Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Debate: Obama's missed opportunity

I watched the debate last night hoping to see Obama be his normal intelligent thoughtful self and really hoping that McCain would lose it and get angry or forget stuff. I got what I hoped for with Obama - he was good. McCain was also fine, but did not totally lose it as I had hoped.

But there is one thing that really worried me - Israel. McCain mentioned Israel 3 times. Noe of these times was in response to a question about Israel. Each time was an opportunity for Obama to strongly state support for the state of Israel, his support for the idea that Israel has the right and responsibility to defend herself, and that as president, Obama will support Israel because Israel is a critical ally.

It's not that I think Obama doesn't think those things - he's already said he does. But in this tight a race, you just can't let an issue like Israel go by without making your position clear. And there are those, who will see Obama, with his funny Muslim sounding name, as being a weak supporter of Israel unless he does something to correct that perception.

Specifically, if Obama is going to try to win Florida, he will need very strong Jewish support there. And he missed his chance in the debate to show his support for Israel. I hope that mistake did not cost him Florida. Because while he can win without Florida, McCain can't, and last night could have sealed the deal.

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