LIVE BLOG — THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/26/2008
8:00 Well, that’s enough for tonight. Tomorrow we’ve got soccer.
7:57 Here’s the debate transcript — Obama without all the Nixon creepiness, McCain without the steely passion, conviction, and self-assurance.
7:55 Could you tell the house was full of kids while I live blogged this? Chaos.
7:48 This is clever. Obama’s spin team has a pre-packaged, pre-written talking point, criticizing McCain for “talking about the past” when talking of his association with Henry Kissinger, a topic McCain got into when responding to a pre-scripted Obama attack point about McCain and his “advisor” Henry Kissinger. I don’t think I’ve seen this before, a debate point constructed in order to get a candidate to talk in a way that sets up the launch of a post-debate attack. Clever.
7:42 So what are other people saying? “Obama comes across as bland and policy speak” — Nina Easton of Fortune on Fox. Rick Brookshire: “the debate seemed very generational. Obama sounded young and forceful,
McCain sounded old and forceful. If age entails experience and
knowledge, a point McCain tried to make, then he wins. I wonder how he
sounded to someone 35 and younger. I am 53, and I felt I was listening
to Ronald Reagan, or my father. Obama sounded a college professor — a TA.
7:37 I’m happy it’s over. Lot’s there, but needed more jokes. McCain’s relentless passion and seriousness has left me worn out. McCain wins on intensity and stamina and mastery of every topic discussed. Obama. He bored me. And when he didn’t bore me, he gave me that somewhat creepy Nixon feel. Not a confidence builder for the American people.
7:36 Obama will extend the Great Society to all of the world. Wow.
7:33 McNeil-Lehrer seems happy to let Obama filibuster, when he’s rambling, and doesn’t have much to say, and goes from topic to topic. McNeil-Lehrer isn’t doing Obama any favors.
7:30 “This is the greatest country on earth, but .. “. Any sentence that starts like that is a loser with the majority of Americans. Obama, you’re a loser.
7:27 McNeil-Lehrer wasn’t such a typical representative of left / Democrat media think as he’s been in prior years. And he’s mostly stayed in the background. A good very professional job. Not many folks like this left in journalism.
7:25 Off putting facial mugging by Obama. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Don’t mug.
7:24 The college sophomore is boring me again. I’m trying to check out the live blogging by Vodka Pundit.
7:21 More idiot stammering from Obama. Off putting. Ah, ah, ah. Ah. Not a confidence builder.
7:19 McCain is coming across as a man who knows himself and knows the issues. Obama, not so much.
7:18 Ann Althouse is also live blogging the debate. My interest must be flagging. Obama is boring me.
7:17 Is Obama winning this on radio? Nixon did.
7:15 Obama’s giving me that Nixon vibe again. It’s Nixon vs. Kennedy.
7:14 McNeil-Lehrer decides to get out of the way. Good.
7:13 McCain senses the same thing I did, and makes a stab at a joke about the Obama seal.
7:10 McCain needs to tell a roundhouse joke, and put Obama away for the debate. I can just imagine Reagan doing it right now, letting the audience express their sense that Obama really is a kind of a rookie fool, who’s just a bit in over his head.
7:08 I actually find McCain’s passionate contempt and disbelief at Obama’s ignorance and bad judgment to be deeply effective. It makes you think there must really be something to it — that Obama’s bad judgment and ignorance really matters in deciding this election.
7:05 I’m judging this thing mostly on feel and style and debating effectiveness, the thing goes to fast to much engage the particulars of the substance.
7:02 The lefties must be very disappointed with Obama, he’s done little to say all the kinds of things that sets their hearts to going pitter-patter when it comes to the American military and America’s place in the world.
7:01 Obama fumbles talking about a mother and her dead son. He seems to know he’s stumbling and not coming off well talking about such things on the same stage with McCain.
6:58 McCain tells the very effective story about his opposition to Reagan on the Marines in Lebanon. McCain effectively goes through his record of courageous and seemingly sensible foreign policy stands on a series of tough calls.
6:57 McCain scores again, pointing out Obama’s ignorance about the history of the Pakistani state.
6:55 Obama lies about his position on invading Pakistan, comes up wish a really weak shot at McCain on singing about bomb, bomb Iran. Where’s the ability to score with a joke, people?
6:54 McCain scores taking Obama to school on Afghanistan, saying the same strategy Obama rejects in Iraq will be required in Afghanistan — Obama’s plan of just more troops is a loser without an intelligent strategy.
