The Presidential Debate

We'll be live blogging the presidential debate:

Thomas Lifson:

Barack Obama's prep time was shortened, while the subject matter has broadened. A good sign for McCain

First question: Obama did his canned talking points; McCain is less polished, but perhaps more spontaneous. Not clear he is more convincing. He looks tired. I like the line, "the end of the beginning"

Lee Cary:

First question: Obama regurgitates talking points and blames Republicans (forgetting Frank and Dodd) and McCain applauds bipartisism and mentions "The Lion of the Senate."

Ed Lasky:

McCain was smart to highlight bipartisanship-an area that Obama does not play well in this field.

This is not the worst financial crisis since the Depression-that is fear-mongering. Unemployment is still not high; we have not had two quarters of negative growth; there is no starvation across the land.

Obama just trying to frame this rest of the night; if there was shredding of regulations it is the fault of the Democrats who have frustrated GOP efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Obama says two years ago I warned about the abuses; last year I went to the Sevreatry of the Treasury.

Too many I's. Agains, re-uses the line "shredding the regulations"-same line as his first answer.

He has his talking points.

Lee Cary:

Obama overstates his involvement in warning against the impending crisis, taking about shreading regulations when that wasn't the cause. McCain notes that he, too, and others warned about the crisis. The uses an Eisenhower example to make the point that people have to be held accountable.

Obama, more blaming of "Wall Street" - the class-envy game. (McCain looks relaxed, cracks a joke.) Redundant talking-points.

McCain, takes a broader view, focuses on the positive - the Ameican worker - and conveys hope in the country.

Ed Lasky:

McCain taking a populist appraoch. Greed, corruption-aren't those Democratic lines?

Kyle-Anne Shiver

Obama has been well coached in staying on topic and speaking without stuttering, but is completely dodging the ressponsibility of his own party in the current mess.

Senator McCain looks pretty good.  Good joke about having been around a while.  He is reminding us that the House Republicans had not been part of the negotiations.  Good point reminding us that becoming energy independent and how important that is.

Obama is flat out lying right now about warning 2 years ago on the sub-prime lending crisis.  Blaming deregulation, not corruption!

Ed Lasky:

Obama just keep recycling talking points: lobbyists this time
McCain takes note of his own age-but gives it a spin that it gives him perspctive on the scope of the problem now. It is not the worst since the Great Depression-that is feeding the frenzy.
Nice conservative point for McCain-talking about the size of the government, earmarking-but how will he square this with calls for more oversight?

Thomas Lifson:

McCain is in his element on earmarks and zinged Obama on earmarks and spending. Obama actually interrupted!

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is getting warmed up and getting in great digs at earmarks and declaring vetoes for earmarks.  Reminding us that Obama is a huge earmark guy!  Great Dig.  Rein in spending.

Ed Lasky:

Obama equates earmarks (wasteful government spending meant to assure reelection) with tax cuts (meant too spur growth).
Does he understand the difference?
Good move for McCain: points out Obama tried to skirt over his own earmarks request by noting he only called for suspending earmarks when he started his run for the President. Before that Obama requested 1 million a day for his earmarks-that is our money.
Obama interrupted McCain in the middle of his answer by challenging his figures-trying to get under his skin-make him lose his temper?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Love this line!  McCain:  "I didn't win Miss Congeniality in the Senate"

Has anyone else noticed that McCain is calling Obama, "Senator Obama," while Obama is calling McCain, "John"?  It seems disrespectful to me.

Ed Lasky:

McCain should keep emphasizing this is your money.
Obama claims tax loopholes written in the tax code-often with the support of John McCain.
Name them? Actually, Obama voted for the energy bill which gave alot of breaks to energy companies. McCain voted against those breaks.
Enough on the economics-isn't that supposed to be for another debate.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

I see signs that Obama is starting to get rattled.  He is beginning to take the pose of arrogance.  His smirk and interruptions are going to hurt him.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Notes high business tax. Promises to lower. He displays passion mentioning 2000 ear-marks. Believable. He offers specifics for tax cuts for average Americans.

Obama:  (Obama stutters) 95% will get a tax cut. (McCain smiles, doesn't appear mad.)

McCain:  Comes out of any shell. Uses the word "festooned." (Obama communicated non-verbally as though perturbed.) 

Obama:  Obama bangs oil companies. (What does that have to do with the flow?)  

Ed Lasky: 

It is disrespectful, Kyle, to call McCain "John";makes it seem as if Obama is a long-time member of the Senate

Obama touts new energy bill on the floor, which is a red herring. The energy bill is meaningless and has self-destruct mechanisms in the language-offshore drilling only beyond 50 miles; need state approval but will not give states a piece of the revenue.
Solar,wind,biodeisel will barely reduce dependency on overseas oil, Senator Obama

Thomas Lifson:

Good for Jim Lehrer pushing for naming what will be cut to pay for the bailout. Obama is vague.

Ed Lasky:

One half hour and we have not touched upon traditional foreign policy.
McCain again points out that he works across the aisle and that Obama is the most liberal member of the Senate and does not do "bipartisanship".
McCain knows details of defense policy that Obama would never deign to lower himself to learn-and points out waste in government with specific examples where he ucked the military-industrial complex (Eisenhower redux-is this what McCain-also a military man who fought-is this what McCain is projecting?)

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
McCain is smart to talk about cutting waste in defense spending, heads off Obama at the pass on defense.

McCain's best line so far:  Obama is the most liberal senator and it's pretty hard to reach across the aisle from that far left.

Obama was visibly angry.

Obama tries to claim that his liberalism is just opposing Bush policies.  Obama gets in a good one about setting up the Google for government to track spending. 

Ed Lasky:

Okay..I know I am going overboard-but how many times has Obama used the word "lobbyist"?
Counter is up to 4 now.

The work with Tom Coburn was trivial-approved on a voice vote. Not controversial. This is slender eveidence that Obama works across the aisle; Coburn himself believes Obama would not as President and has not as Senator

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is talking about stopping sending so much money to people who don't like us and give some of that money to terrorists.

I may  be wrong, but I really do think the smirks on Obama's face while McCain is talking will hurt him.  It comes off as terribly arrogant with a man who has served this Country for so long.

Ed Lasky:

I knew Obama would bring up spending in Iraq.
McCain retorts by pointing out how much we spend on oil from overseas-and we need to cut back on this consumption by drilling here-and developing nuclear power. Zings him with climate change reason for nukes-probably a surprise for many Americans not aware of McCain's record on this issue

Health care-what doe sthat have to do with foreign policy.
Jim Lehrer said he chose the questions-how about focusing on the topic?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain makes a good point about not turning our health care system to the federal government.  Works very well right now when the federal government has caused such a crisis!

C.Edmund Wright:

Obama going back to 90% voting with Bush again. And I suppose that Obama is saying that spending would have been lower under any Democrat President.


Lee Cary:
Obama:  Unsure of impact. Mentions 10 years free from foreign oil, not means noted.  Speaks of bankrupys every. Mentions China's space program but he proposes to put Constellation on a 5 year hold - our next manned space vehicle.

