Specifics

Last night’s debate wasn’t all that interesting, aside from McCain proposing he’ll buy up bad mortgages and then five minutes later saying he’d consider a government “spending freeze.” I’m not sure how he reconciles that, but then again, I’m not sure how he reconciles most of his entire campaign. I think Obama did well enough to impress. McCain was better than he was in the first debate but didn’t pull off a game changing performance that he desperately needs right now.

The most fascinating point of the night for me was watching the CNN focus group of undecided voters. Here we sit, a month out from election day and this group of undecideds really left me scratching my head. Almost every one of them, either republican or democrat, said they didn’t get the kind of specifics they were hoping for from the candidates. If I can find a youtube clip, I’ll post it but so far have been unsuccessful.

It’s laughable to me that these folks are complaining that they don’t have access to specifics. Both Obama and McCain have detailed plans widely available to anyone with thirty minutes and an internet connection. If we really need every specific detail outlined in these debates, the debates would be four hours long and hardly anyone would even watch.

I have to think that the phrase “I wanted to hear more specifics,” must be the thing to say when you really have no idea what you’re talking about or have nothing really to offer in the way of a tangible opinion on the candidates. If you are interested enough in spending an hour and a half watching the debate, then there really is no reason you couldn’t spend the same amount of intellectual curiosity and take a few minutes to read up on the each of the candidates websites.

I personally thought that both candidates were pretty specific and outlined plans about as well as one could do with just a few minutes at a time.

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2 thoughts on “Specifics

  1. I totally agree! I mean for God’s sake read the Blueprint for Change, or go to McCain’s website. I had this exact conversation with someone at work who said they didn’t get enough specifics. It takes two minutes and Google to find it. Perhaps a couple hours of reading is too much to ask of people when they consider who the next President will be. They should just vote because the candidate is inspiring, or because the VP shoots moose.

  2. Hmmm…this is a very insightful take. I think you are probably right; I mean, what else do people want?

    Another issue that comes to my mind when people cry out for more specifics is the nature of the job of being president. I mean, the two candidates have no idea what could be in store for the next four years. Not to mention the fact that the President has to work with a Congress that may or may not side with him. So, what is more important than a candidate prophesying about what the next four years under him will be like, is a candidate laying out his much more general ideology about the role of government, the approach to foreign policy his administration will take, and other general ideologies which will materialize in concrete form as that candidate faces specific situations.

    So, it seems like your really have a point about the whole “specifics” thing. I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

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