I'm going to cast politics aside for this blog. We all know what McCain's and Obama's respective politics are. There's no need to explore it further. This debate revealed nothing new for either candidate.
What I do want to explore tonight is body language - getting to know and understand someone based on their motions, actions, and facial expressions.
The first thing I noticed was McCain's inability to stay in his chair while Obama was speaking. At first, it was only something I noticed out of the corner of my eye, but it eventually grew into a blatant disrespect for Obama's time on the floor. There was even one point where McCain was in clear focus in the background, communicating via hand signals to someone offstage. McCain not being able to remain in his seat while Obama spoke was highly disrespectful to Obama. This kind of action speaks of a man who is impatient, not willing to hear opposing views, and refuses to compromise. While most people may not understand psychology in this regard, it is still something that has always been well known to be recognized by people, if only subconsciously. People will know. This is not the kind of person we want as President.
Obama often displayed facial expressions of dismay and occasionally even contempt while McCain was speaking. While also disrespectful to McCain, at least he stayed in his seat while it wasn't his turn to speak. Obama's facial expressions were often times ones that displayed elitism (and I hate to use that term, because I truly believe that Obama isn't an elitist) - in much the same way as a group of friends will sometimes sit around watching people and commenting on visual lacks of style of those around them. I can understand this though, as Obama's expressions were often the same as most of us have cast when trying to figure out Republican policies.
I think the most telling part of the debate was actually after the debate ended. I watched the debate on CNN.com, and they showed about five minutes after the debate as the candidates were pressing the flesh with the people sitting in the forum area (I do not yet know if this footage was also shown on CNN's live cable TV footage). Michelle Obama was shown to have been sitting in the crowd during the final question of the debate, yet I didn't see Cindy McCain in that crowd. Post-debate, Michelle Obama was often off on her own talking to people, and was only at Obama's side long enough to show her support for her husband. Michelle displayed a strong showing of independence and illustrated that she's a modern woman that will stand by her chosen husband, yet does not rely on a man for her personal choices. Cindy McCain, on the other hand, appeared from the wings after the debate, and in the brief time we saw her, she was always exactly two steps behind and one step to the left of John McCain - a known display of female submission and subordination to a male figure.
While we're not electing presidential wives, their body language regarding their Presidential Hopeful husbands are often quite telling about their husbands.
Michelle being able to do her own thing, and not relying on her husband for coaching, illustrates that Barack is very trusting of his wife, and allows her to be her own person. He is less of a traditional dominant husband, and more of a progressive male that doesn't mind his partner being her own person.
Cindy illustrated total submission to John. This is indicative of a relationship of the type that often results in extreme spousal abuse, most often with no formal (legal) complaint of the abuse. Cindy's only purpose is to make John McCain look good. She is not allowed to think for herself or be her own person. Once again, John McCain is not the kind of person that belongs in office.
Given this rundown, it's almost a shame that I hate the politics of both candidates - Obama has a great degree of integrity, and if his politics were anything short of extreme socialism (borderline Communist), I'd likely be happy with him as President.
McCain just needs to be further from political office than I am - which is to say, no hope of ever being elected to a political office - any political office - President notwithstanding.