I'm not sure I'm live blogging (and I'm not sure this is a debate)

While this really can't be called live-blogging the debate (or the Town Hall meeting), I thought I'd weigh in with a few thoughts while watching it.

I have been watching Barack Obama mischaracterize the economic problem as being caused by deregulation, and I wish McCain would come back at him harder. Unfortunately, he's limited by the style

As Stephen Green (who's drunk blogging) put it:

6:37PM Before I get too looped for real analysis, let's talk about bondage. Sort of. McCain's in a box tonight. He has to attack, but the town hall format isn't very friendly to that sort of thing. That's a problem for him.
Yes, I can already see that it is.

He needs to come out swinging as he did last time, but he can't.

Ann Althouse thinks the "2 men seem mainly to be recycling their old talking points," and that seems right.

Like it or not, though, these debates are not really about issues. They just pretend to be about issues. But they're really performances, somewhat like boxing fights -- the idea being that the best debater wins.

Anyone who votes based on a debate might as well be voting on who can do more pushups.

9:35 Hey! Just as I said that, I heard McCain characterize trying to discern Obama's position as being like nailing jello to the wall!


9:37 McCain's quip got Obama rattled, but the format wouldn't let him come back to the tax issue. Now he is, and I'm getting really sick of hearing him repeat his misleading claims.

I don't like CNN's little Ohio undecided meter which always goes way up for Obama and way down for McCain, so I switched to FOx, which has a split screen, and no meter.

9:55 Stephen Green also noticed that McCain seems to be getting to Obama.

They're haggling over health care, and I've heard it all before.

9:59 Obama stated that McCain thinks deregulation is the answer for everything!

Well, I'm already voting for McCain, thanks. But where's his proof of that?

10:01 McCain just slammed Obama as not understanding national security.

(I wish he'd say something about befriending those who wanted to murder American NCOs...)

Here's The Corner's Michael Graham:

I don't think pit bulls, with or without lipstick, can save this slow-moving chat show.

I thought I'd check in with Coco, who's sitting in front of the television

Whether she can save things or not, I don't know, but here's how she looks:


10:17 McCain just got in a real zinger about how his hero Theodore Roosevelt said "Speak softly and carry w abig stick," while Obama talks loudly.

This led to an angry retort by Obama about McCain singing "Bomb Bomb Iran!"

In a followup, McCain pointed out he was joking with a veteran, but he knows what to do and understands the issues, doesn't want to broadcast them. Says (quite credibly) that he will get bid Laden but won't talk about how.

McCain says Obama will not admit he's wrong about Iraq.

10:20 If you want fast fingers than mine, Glenn Reynolds has a list of live bloggers.

10:27 Iranian nukes. McCain says we can't allow it, and slams Obama again for advocating unconditional talks. Obama says we have to try talks anyway, but this time he doesn't mention Kissinger.

10:31 Obama concludes by talking about his modest background, his great education, praises the American dream, but says it's diminishing, so we need "fundamental change."

McCain concludes by talking about his lifetime of service to the country, what it's like to be down, and have others pick you up, which is the American way.

"Times are tough, we need a steady hand at the tiller."

MORE: Drudge reacts, with this link:


MORE: McCain is winning Glenn Reynolds poll by a huge margin.

Glenn also observed that Obama appeared to be "having fun," while "McCain looks like he's already bored with the whole thing." They both took turns looking annoyed, too.

Perhaps it was the format. Glenn had to rub in in with "Hey, McCain, you asked for ten of these!" But surely that was just campaign hyperbole.

Or is "campaign hyperbole" an oxymoron?

MORE: There's a lot of post-debate talk that McCain did better on the economy than expected, and Obama did better on defense and foreign policy than expected. If that's true, then McCain should have the overall advantage, as economic issues normally favor Democrats.

Overall, while the debate was boring (especially because of the format), I think McCain did especially well on the close, and I think he won on the economy and on foreign policy.

Obama's prattle about stopping Rwanda genocide was so typical of what irritates me about the man's glib, meaningless platitudes. From CNN's transcript:

If we could've stopped Rwanda, surely, if we had the ability, that would be something that we would have to strongly consider and act.
We could have, we had the ability and we did nothing. I wonder what he was saying at the time Clinton and the UN did nothing.

MORE: I realize that Rwanda is old history, but it just so happens that Susan Rice and Anthony Lake are both key Obama foreign policy advisors.

