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Barack Obama's strongest debate moment spawns new video

September 29, 2008 | 10:08 am

By now, after more than 20 debates during the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination and the initial faceoff with John McCain in the general election campaign, it's patently obvious that verbal sparring is more a chore than a joy for Barack Obama.

As The Ticket noted following their Friday encounter in Mississippi, Obama took a pass on directly challenging what became McCain's mantra as the debate got into the details of foreign policy: "You just don't understand."

The inimitable Maureen Dowd of the N.Y. Times took note as well, writing in her Sunday column that Obama "willfully refuses to accept what debates are about. It’s not a lecture hall; it’s a joust. It’s not how cerebral you are. It’s how visceral you are. You need memorable, sharp, forceful and witty lines. ... McCain kept painting Obama as naive, and dangerous, insisting that he 'doesn’t quite understand or doesn’t get it.' Obama should have responded, 'Senator, I understand perfectly, I’m just saying you’re wrong.' "

Although Obama did not do that in general, he did when the discussion was focused on Iraq, delivering a response widely seen as his strongest in the debate. One result: A video that appeared over the weekend on Huffington Post that took Obama's retort and ran with it.

It was put together by Jed Lewison. If the Obama campaign has any ad staff openings, they might consider giving him a call.

--Don Frederick

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