Showtime – Debate #1

Starting ten minutes early, and watching CNN, since I figure everyone else will bewatching MSNBC.

8:50pm- Jeffrey Toobin just pissed off the entire panel when he mentioned this great analysis at 538 that says all the debates don’t matter that much.

8:52 pm- KKK in the house. Good. Keep ’em out in the open where we can watch ’em.

8:54 pm- Drinking rules:

McCain lies- 1 drink
McCain lies blatantly- 1 drink
McCain says “My friends”- 1 drink
McCain says “My friends” and includes the weird and awkward forced smile that screams CHILD TOUCHER- 1 drink
McCain says Obama is out touch – one sip
McCain says “I put country first”—two sips
McCain says Obama will raise taxes for Middle class – 2 shots
Any mention of POW, Viet Nam, service to country- 1 drink
“Ready on Day One”- One drink
Blatant pandering over Israel/Georgia/wherever- 1 drink
Discussing the surge- 1 drink

9:04 pm- Tunch was freaking out about something in the kitchen and I missed the first question.

9:06 pm- Obama looks angry. CNN has this viewer response thing running underneath it. It is irritating.

9:38 pm- I kind of like this format. Obama seems to be keeping his cool, and McCain is testy.

9:39 pm- When he mention his “partner,” Sarah Palin, the meter plummeted on CNN.

10:04 pm- I am biased as hell, but I think Obama is just pasting him. McCain is simply talking in circles.

Additionally, it is completely clear that John McCain, despite four decades in government, has NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TACTIC AND A STRATEGY.

10:26 pm- Have I mentioned I really like this format? I like letting them go at each other. McCain’s facial expressions are going to kill him, btw. I can see the SNL skit already.

10:27 pm- Yeah. Would have been nice if you voted against torture, John.

10:43 pm- Yeah, you have been involved for three decades in all these crises. How many have you started?






139 replies
  1. 1
    drag0n says:

    Lehrer has all ready put me to sleep..

  2. 2
    Stuck in the Fun House says:

    Howard Finneman just said the Mccain camp is saying that if Johnnie Drama seems tired and sluggish, it’s because he’s been putting his country first. One short.

  3. 3

    I’m really loving Toobin’s unwillingness to listen to his co-experts’ bullshit. I’m amazed that he still has a job, frankly.

  4. 4

    Oooohhh! Direct exchanges.

    Uh oh. First question is about Bailout as national security. Johnnie Drama is fucked.

  5. 5
    jetan says:

    If I have to drink every time POW says “my friends”, I is gonna be pretty wasted.

  6. 6
    Dreggas says:

    great opener from Leher with that quote.

  7. 7
    Pooh says:

    Jezus, I’m nervous watching this.

  8. 8
    Pooh says:

    Oooh. Shot across the bow.

    “8 years of failed policies”

  9. 9
    JL says:

    Okay, Obama is making a speech, not a bad speech but he is not answering the question.

  10. 10
    PsiFighter37 says:

    They’ll lose their credits!

    WTF?

  11. 11
    Pooh says:

    McCain: “Ooga-booga-booga, be afraid.”

  12. 12
    ScreamingInAtlanta says:

    I switched to PBS – can’t handle the goobers (excepting Toobin and Brazile) on CNN. Hell I am nervous.

  13. 13
    NonWonderDog says:

    What the fuck is McCain doing? Doesn’t he know this is a debate? “Two minutes for an opening statement”?

  14. 14
    KRK says:

    McCain is saying nothing. He must have been taking tips from Palin.

  15. 15
    Dreggas says:

    McCain: We need to make loans to These businesses so we don’t have to take over those loans.

  16. 16
    Comrade RoonieRoo says:

    I hate to say this but McCain is a pretty smooth extemporaneous speaker.

  17. 17
    ScreamingInAtlanta says:

    I switched to PBS – can’t handle the goobers (excepting Toobin and Brazile) on CNN. Hell I am nervous.

  18. 18

    Eliminate our dependence on foreign oil? Huh? That will certainly straighten out the criminals on Wall Street. Make them buy gas from Governor Palin! Eureka! Good grief I hope I’m drunk sooner rather than later.

  19. 19
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    PsiFighter37 Says:

    They’ll lose their credits!

    I just looked at my transcripts. I still have my credits.

  20. 20
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    That CNN color link for audience reaction doesn’t match the colors on the guide. It looks more like purple, light pink and a bit of gold to me.

