Debate Open Thread: Town Hall Style.

Y’all know the drill. If you’re watching tonight’s Presidential Debate between Senators McCain and Obama at 9 pm EST, bring us your real-time observations and reactions.

Will things be any more exciting than they were in the initial debate on foreign policy a couple weeks back? Well, they certainly couldn’t get much more dull. Between this “palling around with terrorists” thing and the 25-minute Keating Five mini-documentary, maybe the candidates will finally be in the mood to get crunk on one other… in person?

Either way, have at it.


G.D. – Here with the liveblogging.

10:35- Time for the spin. What say you? Oh, best believe we’re gonna hear about this:

10:34- Hey, bumpkins: What’s a tiller? Also, HOFSTRA REPRESENT!

10:30- “What don’t you know, and how will you learn it? ” Me? I don’t know Kerry Washington’s phone number, but I’d like to learn it.

10:24- Are the mikes just props? McCain’s is sitting on his lap.

10:23– C.P. time, I know, but Jamelle is twittering the debate.

10:15-They’ve basically blown up the debate format. Judging from the e-mail they just shot Ben Smith, the McCain camp doesn’t like how this is going.

10:10– Obama says “Pah-kee-stahn.” Conservapedia says that his pronunciation of countries’ names is evidence that he’s secretly a Muslim. You can’t make this shit up.

10:02- Okay, if foreign policy is McCain’s strong suit, why aren’t his arguments more thoughtful? He brings up judgment in military leadership, which means Obama has to bring up being against the war. Which he does. This campaign has been going on so long we can safely guess what happens before it does. Make it stop!

10:00- What’s happening on CNN with the reaction-dial-line-thingies? i’m watching online and can’t see.

9:59- McCain got jokes! They’re all bad.

9:56- A strong response by Obama. He says that health care is a right, and brings up his mother’s premature death to cancer, he says he would give credits to small businesses and regulating insurance companies. He’s doing a good job of zooming in and zooming out. Brokaw says mind the time. Obama keeps going.

9:54- McCain makes a hair transplant joke. Crickets.

9:53- “Senator Obama will find you!” He’s like some suave stalker trynna stick you for your Elitist Leafy Greens.

9:48- Shorter Brokaw: “Wrap that shit up!

9:44- McCain wants nuclear power. He’s been nuclear ships, and poo-pooed that it needs to be safety. Come on, fam.

9:40- “That is not fair.” Obama says about McCain’s tax plan.  There’s also a huge gap in specifics here. McCain says, with a straight face, that we all know what the fixes for Social Security are. He doesn’t share this apparently simple wisdom with us.

9:36- Here’s a question: do people believe McCain?  I wonder if positions that would normally win for him are greeted with raised eyebrows after the torrent of lies from September.

9:31- Obama says that people can make better decisions about how they can use energy. he seems to be getting lathered up, and looks less stiff.

9:28- Brokaw asks about what Americans can do to sacrifice. McCain says spending will have to be cut across the board, except for veterans, defense and “other vital programs.”  Again, he leaves out the Medicare thing.

9:23- Brokaw asks about entitlement reform. McCain has said that he would cut Medicare funding, but he doesn’t say that here. McCain sort of telegraphing his disinterest in domestic policy; he seems to view everything through the lens of defense and foreign policy.

9:20- McCain is robotic in his responses: “Well ______, thank you for your question.” I’m surprised that McCain is playing the bipartisan card after the scorched-earth campaign he’s run. And then another jab. And another jab. Now he’s going on and on about earmarks, an issue that voters DO NOT care about.

9:18- A lady has a really hard time reading her question, but she has an impassioned hard time. Obama looks stiff.

9:16- Obama jabs back. “I gotta correct a little bit of Senator McCain’s history, not surprisingly.” He points out that he prophesied about this crisis, and he gets a subtle dig in at Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, who lobbied for Fannie and Freddie. Both dodge Brokaw’s question about whether the economy is going to get worse. M

9:11- A questioner asks about how the bailout is supposed to work. He says he sounded the alarm two years ago. McCain brings up Fannie and Freddie, and links them to Obama. He says Obama took more money from Fannie and Freddie than almost anyone else.

9:06 – They start off on the economy. Both of them are hewing close to their talking points. McCain says that he would buy up all the bad mortgages and let homeowners renegotiate their mortgages, which a lot of people have called for. He says he likes Warren Buffett and Meg Whitman. Brokaw reminds them to mind the time.

45 thoughts on “Debate Open Thread: Town Hall Style.

  1. G.D. October 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm Reply

    This is pretty much McCain’s last chance to stop the bleeding. He’s gonna come out swinging. Obama just has to counter well.

  2. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 8:07 pm Reply

    Yawn. I hope this picks up.

  3. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 8:27 pm Reply

    I almost can’t take the anxiety in these debates. I’m so nervous for what will happen. I wonder how people (normal people, not me) respond to Obama’s professorial style. My instinct is to say they would dislike it, but so far they respond well to him in debates. After 8 years of having their intelligence insulted, I wonder if it’s nice to have a candidate speak to them as though they’re adults.

  4. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 8:30 pm Reply

    This is where Obama needs to attack McCain on that ridiculous spending freeze. Also, how about simple things to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, like carpools? You’ll laugh, but by many estimates those kinds of things will reduce use of more oil than we could ever drill in Alaska.

