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Presidential Debate, Who Won?

Politics / US Politics Sep 27, 2008 - 10:11 PM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock

Politics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleToday we ponder the question "Who Won The Debate?"

I will get to the specifics in a moment but last night I emailed a close friend that there were two winners and two losers. Anyone care to guess who my two winners and losers are?

Today I am changing my opinion slightly. I now think there were three losers and one winner. Before reading further ponder that possibility. See if you can figure out the one winner and three losers of the debate.

Now let's turn our focus to an analysis of the debate. I have not read any analysis elsewhere so my opinion has not been influenced by anything else I have read.

Economy Debate Analysis

Try as he might, moderator Jim Lehrer simply could not get either McCain or Obama to say much of anything. Neither McCain nor Obama was willing to talk about the pending $700 billion economic bailout proposal.

In fact, Lehrer could not get either to talk about the budget.

There is close to half a trillion dollar budget and I can sum up both positions in a couple sentences.

Economic Policy Comparison

McCain will attack a $500 budget deficit by increasing military spending and removing questionable line items that amount to at most $18 billion.

Obama will not commit to doing a damn thing.

I commend McCain for at least attempting to say something about pork barrel spending so I will award him +1 point. However, I have to remove one point for McCain wanting to increase military spending.

Economic Policy Scorecard

Obama: +0
McCain: +0

Big zeros for both candidates.

Foreign Policy

Both candidates were hopeless but in different ways. I can sum up positions in a few sentences as well.

  • McCain wants to waste more money in Iraq and Afghanistan. -1 point
  • Obama wants to waste more money in Afghanistan and threatens war against Pakistan. -1 point
  • Obama wants to sit down at the table with Iran without preconditions. McCain does not. One clear point for Obama. +1
  • McCain wants to antagonize Russia with policies that cannot work. -1 point
  • Obama praised McCain's policy and also wants to antagonize Russia with policies that cannot work. -1 point
Foreign Policy Scorecard

Obama: -1
McCain: -2

It is really not as simple as that because threatening Pakistan is beyond idiocy. However McCain's philosophy on Iran is beyond idiocy as well, possibly leading to a war in Iran.

We cannot throw in Palin into the analysis of the debate because Obama purposely tiptoed around that issue, even though Palin is the most hopeless vice presidential candidate in history.

Debate Intangibles

Whenever Obama was talking, McCain was weaving and bobbing his head like one of those talking head dolls on springs. He looked bug-eyed, fidgety, and out of place. I am subtracting one point from McCain for his nervousness.

Nonetheless, McCain was shockingly good (for McCain). He held his own and scored some minor points. Neither candidate could land a knockout blow. Hell's bells, neither candidate would even take a hard swing.

Strategy Analysis

McCain: McCain was clearly imitating the " Rope A Dope " strategy of Muhammad Ali. He was ducking and bobbing and weaving and dodging his head even when he was not talking. He was hoping Obama would give him an opening.

Obama: Obama, having regained the lead in the polls now that the country is taking a closer look at the pathetic hopelessness of Palin, took a different tactic. Obama's strategy can best be described as " Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me ".

Obama was gingerly tiptoeing around, trying hard to not say anything at all, hoping to avoid stepping on a land mine while McCain was back in the corner playing "rope a dope". For a full forty minutes on the economy, neither would say a thing. It was a pathetic performance by both.

The Non-Debate

A careful analysis of the debate simply must include an analysis of the non-debate. Obama tiptoed around Palin, but I will not.

Palin Forced to Defend Foreign Policy Credentials

Jack Cafferty Tells Us How He Really Feels About Sarah Palin

Three Losers One Winner

So, Who Won The Debate?

Careful analysis shows both Obama and McCain lost the debate. Last night I surmised that the country won because they could see how pathetic both candidates really are. Today, I change my mind on that. Most likely the country is going to think whoever they were for somehow "won" the debate. In the end, the country lost because neither of these candidates deserves to be president.

I am not going to vote for either. I am still undecided between writing in Ron Paul and voting straight Libertarian.

However, a very strong case can be made for voting for Obama because anyone who plays those videos must come to the conclusion that Palin is absolutely the worst vice presidential candidate ever.

McCain is 72, with cancer (had cancer if you prefer), but that cancer could easily come back, and/or McCain could have other health problems at his age.

Jim Lehrer Wins The Debate

For the first time in history, I am proclaiming a moderator to be the winner of the debate. Jim Lehrer asked very good, pointed questions that neither candidate would answer. Better yet, he forcibly kept at it, attempting to no avail to get some answers on the economy.

Lehrer gave a superb performance compared to McCain's "Rope A Dope" and Obama's "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" strategies. By the way, please don't tell me Hillary would have been better. She is simply another pea in the same rotten pod.

Jim Lehrer, you won the debate. Please take a bow. Everyone else, especially the public, lost.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at .

© 2008 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

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28 Sep 08, 09:37
Mccain won.

Mccain won.

17 Oct 08, 06:15
Obama Won

I think OBAMA won this round of debate like the others. He was more detailed and convincing in his presentation about tackling the problems of the economy. I will go with him.

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