If you’re in front of your comp and watching, have at it.
8:40: Real quick. We ain’t even start yet, but McCain is declaring victory:
At this point, if a clown started juggling during the debates, would anyone be surprised?
9:10: McCain pirhouettes on the question about the bailout, and turns it into a question about military leadership. He also said he was maligned for calling for the SEC chair to resign. He was actually ridiculed for saying he would fire the SEC chair, which wouldn’t be in his power as president.
9:19: Obama and McCain get into a back and forth over pork barrel spending. This is such a stupid issue, and it doesn’t deserve all the time they’re spending on it. But it’s McCain’s pet issue, so he keeps going to it.
9:26: This was supposed to be a debate about foreign policy, but it’s turned into a debate about economics. McCain said he would eliminate ethanol subsidies — which is the reasonable and right position, btw — but it’s not a popular one in the Midwest. Both of them are vague on what they which government programs they would cut to make room in the budget for the $700 bailout. McCain says government spending has gotten out of control and called for more restrained government; Obama counters that it was McCain’s president who increased governing spending in Iraq.
9:38: Finally, foreign policy. McCain says that the U.S. is winning in Iraq and we will leave as victors. Obama has a trump card on Iraq: namely, that he was opposed on the war. “John, you like to pretend this war started in 2007.” This is pretty strong.
9:58: Now on to Afghanistan. The strongest part of McCain’s convention speech was his story of his imprisonment. It seems like he’s going to that well alot, using powerful personal anecdotes about soldiers. Dunno if it’s working.
10:02: Obama is dominating this debate. I don’t mean rhetorically, necessarily. But he’s doing a lot of talking. He also looks at McCain while he’s talking. McCain mostly looks down.
10:16: The tide seems to be turning a bit. In an answer on meeting with enemies “without preconditions,” McCain seemed more animated, and Obama’s response was too pat.