Here’s my feedback from last night’s debate:
First of all, pundits will say McCain had his “best” debate, and they’re right — all things being relative. He really did have some good moments, made some salient points, and sounded reasonable from time to time (despite my not agreeing with any of those points, while also being firmly convinced that he was probably lying most of the time).
First and foremost, FIRE YOUR MAKEUP ARTIST! Whoever decided on “bubblegum pink” lipstick obviously never watched Queer Eye for the Straight (Talker) Guy.
Second, maybe atropine eye drops were NOT such a good idea last night. It was hard to tell if crazy, wide-eyed Johnny Mac was trying to communicate with us using morse code, or if he was just lying so damn much that his eyes were suffering from severe blepharospasm. Apparantly, Botox can resolve this issue for you John!
Speaking of lying, here’s an interesting excerpt on the science of lying:
“Physicals cues believed to be associated with lying include an increased incidence of leaning forward, licking the lips, touching the nose, averting the gaze and handling objects. An insincere smile, characterized by lack of movement of the wrinkle lines around the eyes is another well know indicator of lying. People who are lying also often reveal themselves verbally. Verbal cues include the increased use of verbal qualifiers or modifiers, the use of expanded contractions (e.g. I did not rather than I didn’t), stuttering, throat clearing and speech errors.” Sourced here.
Kind of sums up McCain’s entire night.
Third, in a weird twist, McCain was doing his best to channel Sarah Palin last night. He frequently fell into spells of stream-of-consciousness, sound-bite regurgitation. He tripped over his tongue a lot. Generally, it seemed like McCain hadn’t done anything to prepare for this debate at all. He definitely won the Most Non-Sequiturs category last night!
The final word on McCain: it was nice that he got an early jump on Halloween, but he really needs to not smile. Ever. Again. His creepy, wide-eyed, maniacal, sarcastic, snarky, yellow-toothed grins really wigged me out. I would have called my mommy for comfort if it wasn’t so late at night. Thank God the kids were in bed already!
On Obama: some of us would have liked to see him either (verbally) smack McCain in the mouth, or fire a few broadsides of his own regarding McCain’s personality (Keating 5, first wife, etc). This certainly would have appealed to the Democratic base and the disenfranchised of whatever party who want to see that little punkass put in his place. However, as I had a chance to sleep on it, I think Obama did exactly the right thing: he never left the high road, didn’t take McCain’s bait on personal attacks, and was calm and composed all night. I thought he answered the stupid Ayers/ACORN thing fairly well, and was far more on-topic with the majority of the questions all night. All this in spite of Scheifer giving McCain the “last jab” on almost every topic. Kudos to Obama for understanding the power of the unsaid!
One thing is clear, the more people see McCain for extended periods of time, the more he appears to be a snearing, sarcastic, condescending old man with a major chip on his shoulder. And Obama seems more and more like a man with the temperment and composure we’ll need to begin unraveling George W. Bush’s disaster of a presidency.