Friday, September 26, 2008

Live Blogging the Debate.

Working on a bottle of cabernet right now and shot some tequila as well. Finally, the event we've all waited for this week. We've had our share of drama with this debate this week but hey, a national event centered in Oxford needs some Faulknerian drama.

Wow. Daredevil just appeared on camera. Maybe Captain America or Spiderman will show up tonight as well. Wait, sorry. That was not Daredevil but Cindy McCain wearing a bright red pantsuit. Damn tequila already affecting my vision apparently. I'm watching this on Fox. Just don't feel like hearing Olberman whine about "McCain's social pornography". Somehow, I'm sure Keith is an expert on things that are pornographic.

My expectations? I've seen too many debates where the favorite didn't win as the underdog thought it was a damn fight and didn't know it was a show, to paraphrase Rocky. Remember Perot-Gore? I expect Obama to do very well. He will appear in command of himself and sound very eloquent. I think the debate will pivot on McCain's ability to get tough on Obama and bloody his nose when his jabs get through. McCain needs to take advantage of moments similar to the capital gains tax issue in the Hillary debate when it was clear Obama didn't' know what the hell he was talking about. McCain too often doesn't look strong in debates. He has to have a killer instinct without looking like a killer. Obama has to appear as a confident expert who wants to improve our lives, not a smug politician who thinks he is entitled to win and is morally superior to Mr. McCain. I will say that if this debate turns out to be like the Cheney-Lieberman debate, I will not be disappointed as it was a fairly civil and substantive debate instead of a plethora of sound-bites, talking points, and gotchas.

Lehrer just said he was going to include the global financial crisis. This is going to be very interesting. Still good on the cab.

Lehrer starting with the economy. Not wasting any time. "Where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?" Obama calls this the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? Anyone remember the recession of 81 or late 70's? Obama is very forceful in his answer. Trying to tag in 8 years of Bush economic policies to McCain and uses the trickle-down reference. McCain graciously mentions Senator Kennedy's hospitalization. Starts out a little nervous. Discusses how important it is for both parties to work together. Lays out his core requirements for a bailout bill. Mentions energy independence.

Lehrer asks if they favor the plan. Obama punts, says he hasn't seen the language yet. Um, why NOT? Isn't he the leader of his party? Ok McCain. Obama is saying he tried to do something about the subprime problem. Hit him in the face here with your 2006 bill that would have reined in Fannie Mae as well as your remarks on the subject while he remained silent. Hit him here. McCain doing just that and attacks Washington as well, saying it has no accountability for failure and corruption. So far a draw. McCain not looking clueless on economy so far.

Lehrer asks about fundamental difference. McCain says "Republicans came to change the government and government changed us." Attacking spending and not shying away from Obama's earmark requests. Obama rebuts. Obama hits back on earmarks, pointing out its a small part of the budget. Good point. Now hitting him on tax cuts, saying he wants to help the wealthy. McCain needs to explain that small businesses file on their personal tax returns and that Obama's tax cuts will hurt them. Damn. McCain tags Obama, stating that his earmark requests stopped after he announced his candidacy. Obama comes back with populist rhetoric, saying he wants to stop jobs going overseas and bring affordable health care to Americans. Obama focusing on McCain's rhetoric about earmarks while McCain discusses government spending overall, not just earmarks. McCain showing a mastery of the government spending issue. Missed opportunity. McCain says at the end we should examine his definition of rich. Should have explored that more. Obama has a nice counter for McCain's point about corporate tax rates, saying corporations have loopholes. On this exchange they have gotten some jabs through. No heavy punches though. This debate might be a good one as they both show a willingness to stand in the middle of the ring and go toe to toe.

Oops, forgot I had a spellcheck function in this software. Damn, I've gone spastic typing.

Nice question. Lehrer asks what priorities they'd be willing to give up because of the bailout plan. Obama concedes the point, saying he'll have to postpone some plans. His base WON'T like that one. Discusses energy costs. McCain should hit him with the fact that a weak dollar has resulted in much higher energy costs and say he will strengthen the dollar and help Americans. McCain wants to cut spending and criticizes Pentagon purchasing? HUH? Pentagon spending had not really been an issue in this campaign. Not a word about entitlement spending. Obama has a nice comeback for being accused of having a liberal record, saying he was only voting against Bush's policies and has a nice judo move, saying he has worked with Senator Coburn. Nice move.

Obama needs to quit frowning or smirking when he hears something he doesn't like. Lehrer trying to get them to admit they will have to give up some of their plans because of the financial crisis. Obama admits LESS tax revenue because of a slowing economy. Um, does he know GDP increased 2.8% last quarter? His base won't like hearing him say that either. McCain talking about health care. Needs to refute Obama's charge he would tax health care benefits. Still hasn't done so. Obama linking him to Bush, 90% votes, and deficits again. Nice. McCain lists issues where he opposed Bush.