McCain:  Sticks to basics. Must cut spending. He speaks in specifics, while Obama is talking in generalities.

Obama: He will delay investment in energy due to the financial crisis, but how does that factor into his 10 year goal to be foreign oil indepent?  Back to blaming lobbiest. More Bush bashing.  Google for government? What in the world?

McCain: Spending freeze!!! New and novel idea!!

Obama:  Obama defaults to spending his favored projects. Out comes Iraq.

McCain:  Off-shore drilling and nuclear power - "You can't get there from here"  - a memorable line.  He trumps Obama's 10 year goal saying that you can't get independent by not using nuclear power that Obama is about.

{Somebody fact-check Obama's FDR example. I doubt it.]

Ed Lasky:

Obama stuttering, stammering.
Missing the security blanket..uh..I mean the teleprompter.

Marc Sheppard:

Lehrer tried to shift the discourse to current economic realities, and Barry O instead addressed new spending initiatives for “middle class families.”  McCain has already mentioned “Climate Change” twice – both times out of context and unsolicited.  Yawn.

C. Edmund Wright:

I can't believe Obama is going back to the "six years ago I opposed the war" argument again. He was in the Illinois Senate and opposed the war in front of some anti war radicals in Chicago. That was irrelevant and hardly took courage.

And McCain is now hammering him on the "exceeded wildest expectations" claim by Obama on the surge. He needs to keep on that.

Anyone who is not anti Military expected the surge to work!

Ed Lasky:
McCain-we have learned from Iraq. We will have an ally; a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Reminds people this would not have been the case had other options been followed (hmm..wonder whose options might he be referring to?)
Obama says it was politically risky for him to oppose the war 6 years ago. Balderdash-He was running in a hyper-liberal district for a post in the state government.
That was not a profile in courage. He was at an anti-war rally.
McCain , of course, points out how wrong Obama has been and portrays what would have happened had we followed his withdraw startegy. Points out Obama did not fly to Iraq for 900 days, did not convene his subcommittee, did not talk to Petraeus.
Maybe he should have used the line that Obama was AWOL

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

I think Obama is making a mistake to bring up his not wanting to go to Iraq in the first place, because McCain can point out that he wasn't there.
And just talking about how much it has cost is not smart, in my opinion.  Also, he just said 4,000 American lives were "wasted" there. 

Very dumb mistake, I think.  All the veterans and Americans watching.

Now, he is trying to say he will be hawkish on defense.

McCain is very smart to remind us that Iraq is now old business.  Ticking off what Obama said on Iraq.  Very smart. 

Uh Oh!  Big bad move by Obama to bring up Biden first on foreign policy!  Underscores his own inexperience.

Now, Obama is talking down to McCain.  People are not going to like that, in my opinion.

C. Edmund Wright:

Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between tactics and strategies...YES. Great line by Mac. The Messiah is getting LOUD and testy.

Ed Lasky:
McCain outs Obama for not knowing the difference between tactics and strategy.
Some Commander in Chief Obama would make...
McCain brings up passage of election law in Iraq-all but ignored by the media because the failure to pass such a law was a Democratic talking point often used by Obama

Thomas Lifson:

Obama tried to talk over McCain!!Not a good move.

Richard Baehr: McCain's strategy: He is trying to get Obama angry,and it is , to some extent, working.

C. Edmubd Wright:
Great great line by McCain...General Patraus and Usama Bin Laden have one thing in common.....that the central war on terror is in Iraq.


Ed Lasky:

The only time Obama finds a hot spot on the map is when he can use it as a bludgeon to bang the GOP and McCain. Now he is being tough on Afghanistan-gimme a break-does anyone think he would actually beef up forces there. He just likes to point out problems and not successes.
The interruptions by Obama are very rude. Are others picking up on this disrespect?
You don't do that in moot court in law school; nor should you do that in a Presdiential debate-it is very...unpresidential

Marc Sheppard:

Tactics versus Strategy move was well played.  McCain dealt his strengths against BO’s weakness.  BO still highly vulnerable on readily available surge quotes.

C. Edmund Wright:

uh, excuse me....did Obama just say that we can't separate Afghanistan from Iraq? Doesn't that undermine his whole line of reasoning that we should be in Afghanistan and NOT in Iraq?

is it just me....or does Obama endlessly quote himself? Classic sign of narcissism. He has quoted himself on Afghanistan, on Iraq, on the Surge, on everything. "As I have said...blah blah blah..."

Ed Lasky:

Obama-we have to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan-and take a tougher stance. Does anyone believe he would be the one to be tough? He said one of his first steps as President would be to convene a meeting of Muslim nations to hear their grievances. So is he going to be tough with two major Muslim nations?
McCain points out that you don't say certain things out loud as a leader-"you don't do that"; shows Obama is not ready for prime time.

Obama lied-he did talk about attacking Pakistan-months ago, for example. He said "no one talked about attacking Pakistan"; then he absurdly says if the Pakistanis don't hit terrorists in their nation then we should. He just lied and then contradicted himself!

C. Edmund Wright:

If he calls McCain "John" one more time, I might throw my laptop across the room. I wish "John" would call him "Barry."

Ed Lasky:
McCain keeps pointing out that Obama was unaware or does not know various facts on the ground-great way to indicate his experience is vast; Obama's non-existent

Marc Sheppard:

Bad move for BO repeating Lib 9/11 talking points.  Gave JM the opening to jump in and explain the al–Qaeda/Taliban realities in Paki.  And explain he did. BO’s response exposed his Middle East naivety.  The war hero is ripping him a new one as I write.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama keeps trying to sneak in 20th century vs. 21st century.  The age dig, very passive aggressive.

McCain talking about Reagan and his history.  Talking about past decisions and reminding public that he's been in on all of the military interventions of the past 25 years.  Really smart, I think.  He is talking more about himself, which is what the public wants to hear.

Obama is failing to sell himself.  He is not going to be able to close on the deal, I don't think.

C. Edmund Wright:

Obama says "I've got a bracelet too?" Is this a contest? This should come off as very childish.

Ed Lasky:
Obama say "no one is talking about defeat in Iraq". That is all you and the Democratic leadership has been talking about-if not advocating-for 5 years now.
Is there any one that lie with such obvious lack of discomfort than Barack Obama?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama says he has a bracelet too, then has to look at it to remember the name.

Now he is taking a professorial stance and says "we" did this, "we" did that, but not "I," which is not selling himself.

Talking down to McCain again.  Not good form, I don't think. 

McCain is really good at saying, "I," which takes responsibility.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Cites his record on Iraq toward victory. 

Obama:  He replays the decision of going to war when "it was politically risky to do so."  As an Illinois State Senator?  [Obama never had to vote go or no-go on war.] 

McCain:  McCain moves to the present-future-reality.  Reminds that Obama said the surge would not work. (Obama looks smug.) 

Obama:  Will he answer the question about never having a sub-committee meeting on Afghanistan. "Inside baseball?" 

