Got through watching the first Presidential debates a little while ago.
Before I go any further here, three advisory points need to be stated: 1, am an Obama supporter, 2, missed the debate's first ten minutes, and 3, there were times during the debate that I got so excited/angry, what have you, that I missed small parts of the debate.
That said, and as much as I hate to say it, Folks, McCain in some areas came off the better in areas like tax policies, and in some of his points on various budgetary and militarily-related policies.
Obama really needed to bring up more specifics, not only in those areas, but overall, and, though he eventually began hitting back harder at McCain as the debate went on, at least at first, I thought he was still too much in the grips of the sort of Senate collegiality in his initial dealings with McCain.
McCain, on the other hand, had far less compunction about bringing up his opponent's lack of experience, judgement, not having been to Iraq for 900 days or so, and not at all to Afghanistan, and constantly repeated the phrase, "What Senator Obama doesn't understand," so much so in the latter case, that, even if I didn't like McCain or the Republican Party in general, I would have disliked him for being a smug, arrogant jerk, and I think that's what, in many instances, he came off as being.
McCain oft trumpeted his years of experience in the Senate, and, twice close to the debate's end(it may have been more than that), his experiences as a POW and Viet-Nam War veteran, and how they helped him shape policies towards veterans of that war and establishing diplomatic relations with Viet-Nam.
Both men, and Senator Obama himself admitted this, came off sounding very distressingly alike to me on issues like the recent Russian-Georgian conflict, and the need for nuclear power and "clean" coal as components in achieving energy independence.
Both favoured support for Mikhail Saakishivili's government and its actions towards South Ossetia, and for possible eventual Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO, while omitting the fact that it was a Georgian military offensive against South Ossetia that started the conflict, though McCain, in his mentioned praise of Saakishivili stated, though not explicitly, the sort of connections and support the Senator has for the man and his policies.
Obama, in an attempt to play a sort of catch-up with McCain on this issue, mentioned that he'd warned the Administration in April that there were Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, which, from what background info have acquired about the issue over the past four years, comes off as really being rather dumb, because there have been Russian, Georgian(until recently)and either South Ossetian or Abkhazian peacekeepers in those respective regions since at least the last bouts of serious fighting between the South Ossetians, Abkhazians and Georgians 4 years ago.
I can imagine whatever Secretary or Under-Secretary he approached at the State Department about this revelation raising an eye-brow, saying, "Really???!!! Well, we'll look into the matter," and then, after Senator Obama left, saying to him- or herself, "Stupid fuck."
Sorry if this is harsh, but that revelation on Obama's part didn't impress me in the slightest.
On the other hand, ultimately, McCain struck me as an experienced, yes, but also all too arrogant, man, who, in some areas, is still stuck in the ideologies and practises of the mid-20th Century, while Obama struck me as being a capable enough fellow in many areas, but one who really needs to forget the senatorial collegiality and hit McCain back, and hit him back hard and fast, with specific inconsistencies, gaffes and errors in McCain's record over the the past 26 years, though he did score somewhat in bringing up McCain's rendition of "Bomb Iran" at a political gathering fairly recently, I believe.
Obama, for all the charges his many detractors, including McCain in talking about Obama's Senate voting record, of him being some sort of liberal, radical wing-nut, came off as what I believe he essentially is, a mainly moderate to liberal, but mainly moderate, Democrat, whereas McCain came across as the sort of tough-talking, take-no-prisoners sort of Republican candidate that there's been so much of in this country since the 1950's at least.
To be honest, I was a John Edwards voter at my local Democratic Party primary caucus back in January of this year, and I tend, though my politics can be all over the place at times, depending on the issue and my given state of mind at any one time, and so, I tend to sit farther to the left than Senator Obama is and would be on many issues.
Also, being on Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare, as well as, through the State of Nevada, Food Stamps and Medicaid, I worry about the sorts of policies, especially in light of the proposed financial bailout currently under discussion in Washington, and actions that will happen, especially under a McCain Administration, which, while it might not be identical in every respect to the current Administration's policies, or those of the Reagan and first Bush Admininistrations' with their stated animosity towards Social Security and other social programmes, might result in severe cut-backs or even elimination of, in one way or another, those programmes.
So, yes, I support Obama because, one, unlike Hilary Clinton, he has been a staunch critic of the Iraq War and its conduct, which I think he well maintained in the debate to-night, and two, because, while I would like to get off of Social Security if I can, I do not want to trade one form of poverty for another, much more insecure form of it, and that is what I fear might happen if McCain gets into the White House.
Sorry to get off the subject here, Folks, but I felt I had to say the above, so you know from where I stand.
Anyhow, that's it for me, for now, as ill-reasoned as it might be.
Will let you know more as I further reflect on this, and the other debates to come.
In the meantime, thanks for your kind attention and be seeing you.