LETTER: Obama clear winner of debate

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

On Sept. 26, the two Presidential candidates met for the first official televised debate of the 2008 election. Like many Americans, I watched with anticipation. Like many Americans, I was disappointed.

What we need to know as voters, in order to make an intelligent choice on Election Day, are the two I words – Issues and Individuals.

On the Issues, the debate revealed absolutely nothing new. McCain and Obama each displayed and reaffirmed the same old positions that we have seen so often before in this campaign. McCain trying to hold the "middle ground," with Obama basically agreeing with McCain on everything except overthrowing the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.

McCain sees our military operations in Iraq as a central front in the war against terror. Obama thinks that we would be better off if Saddam Hussein and his two insane sons were still in charge of that country. That seemed to be the only real difference as both candidates support our war efforts in Afghanistan.

On the Individuals, this debate gave the voters an opportunity to see the two on stage side by side for the first time. How did they look? How did they sound? What kind of impression did they make? It is here that Obama clearly “won” the debate.

John McCain came across as the competent reasonable leader that we already knew him to be. He was... John McCain! Normal. No surprises.

On the other hand, Barack Obama presented himself as another competent reasonable leader. Younger and taller, but just as normal as John McCain.

Obama showed us none of the hard-left Marxist ideology that made him the darling of fringe kook groups like Moveon.org and Daily Kos during the Democratic Primaries. He was able to keep all mention of his associations with terrorists such as William Ayers and Rashid Khalid out of the conversation. There was no hint of his support for racist churches and pastors like Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. And, not a word about his connection to criminals like Tony Rezko and others.

Barack Obama's success in keeping his history and background out of the public debate make him the absolute winner. As long as the voters see only the projected image of Obama, they will not see any reason to keep the fox out of the chicken house.

Harold LaCour