The first of the presidential debates is over. And, immediately after the last words were spoken by the candidates Friday night, the "spin" as to "who won" began.
The pundits said Barack Obama won, due to what they believed were his command of the television cameras.
It all recalled the 1960 debates, where radio listeners said Richard Nixon won the debate, while those who watched on television said John F. Kennedy won. Indeed, observers were impressed with Kennedy's handling of what then was still a new medium.
But the polls told a somewhat different story. A CBS poll said that the largest percentage, 39% gave Obama the edge. But almost as many, 37%, said the debate was a draw, meaning neither Obama or John McCain had the upper hand. Presumably, those people were watching on some visual medium, either television or the internet.
As for the impact of the debates, remember four years ago? It was agreed John Kerry won his three debates with President Bush. But the president won re-election.
So the best word to describe Friday's debate is "interesting". But it's still five weeks to go to election day.
On a much different note, I'd like to congratulate two former WTAP news people who recently won regional Emmy awards.
Kathleen Cochrane, a Parkersburg native who anchored here in 2001-2002 (and twice before was an intern), was honored for Spot News Coverage. Kathleen is a reporter/anchor for WJW-Fox 8 in Cleveland.
Another Fox 8 Cleveland staffer, Melissa Mack, who was a weekend weather anchor and reporter here in 2003, was honored for being part of the station's "Fox 8 News In The Morning".
I'm proud to have worked with both of you!
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