So, the debate. I've never actually watched a presidential debate before, nor had I in fact ever seen Obama or McCain speak at length (the joys of not having a television and being too lazy to look things up on youtube...). I agree with erica: I was just kind of unimpressed. I was initially completely weirded out by how consumerist-ly it was presented; I understand that running for president involves whoring yourself out to a lot of people, and that the purpose of the debate is to have people watch and be somehow persuaded that you are awesome, but for a while in the beginning I got a distinct game-show vibe from the whole thing. And then, I was irritated by how neither candidate was actually answering the question prompts at all. I loved that the prompter kept getting on their cases about it ("So, could you actually answer my question?"), but it didn't seem to do any good. Ask Obama about how the economic bailout would effect his spending, and he just talks about a bunch of things he'll spend on (which at least made sense, to list his priorities, but it seemed so pre-prepared), and ask McCain and he just spews out a bunch of sound bites and talks about defense (scary). And that's how pretty much the whole evening went. I didn't expect much from McCain, but I had hoped for more from Obama.
We talked about the debate afterwards, and the general consensus from the group I was with was that viewers would just end up liking whoever they liked before. Except apparently me, because I'm now thinking about voting for Cynthia McKinney; Illinois will almost certainly go to Obama anyway, so why not vote for somebody who might not be so eager to get in on offshore drilling and would at least potentially use the phrase "middle and lower class"? Was anybody else irritated by the fact that Obama consistently talked only about the middle class and then trashed McCain for not talking about them? Erica and I talked about this, the fact that they just assume that poor people's votes don't matter. The lower class is not their target audience, and they made that very clear. Very inspiring.
Don't get me wrong: from the options available, I sincerely hope that Obama wins. McCain and Palin scare the shit out of me. I just hope he does a good job.