October 07, 2008
Debate Open Thread

As usual, I'll offer comments after the debate is concluded. In the mean time, have at it in the comments.

Possible fodder: compare Obama's rant on deregulation (which is now common in Democratic talking points) versus left-of-center columnist Sebastian Mallaby's take. Just slightly dissimilar.

UPDATE: I endorse this:

I think they should release an angry pitbull on the stage and require McCain, Obama and Brokaw to do their schtick while running for their lives.

Might be better to do in a Congressional hearing room, but let's give it a whirl.

UPDATE II: The pontificator versus the old guy. I can't take it. This is unbearably lame.

UPDATE III: I need a break before I provide some additional comments. That wasn't a town hall, that was a talking point fest. Who the hell cares.

Seriously. Tom Brokaw was supposed to moderate a town hall. Instead he turned it into a recitation of debate prep bullet points.

P.S. Guess which spouse I just realized appeals to Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Yes, I might be going to hell for that one.

Posted by Eric Earling at October 07, 2008 06:12 PM | Email This
1. This just kills me. First question on the financial crisis. Obama blames McCain and Bush for deregulating. McCain should have been all over that, stating that he WAS for regulating fannie and freddie, and that Obama was getting the contributions from them and opposing regulation. Instead he gave his canned response. Be nimble. go after Obama's lies.


Posted by: Hairy Buddah on October 7, 2008 06:06 PM
2. Obama just claimed that he is going to cut programs and cut the federal budget. Oh yeah? Where? Does McCain go after him on the specifics. Nope. Tells people to go look at websites. C'mon John go after him.


Posted by: Hairy Buddah on October 7, 2008 06:10 PM
3. I agree he should have come out swinging on Fanny and Freddy. :sigh:

This debate is boring as dirt so far.

Posted by: Cliff on October 7, 2008 06:53 PM
4. I can't even listen to Obama anymore without getting super annoyed. The nerve of Obama blaming McCain for this mess, when McCain lead a group calling out FAnnie Mae for being the enabler of these coming problems. Obama said nothing at the time, because he was enjoying the $100+ thousaand the Fannie execs were putting into his pockets. Fannie gave next to nothing to McCain because McCain was making public the Fannie problems. The democrats didn't want to hear it. They were too in love with the cash cow Fannie had become for democrats. They were too busy using government to force banks to make crappy loans (Obama even sued a bank back when, because he didn't think they were making enough crappy loans)and then enabling those loans with Fannie, and then mixing those in with stuff they were selling to the investment banks. Obama said nothing. He was part of the problem, and he blames others instead?? Get this guy out of here....

Posted by: Michele on October 7, 2008 07:05 PM
5. Notice how Obama points at the person who asked the question as he answers. Very condescending.

Posted by: Jim T. on October 7, 2008 07:17 PM
6. Somewhere, Sara Palin is watching this and yelling at the television, not only when Obama speaks, but also when McCain misses opportunities.

Posted by: Dave on October 7, 2008 07:21 PM
7. Obama is an idiot. Bombing Pakistan an ally while sitting down to tea with Amadinejahd. Liberals are always telling us how Afghanistan was the "good war".

Have any of you liberal loons ever looked at the map ? How are you going to fight the "good war" when you bomb our ally that allows you access to the very LAND LOCKED Afghanistan???

Another thing. Obama is so DUMB he thinks simply killing Bin Laden will end terrorism.

Posted by: pbj on October 7, 2008 07:44 PM
8. This town hall debate format didn't lend itself to any of the bulldog hits that McCain must deliver. Result = evening was a bore. McCain/Palin need to resume tha agressive attacks on Obama's lack of experience, questionable associations and strongly liberal positions/voting record. McCain started it today and should resume tomorrow, IMO.

Posted by: diamondshards on October 7, 2008 07:47 PM
9. Question for Obamaphiliacs on the thread:

One Candidate has been in the Senate since 1982 and requested zero earmarks/pork projects in that time and has challenged his party during his entire tenure of 26 years.

One Candidate has been in Senate for only 3 years and requested over 1 Billion in earmarks/Pork projects (Million Dollars a day for every day worked in that capacity as Illinois Senator) and has never challenged his party during his time in either the Illinois legislature nor U.S. Senate. The ultimate "rubber stamper".

