I'm trying to keep an open mind and consider all the available information leading up to the election, so that I make an informed choice. These debates are helping but also pushing me more and more towards Obama.
The 'town-hall' style debate was a joke. I feel bad for those individuals up on stage (no not the candidates). They came in with questions and maybe six got to ask theirs. The answers, from either McCain or Obama were many times generalized to the point that the question really was not answered. In a couple cases the response had nothing to do with the question. That was disappointing. I (and I'm sure many others out there) wanted straight answers. We didn't get them.
Additionally, Tom Brokaw was like a mother with two bratty kids. He had no control over them and they pretty much ignored his requests for more order and keeping to the time limits. Tom failed as a moderator in my opinion.
Despite the failures the debate was not a complete waste of time. It was good to hear some more from the candidates on what they planned to do as President of the United States. McCain was the weaker of the two here.
More often than not he talked about what is HAS done rather than what he will do. Now he seemed to have some pretty firm ideas about foreign policy. That was good but I did not agree with most of his thoughts there but I can see where that would connect with some. However the statement about how fixing Social Security would be easy was a, "WHAT!?" moment for me. How do you fix a program that has more money going out than going in? Tax us young people more? Cut other programs to fund it? What IS your plan there McCain?
Obama seemed to have a much better idea for what he wanted to do if elected. We all know that not everything will happen over night and it was good to hear the question of what would be their priorities. Though Obama answered the question with options that were not part of the question I think he successfully resonated, at least with me, on making energy a priority. He successfully used energy to spring board into the economy and foreign policy. Job growth/creation, energy independence, energy export, energy leverage, all strong points and good ideas.
Obama really seemed to focus on letting the public know what he was going to do for us. McCain seemed more focused on reminding us of all the work he's done in the past and pointing fingers at, "That One."
I was getting very upset at McCain for the attacks. He slung mud more than he talked about the issues at times. Obama had to go on the defensive numerous times because what McCain was spouting was inaccurate. Obama was guilty of this a few times too. Why do we need to hear from the opposing candidate what their plan is. Focus on your plan and let the other candidate explain theirs and let the public decide which one they like.
What scares me the most is that, on both sides, people will believe what the opposing candidate says about their opponents plans, rather than going to listen to the other candidate themselves. People will believe that Obama is going to raise taxes because of what McCain says. Just as people are going to believe that McCain is going to keep doing what Bush has been doing, because that's what Obama says.