  21. 21
    Dreggas says:

    McCain: ME TOO! ME TOO!

  22. 22

    Bad move by McCain saying “I’m not feeling good myself lately” after mentioning Kennedy.

  23. 23
    Pooh says:

    McCain: “I warned about it to. me too. me too. Personally responsibility. Why did we let these poor people buy homes? that’s fewer for me.”

  24. 24
    tomjones says:

    This is really booooooring.

  25. 25
    zuzu's petals says:

    Cripes. First question, Obama is coming off as critical and lecturing, McCain as we’re-working-together-on-this-folks.

    Cripes. Please let Obama be the crowd-pleaser this time.

  26. 26
    Comrade RoonieRoo says:

    Well so much for my initial praise of McCain, now I can’t figure out what he just said. Maybe Obama can interpret for me.

  27. 27
    Comrade Mary, Death to the Colonel's Chickens says:

    McCain trying to be all non-partisan and warm. Can’t fool me, Walnuts. Wow, he’s kind of scattered. Talks about inviting the poor house Republicans into the process.

    GRATUITOUS CHURCHILL REFERENCE! The end of the beginning of the end … and he still doesn’t take a stand on the plan.

    Lehrer asks where they stand, Obama on offense. McCain, when pressed, will vote for plan (!!), me-toos re F&F warning.

    GRATUITOUS EISENHOWER REFERENCE. Really blowing the wartime hero dogwhistle.

    McCain is listless. Obama is fierce. Wait for the pity spin.

  28. 28
    Dreggas says:

    What the hell does the American Worker have to do with Wall St.?

  29. 29
    Incertus says:

    I try to go to the “Comrade” gag and I wind up in moderation. And what’s up with this “let’s you and him fight” crap from Lehrer?

  30. 30
    CaseyL says:

    No weird screen stuff on MSNBC.

    So far, the two candidates are refusing to argue directly with each other. In fact, they’re agreeing on a lot of stuff – though McCain is ignoring his own history of favoring corporate policies.

    I expected Obama to be calm. But McCain is, so far, also very low key and soft-spoken.

  31. 31
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    “America is still the world’s greatest exporter and importer…”
    Well, McCain was half right.

  32. 32
    t jasper parnell says:

    This debate is whacked.

  33. 33
    Foxhunter says:

    I’m just waiting for a ‘Get off my lawn’ moment. McCain seems borderline angry and bitter. Unfortunately, I think many of my fellow citizens see this as a strength.

  34. 34
    Scott H says:

    Current TV is posting viewer twitters – which then float up in word fragments slowly fading, twisting, … … wtf? halfway up the screen. Kids these days.

  35. 35
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    So, like Eisenhower, John McCain creates a “McCain Wins Debate” graphic add and places it online BEFORE the debate even freaking begins? I wonder did he also direct his graphic artist to create a campaign resignation graphic?

    It’s taken me 25 minutes to get this second attempt in.

  36. 36
    LiberalTarian says:

    I tried to watch the debate, honest. I drank even.

    But, I want to stick my extra long knitting needles right up his keester, and I just can’t stand it. So, I’ve switched over to Graham Norton with the French guy and Tori Amos. Very cute.

    And, I don’t feel the desire to stick anybody with pointy objects.

  37. 37
    zuzu's petals says:

    OT, Kennedy released from hospital:

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....YL20080927

  38. 38
    JL says:

    Do we have an intermission.

  39. 39
    Walker says:

    This debate is like a drunk conversation of non sequiturs.

  40. 40
    KRK says:

    I wonder if McCain’s statement “I will eliminate ethanol subsidies” will cost him Minnesota.

  41. 41
    Товарищ НеинтересноСобака says:

    (Whoops, forgot my commie name above)

    Jesus McCain is bad at this. “Spending freeze for everything but defense”?

    McCain started out filibustering instead of debating, got killed, and fell back into his stump speech and talking points. I know I’m biased, but McCain’s getting murdered out there.

  42. 42
    Deborah says:

    If you drink on “earmark” you may already be unconscious.

  43. 43
    Darkrose says:

    The FWIG suggests that McCain is tranqed up to the eyeballs so he doesn’t slip out with an N-bomb.

  44. 44
    jnfr says:

    MSNBC is showing it straight, no talk so far.

    I think Obama has been good, relaxed but sharp. McCain sounded very wavery at first but has gotten stronger. His narrative makes no sense, but I’m not sure most people will realize that.

