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Past Events => Campaign 2008 => Topic started by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:02:05 pm

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:02:05 pm


First 30 Minutes, No Talk Of Foreign Policy... Obama Wearing Flag Pin, McCain Isn't... Argument Heats Up Over Iraq, Obama Raises 'Bomb Bomb Iran'... Obama Tells McCain: "You Pretend Like The War Began In 2007"... McCain Gaffe: Claims Pakistan Was Failed State... Highlights... Live Blog...McCain Contempuous, Obama Presidential

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:04:48 pm
Madeleine AlbrightPosted September 26, 2008 | 11:02 PM (EST)
A Breakthrough Night for Obama

Tonight was a breakthrough for Senator Obama, who showed himself truly ready to be president. He responded knowledgeably, thoughtfully and confidently to the toughest questions on the economy, Iraq, and terror. Meanwhile, Senator McCain spent so much time attacking his opponent, he neglected to show how a McCain-Palin administration would differ from Bush-Cheney. As a result, Obama answered the threshold question about his candidacy; McCain did not.

Tonight was a breakthrough for Senator Obama, who showed himself truly ready to be president. He responded knowledgeably, thoughtfully and confidently to the toughest questions on the economy, Iraq, ...
Tonight was a breakthrough for Senator Obama, who showed himself truly ready to be president. He responded knowledgeably, thoughtfully and confidently to the toughest questions on the economy, Iraq, ...

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:06:09 pm
All the polls show that Obama won the debate. Obama finally proved to the American people that McCain is WRONG, Obama does know and understand Foreign policy. He stood toe the toe with the so called Marverick and held his own. All the POLLS says OBAMA WON THE DEBATE. Republicans can spin it anyway they want. Obama 08

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:06:51 pm
Now we know how John McCain would behave at a Town Hall Meeting. Badly.

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:09:50 pm
Robert ShrumPosted September 26, 2008 | 10:51 PM (EST)
We Now Know Who the Next President Will Be

My friend Tim Russert, who didn't pull his words, famously said on the night of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries: "I think we now know who the Democratic nominee will be." Tonight I think we know who the next President will be.

The debate was a crossroads. For two weeks, John McCain has lurched down a dead-end road on the economy, lurch from happy talk about "sound fundamentals" to gloom about economic crisis; alternately out of touch, confused and self-contradictory; then desperately reaching for another stunt with his blundering, transparently opportunistic intrusion into the financial rescue negotiations which crimped his debate prep. He clearly could have used more.

Barack Obama was crisp, reassuring and strong -- in short, presidential, as he has been throughout the financial storm of the past two weeks. McCain was not as bad as he has been recently; but much of this debate was fought on what was supposed to be his high ground. As the encounter ended, Obama not only controlled the commanding heights of the economic issue -- and he not only held his own on national security -- but clearly passed the threshold as a credible commander-in-chief. McCain kept repeating that Obama doesn't "understand." But he clearly did. McCain made up no ground. That's similar to what happened in 1960 when Nixon ran on the slogan "Experience Counts" but found it didn't count that much when voters decided JFK was up to the job after the side by side comparison they saw in the first debate.

So what does McCain have left? Behind on the economy, no longer able to slip into the White House on the now disproven claim that only he can handle national security, he has two more debates but no big offer to the country. And then there's the VP debate -- which is likely to be seen as the peril of Palin. (Can't they give her a basic briefing, maybe in a spiral notebook -- or is it too much to read and too hard to remember?)

McCain has nowhere to go but stunts, warmed over stump lines, and lying ads -- which pollute his brand more than they hurt Obama, and the ugly hope that backlash may save his feckless campaign. The press will mostly miss the point: Obama met and surpassed the test.

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:11:45 pm
Max Bergmann
Posted September 26, 2008 | 10:13 PM (EST)
Major Gaffe: McCain Said Pakistan Was a Failed State

McCain just badly misstated the history of Pakistan. For someone claiming extensive foreign policy knowledge, this is simply not acceptable. McCain said Pakistan was a failed state before President Musharraf came to power. That is not true.

