Saturday, September 27, 2008

Early Morning Update On The Debate

Point of clarification -- if you want to know why I was so sure last night that Obama had won the debate handily, even in the face of pundits saying McCain made better points, here's why:
  • Studies (that I've read but can't seem to find right now) have shown that people remember what they see, not what they hear. Also, it's obvious that certain impressions of debates stick with us much longer than the content. Bush 41 looking at his watch while Clinton spoke. Gore sighing. Kerry being long-winded. Other than "fuzzy math," do you remember anything that was actually said at those debates?
  • That being said, the visuals were obviously well in favor for Obama last night. We knew all along that he would have a huge boost because he's younger, better-looking, and taller (though the cameras were stationed so as to take away that height advantage). But did McCain have to feed into it by being hunched and condescending? He looked like a mean old man. Which, funny enough, is the stereotype that haters tried to put on him this year. He could have seemed very warm by just LOOKING OBAMA IN THE EYE. That easy. Instead, he was disrespectful and people noticed. It's a disrespect that I've written about a number of times over the last month or so (see: Giuliani and Palin at the RNC).
  • As for the impressions we'll take from it, that's going to be up to certain media (or as Sarah Palin might say, "mediums") to point out certain moments. In 2000, it was Saturday Night Live that parodied Gore's sighs and brought them to the forefront. So what will SNL parody tonight? It could be Obama agreeing with McCain, but I'm 99% sure it will be McCain's condescension. Hence, why I thought that will be the big story that will take hold.
  • Finally, McCain may have done well with the pundits, but were they the real audience? Nate Silver breaks down the internals from the polling last night (that showed overwhelmingly that Obama won the debate) and points out some very surprising numbers.

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