6:52 Why does McCain always start so slow in these things? It seems he needs to be provoked, and only then will he untie his hands, and engage.
6:51 Obama does a weak college sophomore move, weakly talking over McCain when McCain had the floor, and then giving up. Not classy.
6:49 Yep, Obama is giving me that Nixon vibe.
6:47 Obama listening in the split screen while McCain speaks looks like Nixon in the debate with Kennedy — his head keeps wiping back and forth, and he doesn’t come across as assuring, genuine or trustworthy.
6:43 McCain is counter punching effectively. He’s strongest when he’s energized and roused to punch hard. McNeil-Lehrer let Obama go on and on and on — but cuts off McCain right in the middle of a dismantling of McCain, separates the two, and then lets Obama take shots at McCain. The referee, well known to everyone, is leans left and leans Democrat — and the reffing here seems to reflect that.
6:41 The’re mixing it up on Iraq now. Obama is giving a set speech, which weaves a set of effective talking points and sound bites.
6:37 McCain seems to think Federal spending is the crux of the problem with the economy, showing either weak economic understanding, or poor political judgment in his failure to take Obama and the Democrats down on the corrupt misregulation of the money and finance sectors. At least McCain could do the very minimum and explain how spending connects up with the financial crisis. A disconnected mention of borrowing from China isn’t enough.
6:36 Obama scores by linking big themes to particular issues — “our values” with tax cuts and health care. Wish McCain had the capacity for doing this. Oh, we do miss Ronald Reagan.
6:35 More Obama stammering. Not a confidence booster.
6:33 Where’s the funny? McCain crushed Obama during the Rick Warren debate by scoring repeatedly with the audience when he made them laugh. McCain needs to lighten up and ease the tension — we’re happy people out here John. Make us laugh.
6:31 Obama tries to toss out a pre-scripted line about being “liberal” because he’s opposed Bush’s bad proposals. The line went flat, and didn’t land. A minor flub.
6:30 More annoying stammering from college sophomore Barack Obama.
6:29 McCain is convincing when he speaks of particular examples, such as cost-plus contracts, and he speaks with such passion and conviction it’s convincing.
6:27 We’ll the idea that this was a foreign policy debate clearly got thrown out the window by McNeil-Lehrer.
6:25 The more he confronts Obama, the better McCain does — and the worse Obama comes across. When McCain asserts that Obama isn’t telling the truth, he’s believable — Obama comes off less convincing.
6:25 When he mixes it up with Obama, McCain comes across as a man with conviction, a genuine man who’s telling the truth.
6:23 What’s wrong with the sound? Obama’s voice doesn’t match up with his image on the screen. Awkward.
6:22 Obama sounds like he’s running for the college student body, with is stammering.
6:21 McCain is coming on with passion on earmarks — the passion and the conviction totally overwhelms Obama’s narrow points about the detail.
6:20 McCain gives a good explanation with a good example — Ireland and the economic advantages of low taxes in the global economy.
6:19 In the split screen, Obama looks like a school boy. The more McCain punches directly and like an adult who belongs there, he kills.
sp; After apologizing, McCain punches back, gets his passion back — he’s throwing roundhouses here, and scoring big points.
6:17 Right now I’d score this in Obama’s favor.
6:16 McCain left the barn door open, and Obama just drove through it, pointing out the insignificant role of earmarks in the disaster which is the Federal budget.
6:15 McCain is rambling and unfocused. He’s got the Fannie Mae corruption issue right there in his lap, and he’s failing to pick it up. Instead he goes to the large theme issue of overspending and earmarks — but fails to tell anyone how this links up with the economic crisis.
6:13 McCain is really letting me down. He just had a great opening to directly tag Obama on the mortgage crisis, and he dropped the ball.
6:11 McCain is right about responsibility, but he is incapable of driving home specifics that give us confidence that he knows what needs to be done — or knows how to take advantage of an issue overwhelmingly favorable to the Republicans.
6:10 BS alert — Obama blames everything on the American system of free enterprise — and those who advocate it.
6:08 McCain fails to give us any principles underlying his approach to the socialization of the housing mortgage industry.
6:07 McCain seems nervous and not well prepared.
6:05 BS alert — Obama blames everything on Bush and McCain.
6:04 Not much of a debate yet — Obama is giving us a rehearsed speech.