1st McCain/Obama Debate.

I was worried all day. I thought for sure McCain was gonna get decimated by Obama's renowned brilliance. About half way through the debate I realized that I had subconsciously bought the media narrative: that Obama is The One. And wow, he's just. Not.

What a relief!

Let's break down the issues:

1. The Economy:
    A fundamental difference, here. Obama blames the economy on "lax regulation" while McCain faults the lack of personal responsibility and greed. These are two completely different worldviews: one favors ever-more government intervention, the other believes in the soundness of individual freedom. {by the way, I think the bail-out is just ri-dic-ulous}

2. On Spending:
     It seems obvious that in order to deflate gov't waste, we have to cut gov't spending. I think McCain did a great job hammering in Obama's $800 billion in new spending proposals. I loved the idea of a simpler tax code, 2 tax brackets and generous dividends for dependents! Yesssss! Favorite line: (regarding Obama's liberal voting record) "It's hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left." LOL.

3. Energy Independence:
    Obama wants to be independent from foreign oil in 10 years. And while I agree that this is a huge, pressing issue, this won't happen in 10 years. McCain's proposal: nuclear power facilities by 2030 and off-shore drilling is much more plausible. I think this issue demonstrates Obama's idealism vs. McCain's pragmatism. This is where experience matters.

4. Iran:
    I think McCain hit it out the park with his joke about sitting down with Achma-blah-blah. "So we sit down and Iran says we're gonna to wipe Israel off the map and we say: No you're not? Oh please." I laughed out loud at this, because it honestly just sounds ridiculous. You don't sit down for a chat with bullies. Terrorist/rogue gov'ts understand two things: money & might. I agree with McCain that this could dangerous naivete on Obama's part. However, I do think we have to do more than just remain silent in the face of Iran. I was glad to hear McCain agree that low-level talks are important.

5. Russia:
    Obama tried to mock Bush using the "looked into Putin's eyes" line. McCain brilliantly deflected this by saying he'd looked into Putin's eyes, too, and had seen three letters: KGB. Russia is no laughing matter, but I can totally see this being on SNL or the Jon Stewart show: "I looked into Putin's eyes and I saw....a big bowl of BORSCHT!" LOL! I did notice that Obama's idea of "foresight and anticipation" sounded uncannily like the much maligned 'Bush Doctrine' of pre-emption. Anyone else catch that?

6. Iraq:
    McCain made an excellent point: the problem the next President faces will not be whether or not we should have invaded Iraq. The question will be how to win, when to leave and what we will leave behind. Obama would like to frame the discussion around whether or not we should have invaded--and that's just not the issue anymore. McCain did a great job pointing out the the surge is working; a surge that Obama voted against.

Summary:
   
    McCain was the war-scarred, grizzled, old Lion speaking with depth,wisdom and experience while "The One we've been waiting for" turned out to be a media darling...pipsqueak. The old Lion proved himself a capable, strong leader who has proven himself on the battlefield and in the Senate.

Even the pipsqueak admitted time and again that "John McCain is right" and "John McCain is absolutely right."

On that point, Obama and I are in complete agreement.

[What issues matter to you? What was your interpretation of the debate? Could McCain/Obama have done better in certain areas? Please share! Comment policy enforced.]