2008 Presidential Debate II: Liveblogging

PHOTO: McCain and Obama debate

» Skip down to my conclusion «

9:00pm
Already had a Mai Tai at dinner, so no drinking during the debate… unless it’s required 🙂

As with the last couple debates, you should be able to watch it live on MSNBC.com if you’re not near a TV.

9:05pm
And it begins.

9:10pm
Obama begins by stoking the fires of populism against the greedy CEOs from Wall Street.

McCain starts with a jab against Obama for not accepting his offer for more town hall style debates. He offers to buy up all the bad mortgages in America. Isn’t that the point of the bailout?

McCain also claims to have a plan to fix the financial situation in the United States. Another secret plan like the one he has to get Bin Laden.

McCain tried to dodge the question about treasury secretary. Then he offers up the CEO of Ebay. Obama wants Warren Buffett. Who would you trust more?

9:15pm
Obama is really pushing the idea of middle class tax cuts at the expense of the rich. I can’t complain about that… until I get rich… 🙂

McCain is touting his campaign suspension. Probably not a smart idea since the move was a total disaster for him. He also wants to blame the entirety of the economic problems on Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and their friend Obama (McCain doesn’t mention that his own campaign chair was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae). Of course the problem didn’t start at Freddie and Fannie, and of course their meme of Obama as a do nothing celebrity senator doesn’t jive with his new powers to control the economy.

9:20pm
Obama clearly and simply outlines the problem of the credit markets seizing up. He also “corrects” McCain and blames the crisis on deregulation, which McCain supported.

Obama is afraid to say things will get worse economically before that it gets better. It’s the smart thing politically to avoid, but I don’t think it’s true. Ditto for McCain.

McCain repeats the BS about the American people equaling the “fundamentals of the economy” and says we’re the world’s best importers and exporters. I think the Chinese are probably the best exporters…

Obama makes a great case for health care reform and alternative energy in terms of economic trouble.

9:25pm
McCain says Obama is the most liberal and biggest spending senator, right after Obama said that’s exactly what he would say even though it’s not true (according to Obama of course). McCain is making a decent case for spending cuts, but he’s rambling quite a bit.

McCain is first on the board with promising cuts in welfare/entitlement spending.

9:30pm
Obama calls for a push to end our dependence on Middle East oil in 15 years, channeling JFK.

McCain says our national sacrifice should be in government programs.

Obama says, “A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11.” Who the hell are the people that don’t?

Obama then brings up Bush’s call to “shop” after 9/11, and almost calls for energy conservation… almost. But he talks about tax breaks and credits for buying fuel efficient goods. That’s enticing people to conserve, not a voluntary action. He’s afraid, as is McCain, to make a call for national sacrifice.

9:35pm
Obama talks about McCain’s massive tax cuts for the rich as being unfair. True.

McCain makes the false claim that Obama is a protectionist and wants to raise taxes in contradiction to the available facts versus his own record.

McCain looks petty with these attacks on what he wants Obama’s record to be, not what actually is.

9:40pm
Obama calls McCain on his bulls***t. “I want to lower taxes on 95% of Americans.”

Obama seems calm and sincere. McCain is being brought down by the exaggerations he’s spewing.

McCain says he’s the bipartisan king. Will any Democrat want to work with him after the campaign he’s run?

9:45pm
McCain looks back and talks about Reagan a lot… Palin wouldn’t approve, she chided Biden for looking back and talking about Bush.

9:50pm
Obama says alternative energy is the new internet… although he flubs it a bit on the history of the computer. He points out McCain has voted against alternative energy 23 times. I’m sure that’s an exaggeration of sorts. Remember to check FactCheck.org tomorrow 🙂

Brokaw is being a dick about the lights. He wants to make sure that neither candidate addresses each other. Isn’t this supposed to be a debate?

Andrea/Sheepy says McCain looks a bit scary when he smiles, and that it only seems to predate a “zinger.”

9:55pm
“Should healthcare be treated as a commodity?” <— Great question

Obama’s didn’t really answer it…

Let’s see if McCain does…

Nope, but he did attack Obama. Yay?

