Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why McCain lost the debate

I took the weekend without any news to really think over the debates. My initial opinion was McCain did well, but as time went on and I was able to think over the entire debate my opinion has changed. I've to see credible polls. I expect they will come soon.
I did watch a little news right after the debate. On Fox it was a split decision 2 for McCain and 2 for Obama. So I switched to CNN and MSNBC. On MSN they were saying McCain belittled Obama and was arrogant. Sure McCain was in every country Obama talked about, but I don't think that is arrogant. So I changed to CNN. They were doing fact verification. The first one sided with McCain. The second topic sided with McCain, but the presenter still used Obama's talking points to support Obama as being right. I turned it off and waited.
So where do I think McCain went wrong.
I don't think he was prepared for an economic debate at a Foreign policy debate. It was put in there as part of globalization or some farce of story. I believe this was specifically done to help Obama in an area is was weak by changing the topic of the debate. As underhanded as that was McCain did not do well.
He focused on ear marks and Obama hammered him. Where John didn't go, but should have was Energy Independence. It will create jobs and reduce prices which are great for the economy. Its an economic vision for the future and he clearly beats Obama on this issue - people support it in large numbers. But McCain dropped the ball.
He could also tie this to Foreign policy and America's security, which are topics that he is strong in. It would have brought it all together. A coup would have been to say he supports drilling in Alaska! But he didn't. His energy policy statement was weak and short lived. It didn't really sound different from Obama.
So at best he held is own at the beginning. At the end he clearly won. He was expected to win that section so it has no benefit in the polls. Garrison and Rush said made some fun of this statement that winning when you are expected to win doesn't help. Well it doesn't hurt but it doesn't help. Polls already have built in that McCain will win the Foreign Policy debate. So you don't get a change. You could get some change if Obama made a major mistake in that area. Otherwise, it met there expectations, already in the polls. For everyone hoping that McCain would go for it, I don't think they saw it.
When it does come to the economy debate, McCain needs to get his message down and Energy is all he has.
BTW - The top 9 fastest growing companies in America were all energy related. Even in a down economy. Leverage that to create more jobs in energy and get people working in good paying jobs. Keep oil revenues in America while taking it from people who hate us. Seems so simple.

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