Which is your reformer? which one has a track record of bringing real change in D.C. and which is just the usual partisan water carrier for his party?

I welcome the usual imbecilic equivocating in your responses.

Posted by: Rick D. on October 7, 2008 07:56 PM
10. I'm very surprised that McCain being a graduate of National Defense University didn't jump on Obama about killing OBL. Anyone with a moderate amount of education/knowledge in national security affairs knows that OBL himself is not the Center of Gravity for Al Qaeda. In a war, you only win by taking out the enemy's Center of Gravity...and it's not OBL himself. While symbols and leaders/figureheads can be powerful (e.g., when the Soviets took the Reichstag building in Berlin or our capture of Saddam for instance), they do not diminish the enemy's ability to make war.

Posted by: Surface Force on October 7, 2008 07:58 PM
11. Utterly boring "debate." At first, it seemed like McCain was doing fairly well since it is more in his element, but he never threw (or even attempted to throw) a knockout punch. He also didn't counterpunch on so many of Obama's BS answers. Perhaps the most frustrating was that McCain didn't take advantage of questions and answers where he has the advantage. It would've been great to hear "Senator Obama, you didn't answer Mr. So-and-so's question... The answer is..."

The good thing is that we still have the SNL mortgage bailout skit from last Saturday:


Posted by: Audacity Watch on October 7, 2008 07:59 PM
12. I am glad I missed it. I have been frustrated with the moderation of these debates and Tom Brokaw does nothing for me - he reminds me of the MSNBC bias. McCain still needs to make the case about Obama's corruption, his ideology and choice of friends. If he doesn't no one else will.

It would have been disappointing simply because he did not call Obama on his evasive BS non-answers.

Posted by: KS on October 7, 2008 08:10 PM
13. did I hear McCain say this? (yes I did) "I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes, at the diminished value of those homes and let people make those, be able to make those payments and stay in their homes. Is it expensive? Yes."

How do you conservatives feel about that one. It's even too big gov't for the lib likes of me! Sounds like pandering to me, but hey, I'm a biased...

Posted by: 'Choch' Manana on October 7, 2008 08:30 PM
14. KS
Then you would have been very disappointed.

Posted by: Puget Sound on October 7, 2008 08:31 PM
15. KS
Then you would have been very disappointed.

Posted by: Puget Sound on October 7, 2008 08:31 PM
16. 'Choch' Manana - no kidding. I almost fell off my chair. What was he thinking - that is practically socialist.

Posted by: Outis on October 7, 2008 08:47 PM
17. What a snore fest.

Of course, it was a PURPOSEFUL snore fest.

Those were not interesting questions. Those were not the questions one normally sees at a Town Hall.

The blame can be laid at the feet of Tom Brokaw of NBC


What in incredible waste of time. Tom B protected his boy by not allowing incendiary questions or any questions that were possibly open enough for a candidate to stray from his talking points. He leashed his candidate and prevented his candidates opponent from any opening to attack.

When are we as voters going to stand up agains this kind of BS?

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on October 7, 2008 08:51 PM
18. NRO's Mark Steyn gets email:

Well I have gone outside and pulled up my Mcain/Palin sign. This election is over. I will vote for Mcain but I know that come Nov. 5 Obama will be our president-elect.

I feel sorry for Sarah Palin. A once promising career will be permanently connected to the landside loss of John McCain.

I weep for my children and their families.

If the lack of hate mail in recent days is any indication, their spirit really is broken. Now's the time for us to press the advantage and crush their movement for a generation or more.

The question isn't whether we get complacent. No one around these parts is getting complacent. The question is whether we take full advantage of what is shaping up to be a rout and truly press our advantage. Our enemy is on the retreat. We can't let them get away and regroup. It's time to crush them. Throw those anvils and make more Republicans "weep".

Posted by: dkos on October 7, 2008 09:51 PM

John McCain has pissed off the Freepers with his debate performance tonight! Could life get better?

From the thread. (Knitting? I don't know what they call it over there.)