Musharraf took power in a military coup in 1999 when he diposed Nawaz Sharif - who recently participated in the latest election. The coup followed the 1999 war in Kashmir with India and was due to a power struggle with Sharif, not due to Pakistan being a "failed state." The United States did not welcome the Musharraf coup. Instead the government of the United States imposed sanctions against this action.

Remember Pakistan had nuclear weapons in 1999. Did McCain believe that there was a failed state that possessed nuclear weapons? If he did he showed no concern at the time. The fact is McCain made a huge gaffe and demonstrated he has little understanding if the region.


Max Bergmann: McCain's Reckless Response to Russia -- So Says Everybody

John McCain
Presidential Debates

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:19:38 pm
Debate Reviews Go To Obama

The Huffington Post   |  Nico Pitney   |   September 26, 2008 11:41 PM

Several positive reviews for Obama. A CBS News instant poll finds:

40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won. 38% saw it as a draw.

68% of these voters think Obama would make the right decision
about the economy. 41% think McCain would.

49% of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. 55% think McCain would.


Two focus groups, one by GOP pollster Frank Luntz and another by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, both declared Obama the winner. Independents in the MediaCurves focus group "gave the debate to Obama 61-39. They also think he won every individual segment. Republicans gave the debate to McCain 90-10, Democrats to Obama 93-7."

And even Time's Mark Halperin weighs in with his grades: Obama A-, McCain B-.

CNN's poll has all Obama winning overall, on the economy and on Iraq:

Who Did the Best Job In the Debate?

Obama 51%

McCain 38%

Who Would Better Handle Economy?

Obama 58%

McCain 37%

Who Would Better Handle Iraq?

Obama 52%

McCain 47%

Post by: Colleen Gallion on September 26, 2008, 11:28:05 pm
Debate Tonight: Obama-McCain Video, Highlights

11:15 - Nico Pitney: Several positive reviews for Obama. A CBS News instant poll finds:

40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won. 38% saw it as a draw.

68% of these voters think Obama would make the right decision
about the economy. 41% think McCain would.

49% of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. 55% think McCain would.

Two focus groups, one by GOP pollster Frank Luntz and another by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, both declare Obama the winner. Independents in the MediaCurves focus group "gave the debate to Obama 61-39. They also think he won every individual segment. Republicans gave the debate to McCain 90-10, Democrats to Obama 93-7."

And even Time's Mark Halperin weighs in with his grades: Obama A-, McCain B-.

Update: Even Dick Morris (!) says Obama won.

11:10 - Nico Pitney: ThinkProgress notes: "ABC's Charlie Gibson and PBS's David Brooks and Marks Shields note that McCain never looked at Obama during the debate."

10:55 - Sam Stein: The main phrases to come out of the debate may have been Obama saying John McCain is "right" on several things, or McCain calling Obama naive and unprepared, but sometimes what matters more is what is not said. And the Obama campaign hits at this with a statement from Bill Burton:

Story continues below 

Number of times John McCain mentioned:
CHANGE: 1 time
MIDDLE CLASS: not once

10:50 - Sam Stein: The spin. Literally, one minute after the debate ends, McCain's campaign was out with a statement:

"There was one man who was presidential tonight, that man was John McCain. There was another who was political, that was Barack Obama. John McCain won this debate and controlled the dialogue throughout, whether it was the economy, taxes, spending, Iraq or Iran. There was a leadership gap, a judgment gap, and a boldness gap on display tonight, a fact Barack Obama acknowledged when he said John McCain was right at least five times. Tonight's debate showed John McCain in command of the issues and presenting a clear agenda for America's future." --Jill Hazelbaker, McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director
The Obama campaign response:

