Tonight’s debate reminded me why I don’t normally watch such exchanges.Â It was, well, it was boring.
Had I not been watching with a blog-reader, I might have turned it off or turned to the Internet.Â I didn’t think either candidate did a very good job.
I trust those who faulted Sarah Palin for not answering questions in last week’s vice presidential debate will now fault Barack Obama for failing to respond to citizens’ queries.Â McCain also failed to answer a handful (though I think Obama was the greater offender).
Obama acted for the most part like he was running against George W. Bush.Â It seemed he had determined to say the “last eight years” more times than Palin had said “maverick” last week.Â While he tried to sound like Ronald Reagan at times expressing confidence in the American people, he forgot that the Gipper always looked forward.Â There were moments when Obama seemed wallowing in the past, as a depressed person wallows in self-pity.
McCain seemed too often to bring up criticisms of Obama when it might have served him better to outline his own policies.Â (But then again, that was perhaps the only thing which added spice to this snooze-fest.) Obama also took some cheap shots at McCain.
But, the Democrat also had his moments, emulating Clinton in trying to explain how complex policy decisions impacts the economy and citizens.
The real loser in this debate was moderator Tom Brokaw.Â By selecting the questions of the various participants, he made it less spontaneous, reflecting less the concerns of the average voter than the interests of the Beltway broadcaster.Â He should have picked the participants at random and not been allowed to pre-screen the questions.
It may well have been Brokaw’s selection of questions which prevented this debate from being engaging.