  45. 45
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    When is BO going to start hanging the Bush years around McCain’s neck? McCain has taken off his Republican uniform and is acting like the last 8 years never happened.

    Oh…. he’s doing it right now!

  46. 46
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    McCain: “Spending got out of control”

    Uh yeah, dumb fuck, thanks to YOUR party and YOUR Republican values. Thanks SO much Fuckwad!

  47. 47
    Foxhunter says:

    Holy shit, he said the ‘T’ word. Alert Scott Horton, stat!

  48. 48

    So excessive government spending got us in this mess?

    Miss Congeniality again? Please stop.

  49. 49
    jenniebee says:

    Obama is not on his A-game, I don’t think. McCain is pulling the SSDD, and Obama isn’t doing a good enough job pointing out that McCain is obsessing about a teeny portion of the budget like it really makes a difference.

    ZOMG – did you know that McCain isn’t Miss Congeniality and that he’s a Maverick?

  50. 50

    Second Miss Congeniality mention.

    By the way, did Lehrer have an eye examination just before the show? His eyes are dialated like he’s got nightshade poisoning.

  51. 51
    Comrade Throwing the Stones says:

    Whenever McCain calls himself Ms. Congeniality – finish the bottle

  52. 52
    Laura W says:

    Bear DNA…old pen…you will know their names…I’m not Miss Congeniality…Countries that don’t like us very much….

    Jesus Christ. Can no one give this old man some new lines to spew?

    I’m off the booze and onto the ice cream and brownies. This means I’ve gone from giddy euphoria into anxiety. Why am I nervous for Obama?

    UGH…the Miss Congeniality line AGAIN. and Maverick. And Maverick partner!
    Ugh…Vietnam and Iraq.
    Nom nom nom more brownies please.
    OK, I feel better.

  53. 53
    Comrade Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Lehrer’s trying to turn this into an actual exchange of ideas. I’m not sure we can deal with that.

    Aaaand there goes Johnnie, running as fast as he can away from W.

  54. 54
    Tom says:

    Bear DNA analysis? It employed dozens of people and advanced science. It was a drop in the bucket. And as much as McCandidate rails against it, he voted for it. Please, McCandidate, STFU!

  55. 55
    Incertus says:

    What’s with this stupid “Miss Congeniality” joke?

  56. 56
    t jasper parnell says:

    This debate is pointless.

  57. 57
    Dungheap says:

    McCain’s Lesson from Iraq: Getting it Right 4 Years Late in A Wrong-headed Unnecessary War Built on Lies is Awesome.

  58. 58
    Scott H says:

    Has McCain used his “everybody knows I wasn’t voted Miss Congeniality” joke twice already?

  59. 59
    Lize says:

    John McCain’s Iraq answer is kind of like Will Ferrell’s Harry Carry: If the moon was made of cheese, would you eat it?

  60. 60
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Iraq bit – this should be interesting.

  61. 61
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    McCain seems to think everyone knows who he is and what he will do… nobody flip flops like McCain and I can’t say what he’ll do from one minute to the next. Suspending the campaign, yeah THAT was a real good plan and everyone expected it. NOT!

  62. 62
    Keith says:

    Wow, the CNN HD feed blows the Fox HD feed away. I can really see the $5000 worth of pancake on McCain on CNN; the Fox feed looks like standard digital (although his godawful tie doesn’t go all moire on either feed)

  63. 63
    Товарищ НеинтересноСобака says:

    I like hanging “you said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were!” on McCain’s surge bullshit. I like it a lot.

    And McCain responds with “I’m afraid Obama doesn’t know the difference between a tactic and a strategy….He refuses to admit we’re winning!” That will probably play well with the stupids, unfortunately.

  64. 64
    Delia says:

    Pakistan answer from McCain — just went all over the world and back again. Seemed to end up back on Iraq — or was it Vietnam?

  65. 65
    PC says:

    CNN has an audience reaction meter.

  66. 66
    elf says:

    Ok, It is looking to me that if the election were held tomorrow McCain would take it by a landslide.

    He is expertly pulling off the well polished Long time congressperson with experience who is also very folksy and warm.

    He is successfully impugning Obama’s patriotism and judgement, and as soon as Obama goes back to him on one of his points McCain’s demeanor changes into the folksy old codger person that ultimately has a much better handle on things and is the better Daddy.