"This was a clear victory for Barack Obama on John McCain's home turf. Senator McCain offered nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies, and Barack Obama made a forceful case for change in our economy and our foreign policy. While Senator McCain wants to keep giving huge tax cuts to corporations and said nothing about the challenges Americans are facing in their daily lives, Barack Obama will be a fierce advocate for tax cuts for the middle class, affordable health care, and a new energy economy that creates millions of jobs. While foreign policy was supposed to be John McCain's top issue, Barack Obama commanded that part of the debate with a clear call to responsibly end a misguided war in Iraq so that we can finish the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. John McCain needed a game-changer tonight, and by any measure he didn't get it," said Obama-Biden campaign manager David Plouffe.
Here's Joe Biden's post-debate spin:

10:40 - Nico Pitney: I wasn't watching closely, but a fellow reporter notes via email: "Watch CNN. They have these audience reaction graphs. It's mesmerizing. Everyone loves Obama, especially when he gets broadly thematic about America's decline because of the focus on Iraq. Only Republicans like McCain--and even then, they're lukewarm."

10:38 - Sam Stein: McCain closes the debate by tying in his service in Vietnam.

"When I came home from prison, I saw our veterans very poorly treated and it made me sad," he says. "I guarantee you, as president of the United States, I know how to heal the wounds of war."

To be frank, I'm surprised McCain didn't play the POW card more tonight, consider how frequently he and his campaign have used it earlier in the campaign.

10:36 - Sam Stein: Sure enough, Obama's repeated remarks that "McCain is right" or "I agree with McCain" go viral immediately.

There will be hand wringing after this as to whether Obama was too forgiving of McCain's record. And surely, videos like these have the ability to shape voter perception. But, on the flip side, the memorable soundbites seem, at this point, to be Obama attacks: on Spain, on Kissinger, on "bomb bomb Iran."

10:40 - Nico Pitney: Obama takes on McCain over his refusal to agree to a meeting with Spain's prime minister:

I just have to make this general point that the Bush administration, some Senator McCain's own advisors all think this is important, and Senator McCain appears resistant. He even said the other day that he would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain because he wasn't sure whether they were aligned with us. I mean, Spain. Spain is a NATO ally. If we can't meet with our friends, I don't know how we are going to lead the world in terms of dealing with critical issues like terrorism.

10:32 - Nico Pitney: An observer asks, "Anybody hearing a snicker from McCain while Obama is talking?

10:21 - Sam Stein: Gaffe alert: On substance, McCain claims that Pakistan was a failed state before Musharraf. It's simply not true.

On a lighter note, a Democrat sends over a clip of McCain mispronouncing the name of the Pakistani president. It's Zidari not "Kidari."

Combined with the fumble on Ahmadinejad's name, it doesn't really help McCain present himself as the one knowledgeable on foreign affairs. Then again, on multiple occasions, he has accused Obama of not understanding world affairs or being downright naive.

10:05 - Sam Stein: Obama hits home on the issue of Afghanistan by bringing up an old McCain quote that suggests he thought the war there was secondary in nature.

"No one is talking abut defeat in Iraq," says Obama, "but we are having more problems in Afghanistan because of that decision... at one point while you were focused on Iraq you said we could 'muddle through' Afghanistan. You don't muddle through the central war on terror, you don't muddle going after Osama bin Laden."

McCain, who has been belaboring the point that Obama's strategy in Iraq would have led to failure in the broader region, brings back the issue of Obama's failure to visit both countries for some time (no word if the same criticism applies to Sarah Palin).

9:59 - Sam Stein: Fox News (yes, Fox) picks up a pretty good point. For a contentious debate, Obama has ceded more points to McCain than the other way around.

"Obama has said "John is right" five times in the debate so far. Fodder for the next McCain political ad perhaps?"

9:57 - Sam Stein: The topic of whether to target al Qaeda figures in Pakistan comes up and McCain accuses Obama of being naive for saying that he would go after terrorist figures in the country even if the Pakistani government didn't say yes.