McCain: Obama interrupts McCain's impassioned explanation of how victory in Iraq is happening. (Arrogance coming though verbaly and non-verbally.)

Obama:  Basically he outlines the already existing plan and claims it as his own. 

McCain: (Obama talks over McCain, again. He is out of control.) (Old big media won't note it, but he's having Gore arrogance moments.)

Obama:  He will broaden the war in Afghanistan. {McLerer has lost all control. Both are caught in a loop.}  Obama will "deal" with Pakistan - ah, how exactly.

McCain: He scores against Obama ref. Obama's threat to strike Pakistan. McCain is speaking more authoratively and knowledably about how to function in Afghanistan-Pakistan.

Obama: "Nobody talked about attacking Pakistan."  Ah, he did. And then he just now did it again.  (Sarcastic cheap shots about singing songs about bombing Iran. Not presidential.)  [Obama's approach toward Pakistan is muddled and uninformed historically.] 

McCain: Retells the Marines in Lebanon story - he opposed sending them there.  McCain establishes his vita of being present during military decisons over decades. 

Obama:  Oh, he has a bracelet, too. Swell. [What crap.] Obama continues to dwell in the past.  All about past decisions.  All about past mistakes he was against. Past. Past. Past. "Enormous problems in Afghanistan."  Obama the Hawk. 

[At the one hour mark - Advantage McCain. 60-40]

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is wise to bring up this league of democracies idea.  And bringing up the fact that the Russians and others are obstructing our attempts to rein in the Iranians.  Smart to bring up other things Iranians are doing.  And very smart to state emphatically that we will not permit another Holocaust.  Very good.

Ed Lasky:

McCain rightly points out Iran is a danger to the region. If Iran gets the bomb, others in the region will be compelled to follow suit. He points out his idea of a League of Democracies-realizing the manifest and manifold failures of the United Nations-an institution that Obama would outsource our foreign policy to..
Obama has not consistently called the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terror group-he expressly refused to designate it as one and castigated fellow Democratic Presidential aspirants for doing so.
By the way, watch for Obama calling Israel a "stalwart ally". He is robotic on this-clearly not a heartfelt concern but a talking point he was told to use by his handlers.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
Obama is trying to say that Henry Kissinger, one of McCain's advisers, actually agrees with him. 

McCain had better correct that impression.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain took Kyle's advice!

Now he goes for the jugular with the stinking corpse line from A'jadEd Lasky:

Ed Lasky:

McCain-good to list off names of foreign leaders and diplomats. Shows his experience and knowledge.
I honestly don't know what meeting with Ahmadinejad is going to accomplish. he has been the toast of the international community, the General Assembly, Columbia University, the dinner at the Grand Hyatt, the fawning by Larry King.
 He has been courted for years by the EU, IAEA, French, etc.
Guess what-a few days ago he channeled Hitler.
I don't see talk therapy working with this guy.

C. Edmund Wright:

Oh boy, a Madeline Albright sighting. This cannot be helpful for Obama. Good ole Madeline really understood Kim Jung Il, didn't she?


Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain reminds us that Obama's position to personally meet with dictators is not just naive; it is dangerous.

If Obama smirks one more time and calls McCain a liar one more time, I'm going for the wine bottle and turning off the TV.

Lee Cary:

McCain: He broaches his "League of Democracies" idea as a counterbalance to Iran, and the Russians. He implicated Iran in Iraq. "A serious threat to security in the world."

Obama:  He claims that the war in Iraq has strengthen Iran, but now how, where.  "We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran."  Answer: tougher sanctions, tough direct diplomacy (can't we talk).

McCain:  He draws the "without preconditions talks" cards. [Obama is looking naive by comparison.  He will counter, knowing that.]  McCain displays broad knowledge of history, no mention of any of that by Obama.

Obama:  It's all about Obama - history be damned. Now he's talking back away from the absence of preconditions? I'm lost. Preconditions or no preconditions? He's waffling all over the place. [This is like watching a seasoned diplomat debate a intelligent, naive smart high school kid.]  (McCain just laughts.  Best response.)

McCain:  Fundamental difference of opinions. (Obama voice-overs for the third time.) 

Obama:  He's beating a dead horse.(Obama voice overs for 4th-5th-6th time. Out of control. 7th time.)

C. Edmund Wright:

oh, NOW Obama figures out that Russia's actions in Georgia were unacceptable. Did anyone tell Obama that this Georgia is NOT one of the 57 states?


Ed Lasky:

Lord-Obama lied again-between the stammers. He said that no one has talked about meeting Ahmadinejad without preconditions and accuses McCain of mischaracterizing his (Obama's) positions. This is a bald faced lie on Obama's pdart.

Richard Baehr:

McCain won thart Iran round handilay, and made Obama look apmateurish. I tphink so far McCain is doing a lot better than I expechted.

Marc Sheppard:

Iran threat.  JM began well speaking in defense of Israel, but wavered in the details.  Moved on to Iranian IED’s and ultimately their nuclear ambitions.   Ob challenged JM’s position of Iranian isolation saying that Hank Kissinger, one of McCain’s own advisors, recommends engagement with Ahmadinejad.  I’m too tired to verify this, but even if it’s true,  JM’s dissent is a sign not of discord but rather of leadership

C. Edmund Wright:


I hope, if the question comes up on whether we would have to militarily help Georgia or Ukraine if they were to join NATO, that McCain will say that the point is this: if Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, Russia will not likely invade them. That's the point!!!

We'll see if this comes up.


This is great. Russian, Georgia...all about the oil, the oil, the oil. This was understood immediately by McCain and, by the way, that hick governor from Alaska. it was lost on Obama and the ultra experienced Biden. Great great point.


Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Oh, Ed!  Talk therapy with A'jad!  Right.  Great line. 

McCain is GREAT to remind us of what Obama first said about the Russian aggression in Georgia.  How both sides were off base.  Oh, McCain is brilliant to remind us that Russian aggression has an ENERGY component.

Ed Lasky:


Kyle-Anne Shiver:Oh, Ed!  Talk therapy with A'jad!  Right.  Great line.  McCain is GREAT to remind us of what Obama first said about the Russian aggression in Georgia.  How both sides were off base.  Oh, McCain is brilliant to remind us that Russian aggression has an ENERGY component.Ed Lasky:
My favorite line by McCain: You don't understand.
That says it all about Obama.
Maybe a possible You Tube ad?
Point out all the examples of Obama's mistakes, lies, and gaffes.
Followed by:
Barack Obama-you just don't understand

Lee Cary:
Obama:  Things have changed since Georgia. (Brilliant observation, not.) "We have to affirm fledging democracies."  Wow. (He's vamping - has nothing to say)

McCain:  Quotes Obama's response to Georgia - naive.  (His responses are less packaged, display more current and historical knowledge, and deeper thought.)  McCain pronounces far away countries and far-away leaders. Obama doesn't know who he's talking about.  Displays broad global geo-political understanding.

