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27 September 2008
So who won the first presidential debate?
Who won the first presidential debate held last night? The Guardian and Independent both called it a draw, whilst the BBC had McCain narowly ahead on points. Toby Harnden in the Daily Telegraph said that Obama emerged slightly in front, but Gerald Warner in the same paper said that McCain came out looking the victor. It really came down to perception, and that is usually based on where the writer's sympathy's lay in the first place.

American presidential debates are invariably tedious to a British viewer since neither man is really interested in trying to grind his opponent into the dust. The carefully rehearsed aim is to rally their supporters and try to influence as many of the undecided voters as possible. A more free-flowing debate, with supporters of both candidates making up the audience and shouting, cheering and jeering along as the debate unfolded would make for a better event, but there would then be the possibility of one debater actually being seen to lose by his own supporters. That cannot be allowed to happen with the result that we have to watch these sterile events which actually degrade the whole concept of political debate.



You are SO funny!

28 September 2008 at 00:18  

Thank you...

A bloke walks into a doctor's with a frog growing out of his ear.

"How long's it been like that," asks the doc.

"It started as a boil on my arse," replied the frog.

Told in memory of Manchester's finest son, the late Bernard Manning.

28 September 2008 at 01:24  

Actually, the Debates are meant to deal with 'swing voters' and the 'undecided'. That is ME-for the first time in my 24 year voting history- I have never doubted who/which party to vote for until this election cycle. My indecision is so bad that I even rang the county board of commissioners to check the latest date they had to have my absentee ballot by. I thought last night would help..nope. (And I did watch it all- with no editting)So last night didn't help!!!

28 September 2008 at 01:46  

Sure, TC, but if they were more free-flowing then people would be able to make up their minds more easily because you would have clear winners.

Consider Lincoln-Douglas as a case in point. Lincoln asked Douglas how the latter's notion of popular sovereignty tied in with the then recent Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court. Douglas replied that any state could get around Scott by refusing to vote the laws needed to protect slavery.

That's what's missing: free flowing debates where each side is scoring hits off the other.

28 September 2008 at 03:24  

Vote Ron Paul!!
Or Jesse Ventura....

Independents are the dream ticket.

28 September 2008 at 18:39  

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