In their final debate this week, will they learn from their mistakes in Round One?
As Senators John McCain and Barack Obama prepare to slug it out in their final debate Wednesday night, let’s look for some perspective by examining their performances in the first debate in Mississippi. The two candidates could not help but discuss about the economy even if foreign relations and national security were supposed to be the night’s issues. Though Jim Lehrer, the program’s anchor, indicated that the global financial crisis was included, nobody could blame them for putting so much emphasis on the economy because of the paralysis in Wall Street and struggling finances of banks. Everyone was waiting for their proposals on what would best work for the crisis.
The first question marked the urgency of the crisis when they were asked their stand on the financial recovery plan. Obama reiterated his proposals for an oversight committee, a return of the taxpayers’ money in the bailout, and an assurance the bailout fund won’t finance golden parachutes of CEOs. He maintained that he warned against the lax regulation in selling mortgages two years ago. A staunch supporter of federal regulation, Obama said he believes the government’s involvement in the market was highly needed. He also proposed a tax cut of 95% for working families while there would not be any slashes for large corporations. Obama failed, through, to provide reassurance that taxpayers’ money would be recovered or how he would achieve such a difficult goal.
McCain rallied for a package that would comprise an oversight on the bailout fund, recovery options for losing firms and the creation of jobs for millions of Americans. He called for accountability after the loose supervision of financial firm’s activities that spawned the crisis. McCain also targeted the need for spending control in Washington, which would eliminate wasteful earmarking.
McCain said he supported the bailout plan to salvage the economy from utter distress while Obama stressed Bush’s bias for corporate greed over social concern that led to the tumult in the financial markets. The “trickle down effect” was a complete failure that McCain gladly supported. The Republican on the other hand had no trouble talking about national security.
Both nominees attacked each other and used the economic crisis to put the blame on his opponent. Everyone is aware of McCain’s involvement with the infamous Charles Keating Jr. Obama wasn’t spared with his fiscal plans that contradict his views during his political career.
The candidates showed empathic expressions that looked like they were still in their campaign rallies. Surprisingly, Obama used less of these unlike McCain who lengthened his statements with unnecessary expressions. Wednesday’s debate needs straight talk.
In the first debate, neither candidate wanted to concede a major sacrifice would be needed as a result of the massive bailout. The $700 billion fund will certainly affect social welfare to a great extent. Both candidates are playing it safe by not specifying which social services will have shortfalls. Had they mentioned healthcare, education and the like, they’d be losing significant votes. We all just have to wait and see what will be affected, and whether they improve their performances Wednesday night.
Let The Great Debate begin.