NOW we are on to foreign policy. My take? Both candidates on their game so far. Several jabs have landed on both opponents. No blood so far. Obama making a mistake here, saying we should've just focused on Afghanistan. WHAT? Did Obama say Al Qaida was stronger than ever since 2001? Osama's in hiding. We killed most of their leadership. We kicked their ass in Iraq. And he is saying AQ is stronger now? McCain should slam him here. He should also tell Obama you can't deal with terrorism one country at a time. Does Obama not know that Afghanistan is a NATO operation, which DOES fall under his subcommittee?

Obama getting some good shots on McCain's remarks in 2003 when we invaded Iraq. Obama looking frustrated but parries him nicely on tactics and strategy. They both need to quit arguing about whether the decision to invade Iraq was right. We are there NOW. They both need to focus on the future in Iraq, not the past. Obama coming out for timetable of 16 months. McCain should say the enemy doesn't have a timetable but make it clear we are bringing the troops home.

Obama discussing Pakistan now. Makes some good points and the Bush administration does deserve criticism over Pakistan. Nice. McCain points out how Obama's position on Pakistan is naive and will creat instability. On my last glass of this bottle of cabernet. Los Cardos by Don Paulo of Argentia. French grape grafted onto the vine. Kats carries it and available at Bravo! Slight edge to McCain on the Afghanistan/Pakistan issue.

So far, no mention of Iran. Or Russia. Or China.

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!!! McCain points out his vote against Reagan's sending Marines to Beirut. Oh yeah. I love that one. Hell, I didn't even know that fact. He stood against Reagan as a Republican. Take that one, Obama. When did he ever stand against his party on such a substantive matter? I don't think anyone who watches McCain's performance will think he doesn't care about the troops. By the way, I think Obama does too. McCain screwing up a little here in explaining why America should not come home as a loser. He misses the point. Americans are TIRED of war. He needs to make a better point of why it is important to American and WHY their sacrifices are worthwhile. Don't paint it as a win/lose proposition. I'm not going to demonize him on this one because as a former soldier, I understand a soldier thinking this way.

Dayumn. McCain keeps pointing out Obama, like Bennie Thompson, rarely visited the fronts. In fact, Obama only visited once if I'm not mistaken.

FINALLY, IRAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now we are talking.

McCain immediately brings up nukes. There ya go. put it on the table. Should bring up North Korea and Syria nuke project. Alludes to Iran's threats to wipe out Israel. Nice. McCain mentioning a League of Democracies. Considering most of the world is under some form of totalitarian government, not a bad idea. Flaw is, Europe is socialist to a large degree in character and philosophy and will not go along with such an idea. NICE!!! He hits Obama over the vote against naming the Iranian Republican Guard a terrorist organization. Obama trying to defend it but is vulnerable here somewhat as the IRG WAS operating against us in Iraq. Nice point by Obama as he says Iran helps Hezbollah and Hamas. Good thoughtful explanation by Obama about the value of diplomacy. Obama makes a nice use of Kissinger, a pillar of Republican foreign policy thinking. Damn. Obama calls Iran a "rogue regime". Nice. He is parrying McCain rather well on this issue. McCain making good points but Obama not looking clueless either. Nice job by Obama to mention North Korea helping Syria get nukes. Now I'm getting a good buzz going.

McCain comes back with a serious answer about speaking to Iran without preconditions. That is one weakness in Obama's position. Too often such meetings are used by dictators as photo ops to use against their populations. Obama keeps hitting him with Kissinger. Damn. McCain needs to point out that Kissinger thought the Beijing Massacre was ok. Nice comeback by McCain on Kissinger. Louis XIV is being very good and sleeping while I am watching this. Usually at this time of night he wants me to throw his toys for him to fetch.

Now we are on to Russia. The most important issue: Don't stop the free flow of Russian women to this country. Period. I want to know where the candidates stand on this very serious issue.

You guys are making good comments.

Nice job by Obama making fun of Bush. Bush deserves it. Obama doesn't say a thing about Georgia. McCain putting him down. There ya go. Showing a better understanding of Russia. DAMN!!! "I looked into Mr. Putin's eyes and I saw theree letters: K, G, and B". Damn. Brings up the pipeline and Russia using energy as a weapon. Obama neglected this. McCain is a little bit tougher towards Russia and bring up Ukraine. Showing a superior subject matter knowledge compared to Obama. Anyone want to bet Lotus and Ladd are talking about what a warmonger McCain is and how crazy he is? In my opinion, Obama not showing he is clueless about Russia, just McCain knows the subject better than he does. Wait! Obama warned Bush about Russian peacekeepers? When?

Wow. Obama says we should increase domestic and offshore oil production. Concedes nuclear energy, which McCain brought up first. Obama hits him on voting against alternative fuels 23 times. I'm willing to be those votes were over ethanol subsidies, which Dole and Archer-Daniels Midland pushed for and got for years. McCain missing out on the increased drilling issue: It will create more high-paying jobs and bring him in some union votes as well.

