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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Presidential Debate Liveblog — Second Official Thread.

The other thread was getting a bit crowded and clogged. And here we go again.

It’s over. Okay, over 90 minutes of Obama smacking McFail. So… who had fun?

9:36 NOUN + VERB + POW

9:35 Wow… McCain compares Obama’s “inflexibility” (AKA, sticking to his guns on the issues) to the Bush administration. McCain says he’ll take care of the veterans and that they know he’ll take care of them. Really funny, considering his horrible voting record on veteran’s issues.

9:33 Obama says the economy is now a national security issue. Fantastic line.

9:31Question: what is the likelihood of another 9/11 attack? Is America safer?

McCain: Yes. Blah blah blah. And all of it would be lost if we followed Obama’s plan and had dates for withdrawal.

Obama: Brings it back to Afghanistan, the tactical errors made. Picked up on McCain’s comment about torture! Says engaging in torture “undermines” us. Good, nice catch. He’ll come back to this on the trail. Bad flip-flop, McGramps.

9:27 Wait, suddenly McCain is against torture again? Is that what he just said?

9:25 More on Russia from Obama: “We have to have foresight and anticipate some of these problems. Back in April I warned the administration that we had Russian peacekeepers in Georgian territory, which made no sense.” Says some of these problems might have been avoided. He continues: “Russia is in part resurgent and Putin is feeling powerful because of petrodollars.” Great, he uses this question to bring us back to his alternative energy plans. Well done.

9:20 On Russia. Obama: Their actions in Georgia were unacceptable and unwarranted. It’s essential that we have a unified alliance — “You can’t be a 21st century power and act like a 20th century dictatorship.” Says we also can’t return to a Cold War posture with respect to Russia. Heh. And “you don’t deal with Russia based on looking into someone’s eyes and seeing his soul.” Nice. Keep reminding people of Bush. Probably the best tactic when dealing with McCain.

McCain: Russia has become a nation run by petro-dollars. “I looked into Putin’s eyes and saw three letters: a ‘K’ a ‘G’ and a ‘B’.” Wants to work with the Russians but says we have every right to expect them to respect international boundaries.

9:14 Here we go again — McCain trying to paint Obama as reckless on diplomacy. Obama explains, “‘Without preconditions’ means we don’t do what we’ve been doing, which is to say, ‘Until you agree to do exactly what we say, we won’t have contact with you.’ There’s a difference between ‘preconditions’ and ‘preparations’.” Obama continues: “In North Korea, we cut off talks, and you know what happened? They quadrupled their nuclear capacity, they tested missiles, they pulled out of the nonproliferation agreement, and they sent nuclear secrets potentially to countries like Syria.” Reminds the viewers that McCain wasn’t too keen on meeting with the Prime Minister of Spain (uhhh, by the way — any of y’all know where Spain is?). Heh.

9:08 On Iran… McCain: “We could impose significant, meaningful, painful sanctions on the Iranians . . . Together, with other Democracies around the world, we can affect Iranian behavior.” He says if Iranians continue on this path to developing nuclear weapons, it’ll be a threat to the region and the world.

Obama: The one thing that has strengthened Iran has been the war in Iraq. “John is correct, we cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.” Says we’ll need the cooperation of countries like Russia and China, not JUST traditional democracies. Also points out that our efforts at isolation have just sped up their efforts to attain nuclear weapons.

9:03 Great line — Obama quotes McCain as having said we would “muddle through Afghanistan”. Obama points out: “You don’t ‘muddle through’ going after bin-Laden.”

9:01 McCain rattling off his record of being involved in national security issues. Says we’ll have to go back to Iraq if we fail now. Once again, GOP talking point: turn it into a matter of honor.

8:58 Obama says we lost legitimacy in Pakistan, while the government failed to go after Al-Qaeda.

8:53 Question: Do you think more US troops should be sent to Afghanistan? How many and when?

Obama says yes, and quickly. We currently have the highest number fatalities there than any time since 2002. We can’t separate Afghanistan from Iraq. He would send 2 additional brigades there. We have four times more troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan, despite the knowledge that the Taliban is deeply entrenched in Afghanistan. We have to deal with Pakistan because the Taliban has safehavens there.

McCain is saying Obama is “threatening” Pakistan. (Nice mischaracterization.) McCain: “You don’t do that, you don’t say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things.” So basically he means: just lie about it.


  1. semiquaver

    McCain just mentioned vietnam without directly referring to his experience in prison.  I think that’s a first.

  2. On talking to our enemies:  “The contrast between the two candidates is stark.  Obama said  ‘I’ll talk with anyone’.  I worked for Ronald Reagan as an intel guy and a diplomat.  Reagan called the Soviets an evil empire, then sent us off to negotiate with them.”