Obama:  Obama agrees with McCain so he doesn't have to pronounce the long names. ( He's looking thin here. His comments are fragmented and not linked by any overriding viewpoint.)  Obama is rambling - hard to follow his train of thought.  He shifts to not-drilling - where did that come from?  He just changed the subject!!!  MAJOR SUBJECT SHIFT cause he had nothing to say! 

Obama on energy...uh oh.  Obama is resorting to the old, tried and failed Democrat line about us needing to use other sources of energy, and downplaying our own ability to find our own oil.  I don't think this is what people are wanting.

C. Edmund Wright:

oh pleeez....a "special envoy to resolve the crisis?" Would that change the oil realities of Georgia and South Ossetia? Would it have changed the KGB reality of Putin's past? And now this is a solar and wind energy issue? Obama is trying to tie issues together that he is clearly not intelligent enough to do. This is sad.

Uh oh....is McCain going to have to credit Bush on no attacks since 9-11? Nope. He will congratulate Joe Lieberman. Oh well. Can't win em all. Still a clear win by McCain tonight I think.


Ed Lasky:

Clean coal technology? Obama has to talk to Biden on that topic
Solar,wind, biodisel
The holy trinity-wrapped in gossamer and delusional
Good of  McCain to point out Obama's LACK of support for nuclear power because Obame has redailed the storage of nuclear waste at the secure Yucca underground storage facility in Harry reid's hoemstateof Nevada.
Obama's "support" for nuclear power is not real.
Obama has said he has never obejcted to nuclear waste-huh?

C. Edmund Wright:
Barry says Al Quada is now operating in 60 countries. Fine.

They are NOT operating in our 57 states.


Ed Lasky:

Obama says he believes in missile defense.
What-another lie. The Fact Check people are going to be very busy tonight.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama is interrupting.  Very bad form.

Okay another 9/11?  

Oh, McCain is very, very smart to bring up the 9/11 Commission and the fact that he disagreed with Bush on it.  Also, reminds us that we are "safer," but not "safe."  Smart to bring up the borders.

Obama did say McCain was good on the torture issue, which made Obama look a bit better.

McCain reminding us how important it is to continue the task in Iraq; I think this is smart.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain got in some good digs at Obama on comparing him to Bush - stubborn and not admitting he was wrong on the Surge.

Obama plays the Kenyan father card.

C. Edmund Wright:

Now c'mon Barack...if you are going to quote your Kenyan Dad, how about mention the fact that he was a text book Kenyan socialist!

Ed Lasky:

Spending on Iraq-this will be a recurring theme for the next month
"No one is talking about losing this war"Obama says tha again; does he listent o himself, his Democratic leaders-that is all they have talked about for years now.
I heard Obama scoff-I tin-I hope-this would come off very badly. I think he did it after McCain pointed out Obama's lack of knowledge and experience.
Rebuts Obama's criticism about taking careof soldiers by sayine he loves these people. That is heartfelt and real.
McCain-I don't need on the job training.
Nice...

Lee Cary:

McCain: Keeps previous question going. Obama puckers his lips for the nth time. Not good.

Obama:  I said we had to store...

10th Exchange - Another 9-11?:

McCain:  He punches the "across the isle" ticket.  He stresses he's no Bush Third Term. Bipartisan emphasis. Good timing. Eight minutes left.

Obama:  Safer "in some ways."  Says he believes in missile defense? Really?  Adds nothing new or different.

McCain:  He links critical defense arena and events in ways that Obama is not capable of doing.

Obama:  One trick pony - UBL still there. We're borrow money from China. And China is active around the world.  (Where is this going? He's wandering. Repeating himself about $10 billion per month.)

{When Obama doesn't know what do say he defaults to sound bites from his stump speeches.}

Obama:  NO, "my father came from Kenya" - this is not a strong close.  We need, he is saying, for the people to like us better by how we invest in education?  What?

McCain:  Strong close.

[Summary: McCain 65 - Obama 35.  Certainly not the "draw" that teh Obama camp wanted to gain.]

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
McCain is very wise reminding America that he has actually been in on every major foreign policy decision of the last 25 years.

Obama is not smart to bring up his father's Kenyan nationality, in my opinion.  Americans wanted to be reassured that Obama is one of us.  This was not smart.

McCain's common history and common background will win over many, I predict.  Obama did not help himself tonight, I don't think.

Richard Baehr:

McCain was on the attack most of the night and got under Obama's skin.


J.R. Dunn:

It’s about time some kind of boom was lowered on the media figures running these debates. Switching the first half of the debate to economic matters, in a evident attempt to trip up McCain, Lehrer’s constant, one-sided interruptions, and his attempts to hog the focus all this is way out of line. McCain has already challenged the debate format with his trip to Washington. He should take the opportunity to lay down the law concerning this. Ejecting Lehrer would be a good start.

Ed Lasky:


This new campaign ad by McCain takes advantage of  Obama agreeing with him:





C. Edmund Wright:
McCain gets win, "as I have said" (do I sound like Obama...quoting myself?)

I think Kyle Ann hits the main reasons why....the nice experience contrast, the Kenyan mistake, etc.

Solid win, no KO, but really strong considering McCain set up the fact that he didn't have time to prepare for this debate but still won it anyway.

Marc Sheppard:

Better than most had expected. 

Low cringe factor.  No anti-McCain Saturday soundbites. No Knock-outs.  Bad for Obama.

I was typing an entry that challenged both candidates as scientifically challenged regarding global warming, but stopped in mid-digital-flurry when it became apparent that the debate had ended and JM had stood his ground quite stalwartly against the Dem Messiah’s  frail class warfare message.

Given the poll numbers during these trying times,  one must wonder:  Are the Dems as now worried as we are now enthused?

In a clearly anti-Republican environment, the draw goes to McCain.

Lee Cary:

All: The old big media and the Beltway pundits can spin this as they wish.  I believe McCain came away the clear winner. His answers were clear, cogent, and displayed a geo-political range that Obama clearly does not have.  Charles K., on FOX, called it a draw, saying Obama was never flustered. He must have been watching a different debate. Obama was flustered, and showed it in two ways. He talked over McCain about 8 times, (zero for McCain) and he frequently puckered his lips. That's what I saw.

Ed Lasky:

I heard Krauthammer-I think he has had a problem with Mccain since Palin came on board.
My wife watched CNN and the usual sychophants sucked up to Obama and said he was the winner.
Gimme a break. Gergen was the worst
Fox audience member said Obama did not stutter. What?
Seems like the Fox focus group only cared about the economy and the "average person". Not good for McCain if this is going to be the filter.

Kissinger fact check:
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/jpodhoretz/33581 

Richard Baehr:

Very good night. instant poll so far: 3 to 1 for mccain on drudge.

{{{{DRUDGE POLL}}}} WHO WON THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE?...

MCCAIN

72%
48,341
OBAMA

26%
17,197
NEITHER

2%
1,578

Thomas Lifson:

Thanks to all who added to the blog entry as posters and commenters! This blog is now closed.

