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McCain vs. Obama: Chuckling Grandfather Meets Rock Star?

We promised we'd talk about the big speeches — here goes! Last night gave us our first real taste of the general election campaign, and nothing stood out more to me more than the juxtaposition of John McCain's and Barack Obama's speeches and supporters.

Obama's speech had rock-star qualities. Speaking in a packed arena to loud cheers, his powerful words and oration gave viewers present and at home goose bumps. About an hour before, McCain gave his prebuttal to what sounded like a group of about 12 supporters, and his delivery seemed unfinished for prime-time.

The contextual contrast gave McCain a serious handicap. This was the historic night Obama had been waiting for — his ascension as the Democratic nominee, the first black candidate from a major party. His supporters were ecstatic, after a long and hard fought battle with Hillary Clinton.

In this context, McCain's decision to preempt Obama, in a format that's not his strong suit, seems like a strategic blunder. But, his style might not necessarily be a lasting burden. So see why,


Voters may have a distaste for Barack's celebrity-like campaigning, instead preferring McCain's candid speeches and open Q&A sessions with the press. Enough Americans may like McCain's policies as well as his accessible, low-production events.

Either way McCain's camp should find a way to relay his message in the bright lights of a general election campaign. Obama's speech was electrified, while McCain's fell flat. In addition, Barack's battle with Hillary has allowed him to amass the money, exposure, and staff of a national campaign. Did last night send a warning signal to Republicans?

Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
"Actually Obama has quite a lot of experience in getting bills passed. He's probably gotten more done in his short time as a senator than most in a lifetime." Where in the world did you get this stinker of info? "And also a great leader has to be able to uplift his people. Bush certainly did not uplift me nor was he a great leader." Ando Obama doesn't uplift quite a few people. To each their own. Everything is subjective.
chistateofmind08 chistateofmind08 9 years
Actually Obama has quite a lot of experience in getting bills passed. He's probably gotten more done in his short time as a senator than most in a lifetime. And also a great leader has to be able to uplift his people. Bush certainly did not uplift me nor was he a great leader. But as for the McCain speech, he does come off a bit creepy, its almost like he's forcing himself to smile.
janneth janneth 9 years
And here I always thought Reductio ad Hitlerum was Hermione's spell to turn someone into a little mustache.
MSucre MSucre 9 years
Great Sommelier, have you ever heard of the logical fallacy called, Reductio ad Hitlerum? It is when people compare X to Hitler and then leave it to be deduced that X is like Hitler. I think it's phony and weak. To disregard Obama's charisma, saying that oh well Hitler was charismatic too is just sort of fallacious. It's a bit manipulative, a bit Hitleresque... Also, Hitler was a paranoid, awkward, edgy man, I don't think many people would even consider him to have been charismatic.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Obama gives great speeches, too bad its all style no substance.
piper23 piper23 9 years
Morning, Syako!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I found this in several articles: Question: "If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in [the] presidential public financing system?" Obama's response: "Yes. I have been a longtime advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests...If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement."
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Actually, Obama did specifically say that if his opponent accepted public funding, he would do the same. I will find the quote and get back to you with it.
syako syako 9 years
good morning Jenn and Piper :coffeecup: I agree with you two.
piper23 piper23 9 years
"Someone whose record indicates they will sign in laws I think are important and veto those I think are harmful." Couldn't agree more, jennifer76. I don't think a President can sign a bill "Present". He or she either signs it or vetos it. Obama's in trouble on that one.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I think Liberty's right that people can be turned off by "Obama's celebrity-like campaigning". My "greatest hopes and highest aspirations" have very little to do with which politician lives in the White House. I'm not looking for a "moment to define a generation". All I want in a president is someone who will keep a check on Congress and the judiciary. Someone who will competently lead the armed forces. Someone whose record indicates they will sign in laws I think are important and veto those I think are harmful. Someone who will make sound foreign policy decisions and hold their own with foreign heads of state. That's it. I don't need a rock star or someone to believe in. While I do think that I could get behind some of Obama's policies, they are such a distant second in his campaign's focus that I'm becoming completely turned off to him as a candidate.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Read the whole thing again. I clearly state that I am not comparing politics.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
see i am all for listening to a dissenting opinion but when you start comparing him to infamous dictators thats when you lose me. just because something is different doesnt make it socialist and just because someone can work crowd doesnt make him a dictator.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Another thing....wanna know someone else who had charisma and could work the crowds into a frenzy? Take a guess...starts with an H and ends in mass genocide. Not comparing politics, just charisma. Also, when he doesn't have a speech written for him, he isn't smooth. Reading transcripts I feel I will have another one of my episodes :drool: if I see "you know" one more time.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
janneth, wanna learn more? Check out my blogs.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Rac, I think I am a little bit in love with you! :howyoudoin:
stephley stephley 9 years
I'm more the crazy cat lady type :witch: :meow:
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Awww...I'll take in all the homeless emoticon babies. Send them my way. :baby:
janneth janneth 9 years
msnbc is having the greatest bio on Obama. i am learnig so much. My SO says it is great free publicity.
calliemicks calliemicks 9 years
Obama has agreed to debate McCain in townhall style meetings across the country- This will play to McCain's strengths, but it will still be the old-ass guy versus your cool black friend. I know who I'm voting for!
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Ohbaby, can you stop that icon. My cat just had a seizure.
ohbaby7 ohbaby7 9 years
michelin- EVERYONE is biased. If you had a page, you would give your opinions too. All news channels- completely biased.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I think there should be some candy named after this years political leaders. Here are a few suggestions. John McCandy Corn Obama-licious Kisses Hillary Nut Clusters Ed-wafers I'm so lonely. :prego: I can not care for another emoticon family. I'm sorry, see if Stephley will help you or Harmony. I just don't have the facilities to house you! GO!
laceykk23 laceykk23 9 years
i think they will travel together doing townhalls this summer but just not on mccains i dont think it will start on june 12 like mccain wants it to. i saw an RNC person who helped get this together say they are willing to work out the details, if obama wants to do 6 instead thats fine. i think it'll be interesting to see two fierce rivals side by side answering different questions from a diverse crowd. when i heard this the first thing i thought of was when hillary was demanding that obama debate her once a week in the run up to either the texas/ohio or penn. primary. if i learned one thing it was that obama can adapt to any situation and make it his own, it will be funny if somehow he does this to john mccain and makes him look bad in some way.
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