"If you are going to point a gun at somebody you better be prepared to pull a trigger," he says. "We have got to get the support of the people of Pakistan. [Obama] said we would launch military strikes into Pakistan. You don't do that you don't say that out loud. If you have to do things you have to do things."

The question naturally arises: if McCain says we are going to do it if we have to isn't he, essentially, telling Pakistan that we will target terrorists in their country."

Obama, it should be noted, defends his policy and corrects McCain for suggesting he was talking about attacking the country. He then throws in a good dig. Coming from somebody who "sings songs about bombing Iran, I don't know how credible [your call for prudence] is."

9:54 - Nico Pitney: NBC's Andy Merten notes the first Hillary Clinton reference of the night -- by John McCain, talking about their climate change work together.

9:52 - Jed Lewison: John McCain lied right out of the gate during tonight's debate, claiming that he had warned us about the financial crisis that we are now facing. But in November, 2007 he admitted that he hadn't seen the mortgage crisis -- the root of today's financial crisis -- coming.

Here's video:

9:50 - Sam Stein: Forty minutes into the debate, the topic shifts to Iraq and the fireworks begin to fly. Obama ties it into an economic frame.

"We have spent over 600 billion so far, soon to be a trillion," he says. "We have lost over 4,000 lives, and seen 30,000 wounded and most importantly from a security perspective, al Qadea is resurgent... we took our eye of the ball."

McCain, as expected, goes to the issue of the surge: "The next president of the U.S. will not have to address the issue of when we went into Iraq or not... they will address how to leave and when to leave and what we leave behind."

But the real drama came when the topic switched to judgment over the start of the war.

"John wants to pretend that the war started in 2007," says Obama. "The war started in 2003. At the time when the war started you said it would be quick and easy, you knew where the weapons of mass destruction were, you were wrong. You said we would be greeted as liberators, you were wrong."

McCain lambastes Obama for not understanding the difference between a tactic and a strategy and accuses his opponent of trying to cut off funds for the troops, something which, Obama rightfully notes, McCain has done himself (if, as McCain was, one is talking about authorization bills that were shot down because of timetables for withdrawal or a lack thereof).

9:46 - Nico Pitney: Some conservative criticism from Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review: "A Republican strategist told me, 'John McCain is not capable of carrying an economic message on anything other than spending.' Tonight that strategist is being proven right."

9:44 - Nico Pitney: Obama wearing a flag pin, McCain isn't.

9:41 - Sam Stein: Obama, in a conversation about spending, finally, or at least fully, ties McCain to the excesses of the Bush administration.

"It's been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time, who presided over this increase in spending, this **** of spending... and you voted for almost all of his budgets," he says.

McCain seemed a bit grated by the remark and responds by highlighting his maverick-ness.

"It is well known I have not been elected Ms. Congeniality in the Senate or with this administration... I have opposed this president on climate change, torture, Guantanamo bay, spending... the American people know me very well and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate."

How much Bush's name comes up in this debate could, in the end, be a marker for who performs better.

9:37 - Nico PItney: Whoops -- McCain's early reference to Dwight Eisenhower writing a letter offering his resign isn't accurate, according to Brian Williams.

9:34 - Nico PItney: Obama's campaign is fact-checking the debate here. McCain camp is emailing out fact-checks, without links.

9:31 - Sam Stein: McCain, in a question about what he would give up from his agenda because of the bailout, goes, somewhat randomly, at the contested National Journal rankings showing Obama having the most liberal voting record.

"Sen. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the US Senate," he says. "It is hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left."

Obama responds a few minutes later.

"John mentioned my voting record. Mostly that is me just opposing George Bush's wrongheaded policies... It is also important to note that I worked with Tom Coburn. One of the most conservative members of government." The reference is to the Google government program the two helped create, which tracks the money that Congress spends.

9:28 - Sam Stein: This debate was supposed to be based on foreign policy, but 20 minutes in, we have had discussions on earmarks, taxes, health care, the bailout, energy, oil, regulation and trade. Iraq has not come up yet.

