Obama's JFK moment and Palin's Dukakis moment
I think that Barack Obama won last week's debate hands-down. This is not because he performed considerably better than John McCain, although I do think he was more eloquent, but because he looked presidential, he allowed voters to picture him as their president. This, I feel, was highly reminiscent of the first televised Presidential Debate between JFK and Nixon in 1960. The 1960 debate was broadcast simultaneously on TV and radio, and whereas radio listeners thought that Nixon had won, a vast majority of TV viewers saw a cool, confident Kennedy, oozing the sort of gravitas that presidents are made of - showing that, despite his lesser experience, he could be their president - defeating a rather ghost-like apparition in the form of Nixon.
In Sarah Palin's recent interview with Katie Couric, there is a moment that reminds me of Michael Dukakis' emotionless response to the question about his wife being raped and murdered in the 1988 debate. Skip about sixish minutes in to the clip, Couric asks why Palin believes that it should be illegal for a 15 year old girl who had been raped by her father to have an abortion.