We'll be live blogging the presidential debate:

Thomas Lifson:

Barack Obama's prep time was shortened, while the subject matter has broadened. A good sign for McCain

First question: Obama did his canned talking points; McCain is less polished, but perhaps more spontaneous. Not clear he is more convincing. He looks tired. I like the line, "the end of the beginning"

Lee Cary:

First question: Obama regurgitates talking points and blames Republicans (forgetting Frank and Dodd) and McCain applauds bipartisism and mentions "The Lion of the Senate."

Ed Lasky:

McCain was smart to highlight bipartisanship-an area that Obama does not play well in this field.

This is not the worst financial crisis since the Depression-that is fear-mongering. Unemployment is still not high; we have not had two quarters of negative growth; there is no starvation across the land.

Obama just trying to frame this rest of the night; if there was shredding of regulations it is the fault of the Democrats who have frustrated GOP efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Obama says two years ago I warned about the abuses; last year I went to the Sevreatry of the Treasury.

Too many I's. Agains, re-uses the line "shredding the regulations"-same line as his first answer.

He has his talking points.

Lee Cary:

Obama overstates his involvement in warning against the impending crisis, taking about shreading regulations when that wasn't the cause. McCain notes that he, too, and others warned about the crisis. The uses an Eisenhower example to make the point that people have to be held accountable.

Obama, more blaming of "Wall Street" - the class-envy game. (McCain looks relaxed, cracks a joke.) Redundant talking-points.

McCain, takes a broader view, focuses on the positive - the Ameican worker - and conveys hope in the country.

Ed Lasky:

McCain taking a populist appraoch. Greed, corruption-aren't those Democratic lines?

Kyle-Anne Shiver

Obama has been well coached in staying on topic and speaking without stuttering, but is completely dodging the ressponsibility of his own party in the current mess.

Senator McCain looks pretty good.  Good joke about having been around a while.  He is reminding us that the House Republicans had not been part of the negotiations.  Good point reminding us that becoming energy independent and how important that is.

Obama is flat out lying right now about warning 2 years ago on the sub-prime lending crisis.  Blaming deregulation, not corruption!

Ed Lasky:

Obama just keep recycling talking points: lobbyists this time
McCain takes note of his own age-but gives it a spin that it gives him perspctive on the scope of the problem now. It is not the worst since the Great Depression-that is feeding the frenzy.
Nice conservative point for McCain-talking about the size of the government, earmarking-but how will he square this with calls for more oversight?

Thomas Lifson:

McCain is in his element on earmarks and zinged Obama on earmarks and spending. Obama actually interrupted!

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is getting warmed up and getting in great digs at earmarks and declaring vetoes for earmarks.  Reminding us that Obama is a huge earmark guy!  Great Dig.  Rein in spending.

Ed Lasky:

Obama equates earmarks (wasteful government spending meant to assure reelection) with tax cuts (meant too spur growth).
Does he understand the difference?
Good move for McCain: points out Obama tried to skirt over his own earmarks request by noting he only called for suspending earmarks when he started his run for the President. Before that Obama requested 1 million a day for his earmarks-that is our money.
Obama interrupted McCain in the middle of his answer by challenging his figures-trying to get under his skin-make him lose his temper?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Love this line!  McCain:  "I didn't win Miss Congeniality in the Senate"

Has anyone else noticed that McCain is calling Obama, "Senator Obama," while Obama is calling McCain, "John"?  It seems disrespectful to me.

Ed Lasky:

McCain should keep emphasizing this is your money.
Obama claims tax loopholes written in the tax code-often with the support of John McCain.
Name them? Actually, Obama voted for the energy bill which gave alot of breaks to energy companies. McCain voted against those breaks.
Enough on the economics-isn't that supposed to be for another debate.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

I see signs that Obama is starting to get rattled.  He is beginning to take the pose of arrogance.  His smirk and interruptions are going to hurt him.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Notes high business tax. Promises to lower. He displays passion mentioning 2000 ear-marks. Believable. He offers specifics for tax cuts for average Americans.

Obama:  (Obama stutters) 95% will get a tax cut. (McCain smiles, doesn't appear mad.)

McCain:  Comes out of any shell. Uses the word "festooned." (Obama communicated non-verbally as though perturbed.) 

Obama:  Obama bangs oil companies. (What does that have to do with the flow?)  

Ed Lasky: 

It is disrespectful, Kyle, to call McCain "John";makes it seem as if Obama is a long-time member of the Senate

Obama touts new energy bill on the floor, which is a red herring. The energy bill is meaningless and has self-destruct mechanisms in the language-offshore drilling only beyond 50 miles; need state approval but will not give states a piece of the revenue.
Solar,wind,biodeisel will barely reduce dependency on overseas oil, Senator Obama

Thomas Lifson:

Good for Jim Lehrer pushing for naming what will be cut to pay for the bailout. Obama is vague.

Ed Lasky:

One half hour and we have not touched upon traditional foreign policy.
McCain again points out that he works across the aisle and that Obama is the most liberal member of the Senate and does not do "bipartisanship".
McCain knows details of defense policy that Obama would never deign to lower himself to learn-and points out waste in government with specific examples where he ucked the military-industrial complex (Eisenhower redux-is this what McCain-also a military man who fought-is this what McCain is projecting?)

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
McCain is smart to talk about cutting waste in defense spending, heads off Obama at the pass on defense.

McCain's best line so far:  Obama is the most liberal senator and it's pretty hard to reach across the aisle from that far left.

Obama was visibly angry.

Obama tries to claim that his liberalism is just opposing Bush policies.  Obama gets in a good one about setting up the Google for government to track spending. 

Ed Lasky:

Okay..I know I am going overboard-but how many times has Obama used the word "lobbyist"?
Counter is up to 4 now.

The work with Tom Coburn was trivial-approved on a voice vote. Not controversial. This is slender eveidence that Obama works across the aisle; Coburn himself believes Obama would not as President and has not as Senator

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is talking about stopping sending so much money to people who don't like us and give some of that money to terrorists.

I may  be wrong, but I really do think the smirks on Obama's face while McCain is talking will hurt him.  It comes off as terribly arrogant with a man who has served this Country for so long.

Ed Lasky:

I knew Obama would bring up spending in Iraq.
McCain retorts by pointing out how much we spend on oil from overseas-and we need to cut back on this consumption by drilling here-and developing nuclear power. Zings him with climate change reason for nukes-probably a surprise for many Americans not aware of McCain's record on this issue

Health care-what doe sthat have to do with foreign policy.
Jim Lehrer said he chose the questions-how about focusing on the topic?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain makes a good point about not turning our health care system to the federal government.  Works very well right now when the federal government has caused such a crisis!

C.Edmund Wright:

Obama going back to 90% voting with Bush again. And I suppose that Obama is saying that spending would have been lower under any Democrat President.


Lee Cary:
Obama:  Unsure of impact. Mentions 10 years free from foreign oil, not means noted.  Speaks of bankrupys every. Mentions China's space program but he proposes to put Constellation on a 5 year hold - our next manned space vehicle.

