Comments on the First American Presidential Debate of 2008

 Hoping for a change that saves America from the current economic woes and battered image around the world, I watched the first presidential debate held on September 26, 2008 between Obama and McCain completely with great interest. Here is my take on it.
                      OBMAMA`S STRENGTH IN THE DEBATE
Through out 2008 presidential campaign, Republicans were claiming that Barack Obama has no foreign policy experience nor he is good at national security. That claim was defeated in the debate by Barack Obama after showing brilliant command in both issues. This qualifies Obama to be a great commander-in-chief of the US. McCain lost the expectations in both issues that he claimed was strong.
Economy is the best card for Obama to win this presidential election by landslide. American people are facing financial crises and huge economic woes created by the eight-year administration of George W. Bush. This economic uncertainty hits hard the core life of every American household in jobs, housing, gas prices, living costs, education, health etc. It also created budget crises in states, districts and locals resulting in job cuts, lay offs, broken roads, frozen projects etc.
Billions of American dollars are also spent on the wrong war of Iraq or mismanaged that would be make big difference if spent on domestic issues such as jobs, housing, health care, education or alleviating suffering of humanity around the world as well as promoting peace and fighting global warming.
America`s image and global leadership in the world are badly damaged by Bush`s unilateral wars and foreign policy, through direct confrontation or proxy wars, that dismiss the need for international cooperation and collaboration to promote peace and fight diseases, poverty, and terrorism around the world.
Barack Obama did not play his best card debate – The economic card. Senator McCain, who knows that economic issues are his demise in the election, kept Obama at Bay to talk only on earmarks and taxes distracting him from the real economic woes in the country.
Obama also did not link Senator McCain well to Bush`s failed economy in the country and foreign policy that greatly damaged American stand and leadership around the world.
Another weak point of Obama was agreeing with his opponent by saying many times, “Yes, Senator McCain is right”. He should not give his opponent a chance to win the debate or a knife to slaughter him. Senator Obama was supposed to be tougher, warmer, passionate and emotional in the debate to connect with the American people and to give a message that he understands their current suffering and economic woes. He did not show well that in the debate. He was cool, dragging the word AND like aaaaand, eeeend which is not good for presidential debate.
In the coming two presidential debates, Obama needs to correct his mistakes and weaknesses in the first presidential debate and play well his winning card – The economy and the other issues facing the nation.
Conclusion: Obama won the foreign policy debate in the debate because he did not let McCain win his experience credentials but the two candidates were tied in economic issues because Obama did not play his economic card well.
Ibrahim H. Gagale.  September 27, 2008

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