[All times Pacific Standard]
8:05 McCain’s preening-hood was on display at the beginning, but he did manage to modulate it (slightly). McCain had some moments where he looked relaxed and in command of his facts/talking points. But the repeated shots at Obama was not pretty. What is clear to me over the psychodrama that is his campaign especially in the last 48 hours or so, is that for all this “Obama is the Messiah” talk (he’s an image, a dream, gives a good speech), it’s all driven clearly by the fact that Obama gets under McCain’s skin. McCain can’t handle not being the media darling. Jilted lover with the media. (Que sera, sera I say). Obama just thinks McCain is a honorable old fool. He has the decency and good sense not to get personal as McCain wants to do. Not flattering.
McCain’s viewpoint is very limited to the 20th century. His crieria of who is ready to lead is totally predicated on his insider-carpetbagger-aristocrat background. Obama certainly isn’t that, so he doesn’t pass the test (whereas Hillary would by McCain’s standards).
I don’t know ultimately how Obama will turn out as president (if and when). But I do know that I supported him from the get go (way back like 20 months ago now) because I’ve always sensed he had a different insight than all the others. Even the ones I like (like Biden). That intuition I find borne out again tonight. I’m willing to take that chance, not because I know for sure Obama is the greatest being ever or something but because the way of operating that the Boomers have done has served its time and is now over. They can help in the new order. Lend a hand if Bob Dylan were singing about it (or get outta the way). But whatever, the same can not do. While I still have some serious policy disagreements with Obama (check the thread), I didn’t see anything to dissuade me tonight. I saw Obama give what I think was his strongest debate performance by far to date.
8:00 One correction. I said that McCain was only interested domestically in tax & spending cuts. Forgot Nuclear Power. (Yippee!!!–isn’t that what the Iranians say they are building their reactors for? Oh nevermind).
7:38 The ending was pretty flat from both of them as I said earlier. But overall I have to give it to Obama. Especially during that middle portion. McCain showed that the only domestic agenda he cares about is spending and the only foreign policy is Iraq and Russia/Georgia.
Obama looked sharp and in control. McCain settled in towards the end I think but at the beginning was really jittery.
7:37 McCain gets the last line and it’s actually a pretty decent one: He knows how to heal wounds of war, deal with enemies, work with friends.
7:36 McCain came back to Reform, Peace, Prosperity. Haven’t heard that slogan (only one of 15 or so he’s had so far this campaign) for awhile. I think that was given the McCain Campaign, four iterations ago.
7:35 McCain says that the veterans know he will take care of them. Except that he voted against the last bill (and the Webb GI Bill).
7:34 But little mini-comeback by referring to global vision versus the tunnel vision-“all chips in” on Iraq that is Bush-McCain.
7:33 I don’t like Fear the Chinese Dragon lines here from BO. Almost as dumb as McCain’s League of Democracies/Fear the Autocracies. The balloon is going on both of them.
7:31 BS on McCain Alert. If we lose in Iraq, al-Qaeda will have a base there. Not uh when the Sunni Tribesmen, Shia gov’t/Army, and/or Kurds kill them dude.
7:29 Neither of them are very strong on the “Are We Safer Question?”. Did Obama just support Star Wars (er Missile Defense)? Haven’t heard that before. Ugh.
7:27 McCain taking credit for Homeland Security? You can have it. If Biden were here, he would blow his top on McCain’s suggestion that they have done most of the recommendations.
7:22 Thumbs down to Obama for Georgia/Ukraine NATO entrance. Apparently it was all Russian aggression now in the CW (Larison is probably head in hands now). No Georgian aggression.
7:21 McCain’s story about Abkhazia where he saw a poster Putin for President just undermined his whole argument about how it was Georgian territory. Apparently they thought it wasn’t Georgian territory.
7:13 McCain’s attempt at a joke/dig at Obama for a seal just bombed out. McCain doesn’t get the difference between preparation and precondition. A precondition is say “Unless you stop all nuclear activity you will not get to talk with us.” Preparation is we put the issues we will discuss on the table. I was five seconds ahead of him as on a few others.
7:11 He is going back to Axis of Evil. Iraq had no WMDs. North Korea gets the message that if you don’t have a nuke you get overthrown (minus a security agreement) and BOOM–Builds one. And Iran…..same thing?
7:08 oh shit. he just flipped Kissinger wanting to talk with Iran on McCain after McCain just cited Kissinger & Nixon go to China. BAM!
7:06 zing. Obama hits McCain on how you need China and Russia (which my esteemed colleague would admit are not democracies).
7:05 League of Democracies. If I had liquor nearby, that would be a triple shot. On to Iran….
6:54. McCain just mispronounced the name of the new President of Pakistan. And now we are going to have THE SAME SURGE in Afghanistan as in Iraq. W-T-F? Who are the Awakening in this version? The Shia?
6:53. Obama’s strong on Afghanistan in his answer (though I still harbor question his policy). McCain is answering about the 80s. He just said we couldn’t leave Afghanistan like we did after the Soviet War. Except that is exactly what happened when we went into Iraq. McCain has got nothing on Afghanistan.
6:46: Obama’s got a very good answer on the troop funding. Obama is the only one to see strategy as a beyond one country tunnel vision. Strategy as Overall Strategy.
6:41. What is up with McCain bringing up the no-hearings on Afghanistan. Really he is so petulant. Obama just needs to keep it cool. McCain just said Obama doesn’t know the difference between a tactic and a strategy. Hello pot, kettle here.
6:39: Allright. Onto foreign policy. McCain’s answer on Iraq just made no sense. The lesson from Iraq was we can’t have a failed strategy that we will cause us almost to lose. Except that the STRATEGY is elections, the push for national reconciliation, creation of strong central government, NOT THE SURGE. Sorry Johnny. The Surge did not change the STRATEGY. The Surge is a tactic pinned to the Strategy which exists only to serve the goal (unified democratic Iraq).
6:35: Obama is getting to the issue of values. This is smart imo. McCain only has his value as less government/less spending. I don’t know it plays in this economy. Republican economic deregulation orthodoxy–like none of this fallout just happened.
6:30 [PST]: I wasn’t expecting it go about budget hawk wonkery. Kinda weird and has essentially nothing with the Bailout.
6:27 [PST]: Good question from Lehrer. What can they not do post-bailout? Obama is dodging a bit. He says he is still going forward with health care, energy, education, infrastructure. I think he actually is right–i.e. those things have to be done–but where is the cash? Do we just bust the budget because you know the Republicans get the levers of power again, they will f it up again. And the Democrats always have to come in (a la Clinton) and have their agenda screwed via Republican monetary malfeasance.
6:21 [PST]: McCain is giving the US has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate we need to be more like Ireland. Except that it’s on the books as the 2nd highest, there are so many loopholes, that the payout is much lower. Obama just makes the same point.
6:20 [PST]: WTF is with McCain’s monomania against earmarks? Seriously. Seriously dude. Now you wanna pick this fight?
6:19 [PST]: Obama is quick to make sure he doesn’t get the tax raiser/big spender librual.
6:17 [PST]: oooh. interesting. Obama has got his numbers and is calling McCain out on tax cuts for the rich. He’s doesn’t want McCain to grab populist ground. Pretty shrewd.
6:14 [PST]: McCain has got his talking points ready. Spending, responsibility, increased gov’t (nice Great Society shot there). I don’t know how this plays. God he just said earmarks are a gateway drug (like pot?)–DRUG WAR on EARMARKS? The Bears in Montana? WTF? How does this have anything to do with the financial crisis?