During the Clinton years, both were leading advocates of doing nothing in Rwanda.

posted by Eric on 10.07.08 at 09:19 PM


Ugh, I feel like I'm just listening to their campaign ads on a continuous loop. Can we have Palin vs Biden again? Please?

Melissa   ·  October 7, 2008 9:59 PM

You missed noting that Obama blamed DELAWARE for bad banking practices in warning against opening borders to those shopping for health care. Poor Joe.

Dennis   ·  October 7, 2008 10:10 PM

re: the Palin thingy.

I found myself thinking, "if only McCain could promise to let the Lord take him in the first sixty days..."

I think we're in for a tough four years ahead. Those who know me know that I was hoping for a Guiliani presidential bid, precisely for the outcomes of the debates.

If you've never heard Guiliani debate, you've missed a thing of beauty.

I blame Florida for this. (Kinda ironic, innit? But, only for the Left.)

I have repeatedly offered my view that Republicans have to get over the dissent within our ranks over abortion. We are not, ever, going to re-criminalize abortion. This isn't an issue over the respect for human life, the origins of life, or even over a belief (such as mine) that abortion is morally wrong.

As my step-dad used to say, "you want to build sidewalks where people go." You've seen my less elegant expression of Edmund Burke. We, all Republicans, are to blame for this.

Unless you live in Florida.

OregonGuy   ·  October 7, 2008 10:26 PM

I vote for no more debates or townhalls. I, for one, will never watch another. Unless it includes Sarah Palin.

JKB   ·  October 7, 2008 11:15 PM

Obama is a nightmare. More government, more spending. He knows nothing about economics and nothing about foreign policy. But he is slick and knows how to sell. The fact is the electorate is largely ignorant about economics and foreign policy.

I laughed when Obama said $18 billion is not a lot of money.

McCain was more substantive overall. I just don't know if it was enough to move the needle.

The gloves need to come off. McCain has tons of ammo if he would just use it.

Barrett   ·  October 7, 2008 11:35 PM

Campaign hyperbole isn't an oxymoron, it's a redundancy.

Steve   ·  October 8, 2008 1:58 AM

I found myself thinking, "if only McCain could promise to let the Lord take him in the first sixty days..."

I think we're in for a tough four years ahead. Those who know me know that I was hoping for a Guiliani presidential bid, precisely for the outcomes of the debates.

If you've never heard Guiliani debate, you've missed a thing of beauty.

I blame Florida for this. (Kinda ironic, innit? But, only for the Left.)


电加热器   ·  October 8, 2008 2:03 AM

I particularly enjoyed the bravado of the O in claiming he would "kill Bin Laden."

I've heard this argument for years. It's ridiculous, as it assumes both no one has been trying up to now, and that a Democratic administration can guarantee that result. Not to mention the unacknowledged insult to the military personnel dedicated to just that mission.

Capturing that particular terrorist would be an excellent thing, of course. It would not, however, end the war of Islam against the West, nor give us the green light to get back to the more important issue of killing off individual liberty in America all by ourselves, so as to guarantee the governing classes the good life.

Brett   ·  October 8, 2008 8:10 AM

Well, I'm at least glad to hear O say a little something like the right thing about Rwanda. That hits very close to home for me, since my disillusionment with Democratic Party politics (and voters) began with the passivity on Rwanda and Bosnia, and the hypocrisy of so-called feminists defending Bill Clinton's indefensible behavior toward women. These days I look for whatever small comforts I can find.

Gene   ·  October 8, 2008 2:39 PM

Perhaps he meant we should impose a No-Fly Zone.

Cause, you know, he heard about one once, and it sounded like, you know, cool or safe, or something.


Like a No-Fly Zone is going to do anything about the militias in the Sudan who mostly walk from village to village slaughtering people.

Also, did you notice that his answer to the question on whether we should defend Israel, if it is invaded ---- he voted Present. Long answer about Iran's nuclear program, not a word about defending Israel. Here's one issue where he couldn't even bring himself to lie glibly and say what he knows he should.

We've spent more than half a decade, billions of dollars, and lost thousands of soldiers to bring real progress to the Middle East. A President Obama is going to take us so far backwards, we'll long for the glory days of the Carter administration.

Clint   ·  October 8, 2008 3:49 PM

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