9:14 - Sam Stein: John McCain started off the debate by attempting to take credit for the work he has done on the bailout package, despite the fact that most observers see his role as either passive or counter-productive.

"We are seeing for the first time in a long time Republicans and Democrats together sitting down, trying to work out a solution to the fiscal crisis that we are in," said McCain. "The point is we have finally seen Republicans and Democrats sitting down together and finally coming together with a package."

Obama counters with a response that is, in essence, the economic problems demanded to be addressed before they became so dire. To which McCain talked about the need for accountability even in the moment. Citing his call for firing Chris Cox of the SEC, he pivoted to a tale about how Dwight Eisenhower wrote two letters before the invasion of Normandy: one complimenting the officers for victory the other offering his resignation.

Not sure if people will relate to the World War II analogy.


7:31 PM: McCain Camp Won't Let Palin Spin:

After Barack Obama and John McCain stop talking on the debate stage Friday night, their surrogates will start spinning. But one high-profile supporter of Mr. McCain will be missing: his running mate Sarah Palin.

Spinning on behalf of the Democrats on Friday night will be Joe Biden, Mr. Obama's running mate. He is expected to appear live on NBC, CBS, and CNN immediately following the debate, representatives of those networks said on Friday.

4:22 PM: Ku Klux Klan members are planning on appearing at tonight's debate, according to the University of Mississippi newspaper.

2:15: Obama chief strategist David Axelrod rips into McCain on MSNBC:

[Axelrod] accuses the McCain camp of suspending their campaign for political gain, not to address the financical crisis.

Responds to McCain's statement on White House talks Thursday in MSNBC interview saying it's his understanding McCain said "virtually nothing," that's not a way to show leadership.

Also says, in reaction to statement, "it isn't the first time that people in Washington have declared 'Mission Accomplished' before the mission was accomplished."

2:00: Obama camp plays the expectations game. They paint Obama has a poor debater, but argue that McCain needs a homerun tonight since foreign policy is his "professed" strong suit, and because the last few days have been so rough for him. Read the full memo.

1:09 PM: National Review's Rich Lowry finds one consequence of McCain's gambit -- "everyone at Ole Miss now hates him. It will make for a very hostile audience tonight among those students and faculty attending."

12:00 PM: McCain heads to Mississippi with Rudy Giuliani and others in tow. A pool report says the atmosphere is "utter confusion."

McCain now boarding plane at DCA with Cindy, Salter, Rudy Giuliani, wife Judith, and other aides plus pool.

Heading to Memphis, 1:50 minute flight, then motorcade to site

General atmosphere is utter confusion.

Debate Flashbacks: NBC takes a look back at the last three series of presidential debates -- Clinton v. Dole, Bush v. Gore, and Bush v. Kerry:

11:24 AM - McCain Officially Going To Debate: The McCain campaign releases a statement saying that John McCain will attend tonight's debate. Here's an excerpt:

Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon. Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.
11:00 AM - McCain's Already Won The Debate? That's what his website says.

10:45 AM - Decision By Noon? Newsweek's Tammy Haddad: "Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, tells Tam Cam at the Memphis Airport that he will know by noon if the first presidential debate will take place. If McCain does not come by law there will be no debate because it is an 'illegal contribution.' When asked what the absolutely drop dead time is he replied, 'the final sweep by 5pm.'"

10:00 AM - Report: Obama Getting On Plane To Mississippi: Fox News reports that Barack Obama plans to board an 11AM ET plan to the site of tonight's planned debate in Oxford, Mississippi.

9:30 AM - Huckabee Says McCain Making A Mistake: McCain's primary challenger says his former rival made a "huge mistake" by even considering skipping the debate.

Huckabee said he still backs McCain's candidacy, but said the Arizona senator should not have put his campaign on hold to deal with the financial crisis on Wall Street. He said a president must be prepared to "deal with the unexpected."

