The Corner

Points About the Points

Many, many readers have written that my quick points on the debate depressed them — why did they have to be taken down, after being so up after McCain’s impressive performance? No one need be depressed: McCain did very well. He held up our end, as I said at the bottom of my notes. Of course, he has the advantage of the better positions.


But Obama’s more like a pro — more like a professional debater than a politician who happens to do all right in such settings. Not that that is necessarily the most effective thing, politically: There is such a thing as being too smooth.


What’s depressing, to a person like me, is that Obama has mastered the trick of coming off as perfectly moderate — even when your career and thought have been very different. Listening to Obama last night, you would have taken him to be a Sam Nunn, David Boren type. No ACORN, no Ayers, no Wright, no community-organizin’ radicalism, no nothing. He certainly knows what it takes to appeal to people in a general election. Then, once he’s in — if he gets in — he will govern as far to the left as possible.


That’s the old game. And you know (if you’re a longtime reader) what I always appeal for in an election — it’s my number-one (electoral) prayer: honest campaigning. Then, let the chips fall where they may.


There is one point — actually, many points, I’m sure — I should have included in my list: Obama kept saying that he had written the administration, or warned the administration, or warned the world, or what have you. If only they had listened to Barack Obama.


McCain might have said something like, “Oh, you’re the one” — you’re the one who (for example) said that these subprime mortgages were getting out of hand. A little, light sarcasm. Obama sometimes gives the impression of considering himself the center of the universe. And, as Newt Gingrich and others have said, what’s he done, mainly, besides think about himself and write books about himself?


Anyway, I did not mean to be a downer (though sometimes that’s my role!). And I say, Take heart! Often, when you listen to Republicans in debate, you are nervous — chewing your knuckles all the way through. But you could be relaxed, when listening to McCain parry with Obama. I should have said that, too.


Finally: Go, Sarah.


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