    Tell me I am wrong…I sooooooooo want to be wrong

  67. 67
    Comrade RoonieRoo says:

    Now Obama hasn’t been to Afghanistan is the problem?

  68. 68
    Delia says:

    John McCain: “The Iranians have a lousy government; therefore their economy is lousy” — ouch. Is that a universal axiom?

  69. 69
    Wini says:

    I saw Scott Ritter speak in St. Paul a month or so ago. I’m pretty sure he would beg to differ with all that McCain is saying about Iran.

  70. 70
    KRK says:

    Heh. “The Iranians have a lousy economy because they have a lousy government.” Hey, John, what other country does that remind you of?

  71. 71
    Jess says:

    Except for rambling anecdotes, McCain is doing better than I would have expected–I think his supporters will be relieved and pleased. Obama is doing brilliantly, IMO. Sharp, focused, informative, with some excellent jabs at McCain. I liked how the MUP called McCain out on the “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” thing and said his talk about presidential prudence was “not credible.” Nice!

  72. 72
    Delia says:

    Hah. BO brought up Johnny’s not meeting the PM of Spain.

    Jeez, I hate Johnnie’s tie. It’s giving me eye tics.

  73. 73
    The Moar You Know says:

    Obama is debating; McCain is attacking. Unfortunately, McCain’s stream of lies and bullshit is going to play very well with the mushy middle – because they don’t know that it’s lies and bullshit.

    I hope that most of America is not watching this; McCain is handling this far better than I expected.

  74. 74
    Wini says:

    Woot! Great line – “Ahkmadinijad (sp) is not the most powerful in Iran”… I’ve been waiting for that!

  75. 75
    Dan says:

    why does mccain appear 3 inches taller than obama in every side by side shot????????????????????????

  76. 76
    JL says:

    Oh, My god, John McCain went there. McCain has had some scary slip ups..

  77. 77
    Sleeper says:

    Ha! Obama hit McCain for saying he wouldn’t meet the PM of Spain. hee hee.

  78. 78
    LiberalTarian says:

    McCain in a landslide?? Doubtful.

    But, I am pretty sure I’m going to need to spend 11/4 on tranquilizers, cuz if I can’t take the tension of one stupid little debate, how in the hell am I going to get through the election?

  79. 79
    Foxhunter says:

    McCain’s stream of lies and bullshit is going to play very well with the mushy middle

    My concerns, also. I’m not going all in with the hand-wringing, but there really only 25 or 30 of us that actually know factcheck.org exists.

  80. 80
    Rick James says:

    Spain, bitches!

  81. 81
    JL says:

    why does mccain appear 3 inches taller than obama in every side by side shot????????????????????????

    Andrew Sullivan has a great picture of them shaking hands. McCain looks like Obama’s white grandfather.

  82. 82
    Jess says:

    I don’t think this debate is going to change anything. They’re both doing well.

  83. 83
    Товарищ НеинтересноСобака says:

    Are people stupid enough to fall for this? HINT: the South Ossetians put up this sign.
    McCain:

    There was a huge sign in Georgian territory: “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin — Our President.” Russia’s intentions are clear.

  84. 84
    Foxhunter says:

    if I can’t take the tension of one stupid little debate

    Seriously, where are the beta blockers when you need them. I hate that Obama has such a firm grasp of the ‘FACTS’, but at the same time I’m in need of a little faith here.

  85. 85
    ninerdave says:

    Only problem I have with Obama is he’s being to deferential to McCain…

    “Both John and I agree…blah blah” Stop that.

    Also I’m liking the format. Fun to watch them go at each other. Much nicer than each getting up there, reading talking points at each other.

  86. 86
    Delia says:

    Obama is debating; McCain is attacking. Unfortunately, McCain’s stream of lies and bullshit is going to play very well with the mushy middle – because they don’t know that it’s lies and bullshit.

    This is what I fear, also. But this is basically quite a boring debate. Hopefully most people will have tuned out.

  87. 87
    Laura W says:

    My previous post got et.
    If I drank every time Obama said: John is right, Sen McCain is right, Sen McCain and I agree…I’d be puking my guts up right now.
    And I know some of you will tell me it’s his strategy so as not to appear as the Scary Big Black Man Dude, but subliminally, the lemmings only hear: “McCain is right. Obama says so. Must vote for The Right Guy.”

  88. 88
    KRK says:

    McCain just talks over Obama until the issue is over.

