After all sorts of drama, we finally see these two go head to head. Can McCain avoid saying "my friends" a million times? Can Obama live without his TelePrompter? Live-blogging and updating as needed...
* Opening question was about the current economic problems and what to do about it. Obama opens with a well-rehearsed spiel with the usual blame Dubya stuff. Yawn. McCain has a little joke about his age, but I can see a problem already: Obama found and looked into the camera at the audience and McCain is talking to Jim Lehrer. Argh! Didn't anyone tell him about this stuff?!? Weird shoehorning of oil in the end. He's blinking a lot, too. Obama's follow-up was blah-woof.
* McCain is trying to toss in little jokes, but the audience has been commanded to not react with laughter or applause. So why bother trying to be funny?
* Earmarks up next. Obama: blah blah blah. McCain: Keeps trying to remind us that he's The Maverick. Yeah, John, got it. You gonna start telling people that the current crisis is the Dems fault or are you going to be nice to your pals who are calling you names? The people on The Corner are going nuts, like this:
PLEASE Sen. McCain [Michael Graham]* Heh. Someone on The Corner has suggested a drinking game where you take a belt every time McCain says "my friends". He just did it again. Good thing I have a bottle of water here.
Please challenge Sen. Obama on this "tax cut for 95%" nonsense. About 45% of Americans don't even pay federal income taxes. Please!
* Tonight's debate was supposed to be about foreign policy, but it's been all economics. Considering the current events, this makes sense, but I wonder if this also allows Lehrer to not discuss Iraq and how Obama was 110% WRONG about the war. Today's Washington Post editorial actually kicked another of Obama's talking points to the curb.
* An explanation for McCain's missing all these gimmes?
Many Months Ago [Ramesh Ponnuru]Hmmmmm...
A Republican strategist told me, "John McCain is not capable of carrying an economic message on anything other than spending." Tonight that strategist is being proven right.
* Gawd, will McCain PLEASE stop tooting his "I'm a Maverick" horn?!?!?
* Obama just trotted out his BS about Iraq and mentioned that Bush and McCain were for the war that he was against. Will McCain mention that Joe Biden also supported the war? He doesn't (D'oh!) but threw down a good list of Obama failures. Obama ummed and ahhed a bunch of whatever and McCain came back with "Sen. Obama doesn't know the difference between a tactic and a strategy." ZING!!
* Several sites have noticed that McCain calls Obama "Sen. Obama", but Obama calls McCain "John", not the properly respectful "Sen. McCain". I wonder how many people will notice this slight. They're called manners, Barry. (Heh.)
* Moving on to Afghanistan. Obama blames America for everything wrong in the area and Iraq. In other news, ponies make good brain surgeons. Obama mentions his desire to attack Pakistan and McCain comes off as the cool head consoling patience while Obama is itching for war. How does Obama get away with such Orwellian doublethink?
* How is it that I'm sitting here able to think of points that McCain can talk about that would Cuisinart Obama's empty suit but he doesn't mention them. [/goes to bang head on wall] People on the Corner are noticing too:
This Cannot Stand [Michael Graham]* And now for something completely different...Jessica Alba in a bikini only FOUR MONTHS after having her spawnling!
Sen. McCain cannot let the "Al Qaeda is stronger than ever" line go unchallenged. It's simply not true and it's an insult to the forces in Iraq.
* Talking about Iran, Obama said...oh, I wasn't listening. It was probably lies and McCain won't knock them down. Based on McCain's reply, he didn't. Obama is regurgitating his...man, it's hard to believe Alba is so buff. She's such a doll. Can't act, but a sweetie. What's Obama yammering on about? Oh, the need to talk to despots. Will McCain mention how JFK's pwning in Vienna led to the Cuban Missile Crisis? Nope, he didn't, but he got a couple of good shots in. Still, he's missing a lot of gaping openings to knock him out.
* Man, I'm getting bored of this. I'm not hearing anything new. Will....oh, jeez, Obama just told the lie about "loose nukes". Will McCain call him out? Survey says.........BZZZZZZZTT!!!!! Jeez....
* McCain has repeatedly said, "I don't think Sen. Obama understands..." Good move, because it's not directly condescending because he's talking to the audience. If he said, "YOU don't understand...", he'd come off as a dick.
* Obama just tossed out the "The whole world hates us and I'm make them love us" talking point. McCain's reply? Nothing. I need to find another spot of wall to bang my head against. Obama is harping on Iraq and all the socialism that can't be spread upon this land because we're fighting there and not dying here. McCain hits the understanding meme again and calls Obama "rigid" and stubborn and not ready.
* Obama invoked his father (who abandoned him when he was 2) saying that the old man wrote that America was a land of opportunity. Is that why he went back to Africa?
* Overall, I call this a draw because McCain didn't stuff a lot of lies back down Obama's throat. The PBS panel are attacking McCain for not showing the Messiah the proper deference. Mostly they think both did OK and, more importantly, Obama looked Prez-y enough. Jeez. I could be playing Rock Band 2 and GTA IV. Get this over with!!!
NEXT THURSDAY: Moose Slayer vs. Dr. Teeth (and hairplugs)!