The 'town hall' format was supposed to be Republican nominee John McCain's strong suit. However... to the contrary, Democratic nominee Barack Obama, who was able to hold his own in this setting, did not commit any major gaffes, and thus would have to be declared the winner of this debate.
McCain, who desperately needed a game changing night, tossed the bad-mortgage-purchase idea into the public debate. Indeed that was a daring move on the Arizona Senator's part. Already the pundits are readily jumping on that comment:
"I thought Senator McCain started out very strong when he said we have to address this financial crisis by having a plan to buy up all of the bad mortgages in the country showed real compassion and empathy there..." George Stephanopoulos of ABC News (10/07/08)
Other than that gutsy declaration, McCain did not offer any further innovative ideas or policies, appearing hesitant on what measures he would put forth to invigorate and jump start this dismal economic climate. His argument that he "knows how to fix the economy", and that he has a "history of reaching across the aisle to work in a bi-partisan manner", did not offer enough passion or specifics that were necessary, at this juncture in history, to reassure a hurting and frightened nation that he has a real plan.
The memorable portion of this snooze-inducing debate was McCain's reference to billionaire Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, as a possible Treasury Secretary in his administration. What a slap in the face to Governor Mitt Romney and other economic-guru supporters of his ticket and his presidential bid.
Obama, who also put forth Warren Buffet as his possible Treasury Secretary... presented the more credible position on domestic issues, seemed to have a better grasp of what he needed to say to "win"the hearts and grab the attention of the masses and those critical swing voters. Although it is still not clear how Obama plans to pay for his health care and education programs... especially when forecasters have predicted there will be very little money in the federal coffers as the U.S. is in full recession and meltdown mode. Obama deserves credit, as he was deft enough to stick to his stump speech and talking points... to survive another day.
Round two goes to Obama. Tally total: McCain 1 /Obama 1