  89. 89
    TK says:

    McCain says that Russia needs to shape up and be a country that respects internationa borders. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth,

  90. 90
    Wini says:

    McCain’s tactic (even when he’s on something like the Daily Show): he just. keeps. talking… until he’s done. No matter what.

  91. 91
    JL says:

    Laura, How much do we send Obama?

  92. 92
    The Moar You Know says:

    This is not going well, IMO. Obama is smarter and understands the nuances – but the “mushy middle” doesn’t give two shits about that. Nor do they understand that McCain is lying out his ass about Obama’s record, and they won’t check.

    Obama is debating and McCain is attacking.

    I hope most of America is not watching this.

  93. 93
    Keith says:

    10:04 pm- I am biased as hell, but I think Obama McCain’s makeup artist is just pasting him.

    Fixed.

  94. 94
    Delia says:

    Aw shit, Obama says he believes we need missile defense.

  95. 95

    Oh, My god, John McCain went there. McCain has had some scary slip ups..

    Went where?

  96. 96
    The Butt Squad says:

    It’s obvious McCain is loading the “Obama Doesn’t Seem To Understand” into his responses. In the second debate Obama had better be ready for that.

  97. 97
    Martin says:

    This is not going well, IMO. Obama is smarter and understands the nuances – but the “mushy middle” doesn’t give two shits about that. Nor do they understand that McCain is lying out his ass about Obama’s record, and they won’t check.

    CNNs focus group thinks that McCain is losing so far. I’m a bit behind on the TiVo, though.

  98. 98
    Incertus says:

    Really? The Star Wars lie about the Cold War?

  99. 99
    KRK says:

    McCain is so full of ASS.

  100. 100

    This is not going well, IMO. Obama is smarter and understands the nuances – but the “mushy middle” doesn’t give two shits about that. Nor do they understand that McCain is lying out his ass about Obama’s record, and they won’t check.

    Obama is debating and McCain is attacking.

    I hope most of America is not watching this.

    You are dead wrong. He is tanking. Alternating between cranky and phony is not debating. This was a clear win for Obama.

  101. 101
    Scott H says:

    If this persuades any undecideds, except to switch to any channel not showing this debate, I will be very surprised.

  102. 102
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You know the Mittster is at home crying in his O’douls, wondering how he lost to this crazy, cranky, creepy old motherfucker.

  103. 103
    jnfr says:

    10:27 pm- Yeah. Would have been nice if you voted against torture, John.

    My thought exactly.

  104. 104
    Delia says:

    What? McCain went from BO accepting missile defense to him not understanding our strategy in Iraq. What the hell was that?

  105. 105
    Товарищ НеинтересноСобака says:

    “Obama said he only wants proven missile defense. STI wasn’t proven when Reagan pushed for it, and STI was a major factor in bringing about the end of the cold war.”

    Are there actually people who will fall for that argument? Can we embed their feet in cement and throw them in the Marianas?

  106. 106
    Justin says:

    The winner so far is the debate format and the election. They’re both doing decently–each side has more than enough ammo to call their guy the winner–but it’s actually a decent exchange of views, and not a little like a championship boxing match–lots of hard punches, not much damage.

  107. 107
    Rick James says:

    Really? The Star Wars lie about the Cold War?

    Star Wars scared the crap out of those damn Russkies! Who can fuck with my lightsaber, bitch?

  108. 108
    Martin says:

    And BTW, I don’t think too many people will look back on the foreign policy debate and say that Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about. McCain bumbled about quite a lot, and while Obama had his fair share of stumbles as well, McCain should have won this by a landslide and it’s just not there.

  109. 109
    Laura W says:

    JL Says:

    Laura, How much do we send Obama?

    Huh? What? Sorry…Obama just gave McCain credit for something again and I couldn’t hear you over my puking.
    And McCain just said Obama doesn’t quite understand again, and I pulled out all of my eyelashes.

    Well, I am sad to say that I did not hear one reference to “pocketbook” so I made up my own rules as I went along.
    I owe $5 for Bible Spice
    I owe $5 for John’s double post
    I started to count “Main St.” when there was no pocketbook to be found, and I found $2 in Main St.
    Just because it’s pissing me off so much, I’m going to give $5 for the multitude of times Obama has agreed with McInsane, and $5 for the mutlitude of times McInsane has told us how little Obama understands.
    I owe Obama $22 (hey. That really IS my lucky number!)
    You will have to make up your own totals, I am afraid.
    Let’s do this again with Sarah and Joe. I think it’ll be easier to find buzz words, don’t you?