"You can't just say, 'World stop for a moment. I'm going to cancel everything,'" Huckabee said.

9:15 AM - Signs Suggest McCain Will Attend: John McCain has yet to commit to participating in Friday night's scheduled debate, tying his appearance to progress on a Wall Street bailout plan. But his campaign surrogates like Sen. Lindsay Graham appear to be lowering the bar "on what sort of agreement would satisfy McCain that sufficient progress had been made."

"What's more important than anything that when we go to Mississippi tonight, both candidates can say that the Congress is working, back in business, that we have an outline or proposal that will protect the taxpayer and save the country from financial Pearl Harbor, as Warren Buffet called it," Graham said on "Today" on NBC. "We are not there yet, but we will get there."
Debate Prospects Uncertain, But Preparations Continue: "Prospects were questionable at best that John McCain and Barack Obama would meet Friday for their first presidential debate as progress appeared to dissolve between Congress and the Bush administration on a $700 billion financial industry bailout," the AP reported late Thursday.

McCain didn't plan to participate in the debate unless there was a consensus. Obama still wants the face-off to go on and was scheduled to travel to the debate site in Oxford, Miss., on Friday.

"I believe that it's very possible that we can get an agreement in time for me to fly to Mississippi," McCain said late Thursday. "I understand how important this debate is and I'm very hopeful. But I also have to put the country first."

In turn, Obama said: "Obviously the biggest priority is making sure that we get this deal done. But I also think it's important to describe to the American people where the next president wants to take the country and how he's going to deal with this crisis." [...]

In Mississippi, debate organizers continued to prepare, and Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, told a news conference he expected the debate to go on. "This is going to be a great debate tomorrow night," Barbour said.

The Washington Post reported that debate planners were moving forward:

Ignoring the proposal from Sen. John McCain that Friday's scheduled presidential debate be postponed, the independent Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday that it is "moving forward with its plan for the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford... The plans for this forum have been underway for more than a year and a half. The CPD's mission is to provide a forum in which the American public has an opportunity to hear the leading candidates for the president of the United States debate the critical issues facing the nation. We believe the public will be well served by having all of the debates go forward as scheduled."

McCain proposed Wednesday that the debate be postponed until a deal is struck in Washington on a financial bailout plan. Sen. Barack Obama rejected the idea, saying the crisis made the debate more useful and timely.

Janet Brown, executive director of the commission, flew from Washington to Oxford late Thursday.

Diverse Web Coalition Wants McCain, Obama To Alter Debates: "An informal national coalition of internet pioneers and users with widely divergent political views will issue a letter Friday morning calling on John McCain and Barack Obama to open the remaining debates completely to the public domain," the LA Times reports.

Post by: Volitzer on September 27, 2008, 01:51:00 am
What a farce no Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr or Cynthia McKinney.

Is their positions so weak they can't stand a 5 way debate.

Bilderbergian cowards !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    >:(

Post by: Janilee Wolff on September 27, 2008, 04:51:31 pm
They never put third party candidates in unless they measure something like 15 to 20% in the polls.  I guess Ross Perot was in the ones in 1992, though, but he had more support.

Post by: Janilee Wolff on September 27, 2008, 05:09:52 pm
Estimated 57 Million Watched Debate


Obama Slams McCain For Not Mentioning Middle Class... McCain Ad Rips Obama For Agreeing With Him... CNN Poll: Obama Had The Edge... CBS Poll: Obama Boosted Most By Debate... LA Times Editorial: Too Close To Call... George Stephanopoulos: Overall Winner Is Obama... WSJ Editorial: McCain Won On Foreign Policy, Obama On Domestic Issues...

