Debate
The second of three presidential debates was held last night in Nashville, Tennessee. The final debate will be held next Wednesday, October 15. We are now less than four weeks from the presidential election. I am not a political pundit but I have no serious doubt that Barack Obama will win this election. I have watched both debates carefully, as well as the vice-presidential debate, and I have seen nothing to dissuade me from this view. Baring a last minute "shift" that is rooted in events that we cannot foresee, Barack Obama is the solid leader in all the polls and should win, perhaps in a landslide.

What happened last night could best be described as two senators having a debate (a discussion seems the better word to my mind) about how to solve major problems that our nation faces. McCain needed to stop Obama's momentum and he simply failed. Why? I have no idea. I think both of these candidates debated like two men in the U. S. Senate, a great deliberative and dialogical body. Their differences were only somewhat obvious. Their approach lacked spark and clarity, especially McCain's. Obama is a well-trained speaker and the idea that he can only speak in speeches has been plainly disproven. He is an accomplished attorney who knows how to speak as if he were presenting evidence to a jury. He makes his case well and he has no real negatives in terms of perception, which is huge in American general elections.

The only new item placed on the table was McCain's proposal to buy up mortgages, and this left me scratching my head. Otherwise, the two men sparred more like two old friends than as the representatives of two radically different approaches to governing the nation. Give Obama credit, he has successfully adopted a theme and stuck to it well.

Barack Obama is a polished, clever, very smart man. He has run a very good campaign, from a political perspective. He knows the economy is in trouble and the party in power has very high negatives. Though many felt that he might gain the nomination but then not win in a general election, this appears now to be untrue. Americans want a new direction and they perceive that he will give it to them. I have expressed my considerable doubt about this since I do not see him as a post-partisan reformer at all.

Handshake
Since I have observed Obama fairly closely in Illinois, and thus tried to follow his career for some years now, I hope he will move more to the center when he governs us. But he will have a Congress that will generally support him strongly, or so it seems. Thus I do not think he will (move to the center) since there is nothing in his record to support this idea. But I could be wrong and I sincerely hope that I am. When all is said and done I am where I have been for all my life—confessing and standing on the only One who has dominion over all.

His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the people of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the people of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35)