The second presidential debate was disappointing because the format was too constricting to allow the viewers to learn more about the candidates up close and personal. Yes, the rules were carefully worked out, but this debate, although in town hall meeting format, was no more informative than the first more traditional debate because of the constricting rules. And that has to be changed. The real problem is that the lunatics are running the asylum; the lawyers for the two sides work out the rules and they wind up hemming everyone in. When the League of Women Voters was running the debates, there was a debate – usually three moderators (newscasters), asking questions, having follow up, and the candidates were scared out of their wits. It was great! We got to learn more about these guys. They finally managed to shed the League, and they then decided to do it their way. That was good news for them, bad news for the American people.
Tom Brokaw, the former NBC evening news anchor hosted this debate, and in his mellifluous voice managed to inject himself far too frequently. He kept reminding the two candidates that they had agreed to the “rules” and the time constraints, and both continually ran over. And got a lecture from Brokaw. Uncalled for. Why? If the other candidate didn’t object, Brokaw not only should have left them alone, but let them respond to each other as well, as they began to insist on. It could have turned into a real debate!
Nonetheless, this evening it was even more apparent than in the last debate that Obama was the more assured, and the more presidential in his demeanor. McCain often walked nervously around while answering questions, waving his arms about. Obama seemed to speak directly to the people in a more consistent manner. And what was McCain doing while Obama was speaking? McCain – several times – got up and started walking around! And he nervously leaned against the chair, he changed positions; was he in pain? Does he have a health issue here? What was going on with his not being able to sit still while the other guy was up?
As for the questions themselves, no new ground here but Obama spoke more articulately and generally had better answers, although incomplete. We can blame time constraints to a certain extent, but not completely. I am aware that Obama has better programs but I know of this from reading online and checking out their Web sites, etc. There was a hint of it here in that Obama made more sense.
It also really began to grate on my nerves every time McCain came out with “my friends.” And that was at least once a minute. It reminds me of the guy at a coffee shop always prefacing everything with “honey.” It’s too familiar and feels patronizing, even if not meant to be.