Archive for the ‘debate’ Category

Mr. Charisma clashes with Mr. Experience on economy & other key issues

October 8, 2008

On October 7, 2008 Tuesday, at Belmont University of Nashville, TN, the second debate between the charismatic Sen. Barack Obama and the more-experienced Sen. John McCain pushed through exposing their fundamental differences in the causations and remedies of the economic crisis. Tom Brokaw of NBC moderated the debate with a question-and-answer town hall format and covered issues on the economy, mortgage mess, war against terrorists, taxes, foreign policy, and healthcare which had been heard in the campaigns of both candidates.

Not far from what was unraveled in the previous debate, the presidential candidates clashed, but not with the spark that could clearly change the course of the race with Obama leading after last week’s economic meltdown. There were no knock-down questions that could bring out the character of the candidates and probe the answers for the allegations that cast doubt on credibility. Pollsters are busy tallying who won. The third and last debate is slated in Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY on October 15, 2008 and will be moderated by Bob Sheiffer of CBS News..=0=

As an underdog, Gov. Sarah Palin scores beyond expectation

October 3, 2008

After the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin vice-presidential debate in Missouri on Friday October 2, 2008, the two parties had both claims on who won. As usual, the hardliners among the Democratic and Republican supporters had their respective clear winners heating up the presidential race towards its conclusion in November.

Millions of eager viewers were riveted on the young underdog Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and the more experienced Sen. Joe Biden (D) whose exchanges were moderated by Gwen Ifill, PBS anchorwoman. Ifill’s suitability to preside in the debate was at the late hour questioned because of an allegation of conflict of interest arising from her forthcoming book on Sen. Barack Obama. (see blog entitled “Media bias &/or conflict of interest,” October 2, 2008)

In my opinion, Palin performed far better than expected after being heavily criticized to a point of unfair ridicule by the media for her alleged inadequacy as a vice-presidential candidate. There were no outstanding gaffes that could embarrass any of the candidates. Both Biden and Palin performed very well. But Palin certainly won points that weren’t expected of her.

Facing Biden, a spirited debater who certainly displayed clear grasp and knowledge about politics in Washington, Palin was able to cut across her ideas with the public as an ordinary American who talked straight into the minds of the viewers. Presenting herself as a young governor of Alaska, she stood her ground on a wide range of issues which include the economy, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and education. As a newcomer, Palin was less exhaustive (but definitely not lacking of substance) compared to Biden’s detailed exposition of facts. This is expected in a time-pressured contest which made the audience wonder if Biden was accurate in all that he said.

Palin has once again changed the dynamics of this campaign. With her down-to-earth relaxed talk which resonates in the American heartland, she clearly has given new life to Sen. John McCain’s (R) campaign which has suffered setbacks as a result the economic crisis rocking the nation. Because the biased liberal media tend to side with the Democrats, NBC News analyst Chuck Todd disparagingly says the debate doesn’t matter and will be forgotten easily. I don’t agree.

The absence of train wrecks led some pundits to wonder whether the contest, probably the most anticipated vice presidential debate in history, will quickly be forgotten.

“You’re not going to see this debate have much of an effect on this race. This probably won’t live much beyond a 24-hour period.”—NBC News analyst Chuck Todd. Yahoo.News/AP (010/3/08, Bauder,D.)

The score of the campaign will certainly show some correction in the next few days as the effects of the debate seep their way into the polls. Had the debate turned differently, Sen. Barack Obama (D) would be keeping a far bigger lead at this point of this extraordinary presidential race. (Photo Credits: Cordeman; Don Ermmert/Pool/Reuters; AP) =0=

Media bias &/or conflict of interest?

October 1, 2008

Gwen Ifill of PBS (Channel 13) has drawn sharp criticisms from concervatives for accepting the job of a moderator during the vice presidential debate of Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin slated on Friday, October 2, 2008. The veteran black anchorwoman didn’t reveal ahead of time that she has a pro-Obama book entitled “‘The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” coming out in January 2008 in time for the next presidential inauguration.

This raises the question of media bias, objectivity, and conflict of interest that are at the root of the weakening media credibility. In this age of political partisanship, the American public believes the selection of reliable debate moderators must be done with care.

If Obama wins the election, Ifill will have high financial stakes on the sale of her book. With no shortage of people capable to preside in the debate, Iffil, the contending political parties, and the American public will be better served if she withdraws. It will clear doubts surrounding her suitability as the moderator. =0=

US Presidential Election: weighing in who won in the Mississippi debate

September 27, 2008

In the next few hours, analysts will dissect into the strength and weaknesses of the arguments of the two contending presidential candidates. Moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS, in this first debate, the issues center on the economy and the foreign policy. Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain cross horns at the University of Mississippi on Friday September 26, 2007 to make their positions known and hopefully earn them votes to win the presidency.

There are arguments to be won for each side, but the final arbiter will be people’s decision on who is the better candidate to be the next US president. The second and third presidential debates are scheduled in Belmont University in Nashville, TN on October 7 followed by the last on Oct 15 in Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Before this first debate, Obama leads against McCain, a windfall from the shock waves caused by the financial meltdown of Wall Street that has brought uncertainty to the US banking system. The economic repercussions of the chaos and uncertainty which ensued have left the world guessing where the economic downturn will end.

If the proposed bail-out by the government on the ailing financial institutions works, the problem will die down without much damage to the public. If the problem lingers, a recession of a magnitude greater than the Great Depression can result in world instability and hardship. This causes tremendous unease in other countries, especially among the fragile ones which can suffer most in a global recession.

Whichever side one looks at the debate, a finer realignment of the electorate will happen. For the disengaged and uncommitted, the debate is a tie. At first glance, Obama has won in the economy part and McCain had an upper hand on the homeland security part.

What the public watches now is the recalibration that can change the outcome of the polls. The Democrats has learned that this election isn’t an easy win even if the Republicans have suffered the tumult brought by the economic downturn. It is the foremost worry of majority of Americans. At this time, an informal poll at AOL website shows McCain leading, but at Yahoo website Obama has an upper hand. (Photo Credits: Cookthinker; AP; Mike Cline) =0=