McCain:  Sticks to basics. Must cut spending. He speaks in specifics, while Obama is talking in generalities.

Obama: He will delay investment in energy due to the financial crisis, but how does that factor into his 10 year goal to be foreign oil indepent?  Back to blaming lobbiest. More Bush bashing.  Google for government? What in the world?

McCain: Spending freeze!!! New and novel idea!!

Obama:  Obama defaults to spending his favored projects. Out comes Iraq.

McCain:  Off-shore drilling and nuclear power - "You can't get there from here"  - a memorable line.  He trumps Obama's 10 year goal saying that you can't get independent by not using nuclear power that Obama is about.

{Somebody fact-check Obama's FDR example. I doubt it.]

Ed Lasky:

Obama stuttering, stammering.
Missing the security blanket..uh..I mean the teleprompter.

Marc Sheppard:

Lehrer tried to shift the discourse to current economic realities, and Barry O instead addressed new spending initiatives for “middle class families.”  McCain has already mentioned “Climate Change” twice – both times out of context and unsolicited.  Yawn.

C. Edmund Wright:

I can't believe Obama is going back to the "six years ago I opposed the war" argument again. He was in the Illinois Senate and opposed the war in front of some anti war radicals in Chicago. That was irrelevant and hardly took courage.

And McCain is now hammering him on the "exceeded wildest expectations" claim by Obama on the surge. He needs to keep on that.

Anyone who is not anti Military expected the surge to work!

Ed Lasky:
McCain-we have learned from Iraq. We will have an ally; a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Reminds people this would not have been the case had other options been followed (hmm..wonder whose options might he be referring to?)
Obama says it was politically risky for him to oppose the war 6 years ago. Balderdash-He was running in a hyper-liberal district for a post in the state government.
That was not a profile in courage. He was at an anti-war rally.
McCain , of course, points out how wrong Obama has been and portrays what would have happened had we followed his withdraw startegy. Points out Obama did not fly to Iraq for 900 days, did not convene his subcommittee, did not talk to Petraeus.
Maybe he should have used the line that Obama was AWOL

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

I think Obama is making a mistake to bring up his not wanting to go to Iraq in the first place, because McCain can point out that he wasn't there.
And just talking about how much it has cost is not smart, in my opinion.  Also, he just said 4,000 American lives were "wasted" there. 

Very dumb mistake, I think.  All the veterans and Americans watching.

Now, he is trying to say he will be hawkish on defense.

McCain is very smart to remind us that Iraq is now old business.  Ticking off what Obama said on Iraq.  Very smart. 

Uh Oh!  Big bad move by Obama to bring up Biden first on foreign policy!  Underscores his own inexperience.

Now, Obama is talking down to McCain.  People are not going to like that, in my opinion.

C. Edmund Wright:

Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between tactics and strategies...YES. Great line by Mac. The Messiah is getting LOUD and testy.

Ed Lasky:
McCain outs Obama for not knowing the difference between tactics and strategy.
Some Commander in Chief Obama would make...
McCain brings up passage of election law in Iraq-all but ignored by the media because the failure to pass such a law was a Democratic talking point often used by Obama

Thomas Lifson:

Obama tried to talk over McCain!!Not a good move.

Richard Baehr: McCain's strategy: He is trying to get Obama angry,and it is , to some extent, working.

C. Edmubd Wright:
Great great line by McCain...General Patraus and Usama Bin Laden have one thing in common.....that the central war on terror is in Iraq.


Ed Lasky:

The only time Obama finds a hot spot on the map is when he can use it as a bludgeon to bang the GOP and McCain. Now he is being tough on Afghanistan-gimme a break-does anyone think he would actually beef up forces there. He just likes to point out problems and not successes.
The interruptions by Obama are very rude. Are others picking up on this disrespect?
You don't do that in moot court in law school; nor should you do that in a Presdiential debate-it is very...unpresidential

Marc Sheppard:

Tactics versus Strategy move was well played.  McCain dealt his strengths against BO’s weakness.  BO still highly vulnerable on readily available surge quotes.

C. Edmund Wright:

uh, excuse me....did Obama just say that we can't separate Afghanistan from Iraq? Doesn't that undermine his whole line of reasoning that we should be in Afghanistan and NOT in Iraq?

is it just me....or does Obama endlessly quote himself? Classic sign of narcissism. He has quoted himself on Afghanistan, on Iraq, on the Surge, on everything. "As I have said...blah blah blah..."

Ed Lasky:

Obama-we have to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan-and take a tougher stance. Does anyone believe he would be the one to be tough? He said one of his first steps as President would be to convene a meeting of Muslim nations to hear their grievances. So is he going to be tough with two major Muslim nations?
McCain points out that you don't say certain things out loud as a leader-"you don't do that"; shows Obama is not ready for prime time.

Obama lied-he did talk about attacking Pakistan-months ago, for example. He said "no one talked about attacking Pakistan"; then he absurdly says if the Pakistanis don't hit terrorists in their nation then we should. He just lied and then contradicted himself!

C. Edmund Wright:

If he calls McCain "John" one more time, I might throw my laptop across the room. I wish "John" would call him "Barry."

Ed Lasky:
McCain keeps pointing out that Obama was unaware or does not know various facts on the ground-great way to indicate his experience is vast; Obama's non-existent

Marc Sheppard:

Bad move for BO repeating Lib 9/11 talking points.  Gave JM the opening to jump in and explain the al–Qaeda/Taliban realities in Paki.  And explain he did. BO’s response exposed his Middle East naivety.  The war hero is ripping him a new one as I write.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama keeps trying to sneak in 20th century vs. 21st century.  The age dig, very passive aggressive.

McCain talking about Reagan and his history.  Talking about past decisions and reminding public that he's been in on all of the military interventions of the past 25 years.  Really smart, I think.  He is talking more about himself, which is what the public wants to hear.

Obama is failing to sell himself.  He is not going to be able to close on the deal, I don't think.

C. Edmund Wright:

Obama says "I've got a bracelet too?" Is this a contest? This should come off as very childish.

Ed Lasky:
Obama say "no one is talking about defeat in Iraq". That is all you and the Democratic leadership has been talking about-if not advocating-for 5 years now.
Is there any one that lie with such obvious lack of discomfort than Barack Obama?

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama says he has a bracelet too, then has to look at it to remember the name.

Now he is taking a professorial stance and says "we" did this, "we" did that, but not "I," which is not selling himself.

Talking down to McCain again.  Not good form, I don't think. 

McCain is really good at saying, "I," which takes responsibility.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Cites his record on Iraq toward victory. 

Obama:  He replays the decision of going to war when "it was politically risky to do so."  As an Illinois State Senator?  [Obama never had to vote go or no-go on war.] 

McCain:  McCain moves to the present-future-reality.  Reminds that Obama said the surge would not work. (Obama looks smug.) 

Obama:  Will he answer the question about never having a sub-committee meeting on Afghanistan. "Inside baseball?" 

