Obama's Principled Stance on Genocide Prevention Echoes in Debate II

October 8, 2008
LOS ANGELES— Sen. Barack Obama, who emerged the clear victor in Tuesday's second Presidential Debate, reiterated his principled stance on Genocide prevention around the world in response to a question from moderator Tom Brokaw.

Tom Brokaw asked the candidates what their "doctrine" would be "in situations where there's a humanitarian crisis, but it does not affect our national security," such as "the Congo, where 4.5 million people have died since 1998," or Rwanda or Somalia.

Obama responded by saying that in such cases, "we have moral issues at stake," adding that of course the US must act to stop genocide. "When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening . . . and we stand idly by, that diminishes us," said Obama adding that US intervention must be coordinated with allies around regions.

With Sen. Obama expanding his lead in national and battleground state polls, as well as electoral map projections, the conventional wisdom has been that Senator McCain needed a game-changing performance in the second Presidential Debate of 2008 to save his campaign.

According to snap polls released immediately after the debate, Senator McCain did almost nothing to improve his standing in the eyes of voters.

CNN's Instapoll released the following results[i]:

Who did the best job in the debate?
McCain (R) 30
Obama (D) 54

Opinion of Barack Obama (before debate)
Favorable: 64 (60)
Unfavorable: 34 (38)

Opinion of John McCain (before debate)
Favorable: 51 (51)
Unfavorable: 46 (46)

MoE: 4%

Another snap poll released after the debate by CBS News showed similar results[ii].

Who won?
McCain (R) 27
Obama (D) 39
Draw 35

Will Obama will make the right decisions on the economy?
Before debate: 54
After debate: 68

Will McCain will make the right decisions on the economy?
Before debate: 41
After debate: 49

The second Presidential debate was conducted in a town-hall format which is generally seen as Senator McCain's strength. Once again, Senator Obama was able to overcome an inherent disadvantage and demonstrate to the American people his ability to lead this nation.

"Armenian-American voters, along with voters across the country, witnessed a stunning performance by Senator Obama tonight," stated Jeff Marootian, Political Director of Armenians for Obama. "For the past 3 days, Senator McCain's campaign has engaged in some of the most vile and underhanded character attacks in American political history. In the face of that storm, Senator Obama maintained his composure and refused to engage in smear tactics, instead focusing on the issues and explaining to America what his plans are for the economy and healthcare," continued Marootian.

Questions during the debate ranged from the economy, healthcare, foreign policy, energy policy, and taxes. The debate also offered voters the opportunity to ask the questions themselves, rather than the moderator, Tom Brokaw of NBC News.

Areen Ibranossian, Chairman of Armenians for Obama, commented on the debate as well. "What's interesting to me about these debates is the style, temperament, and worldviews of the candidates. Senator John McCain continues to demonstrate he is more comfortable attacking and demeaning Senator Obama then he is in explaining what his plans for America are," commented Ibranossian.

Armenians for Obama is a nationwide voter registration, education, and mobilization effort dedicated to electing Barack Obama President. Based in Los Angeles, and with chapters and affiliates across the country, Armenians for Obama is harnessing the energy and enthusiasm for Barack Obama's candidacy to ensure record high Armenian American turnout in critical battleground states.