Friday, October 17, 2008

The Final Debate

Now that I've had some time to stew over the final presidential debate, there are few things that keep coming back to me.

Before I begin, I want to say that I don't see the point in declaring a "winner." That's not the point to me, as a voter. My primary interest in watching debates is to hear something new and to clarify the old. I was mostly disappointed in the previous debates, both presidential and vice presidential*. This debate offered some new things to think about though.

I continue to appreciate and value Obama's calm. As I'm sure I've stated in the past, I do not want a president that doesn't think before he leaps, not to mention a president with a hot temper. I also appreciate a solid intellect. I was glad to see more of his intellect (which McCain attacked, making the word "elitist" pop up into the minds of his base) and more of his calm.

I'm already sick of hearing about Joe the Plumber.

I giggled happily when McCain exclaimed surprise when Obama told Joe the Plumber that he would be fined zero dollars.

I yelled obscenities when McCain continuously used the phrase "pro-abortion," as there is no such thing, and I was very pleased when Obama said that himself.

I stopped yelling when McCain used air quotes to describe women's health and claimed it to be exaggerated by the "pro-abortion" movement and that women's health is an "extreme" position to defend. "That's the extreme pro-abortion position: 'health.'" I cannot begin to describe the way I felt. I actually teared up, I was so angry. To tell over half the population of the country you want to represent that their health problems - including death during childbirth - are myths, exaggerations, worth snickering over, and putting in quotes...I cannot begin to describe the rage. How is it that he could have done that, so thoughtlessly, so disdainfully? I was going to just link the video, but I'm going to put it here instead:

And while McCain tells the women of American that their health is unimportant, Obama purses his lips, shakes his head a little, and reaches for a glass of water. This was the moment where I wished Obama were less calm and more passionate. Had I been in Obama's place, I would have launched into a tirade. Actually, if I'm going to be really honest, I would have burst into tears (I really am not cut out to be President, let alone debate about what I would do if I were).

* The point of interest from the vice presidential debate regarded gay marriage. Biden categorically declined support of gay marriage, but declared approval for equality in civil unions. Bollocks. And we all knew what Palin was going to say long before she said it.

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