McCain’s Debate Performance
Earlier this evening, I posted what I wanted to hear John McCain discuss tonight. Now that the debate is over, I wanted to comment on how well he addressed my concerns. For those of you who want my full debate reaction, itâ€™s forthcoming.
McCainâ€™s economic plan: I wanted specifics. I got a reiteration of the $300 billion mortgage buyback plan which I donâ€™t support at all. I was disappointed in that regard. Although I was glad McCain finally hit Obama on spending, even saying that Barack Obamaâ€™s answer to everything is to spend more. Unfortunately, McCain stuck to the ludicrous assertion that he can balance the budget in four years. If heâ€™s going to make that claim, I need details but didnâ€™t get them.
McCain did well on taxes. While â€œJoe the plumberâ€ was an odd addition to the debate, McCain came off very strong regarding small businesses and taxes. I came away believing McCain wonâ€™t try to tax us out of our economic doldrums and think he raised real concerns about Obamaâ€™s plan, which seems very off-base during an economic downturn. Full disclosure: my wife owns a small business, so those taxes are a concern and I simply trust McCain more to protect our interests.
On healthcare, McCain whiffed again. I donâ€™t have a problem with the tax credit, but even when you add in his regulatory changes, itâ€™s just too little. It wonâ€™t work. I donâ€™t like Obamaâ€™s plan but McCain gave me no reason to think he has a more workable solution.
I donâ€™t believe McCain discussed the makeup of his cabinet, which was a shame. He did discuss Supreme Court nominees but, unlike some, Supreme Court nominees donâ€™t drive my vote. Vice Presidents, on the other hand, do influence my vote and McCainâ€™s defense of Sarah Palin was about as good as he could do given the material. But she is still a poor choice, no matter how McCain spins it.
I wanted to avoid anything outside policy. But Bill Ayers entered the conversation. As did Rep. Lewis. As did the hateful shouts at McCain/Palin rallies. That wasted a lot of my time and McCain seemed to try to extend it. He could have been making a case for himself but he spent the time dredging up issues that just arenâ€™t important enough for a 90 minute debate.