For every word uttered by McCain or Obama last night, the media and the blogosphere have spoken or written tens of thousands of words of speculation as to who “won.”
The objective definition of “won” would have to be attracting the most undecided voters and/or moving the most voters from the opponent’s column to one’s own column. Perhaps in a few days the media polls, which, based on decades of experience, are not all that reliable, will tell us which candidate “won,” last night.
Most of the post-debate commentary dwells on the impossible to measure emotional impact on viewers and voters. We don’t pretend to have any insight. But we did notice a pattern that may help viewers see past Obama’s facade to the ridiculously inexperienced pretender behind the curtain. Here are some excerpts:
Senator McCain, are there fundamental differences between your approach and Senator Obama’s approach to what you would do as president to lead this country out of the financial crisis?
Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington. It’s completely out of control…And the worst symptom on this disease is what my friend, Tom Coburn, calls earmarking as a gateway drug, because it’s a gateway. It’s a gateway to out-of-control spending and corruption…
Now, Senator Obama…a million dollars [in earmarks] for every day that he’s been in the United States Senate…That’s one of the fundamental differences that Senator Obama and I have.
Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.
Yeah, Right. Invoke “senior centers.” Here’s the problem: At least half the federal budget is spent on functions that are not authorized by the Constitution, which would include local senior centers. Here is just one example of an Obama Earmark:
$1,648,850 for the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. This is a private business, with no connection to any Constitutionally authorized federal government function. (Ticket prices: Adults $17.50, children $13.95.)
The next president of the United States is not going to have to address the issue as to whether we went into Iraq or not. The next president of the United States is going to have to decide how we leave, when we leave, and what we leave behind. That’s the decision of the next president of the United States.
Senator Obama said the surge could not work, said it would increase sectarian violence, said it was doomed to failure. Recently on a television program, he said it exceed our wildest expectations.
But yet, after conceding that, he still says that he would oppose the surge if he had to decide that again today.
Senator McCain is absolutely right that the violence has been reduced as a consequence of the extraordinary sacrifice of our troops and our military families. They have done a brilliant job, and General Petraeus has done a brilliant job.
My reading of the threat from Iran is that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it is an existential threat to the State of Israel and to other countries in the region because the other countries in the region will feel compelling requirement to acquire nuclear weapons as well…
...Senator McCain is absolutely right, we cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. It would be a game changer. Not only would it threaten Israel, a country that is our stalwart ally, but it would also create an environment in which you could set off an arms race in this Middle East.
…Now, on this issue of aiding Pakistan, if you’re going to aim a gun at somebody…you’d better be prepared to pull the trigger.
I’m not prepared at this time to cut off aid to Pakistan. So I’m not prepared to threaten [Pakistan], as Senator Obama apparently wants to do, as he has said that he would announce military strikes into Pakistan.
We’ve got to get the support of the people of Pakistan. He said that he would launch military strikes into Pakistan.
Now, you don’t do that. You don’t say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government.
“…And, John, I — you’re absolutely right that presidents have to be prudent in what they say. But, you know, coming from you, who, you know, in the past has threatened extinction for North Korea and, you know, sung songs about bombing Iran, I don’t know, you know, how credible that is. I think this is the right strategy.
Now, Senator McCain is also right that it’s difficult. This is not an easy situation. You’ve got cross-border attacks against U.S. troops.
“… I had a town hall meeting in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and a woman stood up and she said, “Senator McCain, I want you to do me the honor of wearing a bracelet with my son’s name on it.”
He was 22 years old and he was killed in combat outside of Baghdad, Matthew Stanley, before Christmas last year. This was last August, a year ago. And I said, “I will — I will wear his bracelet with honor.”
And this was August, a year ago. And then she said, “But, Senator McCain, I want you to do everything — promise me one thing, that you’ll do everything in your power to make sure that my son’s death was not in vain.” That means the mission succeeds…
...I’ve got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant – uh – from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopeck, and she asked me, can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I’m going through.
…There’s a pipeline that runs from the Caspian through Georgia through Turkey. And, of course, we know that the Russians control other sources of energy into Europe, which they have used from time to time.
It’s not accidental that the presidents of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine flew to Georgia, flew to Tbilisi, where I have spent significant amount of time with a great young president, Misha Saakashvili.
…I think the Russians ought to understand that we will support — we, the United States — will support the inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine in the natural process, inclusion into NATO.
We also ought to make it very clear that the Russians are in violation of their cease-fire agreement. They have stationed additional troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
By the way, I went there once, and we went inside and drove in, and there was a huge poster. And this is — this is Georgian territory. And there was a huge poster of Vladimir Putin, and it said, “Vladimir Putin, our president.”
It was very clear, the Russian intentions towards Georgia. They were just waiting to seize the opportunity…
And watch Ukraine. This whole thing has got a lot to do with Ukraine, Crimea, the base of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol. And the breakdown of the political process in Ukraine between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko is a very serious problem.
Senator Obama, Do you see any — do you have a major difference with what he just said?
No, actually, I think Senator McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.
Behind the facade Senator Obama has little understanding of the geo-political issues involved in the Russian invasion of Georgia, and no knowledge of Ukraine, Crimea, Saakashvili, Sevastopol, Tymoshenko or Yushchenko. He didn’t dare respond, because to say anything would have revealed his ignorance and naievte