He is going to lose by 15% points and may lose by 200 EVs. This man is a conservative?
noweasels's diary :: ::
Everytime I think McCain might start making a run at this thing, he pulls something dumb out of his butt. For someone to prattle on about big government spending and then say something like that takes a lot of something, and it ain't good.
That's about where I threw my remote at the TV and turned it off.

Got an absentee ballot sitting on my desk right now and half tempted to go down the capital steps tomorrow and burn it instead of voting.

The Republican candidate suggesting bailing out individual home owners. The REPUBLICAN.

I need a drink...
Well, okay NOW. I'll have one with ya!

And some, um, haiku?

Obama; McCain
ketchup; catsup
stupid; dumb
communism; socialism

oh well!
Well, here's an (ungrammatical) idea:

Let he and Cindy refinance bad loans and take the hit.
And this:

I was hesitant to put the McCain yard signs up in the first place. I guess I'll take them down.
We all need a drink, my FRiend.

McCain is no conservative and he is no republican.

He is a disgrace.
Oh, well.

Posted by: dkos on October 7, 2008 10:04 PM
20. For a discussion that was supposed to be on the economy and domestic policy, nearly half of the time was spent on foreign policy. No wonder it was a boring rehash of what we heard from the first debate.

The audience of this town hall served no better purpose other than as props. The questions could have been read off by the moderator with the same results.

What should have been done was to revisit the person who asked the question to see if their question had been answered.

Posted by: Just Asking on October 7, 2008 10:05 PM
21. Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 08:51:06 PM PDT
Andy McCarthy:

We have a disaster here -- which is what you should expect when you delegate a non-conservative to make the conservative (nay, the American) case [...]

Great. Memo to McCain Campaign: Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn't; someone is either disqualified as a terrorist sympathizer or he's qualified for public office. You helped portray Obama as a clealy qualified presidential candidate who would fight terrorists.

If that's what the public thinks, good luck trying to win this thing.

With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I'm dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?

Posted by: dkos on October 7, 2008 10:13 PM
22. nevermind, Domestic issues is the subject for 10/15. Tonight had no set theme, just a town hall format.

Posted by: Just Asking on October 7, 2008 10:13 PM
23. More from CNN snap poll
by kos
Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 08:29:03 PM PDT
Who expressed his views more clearly in the debate?

Obama 60
McCain 30

Who spent more time attacking his opponent?

Obama 17
McCain 63

Who seemed to be the stronger leader?

Obama 54
McCain 43

Who was most likeable?

Obama 65
McCain 28

No good news for McCain.

Posted by: dkos on October 7, 2008 10:16 PM
24. All in all, looks like another rocky night for your boy.

Good luck in the general.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on October 7, 2008 10:20 PM
25. Not only do we see "Hitler/Obama Youth" video, but it's become clear that Obama and his democrat cohorts are using Hitlerian tactics. Just as Hitler's minions blamed everything on "the jews" to make them scapegoats, the ACORN crooks in Nevada who are in the process of getting busted are claiming "This is an anti-Obama stunt by republicans". Riiight--and ACORN is as clean as any organization ever has been. choke choke.

Obama and the dems are claiming this mortgage mess is caused by republicans, even though the more we look into this it becomes more and more clear that it was--as Michael Medved characterized it---DEMOCRAT INTERFERENCE in the market which brought us here. Obama, his friends at ACORN and the democrat party pushed for crappy loans to be made, and funneled through Fannie/Freddie, creating junk on the market. C-SPAN footage shows republicans four years ago having hearings about bad things going on at Fannie while democrats were in complete denial and even weirdly screaming "lynching" to those republicans who brought attention to the coming meltdown of Fannie and asked for more regulation. And Mr. "I run the House banking committee and it's my job to know about coming problems" Barney Frank says he didn't drop the ball or do anything wrong. Just blames republicans. What a joke. This kind of behavior is beyond immature and these people don't deserve to keep messing up the country's banking system anymore.

Posted by: Michele on October 7, 2008 11:09 PM
26. @9 Rick D

WADR to Sen McCain, his State has continued to get Earmarks .. via his colleagues ... and McC has voted for them.

Earmarks are a very importnat issue, but MC completley misses the real issue is that if govt wants (us) to sacrifice, fed funidng needs to be as transparent as possible.

Sorry folks, but after tonite it will take the biggest October surprise of all time to unseat President Obama.

