Wednesday, July 8, 2020 9:01

Review of the Debates

Posted by ep on Sunday, September 28, 2008, 13:56
This news item was posted in Analysis, Politics category and has 7 Comments so far.

Note: I have started a thread in the forum to discuss this topic here: with some of the gems from the Fark discussion posted there as well.

Early polls of the debates rate the candidate performance like this:

CBS/ Knowledge Network
Obama - 39%
McCain - 24%
Draw - 37%Insider Advantage
Obama - 42%
McCain - 41%
Undecided - 17%

Obama - 51%
McCain -38%

MSNBC Online Poll (non-scientific)
Obama - 52%
McCain - 33%

* Information from

Personally I think both candidates did well in the debate.  I think Obama was stronger on the economy and personal demeanor with McCain fairing better on foreign policy by virtue of his personal anecdotes and experience.  Neither candidate was considerably stronger than the other on any one of the topic and no knock out blows were landed.

McCain made his disdain for Obama plainly clear by never looking at Obama or addressing him directly and repeatedly using dismissive actions and comments to belittle him.  Obama seemed more gracious in addressing McCain directly and acknowledging when he made good points.  I kept a count, which is admittedly subjective, of some of the talking points and interaction which is presented below.


Cut Spending

Compared self
to Regan

to Bush


w/ Other

Middle Class

Obama 2 0 6 2 5 3
McCain 12 3 0 18 0 0

I went to to see how well each candidate stuck to the facts.  I used my judgment to characterize each of the deviations from the truth into: “Mix-up of the facts”, “Stretching the facts” and “Falsehoods”.  This is subjective but feel free to go to FactCheck to make your own decisions.


Mix-up of
the facts

the facts


Obama 2 4 0
McCain 3 7 3

Overview of what was lies were characterized where and why below.

  • Kissinger Back Obama on talking to foreign leaders - Obama & McCain/ Stretch
  • Obama voted to raise taxes on people making only $42,000 - Obama & McCain/ Stretch
  • Obama’s timetable for withdraw- McCain / Stretch
  • Earmarks tripled in past 5 years - McCain / Falsehood (down significantly since 2005)
  • $3 million bear DNA study - McCain/ Stretch
  • Iraqi surplus exaggerated- Obama/ Mix up
  • $700 Bln for importing oil- McCain/ Mix up
  • Amount of people Obama will cut taxes for - Obama / Stretch.  For details read one of my previous posts, The Facts about the Obama and McCain tax Plans
  • Employers will be taxed for health benefits- Obama / Mix up.  (Employees will be charged)
  • Americans will be forced to get government health care- McCain/ Falsehood
  • Ike wrote a letter resigning - McCain / Mix up
  • Obama Naive on Georgia- McCain/ Stretch
  • Obama doesn’t think the Iranian revolutionary Guard are terrorists - McCain/ Stretch
  • McCain saved taxpayers money from a bad Boeing deal- McCain / Stretch
  • Obama doesn’t support nuclear power- McCain /Falsehood
  • McCain is against alternate energy - Obama / Stretch
  • McCain was against the initial plan to send troops to Beirut- McCain / Mix up

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7 Responses to “Review of the Debates”

  1. 28 September, 2008, 22:10

    I love your analysis of the debate breaking it apart issue by issue. I watched the debate the other day and was pretty impressed. I really do not think there was a clear winner despite what the polls say. It was pretty close on both sides.

  2. rikyrah
    28 September, 2008, 22:34

    Good breakdown. thanks

  3. 29 September, 2008, 2:27

    As I was listening to the Conservative channels… I noted that many people took issue with Obama calling Senator McCain by his first name. In their words “he was disrespectful”. Which is interesting because
    1) They are both Senators, so McCain is essentially his equal (are they implying that Obama should ‘know his place’)
    2) I interpreted the first name reference as a strategy (or is that tactic?) from Obama to seem more genial.
    3) The fact that Senator McCain never called Obama by first name nor look in his direction, came off as hostile/petty.

  4. LaterSkater
    29 September, 2008, 21:38

    We noticed too that Joe Biden called Obama and McCain by their first names in his comments too, since they are all senators. It’s the first time I can remember a debate where that was the case, but I’m also not sure the last time it was two senators going for the office…prior to this its been a mix of incumbants, governors, and senators, no? I do think it was strategic, but it also makes sense.

  5. 29 January, 2016, 4:30

    I adore examining and I believe this website got some truly useful stuff on it! .

  6. 2 August, 2016, 16:37

    Great read.

  7. 17 September, 2018, 12:28

    Thank you, keep up the good work!

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