Here are a few more thoughts:
1. I actually liked that both candidates mentioned specific areas that they would cut from the federal budget. McCain mentioned ethanol subsidies and waste in the defense budget (which few Republicans care about). He also proposed a possible freeze in government spending, which concerns me, a recipient of federal student loans. But we’ll cross that bridge when (or if) we come to it.
Obama mentioned Medicare money going to insurance companies, as well as us giving money to Iraq when it has a surplus. My response to that depends on what the money is going for. If it’s necessary funding for our troops, then I’m for that spending. If it’s money for things that Iraq can fund itself, then we shouldn’t be shelling it out.
You don’t see such honesty from a lot of candidates. Most candidates are reluctant to specify where they would cut, since they’re afraid of alienating certain constituencies. And so they give a general answer of “I’ll cut waste.” McCain and Obama both gave that hackneyed answer, but they also listed specifics, and that’s pretty refreshing!
2. McCain said that Obama voted against funding for our troops, and Obama responded that he merely opposed a bill that lacked a timetable for withdrawal. Obama pointed out that McCain also voted against funding the troops–when that provision was part of a bill that had a timetable. Good for Obama for pointing that out! But I wonder how much this applies to leftist criticisms of Republicans as well. Liberals love to say that Mitch McConnell voted against body armor for our troops, for example. Is this true, or is there more to the story (see here)?
3. Obama looked right into the camera, whereas McCain did not. I can hear Pat Buchanan saying in the other room that Obama spoke directly to the American people. That may end up being significant!
There was something in my mind not long ago, but it vanished. Maybe it will come back to me.