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The bad news is one of these guys is going to win

Reviewing the first presidential debate of 2008

Well the first debate of the 2008 presidential election is in the books. One thing that we can look at as a positive is the fact that informed citizens with sensible ideas are not possessed of the megalomania required to endure a presidential run. Both campaigns are claiming victory after the candidates spent almost two hours talking in circles. Your humble scribe scored this one a decisive defeat for both candidates. McCain seemed to employ a high risk strategy of giving his answers in hard to interpret generalities. Obama countered with the unconventional tactic of responding to McCain’s questionable ideas with eloquent, decisive, egg headed nonsense. One would think that a prudent strategy would be to offer ideas that have a better chance of succeeding than those offered by McCain but you have to hand it to the young Senator from Illinois for this bold strategy.

Moderator Jim Lehrer started the evening with a question about the economy. This was supposedly a debate on foreign policy but considering that the US tax payer now owns a fourth rate insurance company and several failing banks, this was a rational diversion. The opening question dealt with the currently debated bail out of bad mortgage debt. McCain actually talked about cutting spending. That seems to be the only real solution to our financial problems. Obama will get the points because McCain couldn't make a cogent argument.

The best part for me was the initial follow-up question from Jim Lehrer. He clearly asked if the economic system coming unwound would cause the candidates to change their priorities. They both missed it the first time. The second time McCain finally hit on the idea of cutting spending. The third time around McCain upped the ante to a spending freeze. Jim Lehrer was dumbfounded that neither of these guys was ready for the question. You could see the heartbreak in his eyes.

The debate then shifted to defense. I can't believe that Obama came off more aggressive and dangerous than McCain. They are both certifiably squirrel bait on Iran and Russia but Obama actually seems to be ready to attack Afghanistan and Pakistan. Someone please inform him they are our allies.

I could actually understand McCain's plan to get out of Iraq and deal with Afghanistan and I was surprised that it actually made sense. I could not tell you what Obama's plan is other than to go back in time and not start the war in the first place. I'm not confident this strategy has merit without a Manhattan project effort to achieve time travel. Obama didn't mention if this would have a higher or lower priority than the Manhattan project effort to achieve energy independence.

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