2008 US Election, Ian Lising

Obama wins first presidential debate: Lising

Judge: Ian Lising

Winner: Obama

Scores: McCain 78 | Obama 82


There were awkward times in the debate where both candidates would simply redirect the issues to their campaign lines even though they were clearly not responsive to the moderator’s lead question (nor even the theme that they had just been discussing seconds before they launched into it.) But overall, the direct refutation between the candidates is where the heart of the debate should have truly been. This is where the debate leans a little to Obama’s favour as he continued to challenge McCain not on just record, but on plan policies for his administration. The lack of refutation and engagement on McCain’s side is what led to at least in this judge’s mind, an Obama victory.”

The non-verbal manner that both debaters had gave people a sense that Obama was a little uneasy but McCain just looked irritated.

However, it must be noted that Obama also seemed to be quite on the defensive for much of the debate and needed to have a better response to the earmark accusation. His response to it was not well crafted.

McCain’s foreign policy position seemed to be simplified into ‘I know such-and-such leader,’ ‘I’ve been to such-and-such place.’ This did not create for me a convincing argument and Obama’s more direct approach worked better.

There were two clear parts to this debate: the economic situation and the position of the candidates regarding foreign policy. Senator McCain was very evasive throughout his presentation. His arguments were never directly related back to the statements that Senator Obama was making, or even challenging as adequate lines of refutation.


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