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{Empty title} | The Nation

I found nothing at all wrong with the debate the other night. The questions that Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos asked, while annoying to the Obama supporters, were actually on the minds of people who are on the fence about whether or not they'd be comfortable with Barack Obama as President. I could have done without the flag pin question because I didn't think that was a big deal. But I find the rest of the questions very relevant.

What the debate showed me is that Barack Obama is easily rattled when the world doesn't love him. When he can't paste on a smile and win someone over, he can't come up with something meaningful to say. The debate the other night was a mix of questions many independents like myself wonder. When did he find out about Rev. Wright's comments/attitudes? It's clear to me now that he did know all along. It's also clear to me that he doesn't have a good handle on the economy. He said no new taxes for people who make under $200K and then proceeded to say that he would consider raising the employment tax. Since that will affect me to the tune of an additional 7 1/2 percent, I paid attention and it gave me pause.

This debate also made me walk away with the notion that he meant what he said about small-town America in that fundraiser in San Francisco. And he didn't say it wrong, like he wants us to believe. I'm small-town, but I'm not poor and I'm not bitter and I certainly don't cling to my religion because of anything to do with the how the government doesn't listen to me. I value my faith because of how it makes me feel. It was clear Barack Obama doesn't get that, which makes me wonder just how faithful he is himself.

From my perspective and the perspective of many independent voters like myself, this debate was valuable and I see nothing wrong with the questions asked.