    • Jjc2008

      up McCain’s sick sense of humor and threw it in his face.  He’s a liar……..McCain is.

      And an arrogant jerk.

  3. Jjc2008


    It’s the republicans favorite card.  Scare them, scare them, scare them.

    It’s also the favorite card of fascists….

  4. Obama’s emphasis on the broader global conflict and our broader responsibilities will reach more people. His vision seems broader, wiser, and more focused on ordinary people. A masterful performance tonight, I think. Obama’s best ever debate performance.

  5. Jjc2008

    I wish Obama was a better debater. It is not his strong suit.

    McCain was a jerk….he was condescending and using scare tactics.

    Only his base will be happy but they love paternalistic daddy knows best types.

  6. rfahey22

    Ha ha, just kidding.

    I had to listen into the Internet feed, and it mostly bored me to tears.  I thought that it was fairly even, though Obama got in a few good shots.  I do like how he ended discussing America’s reputation abroad.  I don’t really understand why McCain avoided that issue.

  7. fogiv

    …is that McCain sounded like a Senator appealing to the “get off my lawn” onctogenarian crowd.  Obama came off mighty Presidential.

  8. GrassrootsOrganizer

    CNN brought had 32 people in Ohio using a hand-held reaction dialer and scrolled their reactions on the bottom of the screen in real time with a line for independent, Republicans and Democrats.  All claimed they were still open to changing their vote at the start.

    I watched that line during the entire debate and saw a different debate, apparently, than the pundits.  I saw all three lines DIVE far under neutral when McCain referenced Palin, when he called himself a “maverick”, when he mentioned his time in Vietnam, and with every one of his fucking sound bites or when he’d go after Obama.  The reaction was flat when McCain mentioned his bracelet and went up when Obama mentioned his.  

    Generally, I only saw Obama dip into negative territory a couple times when he tried to tie McCain to Bush.  But for big stretches of time McCain was living down there.  

    the highest the lines went through the entire debate was when Obama was answering the 9/11 question and the “bomb bomb bomb Iran” comment got a strong positive from indis and dems.  Neither candidate got a spike one way or the other except when McCain referenced Palin — she is definitely his biggest liability right now.

      • spacemanspiff

        . pwn 7583 up, 501 down

        PWN (verb)

        1. An act of dominating an opponent.

        2. Great, ingenious; applied to methods and objects.

        Originally dates back to the days of WarCraft, when a map designer mispelled “Own” as “Pwn”. What was originally supose to be “player has been owned.” was “player has been pwned”.

        Pwn eventually grew from there and is now used throughout the online world, especially in online games.

        1. “I pwn these guys on battlenet”

        2. “This strategy pwns!” or “This game pwn.”

  9. GrassrootsOrganizer

    They need to not put so much GD product in Obama’s hair!  it made him look overly done up and prissy.  (Can I just go ahead and say “pimpish”?)   His demeanor and voice however seemed calm, focused and presidential.

    There were a few side by sides where Obama was standing there upright, proud and focused and McCain looked in comparison like a he thought the whole thing was a joke — grinning like a chimp and laughing to some private joke.  Seeing as not one of the topics was “fun” this struck me as off-putting and oddly non-presidential, especially in such serious times.

    during the section on the economy, McCain looked like a deer in headlights.  

    McCain overuses the hell out of his campaign soundbites and they fall like turds when he uses them now.  Obama uses them less but he needs to stay off of them all together.  Nobody reacts well to the canned crap.  

    I hear what the pundits are saying and I think they are completely full of shit every last one of them.  I think using the Nixon/Kennedy criteria Obama came off as far more “presidential” and far less annoying.  This is a case of the bar being set so low for McCain a slug could jump over it.    

  10. I ended up watching with the family and never did turn on the laptop. Maybe, it was better to do it that way, since I could focus on the debate.

    When it was over, I summed up my view of the debate for my son and daughter-in-law. See if it makes sense to you.

    There were two things I was looking for going into the debate. One was to see if my concerns about McCain’s mental state were justified and the other was to see if Obama could come across as presidential to uncommitted voters. I was pretty much satisfied on both counts.

    There was no sign of real confusion on McCain’s part. I seriously doubt he is in the early stages of Alzheimer. That is somewhat reassuring in case, God forbid, he becomes President.

    Obama came across as very presidential. Anyone who was watching this debate with an open mind must have been reassured on that point. Ultimately, I think that was the most important issue in the whole debate. Voters who were holding back from supporting Obama will be much less concerned about him after this debate.

    The actual meat and potatoes of the debate, the issues, were something entirely different. In my opinion, Obama won on debate points. This is from my admittedly biased viewpoint. I told my son that I thought less knowledgeable viewers would rate it as a tie.

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