Saturday, September 27, 2008

The presidential debate:the Next Day

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The presidential campaigns roared out of here Saturday morning facing a task arguably as difficult — and as important — as the debate between Barack Obama and John McCain itself: How to influence the public perception of who won after a debate that produced no clear winners or losers. Multimedia Interactive Feature The First Presidential Debate Related The Caucus: Obama and Biden’s Post-Debate Rally in North Carolina (September 27, 2008) The Caucus: The Early Word: Saturday Morning Quarterback (September 27, 2008) Candidates Clash on the Economy and Iraq in Debate (September 27, 2008) The TV Watch: Beyond Ideology, a Generational Clash (September 27, 2008) New Debate Territory: Pakistan and Iran Policy (September 27, 2008) On Wall St. Crisis, Rivals Pivot to More Familiar Turf (September 27, 2008) Blog The Caucus The latest political news from around the nation. Join the discussion. Election Guide | More Politics News Rarely has the perennial battle seemed more important than this year, with both candidates facing an agitated electorate and both men locked in a tight battle that could be altered by the long-term perceptions set by these debates. To this end, the Obama campaign worked overnight to release, at the crack of dawn, an advertisement criticizing Senator McCain for failing to utter the words “middle class.” It was unclear whether Mr. Obama’s campaign was even spending a lot of money to broadcast the ad, which seemed directed at the opinion-leaders who would be appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows or writing about the debate in their columns for the next few days. For its part, the McCain campaign had already released an Internet video citing several instances in which Mr. Obama had said he agreed with his rival’s positions, a talking point that began to evolve even as the debate was going on Friday night. The frenzied activity was part of

Belmont will make most of presidential debate | www.tennessean.com ...
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2008 Presidential Debate | The University of Mississippi - News
... the U.S. economy in a serious downswing, voters are looking for the next president to ... 09.15.08 » Presidential Debate Day Sept. 26 Offers Public Festival, Wide Screen TV Viewing of ...
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PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE PANEL: Still undecided? Click here to register for ...
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Republican presidential debate turns volatile - The Boston Globe
WASHINGTON - The leading Republican presidential candidates ... The debate - the eighth major face-off for the Republican ... We will win next year by sticking to our conservative ...
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Democrats play nice on race, spar over war - The Debates- msnbc.com
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In post-debate rally, Obama pounds McCain as out of touch for not ...
The Illinois senator was spending most of the day trying to capitalize on his ... If he was honest, Barack Obama knows he was unable to debate the merits of supporting ... The next debate will be a town hall format, and Plouffe called McCain the ...
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Source: Chicago Tribune
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

US rivals claim TV debate victory
US presidential hopefuls Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have both ... McCain wins debate". The BBC's Allan Little in Oxford says both performances seemed to ... Mr McCain said he believed the nation was safer than it had been the day ...
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Source: BBC News
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago

McCain & Obama Face Off in First Debate
... the stage of a performing arts center at the University of Mississippi for the first of three scheduled debates with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day. The two vice presidential candidates will meet next week for their only debate. The ...
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Source: WXYZ
NewsDateTime: 4 hours ago

Candidates Train Focus on Economy After Debate
... on the economy, took two very different approaches the day ... middle class for not addressing their needs during the debate the ... The only vice presidential debate, between Biden and Sarah Palin, will be held next week.
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Source: Elections.foxnews.com
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago

McCain, Obama blast away on Iraq war policy
... the stage of a performing arts center at the University of Mississippi for the first of three scheduled debates with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day. The two vice presidential candidates will meet next week for their only debate. The ...
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Source: 22 WSBT
NewsDateTime: 1 hour ago


he frenzied activity was part of an intensive battle to shape public perceptions in the vital closing weeks of a razor-tight race. And it reflected one common belief in presidential politics: That many viewers base their judgment not necessarily on debate performance but on what they read and see in the days of opinion-making afterwards. On Saturday, Mr. McCain flew home to northern Virginia and made phone calls in an effort to push the deal on the financial bailout along , as he tried to show himself as a leader in times of crisis. And he had his own take on how he did Friday night. Speaking to Representative Chip Pickering, Republican of Mississippi, he was recorded by a television crew as saying, “I was a little disappointed the media called it a tie, but I think that means when they call it a tie that means we win.” Mr. Obama returned to the campaign trail in North Carolina, where he stuck to the campaign’s post-debate theme, telling crowds: “He didn’t even say the words ‘middle class.’ He didn’t say the words working people.” Even as they sought to mold perceptions from the previous night, the campaigns were embarked on a similar public relations exercise preparing for the next two debates, one Thursday between Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the other between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama in a town-hall setting on Oct 8. Speaking with reporters on a conference call Saturday morning, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, called Ms. Palin, “a gifted debater.” Noting Mr. McCain’s preference for town hall formats, and using the transparent, expectations-setting hyperbole common from both campaigns, he said he would be “thrilled” if “we can just escape relatively unscathed.” Mr. McCain’s campaign, meanwhile, sent out several e-mail messages attacking Mr. Biden, and released a new advertisement using Mr. Biden’s disagreement with Mr. Obama on a war financing bill from the Democratic primary season. And, meeting the charge that Mr. McCain did not say the words ““middle class”“ during the debate, his aides countered that Mr. Obama did not use the word “victory” in reference to Iraq. The positioning was in keeping with what is now a quadrennial rite in which the campaigns go full bore to convince the news media, and ultimately the public, that their candidate won — or more than that, to argue that the debate spotlighted some sort of character or issue defect in their opponent. This often involves highlighting some supposedly fatal mistake by their opponent — the sighs of Al Gore during a 2000 debate; the first President George Bush’s peek at his wristwatch while debating Bill Clinton in 1992. In this case, Mr. McCain’s campaign seized on a reference Mr. Obama made to a bracelet he received from the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq after Mr. McCain spoke about one bequeathed to him. Mr. Obama had appeared to have paused momentarily when mentioning the soldier’s name — Sergeant Ryan David Jopeck, which Mr. McCain’s aides sought to portray as a gaffe. Mr. Obama’s campaign sought to seize on Mr. McCain’s attacks and frequently serious demeanor to reinforce efforts to portray him as angry; similarly, they noted that he had not exercised the courtesy of even returning Mr. Obama’s gaze to suggest that he was being disrespectful or condescending to his rivals. While such criticisms may seem, on first glance, trivial, they are the kind of things — as Mr. Gore and the first President Bush can attest — that can catch fire and influence public perception of the candiate and put him off guard for the next debate. But the general sense was that the debate — with a lack of game-changing moments — had not changed the static landscape of the overall campaign. An anchor on Fox News Channel went so far as to tell a guest, the former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, “they could have used you on the debate last night.” Mr. Huckabee had won high marks for fun quips in the Republican primary debates.


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