Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The McCain-Obama Debate

The debate between McCain and Obama took place and I am glad it did. I thought both candidates came off fine and neither had any major blunders. There were a couple of aspects about the debate, however, that did annoy me.

First off, McCain referred to Obama as compiling, “The most liberal voting record in the United States Senate”. Honestly, such comments bother me, largely because we hear them every election cycle. We were told that the Kerry-Edwards ticket was the most liberal ever; ditto Gore-Lieberman; ditto Clinton-Gore, etc. I just finished discussing with one of my classes how, when you make a claim, you need to back it up otherwise it is just an assertion. It bothers me to see politicians just throw buzz words around—try backing up the claim.

I also felt that both candidates, when they were asked questions or attacked on an issue they did not want to answer, simply found a way to question the opponent’s judgment. Both candidates did it and I noticed it as it happened but now, naturally, as I try to come up with an example, I can’t think of any specific ones. I do remember Obama making an attack on McCain, although I cannot remember the specifics beyond the fact that it had to deal with foreign policy, and McCain instead of responding came back to a claim he made earlier about Obama, as the subcommittee chairman, not holding some face to face meetings. As stated before, though, both candidates did this.

So, there is definitely material I can use for my Public Speaking class. Still, on the whole, I did think both candidates came across effectively and presidential. As to who won the debate, I am guessing that depends on who you were favoring heading into the debate. I think McCain supporters are going to say that he won the debate while Obama supporters are going to say he won the debate. That perhaps is another lesson I can use when we get into persuasive speaking.