McCain: Obama interrupts McCain's impassioned explanation of how victory in Iraq is happening. (Arrogance coming though verbaly and non-verbally.)

Obama:  Basically he outlines the already existing plan and claims it as his own. 

McCain: (Obama talks over McCain, again. He is out of control.) (Old big media won't note it, but he's having Gore arrogance moments.)

Obama:  He will broaden the war in Afghanistan. {McLerer has lost all control. Both are caught in a loop.}  Obama will "deal" with Pakistan - ah, how exactly.

McCain: He scores against Obama ref. Obama's threat to strike Pakistan. McCain is speaking more authoratively and knowledably about how to function in Afghanistan-Pakistan.

Obama: "Nobody talked about attacking Pakistan."  Ah, he did. And then he just now did it again.  (Sarcastic cheap shots about singing songs about bombing Iran. Not presidential.)  [Obama's approach toward Pakistan is muddled and uninformed historically.] 

McCain: Retells the Marines in Lebanon story - he opposed sending them there.  McCain establishes his vita of being present during military decisons over decades. 

Obama:  Oh, he has a bracelet, too. Swell. [What crap.] Obama continues to dwell in the past.  All about past decisions.  All about past mistakes he was against. Past. Past. Past. "Enormous problems in Afghanistan."  Obama the Hawk. 

[At the one hour mark - Advantage McCain. 60-40]

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is wise to bring up this league of democracies idea.  And bringing up the fact that the Russians and others are obstructing our attempts to rein in the Iranians.  Smart to bring up other things Iranians are doing.  And very smart to state emphatically that we will not permit another Holocaust.  Very good.

Ed Lasky:

McCain rightly points out Iran is a danger to the region. If Iran gets the bomb, others in the region will be compelled to follow suit. He points out his idea of a League of Democracies-realizing the manifest and manifold failures of the United Nations-an institution that Obama would outsource our foreign policy to..
Obama has not consistently called the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terror group-he expressly refused to designate it as one and castigated fellow Democratic Presidential aspirants for doing so.
By the way, watch for Obama calling Israel a "stalwart ally". He is robotic on this-clearly not a heartfelt concern but a talking point he was told to use by his handlers.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
Obama is trying to say that Henry Kissinger, one of McCain's advisers, actually agrees with him. 

McCain had better correct that impression.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain took Kyle's advice!

Now he goes for the jugular with the stinking corpse line from A'jadEd Lasky:

Ed Lasky:

McCain-good to list off names of foreign leaders and diplomats. Shows his experience and knowledge.
I honestly don't know what meeting with Ahmadinejad is going to accomplish. he has been the toast of the international community, the General Assembly, Columbia University, the dinner at the Grand Hyatt, the fawning by Larry King.
 He has been courted for years by the EU, IAEA, French, etc.
Guess what-a few days ago he channeled Hitler.
I don't see talk therapy working with this guy.

C. Edmund Wright:

Oh boy, a Madeline Albright sighting. This cannot be helpful for Obama. Good ole Madeline really understood Kim Jung Il, didn't she?


Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain reminds us that Obama's position to personally meet with dictators is not just naive; it is dangerous.

If Obama smirks one more time and calls McCain a liar one more time, I'm going for the wine bottle and turning off the TV.

Lee Cary:

McCain: He broaches his "League of Democracies" idea as a counterbalance to Iran, and the Russians. He implicated Iran in Iraq. "A serious threat to security in the world."

Obama:  He claims that the war in Iraq has strengthen Iran, but now how, where.  "We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran."  Answer: tougher sanctions, tough direct diplomacy (can't we talk).

McCain:  He draws the "without preconditions talks" cards. [Obama is looking naive by comparison.  He will counter, knowing that.]  McCain displays broad knowledge of history, no mention of any of that by Obama.

Obama:  It's all about Obama - history be damned. Now he's talking back away from the absence of preconditions? I'm lost. Preconditions or no preconditions? He's waffling all over the place. [This is like watching a seasoned diplomat debate a intelligent, naive smart high school kid.]  (McCain just laughts.  Best response.)

McCain:  Fundamental difference of opinions. (Obama voice-overs for the third time.) 

Obama:  He's beating a dead horse.(Obama voice overs for 4th-5th-6th time. Out of control. 7th time.)

C. Edmund Wright:

oh, NOW Obama figures out that Russia's actions in Georgia were unacceptable. Did anyone tell Obama that this Georgia is NOT one of the 57 states?


Ed Lasky:

Lord-Obama lied again-between the stammers. He said that no one has talked about meeting Ahmadinejad without preconditions and accuses McCain of mischaracterizing his (Obama's) positions. This is a bald faced lie on Obama's pdart.

Richard Baehr:

McCain won thart Iran round handilay, and made Obama look apmateurish. I tphink so far McCain is doing a lot better than I expechted.

Marc Sheppard:

Iran threat.  JM began well speaking in defense of Israel, but wavered in the details.  Moved on to Iranian IED’s and ultimately their nuclear ambitions.   Ob challenged JM’s position of Iranian isolation saying that Hank Kissinger, one of McCain’s own advisors, recommends engagement with Ahmadinejad.  I’m too tired to verify this, but even if it’s true,  JM’s dissent is a sign not of discord but rather of leadership

C. Edmund Wright:


I hope, if the question comes up on whether we would have to militarily help Georgia or Ukraine if they were to join NATO, that McCain will say that the point is this: if Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, Russia will not likely invade them. That's the point!!!

We'll see if this comes up.


This is great. Russian, Georgia...all about the oil, the oil, the oil. This was understood immediately by McCain and, by the way, that hick governor from Alaska. it was lost on Obama and the ultra experienced Biden. Great great point.


Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Oh, Ed!  Talk therapy with A'jad!  Right.  Great line. 

McCain is GREAT to remind us of what Obama first said about the Russian aggression in Georgia.  How both sides were off base.  Oh, McCain is brilliant to remind us that Russian aggression has an ENERGY component.

Ed Lasky:


Kyle-Anne Shiver:Oh, Ed!  Talk therapy with A'jad!  Right.  Great line.  McCain is GREAT to remind us of what Obama first said about the Russian aggression in Georgia.  How both sides were off base.  Oh, McCain is brilliant to remind us that Russian aggression has an ENERGY component.Ed Lasky:
My favorite line by McCain: You don't understand.
That says it all about Obama.
Maybe a possible You Tube ad?
Point out all the examples of Obama's mistakes, lies, and gaffes.
Followed by:
Barack Obama-you just don't understand

Lee Cary:
Obama:  Things have changed since Georgia. (Brilliant observation, not.) "We have to affirm fledging democracies."  Wow. (He's vamping - has nothing to say)

McCain:  Quotes Obama's response to Georgia - naive.  (His responses are less packaged, display more current and historical knowledge, and deeper thought.)  McCain pronounces far away countries and far-away leaders. Obama doesn't know who he's talking about.  Displays broad global geo-political understanding.

