1st Presidential Debate 2008: liveblog from an independent.

26 09 2008

6:05pm PDT – Obama’s answer is (duh) highly calculated, and very… boring.

6:06pm PDT – McCain’s answer is (duh) more conversational.  The Kennedy note is (stab me for hardheartedness now) pure filler.

6:07pm PDT – I’m watching the debate on CNN (it’s the only HD version I get, for more nose-sweat spottage), and the little “reaction graph” at the bottom is making me roll my eyes in the most SHUTTHEFUCKUP way.

6:08pm PDT – Good job, Jim. Make them answer the damn question.

6:09pm PDT – If somebody has a source for Obama’s “2 years ago, I warned” claim, I’m all ears. A little snooty.

6:10pm PDT – Blah blah blah. Obama’s a prophet, so now McCain is one too. Yay. You’re both prophets. Let’s hear some freaking details you’re in favor of / not in favor of.  Obama outlined the conceptual problem to some extent, but didn’t dive very far.

6:12pm PDT – Obama chose a slick segue to level the “fundamentals are sound” barb.  You knew he was gunna.

6:13pm PDT – wtf, the little graph is purple now? Does that mean the Dems and Reps are overlapping? is that pink? are my contacts fucked up?

6:14pm PDT – It’s nice that McCain believes the best days are ahead of us. I wish I could share that optimism.

6:15pm PDT – McCain’s “earmarks” answer: Holding a Sharpie. Classy. That $932 million figure was a nasty one.  I wonder if McCain can claim equally free a record. (Doubtful.)

6:16pm PDT – Obama’s retort: Good point. 18 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to the other shit on which we’re (natch) wasting money.  I doubt the veracity of the “that wasn’t the case with me” bit.  Again, love to see some evidence.

6:18pm PDT – I like McCain’s insistence on cleaning up lobbyist-influenced earmarks.  I’m wondering if he can really do anything with that. Earmarks and lobbying have been part of government since Eden (or Egypt, take your pick).

6:20pm PDT – I wonder who the highest business taxing nation in the world is.  France? China?

6:22pm PDT – Nice retort. It’s not the letter of the code, but its ridiculous complexity wrt loopholes.

6:24pm PDT – The “tax code choice” thing really sounds like a lot more unnecessary complexity. Mental note: read up on it.

6:25pm PDT – Obviously McCain is much more talented at butting in.

6:26pm PDT – Ooooh. Good question, Jim. (What would you have to give up in the event of the bailout?)

6:27 pm PDT – Obama’s really not answering this question. It’s just another excuse to have a platform statement.  If this is a background for the answer, it’s too damn long.  He did make a good POSITIVE statement, but the question really calls for a NEGATIVE answer.

6:29 pm PDT – Score one for McCain. Actually gave a real answer, even though it is still still partially a statement of his platform.

6:30pm PDT – Lehrer is spot-on as always.  Neither really directly answered the question.

6:31pm PDT – Alright. An answer. Way to go, Barack.

6:33pm PDT – “And all that.” HAH.

6:36pm PDT – An OK conceptual answer from Obama.  Again, light on details.  McCain’s retort re: health care had much less healthcare.

6:37pm PDT – Oh, McCain. I can’t tell if your trickle down logic reminds me of Reagan or G.H.W. Bush.

6:38pm PDT – Obama took his chance to make his second “you knew it was coming” pointed barb – connecting to Dubya.  I wonder if he feels at a disadvantage.

6:39pm PDT – “the lessons of iraq” question.

6:40pm PDT – Wassuh? Oh, sorry. I fell asleep during McCain’s recounting of how awesome Petraus is, etc.

6:41pm PDT – Obama’s 3rd pointed barb: he knew Iraq was a dumb idea in the first place.

6:42pm PDT – You knew this had to be the comeback.  Geez. I could almost predict this shit. (McCain throws the “surge won’t work” stuff back in his gob.)

6:45pm PDT – “Let us win”?  LET US WIN? John, your definition of “winning” is fucking pathetic. I’m sorry, but it is.  If we’re winning, I’m J.P. Morgan.

6:50pm PDT – Woo hoo! talking over each other!

6:51 pm PDT – “Afghanistan” question.

6:53pm PDT – Obama’s answer is very pointed, compared to some of the earlier answers.  Is this poppy trade really all that bad? and do we really want to play hardball with Pakistan….? (after the shit that’s happened the last couple weeks?)

6:54pm PDT – McCain grabbed my apprehensions about Pakistan by the balls. Way to go.

6:55pm PDT – have to break to eat dinner. dammit

7:05pm – I call the Afghanistan question a draw, maybe slightly in Obama’s favor. McCain makes a good point that Obama never went there, but…. c’mon dude.  I’d bet 2 million bucks you landed and stayed in the rear with the gear.  Politicians going to war areas gives them as good a picture of the ground there as a 7-year-old spending a couple hours on the NYSE.

7:06pm – These times will be off as I’ve had to lean on the TiVo crutch a little.  next question: “Iran”.

7:09pm – Frighteningly enough, Obama seems more of the realist on this issue. BIZARRO WURRRRLDDD

7:10pm – McCain’s first retort: I can understand the “not wanting to legitimize”.  But consider: the fact that you’re *talking* about this means it’s already legitimized.  You’re considering it.  Why not get the facts straight from the horse’s mouth?

7:15pm – 3 inches taller?  WTF? Am I missing something here?  Is someone beating the tops of their heads or the bottoms of their feet?

7:17pm – Russia

Obama’s answer: Largely pragmatic; middle-of-the-road.

McCain’s answer: That first barb was bullshit. Anyone who’s read anything the Georgian government put out during that time would well agree they needed a little restraint of their own.  Not the same kind of restraint as Russia needed, sure.  But restraint nonetheless.  Otherwise, not all that disparate from Obama’s position.

Obama’s retort: Yup.  Kind of a ham-handed transition to energy policy. Is McCain blowing his nose? What is that sound?

McCain’s retort: Drill drill drill.

7:27pm – Last lead: likelihood of another 9/11.

McCain’s answer: Passable answer.  I think the 9/11 commission stuff was largely overshadowed by the “I met a weeping mother with Down’s syndrome whose 8 twin sons were murdered by terrorists” etc.

Obama’s answer: I can understand Obama’s dedication to getting Osama, to avoid all this “Obama / Osama” shit, but…. can you really destroy an organization that, by all accounts, operates as a random collective of small, self-contained cells, by removing its leader?  it’s a PR game more than a substantive one. Perhaps that’s what kills terrorism, being largely a PR game itself.  Meh.

McCain’s retort: “Surrender and 9/11 will happen again.” Snore. “We’ll lose all we’ve sacrificed there.” Yeah, we’d lose everything.  Without us, the Iraqis are a loose collection of idiotic Muslim extremists. Sure.  (** sarcasm switch turns off **)

Obama’s retort: Yup. Spot-on.

McCain’s retort: Ooooh, nasty. Dude, the Georgia thing is bullshit. Give it up, man.  Yeah, the surge worked.  With several millions of bribes. The military tactic totally did it.  Man, I’m a cynical fucker.

Obama’s retort: Is he using the “royal we”?  Huhwhat? Please tell me he’s referring to “us Democrats”, or “me and my Cabinet”.  The “royal we” would really disturb me.

Overall, it’s clear McCain is a better pure debater.  I question the veracity of a shitload of facts from both of them, and where the truth lies is a real indicator of who’s substance and who’s style.

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