Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This Debate Was A Long Campaign Commercial

If you missed the second Presidential debate last night, you saved ninety minutes of your life. The truth is that this wasn't a Presidential debate, it was a boring replay of the same tired debate questions answered in the same fashion by each of these two Presidential candidates for months.

Tom Brokaw was the debate moderator and was too concerned over the rules. The selected questions were standard and plain. The format was suppose to be a town hall meeting but it felt like a long, campaign commercial.

The only thing that was original was that John McCain proposed a new government plan to buy back every bad mortgage and renegotiate the terms of those loans. McCain's new mortgage plan apparently would add another 300 billion dollars to the 700 billion dollar bailout package that the Congress passed last week. His plan lacked detail in the debate and was not well explained.

For McCain, this mortgage plan looked like another "Hail Mary" in his effort to stay competitive in this election. The fact is that for the last two weeks, McCain has been steadily dropping in all the public opinion polls. Most polls now show him trailing by a total of between five and nine percentage points with a month to go in this presidential election.

It is hard to see how the outcome of this debate changes anything in Election 2008. Once again, Barack Obama did not make a major mistake and looked polished, articulate and Presidential. As a Republican candidate with the chain of the unpopular George Bush (27% approval rating) wrapped tightly around his neck, John McCain was swimming against a strong Democratic tide to begin with.

However, its now apparent that McCain may well lose this election on the mistakes he has made in response to the current mortgage crisis in the economy.

Consider that he suspended his campaign for three days to return to Washington D.C. to help with the bailout bill. Then, he resumes his campaign in time for the first Presidential debate but does not explain why he suspended his campaign in the first place. (see: McCain Does Not Explain His Suspended Campaign on eworldvu.com). Four days later the bailout bill that he suspended his campaign for goes down in defeat. It was to be loaded with pork in the Senate and passed last Thursday.

So, less than one week after that unpopular 700 billion dollar bailout bill passed Congress, John McCain has another plan and now wants to add an additional 300 billion dollars to the bill that has just passed. He announces his new plan in the middle of a debate without any real explanation or detail. Barack Obama has accused McCain of being erratic and chaotic in this economic crisis, its sure getting pretty hard to argue with that.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama's rhetoric on his government spending plan continues to be totally unrealistic. Last night, he stated that in his Administration the government would realize a "net spending cut". This "net spending cut" is completely ridiculous since he is proposing new spending on a national health insurance program, a plan to fix social security and tax cuts for 95% of Americans. Of course, this is all in addition to that 700 billion dollar mortgage bailout bill passed last week by the United States Congress.

The second Presidential debate was a long, boring campaign commercial by both of the Presidential candidates. The problem is that it did nothing to alleviate America's growing concern about its troubled economy, and the question of which candidate is the right man to handle this difficult job.

The truth is that a real debate could provide the answer, but long, boring campaign commercials never do.

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