Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: McCain off his game


Sam Roggeveen


9 October 2008 19:41

Jane Costello writes:

I agree with Michael Fullilove's summation that Barack Obama won the second presidential debate, even though the 'town hall' format was meant to favour John McCain. At times, McCain let his obvious frustration show, not only in the ways Michael discussed, but particularly when unable to bring himself to articulate Obama's name (he referred to him as 'that one'). One can only feel this may come back to haunt him in the campaign, and from what I have seen already it may end up as fodder for the late night American talk shows. 
However, I take issue with Michael's comment that McCain's best moment was when he 'bonded' with a Navy veteran. From McCain's perspective, I believe he felt he had found a political soul mate when the questioner indicated his military background. Certainly, the gentleman proffered his hand, but the rest of his body language spoke volumes. With the camera panning from behind McCain's back on to the veteran, his demeanour was mostly passive when McCain addressed him, a stark contrast to his nodding gestures in response to Obama's reply to his question. What was most telling was that at the end of the debate when McCain's party had disappeared, that same Navy veteran was part of a group surrounding and animatedly speaking with the Obamas. As Michael cautions, McCain's strategists would be hoping that much of America switched off once the debate finished, and did not witness this extended vision.