Obama:  Obama agrees with McCain so he doesn't have to pronounce the long names. ( He's looking thin here. His comments are fragmented and not linked by any overriding viewpoint.)  Obama is rambling - hard to follow his train of thought.  He shifts to not-drilling - where did that come from?  He just changed the subject!!!  MAJOR SUBJECT SHIFT cause he had nothing to say! 

Obama on energy...uh oh.  Obama is resorting to the old, tried and failed Democrat line about us needing to use other sources of energy, and downplaying our own ability to find our own oil.  I don't think this is what people are wanting.

C. Edmund Wright:

oh pleeez....a "special envoy to resolve the crisis?" Would that change the oil realities of Georgia and South Ossetia? Would it have changed the KGB reality of Putin's past? And now this is a solar and wind energy issue? Obama is trying to tie issues together that he is clearly not intelligent enough to do. This is sad.

Uh oh....is McCain going to have to credit Bush on no attacks since 9-11? Nope. He will congratulate Joe Lieberman. Oh well. Can't win em all. Still a clear win by McCain tonight I think.


Ed Lasky:

Clean coal technology? Obama has to talk to Biden on that topic
Solar,wind, biodisel
The holy trinity-wrapped in gossamer and delusional
Good of  McCain to point out Obama's LACK of support for nuclear power because Obame has redailed the storage of nuclear waste at the secure Yucca underground storage facility in Harry reid's hoemstateof Nevada.
Obama's "support" for nuclear power is not real.
Obama has said he has never obejcted to nuclear waste-huh?

C. Edmund Wright:
Barry says Al Quada is now operating in 60 countries. Fine.

They are NOT operating in our 57 states.


Ed Lasky:

Obama says he believes in missile defense.
What-another lie. The Fact Check people are going to be very busy tonight.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama is interrupting.  Very bad form.

Okay another 9/11?  

Oh, McCain is very, very smart to bring up the 9/11 Commission and the fact that he disagreed with Bush on it.  Also, reminds us that we are "safer," but not "safe."  Smart to bring up the borders.

Obama did say McCain was good on the torture issue, which made Obama look a bit better.

McCain reminding us how important it is to continue the task in Iraq; I think this is smart.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain got in some good digs at Obama on comparing him to Bush - stubborn and not admitting he was wrong on the Surge.

Obama plays the Kenyan father card.

C. Edmund Wright:

Now c'mon Barack...if you are going to quote your Kenyan Dad, how about mention the fact that he was a text book Kenyan socialist!

Ed Lasky:

Spending on Iraq-this will be a recurring theme for the next month
"No one is talking about losing this war"Obama says tha again; does he listent o himself, his Democratic leaders-that is all they have talked about for years now.
I heard Obama scoff-I tin-I hope-this would come off very badly. I think he did it after McCain pointed out Obama's lack of knowledge and experience.
Rebuts Obama's criticism about taking careof soldiers by sayine he loves these people. That is heartfelt and real.
McCain-I don't need on the job training.
Nice...

Lee Cary:

McCain: Keeps previous question going. Obama puckers his lips for the nth time. Not good.

Obama:  I said we had to store...

10th Exchange - Another 9-11?:

McCain:  He punches the "across the isle" ticket.  He stresses he's no Bush Third Term. Bipartisan emphasis. Good timing. Eight minutes left.

Obama:  Safer "in some ways."  Says he believes in missile defense? Really?  Adds nothing new or different.

McCain:  He links critical defense arena and events in ways that Obama is not capable of doing.

Obama:  One trick pony - UBL still there. We're borrow money from China. And China is active around the world.  (Where is this going? He's wandering. Repeating himself about $10 billion per month.)

{When Obama doesn't know what do say he defaults to sound bites from his stump speeches.}

Obama:  NO, "my father came from Kenya" - this is not a strong close.  We need, he is saying, for the people to like us better by how we invest in education?  What?

McCain:  Strong close.

[Summary: McCain 65 - Obama 35.  Certainly not the "draw" that teh Obama camp wanted to gain.]

Kyle-Anne Shiver:
McCain is very wise reminding America that he has actually been in on every major foreign policy decision of the last 25 years.

Obama is not smart to bring up his father's Kenyan nationality, in my opinion.  Americans wanted to be reassured that Obama is one of us.  This was not smart.

McCain's common history and common background will win over many, I predict.  Obama did not help himself tonight, I don't think.

Richard Baehr:

McCain was on the attack most of the night and got under Obama's skin.


J.R. Dunn:

It’s about time some kind of boom was lowered on the media figures running these debates. Switching the first half of the debate to economic matters, in a evident attempt to trip up McCain, Lehrer’s constant, one-sided interruptions, and his attempts to hog the focus all this is way out of line. McCain has already challenged the debate format with his trip to Washington. He should take the opportunity to lay down the law concerning this. Ejecting Lehrer would be a good start.

Ed Lasky:


This new campaign ad by McCain takes advantage of  Obama agreeing with him:





C. Edmund Wright:
McCain gets win, "as I have said" (do I sound like Obama...quoting myself?)

I think Kyle Ann hits the main reasons why....the nice experience contrast, the Kenyan mistake, etc.

Solid win, no KO, but really strong considering McCain set up the fact that he didn't have time to prepare for this debate but still won it anyway.

Marc Sheppard:

Better than most had expected. 

Low cringe factor.  No anti-McCain Saturday soundbites. No Knock-outs.  Bad for Obama.

I was typing an entry that challenged both candidates as scientifically challenged regarding global warming, but stopped in mid-digital-flurry when it became apparent that the debate had ended and JM had stood his ground quite stalwartly against the Dem Messiah’s  frail class warfare message.

Given the poll numbers during these trying times,  one must wonder:  Are the Dems as now worried as we are now enthused?

In a clearly anti-Republican environment, the draw goes to McCain.

Lee Cary:

All: The old big media and the Beltway pundits can spin this as they wish.  I believe McCain came away the clear winner. His answers were clear, cogent, and displayed a geo-political range that Obama clearly does not have.  Charles K., on FOX, called it a draw, saying Obama was never flustered. He must have been watching a different debate. Obama was flustered, and showed it in two ways. He talked over McCain about 8 times, (zero for McCain) and he frequently puckered his lips. That's what I saw.

Ed Lasky:

I heard Krauthammer-I think he has had a problem with Mccain since Palin came on board.
My wife watched CNN and the usual sychophants sucked up to Obama and said he was the winner.
Gimme a break. Gergen was the worst
Fox audience member said Obama did not stutter. What?
Seems like the Fox focus group only cared about the economy and the "average person". Not good for McCain if this is going to be the filter.

Kissinger fact check:
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/jpodhoretz/33581 

Richard Baehr:

Very good night. instant poll so far: 3 to 1 for mccain on drudge.

{{{{DRUDGE POLL}}}} WHO WON THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE?...

MCCAIN

72%
48,341
OBAMA

26%
17,197
NEITHER

2%
1,578

Thomas Lifson:

Thanks to all who added to the blog entry as posters and commenters! This blog is now closed.