The theme of Friday night's debate in Oxford, Mississipi was foreign policy.
It was expected that John McCain would dominate, as he has got much more experience in this field.
Finally, things turned out as expected, and for the fans of the Democratic candidate, this must have been quite a disappointment.
They have realized that their hero has not become better, although he did his best this summer to acquire an international stature, when he went abroad for a week.
In spite of his efforts, he remains as naive as he was during the primary campaign, and as inconsistent.
First, he accuses McCain of being as aggressive as George Bush on the Iraq question. Then he speaks of military strikes in Pakistan, as if he wanted to launch another war, after claiming he had opposed the war in Iraq.
He also says he would try to meet leaders like the president of Iran, and to talk with them, trying to show that he prefers discussions to wars, and then he says he would add more troops in Afghanistan, contradicting himself once again.
Now we really wonder : what kind of foreign policy does Obama want ?
Of course, we understand that his pledge to add troops in Afghanistan and his forceful language on terrorist breeding grounds in Pakistan addressed the fear of many Americans that he'd be a weak commander in chief.
But it makes his message blurred, not to say impossible to understand.
McCain demonstrated why many voters see security issues as a strong area for him. He's been involved for decades in deciding whether the U.S. engages militarily in hot spots such as Somalia, Lebanon and Bosnia—and it shows. His cautious words about the careful use of power indirectly addressed the fear of some Americans that he'd be a trigger-happy president. Similarly, On Iraq, Obama spoke repeatedly about his opposition to initiating that war. But he didn't directly respond to McCain's key points—that a surge-enabled victory in Iraq will leave this country with a stable ally in a bad neighborhood, and that the next president has to decide not whether to enter Iraq but how to leave in a way that best serves America. Obama gamely noted that he had chosen Sen. Joe Biden, a specialist in foreign affairs, as his vice presidential candidate.
Even if a few questions about the financial crisis were asked to both candidates at the beginning (it was hard to find convincing answers from any of them),the bulk of Friday night's debate took place on the turf McCain knows best: foreign affairs and military endeavors. That showed. Obama spoke capably on one topic after another; McCain, who has traveled to numerous crisis locales and joined in more foreign policy debates, spoke with more fluency and experience.
If I were an American voter, given the situation in the world today, I would not hesitate : George Bush has shown what it means to be a leader without any foreign policy experience...