Debate wrap-up

Color me disappointed … I was certainly expecting more from Barack Obama.

Obama, McCain draw contrasts in second debate –

(CNN) — Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama went head-to-head on the economy, domestic policy and foreign affairs as they faced off in their second presidential debate.

The debate was set up like a town hall meeting, and the audience was made up of undecided voters.

The candidates spoke directly to each other at times, but at other times they spoke as if their opponent were not in the room.

The debate over foreign policy boiled down to who has the better judgment.

McCain said he knows how to handle foreign affairs and questioned Obama’s ability to do so.

“My judgment is something that I think I have a record to stand on,” McCain said.

McCain said the “challenge” facing a president considering using military force “is to know when to go in and when not.”

Obama questioned McCain’s judgment in supporting the invasion of Iraq.

“When Sen. McCain was cheerleading the president to go into Iraq, he suggested it was going to be quick and easy — we would be greeted as liberators. That was the wrong judgment,” he said.

Obama vowed to get Osama bin Laden and defeat al Qaeda.

“We will kill bin Laden, we will crush al Qaeda,” he said.

McCain responded in equally strong terms: “I’ll get him. I know how to get him. But I am not going to telegraph my punches as Sen. Obama did.”

John McCain did pretty much exactly how I expected; he kept saying “I know how to fix things”, but never actually explained how he would do anything … he also indicated that both Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt were his heros, and compared Obama to Herbert Hoover, by saying that Hoover was the last President to raise taxes in poor economic times. The only problem there is that George H.W. Bush raised taxes during a recession in the early 1990s.

Oh, and John? I’m not your friend … please stop calling me that.

On the other hand, Obama’s insistence on not following the rules as stated by Tom Brokaw at the beginning of the debate was disappointing … when there is no time for a follow-up because the moderator wants to get to the next question, then let it drop and move to the next question. Insisting on followup time is petty; especially when Brokaw indicates that the next question will allow them to readdress the issue at hand.

Because expectations of Obama were high, even a win is a tie … Obama would have had to knock it out of the park to really walk away from this as a clear winner, and he did not do that.

Still should win in November, though.