Many of those commenting on last night’s debate communicate a wish that Sen. Barack Obama had been more aggressive in battling his Republican rival. Bruce Cameron, writing at Talking Points Memo, is one who applauds the Democrat for his reasonable and calm demeanor:
What [Obama] is showing is not a debating style; it is a governing style. And it’s a governing style that we have been waiting for, for seven and a half years.
The interpersonal dynamics people will tell us that if you want to carry on any discussion, much less any relationship with another person, you need to start with the items that both sides agree with.
Obama’s ability to see that other people have said things that are true, coupled with a willingness to explore how far he and his opponent might possibly agree, is part of [the reason] why many of his supporters (this one, at least) have a great deal of confidence in his leadership and judgment and decision-making [skills].
… We are choosing someone not to win a debate, but to govern a country. Think of it: Who would you like to be leading the discussions that lead to the decisions that affect our nation:
- someone who would [see] any consideration of the merits of the other side’s arguments as a sign of weakness? or
- someone who can listen to the firmly held and fervent opinions of every side, and look for the best solution, whatever its source?