Post by: Janilee Wolff on September 27, 2008, 05:16:56 pm
Jacob HeilbrunnPosted September 26, 2008 | 11:14 PM (EST)
McCain's Debate Message: How To Lose More Friends And Alienate People

So Iraq remains the central front in the war on terror, does it? To listen to John McCain speaking in tonight's debate was to be thrust back into a time warp, where the disgrace of Vietnam has to be rubbed out, al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein are plotting together, and America must go on a crusade to stomp out the infidels. For someone who purports to represent change, McCain offered muddled arguments that are almost as old as he is himself. By focusing so narrowly on the unpopular Iraq War, McCain is almost surely speeding up his own inevitable decline in the polls.

It was Barack Obama who came across as the insurgent seeking change, while McCain represented the Republican establishment. Obama landed the crushing blows by pointing out the obvious: the Bush administration's, and by extension McCain's, obsession with Iraq for the past eight years has only succeeded in crippling American power and security. McCain, he noted, has been wrong, over and over again, in predicting that Iraq would be a cakewalk and that there would be no real ethnic enmities inside it. As Obama announced that he would target and kill Osama bin-Laden, McCain could only stare in mute stupefaction.

Meanwhile, McCain tried to paint Obama as a kind of naive Beverly Hills chihuahua who would be lost as soon as he traveled to a foreign country. His grandfatherly tone was supposed to provide reassurance that he would guide the American foreign policy tiller with a sure hand, while Obama would capsize. But whether it's Russia or the Middle East, McCain's unctuous tone tonight could not disguise the fact that he's even more bellicose than Bush himself. Obama, by contrast, wants to begin the overdue job of restoring America's image abroad. All McCain proved once more is that he knows full well how to continue the Bush legacy of losing friends abroad and alienating people.

Post by: Janilee Wolff on September 27, 2008, 05:19:19 pm
Taylor MarshPosted September 27, 2008 | 12:10 AM (EST)
Obama to McCain: 'You Were Wrong'

From the start of the debate McCain wouldn't meet Obama's eye. At the end of it that hadn't changed, even as Obama gave McCain his due time and again, which the McCain camp has already turned into a video. It was the difference of someone being small, compared to someone revealing his confidence, while showing presidential temperament. On that alone Obama "won" hands down.

Hillary Clinton weighs in:

"Tonight Barack Obama displayed beyond a doubt that he understands both the gravity of the financial crisis facing America, and the challenges we face in Iraq and around the world. Senator McCain offered only more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. America deserves better.

"I stood next to Barack Obama in 22 debates and tonight epitomized why millions are joining me in standing with him and working hard to ensure he is the next President of the United States."

Obama's goal tonight was to simply become an equal to the "legendary" foreign policy man John McCain. He accomplished that, while showing unending patience with his opponent who continually displayed the politics of condecension, bordering on petulance that is unbecoming of anyone at this level of political prowess. I can't imagine independents appreciated McCain's sniping, and I bet they also saw that he was about to pop about half of the time.

McCain needed a win, in my opinion. This was his issue night. He didn't get it.

Obama needed to stay even with the "legendary foreign policy expert." He did that and more, while remaining unruffled throughout.

McCain didn't get the knock out he needed. Obama held his own and showed the right stuff. Plus, McCain looks like yesterday. Obama represents the future. Good night for our side.

As for the reviews, Obama gets the nod:

Undecideds for Obama

Undecideds Give Debate to Obama

Halperin: Obama A- McCain B-

Philadelphia Inquirer: McCain Uncertain - "McCain has been uncertain - Obama not."

Washington Post: Fact Check- McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.

Washington Post: Fact Checker- John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries.

New Republic (Jonathan Cohn) Obama Tells It Like It Is on Economics - Obama just gave a terrific, honest explanation of his economic agenda.

CNN (Bill Schneider) Obama Scores a Direct Hit - Obama scores a direct hit, saying that McCain wants tax cuts for the wealthy. He's associating McCain with the Bush record on tax cuts.

CNN (Bill Schneider) Obama hits familiar chord on Iran - Obama's answer on Iran was interesting and important.because he's talking about something that a lot of American's understand. Our involvement in Iraq has strengthened Iran.

