Last Night's Presidential Debate 
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 01:07 PM
The primary debates were largely hosted by cable news hacks, anchors who were unable to hide their partisanship long enough to fairly moderate an exchange of policy views. It is fitting then, of sorts, that the first general election Presidential Debate was hosted by Jim Lehrer with the solemn dignity so is so often lacking of late from the news business. It will be good to see Tom Brokaw on the next debate.

Overall I was rather disappointed, especially on the economic issues. Both candidates were asked point blank whether or not they supported the economic bailout plan. Obama answered his response in a manner that made it sound like he took the plan as a given, but skirted giving a concrete answer by saying he hadn't seen the actual language. That's rather funny, because Secretary Paulson's overview of the plan he drafted is two (2) pages long. McCain wouldn't give a solid answer either, providing instead a dismissive "yes" as he moved on to another question.

There was a real leadership opportunity here to come out in favor of what is by all rights a plan of last resort, or to clearly indicate the flaws in the plan and propose an alternative. Imagine if one of the candidates had said "I solidly support this plan as critical to restoring the health of our financial system and challenge my opponent to put partisan considerations aside and act swiftly to bring stability to our nation's financial markets."

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