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Reaction to First Debate 2008


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First of all, we were unsure if this debate was going to happen. McCain seemed to flip flop on whether or not he was going to attend. Surprisingly, I felt that both candidates performed remarkably well given that they both didn't have time to prepare. The truth is that both candidates did not make any big glaring mistakes that would jeopardize their respective positions. I doubt that undecided voters will sway to either side.

I feel that while neither candidate hit the ball out of the park, I have to give the slight edge to McCain. Not on substance, but more on perceived strength. McCain had a better emotional presence. I felt the debate started well for Obama as Obama managed to tie the economic crisis on the republicans. While both candidates seemed to grow in their position as the debate went on, McCain's responses on foreign policy were much more direct. He gave specific examples of of how he met with leaders around the world.

Obama at times appeared defensive agreeing with McCain. Don't get me wrong Obama was good, but he let McCain stick it to him sometimes. Obama definitely seems more presidential like. If Obama is to improve he needs to stop saying “I Agree with McCain", especially when McCain isn't returning the gratitude. McCain was being downright rude and condescending, often pointing out Obama's inexperience. McCain never made eye contact with Obama and was ruffling his papers when Obama spoke. Clearly he has no respect for Obama.

Winner: McCain

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