Body language helped McCain win the debate

Let me count the ways John McCain bested Barack Obama in the first of three presidential debates.

The senator won the debate simply by virtue of body language. He appeared the more confident, experienced and honest candidate. Rather than try to illustrate his point of view with flailing arms and rude interjections, McCain repeatedly waited his turn while his opponent spoke. Common courtesy dictates that a person remain quiet while another has the floor. Rather than permit McCain to complete his thoughts, Obama indignantly began his sentences over the end of McCain’s.

Some media outlets have interpreted the time McCain took to answer a question as proof that he is ill-prepared. I appreciated McCain’s off-the-cuff responses more than the canned answers and agreeable responses given by Obama. They evidenced McCain’s ability to think on his feet.

In  addition, Obama was often in agreement with McCain. Obama’s continuous agreement failed to differentiate him from his Republican counterpart. Obama said he agreed with McCain seven times. To McCain’s credit, he mentioned that he is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Rather than compulsively agree with his opponent, McCain stated that it’s well known that he was “not nominated for Miss Congeniality in the Senate.”

Obama attempted on several occasions to align McCain’s policies with those of President George W. Bush’s administration. While it is true that McCain said he agrees with Bush most of the time, McCain has his own policies. He has infuriated members of his own party, which demonstrates to his ability to depart from Bush’s policies when he sees fit.

In addition, McCain’s age does not prohibit him from keeping a pulse on this country.

Democrats have portrayed McCain’s age as a reason to be uneasy about his candidacy, but this logic is flawed. Age alone does not make someone an incapable leader, which is why there are federal laws that prevent age discrimination. Not casting a vote for McCain based on his age alone is similar to not voting for Obama because he is black. Both are abhorrent examples of discrimination.

Criticizing McCain’s record and playing word games only demonstrated Obama’s inexperience. McCain has been a senator about seven times as long as Obama. One of McCain’s selling points is his years of public service. When Obama criticized McCain’s record, he neglected the fact that it is McCain’s more than 20-year career in the Senate that gives Obama the opportunity to decry his formidable foe. Many in the private sector can only wish for such a job record.

For now, Obama is calculating and agreeable. It will be years before this inexperience candidate, is ready to lead this nation.

Obama’s future is speculative. McCain is the leader we need at present — and there is no debating that.

Ryan Blaney is a senior majoring in English.