Here at CreateDebate, we’re following the elections closely, especially the debate coverage. A recent cnn article about how Obama and McCain are preparing for their Presidential debate shows their respective attitudes and strategies. McCain is continuing to campaign as usual, fitting in practice sessions and preparations with his aides when they can. Obama has cleared his schedule and is training and preparing by looking through old footage of McCain debates, practicing with an aide playing the part of McCain.
McCain will prioritize the debate practice on Thursday, and doesn’t have a person dedicated to giving rebuttals and cross-talk. At this point, they’re reviewing facts and questions that are likely to come up.
The two approaches focus on different aspects of the debate. Obama is prepping hard for the activity of debating, making sure he’s ready for the pace and actions involved in exposing weaknesses in arguments, crafting your own arguments so they withstand fire from your opponent. At this point McCain is concentrating on the facts, the technicalities that underlie the debate. He’s memorizing facts and figures that will support his argument when he finally makes them.
Obviously both candidates are preparing for all parts of the debate, but at this point an analogy might be that if they were teams preparing for a big game. The McCain team is running drills, concentrating on their fundamentals. The Obama team is doing scrimmages and running game tape to analyze the opponent for weaknesses. They are concentrating on the overall game.
What the cnn article glosses over is what these preparations might signal about the leadership skills of the candidates. When the future president prepares to meet with foreign heads of state, what will their preparations be? When the future president addresses the UN or the congress, how will they approach it? We’ve had debates about whether the changes in the Vice President debate format were fair, and what the implications for the real world might be. Watching how the candidates juggle all their obligations and the priorities they assign to the pieces of their campaigns gives us a glimpse at what the future of America might be under their presidency.
Which of the Candidates will be better prepared? We’ll have to wait till the debate to see. Let us know what you think about which candidate will win the presidential debate in the debate we have up.