ally, as a red light to Washington. The Pakistani government, for one reason or another, struggles with the terrorists there – there were several attempts to kill Benazir Bhutto and they eventually killed her; there were also several other bombings aimed at other politicians.
In terms of the economy and the Wall Street crash, the war in Iraq was enough for Barack Obama to prove that John McCain is actually not going to decrease spending. The American people can see it. This war’s spending automatically complicates John McCain’s economic plan and his idea of less spending, no question about that.
The presidential campaign is close to an end. John McCain’s staff has much work to do for a very short time in a time when it gets harder and harder to change people’s minds on who they are going to vote for.