Did you watch? What did you think? I learned a couple of things. I learned that Sarah Palin has an autistic child. I did not know that. I also learned that John McCain can be a real ass when he wants to be. I don’t think his giggles, eye rolls and sneers helped him tonight at all (though I am sure they probably helped endear him with the right wing base of the Republican party).
Now I fully realize that some of you out there are not going to agree with me, but the fact is that I am paying for this barrel of ink (as Sarah Palin would say) and I’m going to use it.
John McCain was in no way prepared for tonight’s debate. If he did have a plan, he abandoned it at the last minute. His base, for the past few days, has been telling him that he needs to be more aggressive in his attacks on Barack Obama. He tried to please them tonight. It cost him this debate and any chance he might have had at winning the election on November 4. He needed to make America like him tonight. He needed to make America comfortable with the idea of him as their president (and Sarah Palin as their vice president). He failed in both tasks. He needed to be in “this is why I should be your president” mode. Instead, he was in “attack dog” mode. He listened to Sarah Palin and the rabid and angry right wing. He shouldn’t have.
John McCain had a third task tonight. He needed to knock Barack Obama off his game. He needed to make Barack Obama lose his cool. He also failed in that. If anything, it was the other way around. Senator Obama remained cool and collected throughout the evening. The same cannot be said for Senator McCain. (Reference the giggles, eye rolls and sneers I mentioned in the first paragraph. He also stuttered a lot. A lot.)
The really sad part of all this is that nobody on the McCain staff is going to tell Johnny that he is acting like a cantankerous child. They are all going to praise him for this performance and tell him what a wonderful job he did. They’ll tell him that he “won” the debate. And Johnny will just go on acting like a cantankerous child because he will believe it is the right thing to do. (Please note that I did not say “cantankerous old man.” I should get points for that, because I really, really wanted to say cantankerous old man.)
Barack Obama’s task tonight was simply not to lose points. He went into the debate ahead of the game, and he came out in the same position. In fact, he probably gained some points. I said in an entry earlier today that I did not think many minds would be changed tonight. I think I was wrong. I think a lot of minds were probably changed tonight and I think a lot of minds that were undecided before are no longer undecided.
Oh, and this Joe the Plumber guy… I don’t know when you last had to call a plumber to your house, but let me assure you… they do not work cheap.
Update: The following picture puts the perfect cap on the evening. It’s real, by the way. Here’s the link to prove it.
Update #2: Joe the Plumber 1) has no plumbing license; 2) has no definite plan to buy the plumbing business which currently employs him; 3) was a McCain campaign plant; 4) does not make anywhere near a quarter of million dollars per year; and 5) hopes he hasn’t made a fool of himself. (He has, and John McCain in the process.) Oh, and one last thing and then we’re done with Joe… His name isn’t Joe. It’s Samuel (according to The Toledo Blade). Somehow, though, “Samuel the Plumber” just doesn’t quite resonate, does it?