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It was wonderful seeing my kids, grandkids, sister, and friends.  Needed more time with my sister, though, and with various friends I never got to see.  But it was good, and I was able to enjoy what did happen, rather than letting myself be upset about what didn’t.  If I’d learned that skill thirty years ago…oh, never mind.

I heard a bit of the debate, and some of the discussion afterwards.  What I’d love to hear, is someone saying, “Well, I support candidate X, and intend to vote for him, but he lost the debate.”  I’ve never heard that.  From anyone.

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  1. I saw a lot of people saying just that on the progressive blogs after Friday’s debate: “I still support Obama; too bad he lost the debate.” Many people felt he agreed too often with McCain, missed opportunities to attack, etc. It wasn’t until the polls started coming in, showing that the majority of viewers thought the opposite, that they started high-fiving. There was a weird split there for a while — not between conservatives and liberals, but between partisans (who long for attacks, and thought McCain won) and independents (who seem to prefer graciousness, and preferred Obama).

  2. Funny, those was my thoughts. I consider myself independent (but registered Democrat to get a choice in the primaries — I needn’t have bothered, since Sen. Clinton & Sen. Obama did a good job of looking nearly identical), but I will probably vote Obama, and most certainly will not vote McCain, but after the debate I thought Obama had come off less well. (Read: he lost.)

    Not much, mind you, since I thought both of them were too busy trying to steer the questions into things they wanted to hear, and talking to the moderator and the audience instead of each other. But I thought McCain did a good job of keeping Obama on the defensive, rather than vice versa, with only occasionally turns around (like the bracelet bit — that was a nicely done).

    Then I go on the internet the next day, and find out a lot of people disagreed with me — most registered Democrats and independents thought Obama had done better than McCain.

    I don’t know if that is my own personal biases or the fact I was more listening than watching (generally when I have the TV on, I am crocheting or drawing or doing something that does not require me too look at the screen), or my autistic tendencies or what.

  3. Steven–I was the pleased (and a bit surprised at my luck of being in your direct path!) guest-of-the-Fest who stopped to say hello (and thank you) not too long before drum jam. Not only did I get to personally thank you for AGYAR, but Toni gave my friend Jaime a copy of COWBOY FENG’S SPACE BAR AND GRILLE. To give to me!

    Joy! It was a weekend full of some much-needed mental and spiritual recharging, and part of that was the serendipity of bumping into you. (I get to cross one of the things off of my “Things to Do Before I Die” list. Which means I’m one foot closer to the grave. Whoops.) And FENG’S has been getting the eye from my room-mate. Heh.

    Thanks, Steven. It was a pleasure.


  4. I am under the impression commited voters do not change their vote basis a political debate but undecided voters may choose a candidate basis the same debate.

  5. Actually, I have an outspokenly-Republican friend who, though he still plans on voting for McCain, thought that Obama did better in the debate. He didn’t agree with Obama, but did think Obama presented his positions more clearly. Of course, he also likes to see his preferred candidate as an underdog, so that may influence his analysis.

  6. Becca: From what I’ve heard, listening versus watching did have a significant effect. People who said they were turned off by McCain mentioned that he never looked at Obama; his posture seemed less confident and more aggressive; etc.

  7. Dick Morris on Sean Hannity (gasp!) gives Obama the debate, much to Hannity’s chagrin.
    “Hannity: Dick your initial thought?

    Morris: I thought Obama won the first, I thought McCain won the second. And overall since we hadn’t had a terrorist attack last week, but had the economy failing apart. The economy is more important that I have to say unfortunately I think Obama won this debate. ”

    Also, another repub pundit, Charles Krauthammer gave it to Obama.
    Always interesting when a political opponent gives a non partisan explanation now and again:
    “Krauthammer: I thought he hammered a little bit , he kept repeating, ‘my opponent isn’t experienced, he doesn’t have the judgment, he’s not ready,’ but he’s gotta make the case. And except for the last moment, I think McCain had a poetic moment when he very quietly and softly ended by saying I know how to heal a nation after a war, I know who to deal with adversaries and with… I thought he was hammering a lot. Now, there styles are different. McCain is a guy who hits, he hammers, he jabs. Obama is smooth, he’s very elegant and he was nimble and here’s a subject in which you’d think he be alien, but he was never flustered, he was never at a loss. I think he was on the defensive on a couple of issues like Iran, but that’s because of statements he made earlier in the campaign. I thought he came out only slightly behind on foreign affairs, thus overall in the absence of a sound byte, in the absence of an embarrassing moment on his part, I think he comes out of this neutral and thus ahead because we’re now going to have debates on the economy which are going to be his strong areas and McCain will be on the defensive….It does end the drama of the McCain week.”

  8. Steven–Toni gave Jaime the book in the hopes that I would have seen you again to have it signed. Heh–I should have been the smart one and brought AGYAR in the first place. For some reason, I thought it would be in poor taste to spring for an autograph during a day of Fest-fun. Catastrophic hernias aside, I figure I’ll correct my error next Fest. (If you’re willing, that is.)

    And Toni is a gem and a half–just a wonderfully kind soul.

    (Minnesota’s value always dips when you leave its border…)

  9. “Support” is the verb you would use to describe how you felt about a candidate you wanted to win, were going to vote for, and were rooting for. “Worship” is the verb you would use to describe a person who, especially in opposition to his foil, could not possibly lose a battle. There’s a little more desperation when the person you worship performs badly than there is if it’s a person you support.

    We are not given to be rational about those we worship. We are not in a society that encourages rationality about its political discussions. It’s important to remember, too, that you aren’t expected to defend rationally that which you worship — faith needs not answer objections, but support does. It’s intellectually a lot easier to worship.

    It’s also terrible for the democracy.

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