  5. Steve October 7, 2008 at 8:37 pm Reply

    I prefer Jello nailed to the wall… has an oaky flavor

  6. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 8:42 pm Reply

    Does anyone else wonder if they made the people in the audience wear poker faces all night?

  7. G.D. October 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm Reply

    Steve: oak? if you live in the ‘jects, it tastes like asbestos.

  8. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm Reply

    QM: I *just* commented to my mom that everyone in the audience looks strangely wooden.

  9. Steve October 7, 2008 at 8:46 pm Reply

    Ingrid was kinda adorable though…

  10. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm Reply

    I’m I the only one who finds the constant “my friends..” thing that McCain is doing exasperating?

  11. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm Reply

    Ingrid had fly earrings! (Hooray for Delta having TV on the planes.)

    Obama has been really warm tonight. And his amused expression when he looks at McCain is priceless.

  12. G.D. October 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm Reply

    UE: that shit annoys EVERYBODY.

  13. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 8:52 pm Reply

    I’m a little worried about Obama’s long-windedness. Tighten it up. He’s making Brokaw mad!

  14. j October 7, 2008 at 8:52 pm Reply

    When McCain proposed a possible spending freeze on virtually every federal program except the Department of Defense, for veterans and entitlement programs, Obama very nicely countered that approach is too broad-based, saying it was the equivalent of “using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.” That’s sharp!

  15. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 8:53 pm Reply

    J: Yeah, he used that analogy before. In the last debate. I was impressed the first time, lol.

  16. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 8:54 pm Reply

    G.D.- It wouldn’t annoy me so much if he wasn’t so lispy.

  17. G.D. October 7, 2008 at 8:56 pm Reply

    Shani: it wouldn’t annoy me if he wasn’t so nasal. “MY FRAYNS.”

  18. Steve October 7, 2008 at 8:59 pm Reply

    Obama is doing better with the colored lines blipping up and down…

  19. Steve October 7, 2008 at 9:00 pm Reply

    honestly his robot arms bother me and I feel bad but whatever..they do..

    secondly his attempts at humor are so poor…

  20. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 9:01 pm Reply

    Wow, did McCain really want to open up this “judgement” question.
    Steve, yeah, he’s not making people laugh. But I wonder if that’s because they’ve all been sedated.

  21. Steve October 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm Reply

    Yea even if he WAS funny …. those people are incapable of laughter…
    Also I absolutely reject the outfit of the black male questioner from the beginning…why did he have to give us so much…

  22. j October 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm Reply

    q: my bad, i didn’t catch the first one, but if McCain can repeat nonsense in this debate, i’m sure Obama can repeat one or two good analogies.

  23. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Steve: It’s dead flat at times while McCain is talking.

  24. Steve October 7, 2008 at 9:06 pm Reply

    I think mccain just invokes numbness..they cant even push the button!

  25. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 9:07 pm Reply

    Is McCain the sedative here?

  26. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm Reply

    We need to start a “my friends” tally.

    Whenever McCain starts talking about US military presence and peace making/ keeping all I hear is static punctuated by: ….genocide…mission…american blood….force for good…freedom. Bleh.

  27. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm Reply

    I vote for a moratorium on republicans being able to use the word “holocaust”. Who’s with me?

  28. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 9:09 pm Reply

    Steve: jinx??

  29. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 9:14 pm Reply

    I’m nervous for Obama. Is anyone watching CNN? How are the voters responding? Is it ok that Obama just basically told Tom to shut up?

  30. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm Reply

    QM: It’s going okay. He’s getting positive responses for the most part. it hasn’t really dipped into negatives for either of them so far, but it flatlines for McCain all the time.

  31. Steve October 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm Reply

    McCain has been flatlining pretty much the ENTIRE debate..and Obama has hit the top aleast 5 times…

  32. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm Reply

    QM: When I was watching CNN on the plane, Obama got consistently positive responses from the all-powerful squiggly lines. McCain got fair-to-middling responses, and actually dipped below the median a few times.

  33. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm Reply

    It jumped WAY up for women voters during the question on health care when Obama said it’s a right.

  34. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 9:18 pm Reply

    Thanks guys. I have a hard time knowing what “the American people” think. I feel so isolated. To me, facts have a liberal bias.

  35. j October 7, 2008 at 9:19 pm Reply

    q: i’m on pbs, i think it’s ok to tell brokaw to shut up, and obama’s doing it in a respectful manner

  36. universeexpanding October 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm Reply

    I think asking whether a country is an “evil empire” is a bit much. Asking for a yes/no answer on this achieves what?

  37. quadmoniker October 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm Reply

    UE: Yeah, and I expected both of them to say “neither.” I thought Obama did a better job on foreign policy.

  38. j October 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm Reply

    did david brooks just concede on pbs, admitting that obama won this debate, he’s calm, and reassuring, comfortable to be around? you can see him as the next president?!?!?

  39. ladyfresshh October 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm Reply

    @ quadmoniker re: poker faces


    those folks are like cardboard cutouts.

    I’d be all

    =( =\ =| =) =( =\ =p

    in the background

  40. shani-o October 7, 2008 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Lmao @ LF!

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