In a surprising development, Senator McCain clearly won the first presidential debate over Senator Obama. McCain was on top of his game and had all the facts at his fingertips. He spoke clearly and articulately without pausing, and never once hesitated in responding to the questions asked. On the other hand, Obama time and again seemed at a loss for words, mumbled on more than a few occasions, and scratched his head as if puzzled by very direct questions.
Senator McCain presented a well articulated concise and plan for the phased pullout of American soldiers from Iraq and assured the nation that we would be not involved in any long-term commitment there beyond a few critical divisions and an Air Force Base. Senator Obama's response left much to be desired, when he said, "We gotta get the hell out of there," and refused to elaborate on his plans when pressed by Tim Russert.
It was on economic issues that Senator McCain shined brightest. He presented a new five point plan for economic recovery that would reduce the deficit in half within four years and still be able to give increased tax cuts to all Americans. He seemed to have an answer for every critique his plan and had clearly mastered the economic problems and the need for specific solutions on a timely basis. Senator Obama seemed out a loss when asked about his economic plan and continually asked to have the questions repeated. This was clearly a tactic to avoid answering critical questions that all Americans have a vital interest in. It was most embarrassing for Senator Obama.
Lastly, Senator McCain looked at the camera and all Americans and said, "I'm the man to lead you for the next four years and I promise I will implement my entire campaign platform within two years." When Senator Obama questioned him on that, McCain looked him in the eye until Senator Obama was forced to turn away in embarrassment. Senator Obama had some difficulty in finding the camera, and when he did so he resorted to index cards to talk to the national audience. In a nutshell, the whole evening was an embarrassment for Senator Obama and a clear triumph for Senator McCain, most likely our next president.