  110. 110
    The Moar You Know says:

    Shit, WordPress fucked me again. Sorry, guize.

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    Obama mentioned “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” And that McCain will tax healthcare benefits.

    And hammered (looking directly into the camera) that he will cut taxes for 95% of Americans.

    Seems most of the pundits are rating it as a fairly even debate, which considering it was on foreign policy is pretty good for Obama.

  112. 112
    TCG says:

    No shit on the Tactic strategy BS answer.

  113. 113
    Delia says:

    Norah O’Donnell says the repubs are already cutting ads with BO saying “John, you’re right”.

    He really shouldn’t say shit like that.

  114. 114
    TR says:

    He is tanking. Alternating between cranky and phony is not debating. This was a clear win for Obama.

    I found the CNN reaction graph annoying at first, but it was interesting to watch the green line — independents — as they watched the debate. Most of the time, it was hugging the blue line for Democrats, especially when it dove south during McCain’s crankier episodes.

    CNN also has six analysts — two Dem, two GOP, two reporters — scoring the debate, and they’ve got it four for Obama, one tie (McCain sycophant Jon King), and one for McCain (chronic gambler Bill Bennett).

    Seems clear that Obama won.

  115. 115
    Comrade Steve says:

    Should’ve mandated one drink for “Senator Obama doesn’t seem to understand.” You’d be on the floor right now….

  116. 116
    RH Potfry says:

    You are dead wrong. He is tanking. Alternating between cranky and phony is not debating. This was a clear win for Obama.

    Let it be recorded: John Cole lost whatever remaining objectivity he had on 9/26/08 at 9:32PM.

  117. 117
    Wini says:

    You will have to make up your own totals, I am afraid.

    I’ll make it an even $25

  118. 118
    JL says:

    Laura, I don’t think that we can afford a Miss Sarah debate.

  119. 119
    Scott H says:

    Obama was far too generous to McCain, not necessarily a fault, but bad tactically. McCain mischaracterized too many of Obama’s remarks, but I don’t know that it was unsubtle enough to be noticed outside of poli junkies.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    ninerdave says:

    Where was McCain’s flag pin???

    Commie, American hating bastard!!

  122. 122
    Comrade Mary says:

    There’s already a “McCain is right” ad. OK, he’ll drop that verbal tic before the next debate.

  123. 123
    TR says:

    Online polls at CNN and MSNBC both have it for Obama by 3-1 or 2-1.

    While we were busy with policy details, it seems a lot of people reacted to McCain’s attitude — lots of comments about him seeming condescending, not looking Obama in the eye, constantly insisting Obama didn’t understand so-and-so.

    I think we’ve seen Al Gore’s sigh make a comeback.

  124. 124
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    What do I think? Hell, I’ve lost all perspective. Obama seems to look at the world much like I do: looking for conciliation, seeking a common ground.

    McCain is just a creepy, hotheaded, nasty man who has, in the last few weeks, and in a very public fashion, flushed every bit of his integrity and credibility down the toilet.

    I do think that even low-information voters will pick up on McCain’s blatant attempt to “take off his uniform”, saying essentially “Who is this George W. Bush of whom you speak?”

  125. 125
    ShouldKnow Better says:

    Bah, I guess my comment about McCain’s lack of eye contact with Obama got eaten.

    But also, I loved the closing statements:

    Obama: Hope!

    McCain: POW!

    That about sums it up.

  126. 126
    Comrade NonyNony says:

    You are dead wrong. He is tanking. Alternating between cranky and phony is not debating. This was a clear win for Obama.

    There are no clear wins until the spinning is finished. We aren’t going to know anything about who “won” until, oh, Sunday when the “narrative” is firmly in place.

    For my part, I call it a draw. Both of them did well enough – McCain had a few “Grampa Simpson” moments, but not so badly that he stumbled enough to make people worry. Obama looked Presidential and like he could call up facts at a moment’s notice – killing the “inexperienced” crap for anyone but those who are already voting for McCain.

    My wife – who is political but isn’t the freak that I am about this stuff – gave the opinion that she could see how people could be still be supporting McCain, meaning that he didn’t sound any crazier than any other Republican and he looked considerably more intelligent than W. We’ll see how the polling comes out, but I suspect that this debate didn’t move many folks one way or the other. (Caveat – we watched it on PBS when CSPAN-2 started acting crazy, so we didn’t have a bunch of widgets or tickers or anything else on the screen – just the debate).