FL- Tampa Tribune (Blog) "Israel-The Next Big Argument" After arguing over Iraq, John McCain and Barack Obama moved quickly to probably the next most emotional argument in foreign policy-Israel. They got into it over a question from moderator Jim Lehrer over Iran, and McCain went for the most crucial line: "We cannot tolerate another holocaust." That hits a weakness for Obama, whose enthusiasm for Israel is questioned by some in the U.S. Jewish community. Then McCain went for another claim that's been debunked: That Obama refused to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist" organization. Obama had sponsored legislation that did just that, but voted against a bill including that measure which, he said, also included authorizing an open-ended effort in Iraq.

The Caucus (Katharine Q. Seeyle) Using the Tax Word - Mr. McCain tosses out a barb to Mr. Obama, saying that you ought to hear Mr. Obama's definition of rich, but didn't provide it. Mr. Obama almost took the bait - and then switched! Instead of being driven by Mr. McCain he described his tax cut plan, saying 95 percent of people will get a tax cut "and if you make less than 250,000, you will not see one dime's worth of tax increases."

Washington Post (Live Blog) Fact Check: McCain accused Obama of wanting to stage "military strikes" inside Pakistan, which is a misleading account of what Obama famously said in 2007: That he would be willing to go after Al Qaeda targets inside that country with or without the approval of the Pakistani authorities."If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Obama said.

Miami Herald: Obama engages McCain on his diss to Spain - Barack Obama just scoffed at John McCain's assertion a week ago or two ago that he wouldn't meet with Spain's Prime Minister. "Spain!" exclaimed Obama. "Spain!" "I'm not going to set the White House visitor list before I'm president," McCain replied, getting in a dig at the presidential-seal like sign Republicans have ribbed Obama for displaying. "I don't even have a seal yet."

First Read (Athena Jones) Longer format helps - He's on message, hitting his talking points on the contrasts with John McCain on taxes, his plans for healthcare and energy independence. He seemed to cover more ground than McCain whose main points were about cutting government spending.

Post by: Janilee Wolff on September 27, 2008, 05:23:10 pm
The Smirk: Could McCain's Facial Gestures Define Debate?

As the spin of Friday night's debate settled in and both sides staked a claim to victory, one media narrative began to take hold: while Obama may have been over-complimentary of McCain, the GOP nominee was grumpy, mean, and downright contemptuous of Obama, much to his detriment.

A clip circulated by Democrats showed the McCain demonstrating all of those traits: smirking when Obama gave his answers, eyes blinking, unwilling to even look at his opponent.


It was a small visual, but one that seemed to be getting traction among the punditry. Charlie Gibson on ABC and David Brooks on PBS both noted that McCain didn't look at Obama once. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote that McCain sounded "angry and passionate"; MSNBC's Chris Matthews described the GOP nominee as "troll-like" and "grouchy."

The episode was reminiscent, to some extent, of Al Gore's sighs during the 2000 debate with George W. Bush. But more than that, it seemed to be a counterbalance to the first takeaway from the debate: mainly, that Obama had agreed too much and been too deferential to his opponent.

GOP aides giddily highlighted the several instances where Obama said he agreed with McCain. But Democrats warned that the move would backfire: while Obama appeared like a statesman, noting both when they agreed and disagreed, McCain refused to even look Obama in the eye.

Certainly the immediate, post-debate focus polls suggested that voters had soured on the Republican nominee's performance. And both in private and in public, aides to Obama thought that the tics and smirks could resonate.

"The scowls and the squints and the facial tics of John McCain didn't serve him well here," said advisor Robert Gibbs, in the spin room.

UPDATE: Here's another video compiling McCain's angriest moments during the debate:

Post by: Volitzer on September 28, 2008, 02:08:16 am
One big Bilderbegrian farce !!!

Whose polls Bilderberg's polls how un-biased !!!   ::)