NICE. McCain shows up 9/11 Commission, which Bush opposed. One major flaw of the Bush administration was its top-down management style. THEY know best. Don't worry your pretty little heads about anything. What tipped me off after 9/11 is when Bush opposed arming the pilots, fighting it tooth and nail, and the creation of the 9/11 Commission.

McCain using specifics on homeland security, Obama speaking in more general terms. Obama says we need missile defense. McCain needs to point out his ad earlier this year was AGAINST it. I posted the video on this website. Obama focuses on how we are perceived. How bad will LSU beat MSU tomorrow night?

McCain again discussing why leaving Iraq is a bad idea in terms of won/loss terms. Needs to make it more personal and concrete for Americans. Americans don't want to hear their kids died for a scoreboard. Obama screwing up here, saying Al Qaida is resurgent. Sounds clueless to anyone informed on the subject. Obama trying to tie cost of Iraq excursion into economy.

End of debate notes. They both came off very serious, prepared. I enjoyed this debate much more than I did the Bush/Gore or Bush/Kerry debates. NICE! Obama talking about WHY his father came here. I like it. Something Reagan would've said and Clinton never did. If Obama is smart, he'll paint that vision of how he sees America as a land of opportunity, with government working for them (in his own way, of course).

Obama had a better closing statement than did McCain. I think both of them were polished, serious, well-prepared, thoughtful. I liked this debate. No animosity between the two even though it was spirited. This is what we expect of our leaders, not the crap we saw from Harrie Reid and Barney Frank earlier today.

Who won? Slight edge to McCain. Showed a superior mastery of foreign policy butu Obama held his own and made some good points. I think he was wrong on some of them, such as going into Pakistan and talking to Iran, but he was able to back them up with his reasons for thinking the way he did. McCain looked more experience, looked more expert of how Washington works, and that he cared as much as Obama did about the welfare of his countrymen. No knockdown punches, just a series of good jabs and some serious discussion by two people who deserve our respect.

I'm now drunk as anyone reading this can tell.


Anonymous said...

Going to be hard for Obama to run from his spending past. He opposed the bill giving oil companies MORE tax breaks but voted for it anyway.

Anonymous said...

The sparring aspect of the format favors McCain because it forces Obama to go off-script.

Anonymous said...

Obama is going out of his way to emphasize that he'll use troops to fight wars. WOW.

Anonymous said...

Obama wants to send in 15-20,000 troops to Afghanistan "quickly". That will make his base happy.

Anonymous said...

Obama states an open readiness to execute attacks on Pakistani soil. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

Bomb Taliban and Al Qaeda installations within Pakistan BUT appease Iran. Right, that will work.

Anonymous said...

North Korean is Bush's fault. LMAO

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

The dude basically wants to invade northern Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

WHAT? Obama wants to spend less in Iraq so we have enough money left over to "project power" around the world sufficient to match the Red Chinese?

Anonymous said...

There will be no denying the transcript from this debate and Obama's words that will be recorded therein.

Anonymous said...

Now Obama is talking down the USA?

Kingfish said...

I was able to handle tequila and wine. I impressed myself.

Kristol says McCain got under Obama's skin. I thought so a couple of times. A little frustarted but not Foreman in round 5 against Ali either.

Anonymous said...

Good to know McCain can handle 2 things at once.

Anonymous said...

I think the more important question is who moved the farthest away from the positions they used to capture their party's nominations?

Obama by a mile. Increase domestic oil production including offshore drilling? Yes. Project power around the world to match the Red Chinese? Yes. Outsource foreign policy to Biden like Bush to Cheney? Yes.

Obama sounded hawkish repeatedly committing, openly, to a policy of direct attacks against combatants on Pakistani soil.

He can bring up Iraq all he wants but tonight, and the transcript will bear this out, Obama was advocating for a significant escalation of hostilities both within Afghanistan and cross-border attacks within Pakistan. Really no different than bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

Me too Me too, I got a bracelet and ummmm stop mentioning that I requested 930 MILLION dollars for BS projects.

Anonymous said...

McCain missed some opportunities to knock Obama out of the park. On drilling, he needed to mention that the Dem's plan doesn't include oil shale, and that the 50 mile barrier won't work. He should have stood up for his recent "back to washington" trip and that there is no way he is going to put the taxpayers on the hook for $800 billion dollars like Obama will. When Obama gave his plan for more troops McCain should have hit back with the fact that Obama has no military experience and that is why you have to have experienced generals to impliment your strategy. When Obama claimed he didn't need to be at his committee meetings because Biden was Chairman, McCain should have said, "Just call me if you need me, right?"
I really hope McCain sharpens up because Obama left himself wide open to be battered and bruised.

Anonymous said...

Here is the sample composition from the CNN poll they've touted over in Janet and Tom's echo chamber of self-importance:

The results may be favoring Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tuned in to the debate. Of the debate-watchers questioned in this poll, 41 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.

I still haven't figured out how Tom can whack off with one hand and blog with the other.

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