Oct
16
2008
0

Presidential Debate 10/15/2008: Who Won?

Obama vs McCain: Round 3

Obama vs McCain: Round 3

Obama was calm and succinct while McCain was impassioned and aggressive. [1] Impassioned and aggressive  are not bad qualities – but they are less ideal during a debate.  Ultimately, Obama came out slightly ahead in the debate because he held his own and didn’t make any big blunders (I love that video!).

How about those predictions, huh?

  • McCain came out swinging for the fences.  He was interrupted Obama and brought up specific grievances with Obama’s past and campaign.  Heck, McCain even interrupted and corrected the moderator!
  • McCain was clearly passionate about his positions.
  • McCain looked directly at Obama as he challenged and questioned him.
  • Obama had witty retorts handy for most of McCain’s challenges.  At least once he actually chuckled during McCain’s monologues.
  • Obama ignored many of McCain’s direct attacks, not making eye contact during most of these challenges.
  • Obama responded to attacks, but didn’t counter-attack.

Not surprising, given the latest headlines:

  • Obama compared McCain to Bush.  Shocking!
  • McCain brought up Bill Ayers, ACORN, and Lewis.  Shocking!

What I could not have predicted:

  • Joe the plumber.”  No one except foreign dictators has ever enjoyed as much mention during a presidential debate as Mr. Joe Wurzelbacher.
  • McCain said Palin’s baby has Autism.  He should know her newborn son has Down’s Syndrome.
  • Obama dumbed down his language.  Obama, you went to Harvard.  HARVARD.  Pronounce the goddamn G’s.  Don’t say,” workin’ ” say, “working.”
  • Obama wore an ugly tie.  There I said it.  It could have been my TV, but that was an ugly tie.
  • McCain’s eyes and tounge???  Palin was winking and McCain was blinking.  I can ignore the blinking, but why was he sticking out his tounge?
  • Obama and McCain are both lefties!  I didn’t know that.
  • Obama would be the one wearing a flag pin while McCain didn’t.
  • “Troops to Teachers.”  McCain wants to remove tests and qualifiying exams for former members of the armed forces who want to be teachers?  Um – why?
  • A man would name his newborn “Sarah McCain Palin.”  He put the name on the birth certificate without without telling his wife.

And, a very special thank you goes to Bob Schieffer.  Moderators are there to keep the candidates on topic.  If you can’t reign in the candidates, you have no business sitting between them.  I’m looking at you Tom Brokaw.

  1. Photo courtesy of DaveHogg.  Photo editing, all me! []
Oct
14
2008
1

Presidential Debate 10/15/2008, Predictions

"I want to be big"*

"I want to be big"

I recently posted my impressions on the vice presidential debate as well as the first and second presidential debates.  But, let’s not live in the past.  Why not jump on the prognostication bandwagon and make a few predictions?[1]

  • Prediction: Obama will be calm, cool, and collected.  He will appear aloof and superior throughout the debate.  He will also not go on the attack.
    • Conventional wisdom says that a candidate that is ahead in the polls has nothing to gain and everything to lose by directly engaging the opposition.
    • By not directly attacking McCain, Obama gives up the possibility of an additional rhetorical gain against McCain – but he’s so far ahead in the polls that he doesn’t need those possible gains.
    • The flip-side is that by not attacking Obama can appear to be above the fray and petty partisan politics.
    • Instead of attacking and counter-attacking, Obama will have a witty retort for every point McCain makes.
    • Obama will essentially ignore, or make light of, McCain’s attacks.  He will direct his remarks to the moderator and camera.
    • Obama will make a few vaguely sniping attacks.  Look out for extremely subtle references to McCain’s age or McCain’s actions as being inconsistent, unreliable, unpredictable or erratic.
  • Prediction: McCain will be clawing like a cornered wolverine.  We will see him attacking and challenging Obama relentlessly.
    • McCain has to walk a fine line – appearing to be conservative enough to keep (or, rather, win back) the red states Bush won in 2004 – while being moderate enough to pick up blue states.  In order to retake those red-states, McCain will stress his experience and commitment to core Republican values.
    • McCain doesn’t say “maverick” nearly as much as Palin.  While being a “maverick” is a decent way to collect undecided or Democratic voters, its a serious turn-off for Republicans.  As a friend and staunch Republican recently told me, “Maverick is a word for someone who screws their own party.”  I’m fairly certain Democrats feel the same way about Joe Lieberman.
    • Its easy to see McCain becoming impassioned during his speeches and debates.  However, McCain faces a special dilemma when pressing the attack.  If he attacks too strongly, he risks being seen as desperate or hot-headed.  Neither is an attractive quality for a possible president.
    • McCain is so far behind in the polls that he needs to score some big points.
    • During the first debate we saw McCain bring the attack to Obama.  Obama was forced to play defense much of the time, accusing John of getting the facts wrong.
    • We’re going to see McCain pressing the attack, posing questions directly to Obama, and trying to draw him into a head-on discussion.
    • Unlike Obama who will be speaking to the moderator and audience, we’re going to see McCain addressing most of his remarks to “that one.”  McCain will also take every opportunity to highlight when Obama doesn’t answer a question or gives a vague response.

So, there you have it, my totally ill-informed predictions based on nothing more than what I saw in the coffee grounds this morning.

  1. Photo courtesy of Zesmerelda. []
Oct
01
2008
0

My Laptop Is Back!!!

My laptop is back, up and running!  I truly cannot explain just how happy I am that I have it back.

Scotty

Scotty

As I mentioned earlier, my laptop stopped working on the Sunday night before last.  The next day I stopped by a local Fry’s Electronics and picked up a hard drive enclosure for my laptop’s hard drive.  This solved my initial problem, being cut off from my data, by allowing me to schlep my laptop’s hard drive with me.  Even though I had my data with me, I didn’t have my laptop with me.  I constantly felt as if I had lost my wallet or cell phone.  A disconcerting feeling, to say the least.

On Friday afternoon I took my laptop to a local repair shop, Paramount Technology, and, after talking with the proprietor for a few minutes, left my laptop with them at about 12:30pm.  He estimated they might have it ready on Tuesday; Monday at the earliest.

They called my cell less than three hours later to tell me my laptop was fixed.

Everyone knows how Captain Kirk would ask the impossible of Scotty.  Like clockwork, Scotty would bitch and moan about how he could not perform the impossible.  And, yet, when crunch time came, the polarity was reversed, dilithium crystals realigned, and they had warp engines back on line.

They did a great job, warranting their work for 90 days, had my laptop repaired in record time, and didn’t scratch my baby.  (FYI, Dell offers a whopping 30 day warranty on their work.  In the words of Govenor Palin, “Thanks, but no thanks.”)

I don’t care if they were practicing “under promise and over deliver.”  Paramount Technology has earned my business and my recommendation.

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