Posted by: SeattleJew on October 7, 2008 11:43 PM
27. Seattle Jew @ 26 ~
It still didn't answer my question I posed. I compared the two candidates running and not their "colleagues" in the senate- nice try at muddying the waters though.

Even if we use your illogic and take a snapshot of both Senators from Arizona and Illinois in relations to earmarks/pork/government waste, we find McCain/Kyl-AZ rating far higher than Obama/Durbin-IL:

Ratings of State Senator's by Concerned Citizens against Government waste:
Senator / 2007 rating /Lifetime rating
Arizona Kyl (R) 94% 93%
Arizona McCain (R) 100% 88%

Illinois Durbin (D) 3% 8%
Illinois Obama (D) 10% 18%
Source: found at this non-partisan site.

The lower the percentage, the bigger the porker...Even in 2007 when speaking out of both sides of his mouth, Obama scored a 10% rating from this group. Maybe you can explain how wasting 1B in earmarks in his short stay in the Senate makes Barack Obama any kind of "change" agent in D.C.
hint: He isn't and you can't.

Posted by: Rick D. on October 8, 2008 05:04 AM
28. Cliff, Hairy Budda:

McCain should not be proud of or mentioning how he wanted to further regulate Fannie and Freddie. If he really wants to appeal to the conservative base he should be talking about how we should end the idea of having government sponsored entities.

Posted by: Lysander on October 8, 2008 05:08 AM
29. PBJ:

McCain attacked Obama for saying he would go into Pakistan if Pakistan would not go after Osama in their territory. yet moments later McCain went off on how he would use, political, social and 'other' ways of getting russia in line. I am assuming the 'other' is not sending them milk and cookies and asking them to play nice.

So which is it, are you allowed to say you would invade a country or not McCain?

And really... digging into McCains answer more on whether we are entering another cold war... He said no but then went on to say that we can not allow them to do what they are doing and their leader is evil blah blah blah. Well so if we are not going to allow them to do these evil things and we are going to insist on protecting all their neighbors then we have two choices... a cold war or an active one. I am a bit worried McCain is saying we will not have a cold one.

Posted by: Lysander on October 8, 2008 05:12 AM
30. Dereglation?

When the Democrats REQUIRED FNMA to put 42% of their loans in subprime deals, that was Regulation. The number went up more during Clinton. Then Wall Street and the Mortgage Brokers packaged and sold them the loans that FNMA and FHLMC was forced to mix into the portfolio....some 8 trillion.

Posted by: keb on October 8, 2008 06:20 AM
31. dkos @ 23,

I saw that poll as well. What you didn't mention was that the information broken down (shown after the numbers you gave) indicated that the poll was made up of 645 Democrats. Furthermore, 82% of those polled had made up their minds about the candidates before the debate. Lastly, only 4% said they had changed their mind on a candidate as a result of the debate.

Polls can be skewed to show anything you want and are totally unreliable.

Having said that, I thought neither candidate looked like they should be elected as president, but I thought that Obama probably won this debate as he only needed to look like he belonged on the same stage. Other than that, it was lackluster.

McCain better get his message out quickly if he really wants to win this election. The old Chicago addage was you don't bring a knife to a gun fight, so he had better quickly figure it out.

Posted by: Ken on October 8, 2008 07:13 AM
32. The main goal of the terrorists on 9/11 was to destroy our economy by creating chaos in what they perceived as the seat of it: New York City.

O-bomb-a regularly sneers at the President telling us to shop, but that was the point: to show the America haters that we can not be destroyed, that they do not scare us, that we will not let them manipulate our economy.

Today our economy, like most of the FREE world, is in an economic struggle of massive proportions.

Today, we have terrorist organizations on record as saying they support O-bomb-a and hope he wins.

Why is that? It's because they know from his own words that he will not be aggressive in fighting them.

With the current economic crisis, with the America-hateres stated purpose and HISTORY of destroying us through our ecomomic system, withthe bombings of our Embassies overseas recently, an O-bomb-a election will give THE AMERICA HATERS, a perfect storm to attempt to destroy us again.

The only question remains is not what city, but how many?

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on October 8, 2008 01:18 PM
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