It’s also worth noting that McCain’s tax credit won’t cover the cost of healthcare for the average American. $5,000 is less than half the average.

10:00pm
Obama finally says healthcare should be a right. Good for him. He should have used that as his answer to the last question. I’m glad that Obama mentioned McCain’s vote against S-Chip (health care for kids).

Obama rocks McCain on deregulation.

McCain is right to ask Obama what the penalty for not insuring your child would be. But he looks bad doing it. But seriously. Obama needs to answer that question.

10:05pm
Maybe I need a beer now? Liveblogging is exhausting…

Obama says there needs to be a moral component to our foreign policy… definitely a slippery slope in my opinion. But I don’t think we should be isolationists either.

McCain loves Gen. Petraeus and the surge. We get it!

10:10pm
McCain takes foreign policy seriously… not seriously enough to pick a VP that wouldn’t need “on the job training” as McCain says.

McCain name dropped Petraeus. Obama name drops Sec. of Defense Gates. Maybe they should have a debate?

10:15pm
McCain says Obama recklessly announced he’d attack Pakistan. This, again, is the guy who sang about bombing Iran! Did McCain forget that he got owned on this issue in the last debate?

McCain makes it sound like Obama wants to attack Pakistan. Obama wants to attack the Taliban and Al Qaeda IN Pakistan.

It may or may not be a wise policy to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, but McCain is full of it.

McCain got called out on signing about bombing Iran. McCain doesn’t look happy… haha.

10:20pm
McCain knows hot get Bin Laden he says… but won’t tell us or the sitting president, apparently. Olbermann has said this is blackmail, I’m starting to agree.

Petraeus. Petraeus. Petraeus. Ahhhh!!!!

McCain says we need a surge in Afghanistan. Our commanders there, as Biden mentioned in his debate, said that won’t work there. My friends.

10:25pm
McCain says Putin has “his sights on Ukraine.” Is that true?

Obama says we need to help former Eastern Bloc countries economically. With what money Barack?

McCain has stopped using his microphone. He is unfit for the presidency 🙂

10:30pm
Question: Should we commit our troops in defense of Israel without a UN Security Council mandate?

I’m really surprised McCain hasn’t said yes.

McCain has again trotted out crap about the League of Democracy and the evils of diplomacy with Iran, which Obama supports.

Obama wont say yes either. But then again I guess it doesn’t make sense to commit troops to a nuclear war zone…

At least he repudiated McCain’s opposition to diplomacy with Iran, he uses North Korea’s nuclear expansion under Bush as a good example of the dangers of NOT talking to your enemies.

10:35pm
Obama dodges the question of what his weakness is… goes into his biography instead. American dream blah blah. I guess his weakness is answering questions about his weaknesses.

Let’s see if McCain gives us some straight talk on his weaknesses…

Nope. McCain throws out some BS about unknown future challenges.

Country First. POW! The debate is over!

************
Conclusion
John McCain lost.

He looked uncomfortable, he rambled, and came off as petty during his tepid and tired attacks. I think he turned in a much worse performance than the last debate, although he didn’t come across as arrogant.

On the substance, McCain just can’t give up his tired and bankrupt attacks on Obama. He wasn’t able to clearly state his own policy ideas or the effects. But that’s partly because McCain’s proposals are both unpopular and, in my opinion, unhelpful.

In the first two debates Obama has looked far more presidential. Obama was cool and composed, but he did seem to attack back on McCain with more of an edge. He looked confident when correcting McCain on his attacks.

Like I said, McCain lost.

Flickr photo by Captain Alcoholica

4 Comments

  1. Ian

    Yay alternative energy! Make it so I have a job when I graduate!

  2. Ian

    How about this gem of a story: http://tinyurl.com/3mshcj

    I think this is precisely what we didn’t want to see happen with the bailouts.

  3. Chris

    Ian,
    That was actually specifically mentioned by Obama last night during one of his stronger moments early in the debate.

  4. Ted

    One of my coworkers told me that apparently, there was some executive from AIG… that went on TV and started to divert blame away from the executives… and later he went to the gym… as he was running on the treadmill… someone came up to him and punched him in the face