Policy Wonk versus Action Man

As the households across America digest the debate many heard last night, I’m sure many conversations will be had between spouses. And, as we all know, time will tell who won this debate. The results may show within the polls, although these are likely going to be skewed and hard to decipher due to the extreme economic issues we are now facing.

As I sat and watched the debate, I tried to take an outsider’s perspective. I watched the first four exchanges and realized that this isn’t going so well. It appeared to me that McCain had lost the first three and won that fourth exchange. However, my significant other disagreed – Obama sounds like a policy writer or presenter and not like a President. And I came to the understanding that even though I had tried to take an outsider’s perspective, I was unable to truly stand outside myself – my previous experience and extensive knowledge of Lincoln Douglas debate stood in my way. To me, as a debater, Obama appeared to be scoring, but was he scoring with the average voter?

When I took those colored glasses off and shifted my paradigms I realized that Policy Wonk Obama was providing some good talking points on policy, but had few examples from his past experience to back up his points. It was like Robert McNamara – brilliant guy who could lay out what would appear to be great policy. But he had little to no experience to back those policies up…and even worse, didn’t know that he needed more experience or at least someone to bounce his ideas against with experience. If you don’t have your own experience to look at your own plans with a critical eye, those plans are doomed to failure – like McNamara’s.

Action Man McCain on the other hand interviewed well with America. And that is what this debate was about…an interview with America for American’s to select their employee (President). He provided concrete, specific details, the experience he has developed in the past through his political deals in Washington on through his trips to other countries and meetings with leaders throughout the world. Although he wasn’t as smooth or polished as slick Obama was, McCain’s extensive knowledge and experience shone through without him appearing as a policy wonk.

Again, once those colored glasses were off, I could look more specifically at the rough and tumble that occurred during the debate. And McCain was clearly the winner – 7-8 times he mentioned Obama being an inexperienced newbie. These 7-8 attacks strengthened McCain’s hard hitting jabs. And Obama’s retort – 7-8 times he had to say he agreed with McCain. This didn’t show that Obama was reasonable – it showed him as a pansy.

McCain, the Action Man thoroughly walloped Obama, the Policy Wonk in this debate. I don’t call it a draw or even a limited win, I call it a McCain victory. And for all those who are looking at this as political pundits, very knowledgeable on the current issues and events of the day…you might want to take off your glasses and take a second look at Action Man McCain and Policy Wonk Obama.