    We’ll see. I say it all depends on how the spinning goes.

  127. 127
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think that was basically a draw. Strong performance from both sides.

    I am impressed with McCain’s performance. He was MUCH better than he was in the GOP primary debates.

    But Obama was also much better than he was in his last round of debates with Clinton. The guy looks presidential. As much as McCain tried to paint him as a lightweight, nobody who saw the debate will conclude that.

    Afterward, NBC had Biden on to get post-reaction. Then they mentioned that they had invited VP candidate Palin on the Republican side, but she had refused the request. Shocker!

    Last word: SPAIN!!!

  128. 128
    Comrade Mary says:

    Anyone have any idea how the CNN focus groups on CNN came out? I can’t see anything on their site.

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You are dead wrong. He is tanking. Alternating between cranky and phony is not debating. This was a clear win for Obama.

    Everytime McCain spoke, the viewer reaction graph lines dropped with the Republican line barely moving up. McCain was rattled multiple times, was clearly confused on more than a few occasions (including in his first answer) Additionally, he spent practically the whole debate running against the Bush administration and failed miserably at projecting a presidential aura.

    In a sane world, it was a clear, unambiguous loss for McCain. But in our world, the asshats on CNN are declaring it a tie, just as a I predicted back when. They handicapped the race for McCain because that’s what their corporate masters require.

  130. 130
    JonChicago says:

    McCain performed better than I had hoped. I was hoping he would paint himself into a corner with Iraq, Iran, Russia and that crackerjack Palin. Every time he said Barack does not get it….I kept thinking of Jack Nicholson screaming “you can’t handle the truth.” Any dark secrets that McCain knows about the military are probably illegal and your right I don’t want to get it. There was one point that McCain said it was a bridge on the economy and I was hoping that Barack would say, “yes John, but that is a bridge to no where.”

  131. 131
    Comrade Nicole says:

    What I desperately wanted to hear and didn’t:

    Obama: John, did you just try to link me to George Bush? Really? Really?

    As my husband said, McCain played the Chewbacca Defense.

  132. 132
    dslak says:

    the asshats on CNN are declaring it a tie

    I think the rule for television pundits is, unless you’re a paid hack or one of the candidates drools on himself, the debate is a tie. Next week, Sarah Palin will be the exception that proves the rule.

  133. 133
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    “Obama said he only wants proven missile defense. STI wasn’t proven when Reagan pushed for it, and STI was a major factor in bringing about the end of the cold war.”

    Read Arsenals of Democracy. SDI nearly caused a nuclear exchange between the US and USSR.

  134. 134
    patroclus says:

    I think McCain was boorish and rude throughout even though he got a number of jabs in. This WON’T, in my view, play well with independents and undecideds. Obama, by contrast, appeared knowledgeable and presidential. All of the polls I’ve seen (except Druge) show Obama winning. And CBS’s real poll does too.

  135. 135
    Keith says:

    Wow, Cindy McCain makes ANOTHER HD faux pas to go with the Tie From Hell by wearing a fire-engine red dress. For those unfamiliar with digital video compression, the red color range gets short-changed on DVDs/cable and looks incredibly horrible, with pixellation and huge color saturation.

  136. 136
    Товарищ НеинтересноСобака says:

    Read Arsenals of Democracy. SDI nearly caused a nuclear exchange between the US and USSR.

    So, Star Wars almost ended the cold war? I don’t think that’s what McCain meant, somehow.

  137. 137
    Comrade Baron Elmo says:

    McCain did better than I expected… on the other hand, Obama has sharpened his debate game considerably since the primaries. In the end, I don’t think many minds will be changed one way or the other.

    I do, however, think that McCain’s Grandpa Simpson demeanor cost him dear in terms of sheer likability. I keep thinking of him as a Bob Dole retread with the edges dulled.

  138. 138

    […] At Balloon Juice, the Republican who quit the Republican Party, John Cole: […]

  139. 139
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Anyone else catch this recent gem from Bill Clinton:

    Referring to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, Clinton said, “They’re wonderful people. And I like the idea that this guy [Palin’s husband, Todd] does those long-distance races. Stayed in the race for 500 miles with a broken arm. My kind of guy.” “She’s hot out there,” Clinton said, because Americans can relate to her and her family.

    If Clinton isn’t going to help then someone needs to tell him to just STFU.

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