The presidential debate live blog

Our Thinkers have their say tonight on the debate.

Lee Cary:

I'll (Lee Cary) will comment when Mccain scores or misses a chance to do so.  Otherwise, I'll follow Mark Twain's advice and not miss an opportunity to keep my mouth shut.

Larrey Anderson

New kid on the block here. Holding my breath for the great country of ours.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain blew explaining Fannie and Freddy. "Some kind of...."

C. Edmund Wright:

After today's drop on the Dow, it is critical that McCain not let all of this blamed on "Bush's economic plan" without some response. Afterall, this is a global meltdown and
most of the countrys that are melting down are socialist. We'll see.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama looks smug.  Sorry, but that's the only word I have for it.

McCain looks humble as usual.  Americans are angry and hurting and want a different direction. 

If I hear the phrase, "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression" one more time, I'm going to need an emergency infusion of Pepto Bismol.

Oh great...Obama talks firmly and clearly, not stuttering and ticking off his points.  He seems much more in command of the economy and is making a wonderful sounding pitch.  Obama is making a great sale.

Ed Lasky:

Here was McCain's opportunity to move away from the greed line and point out the need to look at the causes which include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, failure to pass regulations: all of which Democrats have facilitated. If he format only allows sound bites ,suggest people look at the McCain website for more details.
Obama comes up with pinpoint ideas-McCain should do so. Whether Obama intends them or not-whether they are feasible or not-they give the impression of someone in command.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain did well with the Joes the Plumber question. Obama is retreating to his 95% Solution - hope McCain goes for the jugular on the refundable tax credit racket. But I am not optimistic.

Rescue Plan: So is McCain running against Paulson?  He had a chance to strike on Obama's connection with Raines and Johnson.
So is Obama going to give tax breaks to foreign companies creating jobs in the U.S.  Like the Toyota plant in San Antonio competing in the truck market with Ford?
McCain springs Joe the Plumber.  The issue is income redistribution. Will he hit it....nope.

Clarice Feldman
McCain smartly reminds audience of Obama's encounter with the plumber. It's a good idea to rub it in that Obama is willing to increase the transfer of wealth from the productive members of our society to the unproductive members.


McCain scored with the plumber reference. Cheers in the room for that.

C. Edmund Wright:
Mac off to good start mentioning Fannie and Freddie as the cause of the meltdown, but he did not tie that to Democrats.

Obama goes into that ridiculous "tax breaks for corporations" shipping jobs overseas. Hey Barack, how about not worrying so much about low wage jobs going overseas and tell your party to quit costing our country thousands of high paying oil rig jobs. And good of Mac to go back to the plumber who really laid it to Obama in Ohio.
Now, Obama clearly does not understand tax and business. Will McCain lay it to him on this? Especially on this 95% getting a tax cut. That includes millions of extra
welfare checks.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is talking to Joe, the plumber.  Okay, but he just doesn't have the smoothness that Obama has. 

Now Obama is laughing at McCain.  Now Obama is telling the American people that McCain is a lover of the greedy, evil corporations and he is the savior of that 95% of people who are the bulk of Americans. 

Now, if McCain does not address this 95% figure, he is doomed.

Joe the Plumber was interviewed live on the Rush Limbaugh show today. Didn't the McCain Campaign notice this?
Ah, here's come the spread the wealth.  Now's he's cooking.  Class warfare. Go McCain.

Ed Lasky
Obama interrupts McCain-a habit of his that few people point out. The moderator should control Obama.
Obama again brings up the illusion that 95% of taxpayers will get a tax cut-when is the mainstream media going to point out this is factually incorrect. Many people are not taxpayers-they instead will get a check-straight from taxpayers.

Larrey Anderson

McCain says Americans are "angry" four times in first two sentences. He is nervous. Hope he settles in soon.

Joe the Plumber is the most talked about man in America.

I agree with Lasky that McCain should stop blaming Wall Street. But McCain has boxed himself in with his support of the bailout bill. He is looking like "Obama lite" right now.

McCain needs to look into the camera once in awhile.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Ask him if he knows how much of gallon of Exxon Mobil gas is taxes.
McCain ended up well.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Okay, at least McCain is talking about that redistributing the wealth.  And he does seem genuine. 

Obama does himself a disservice when he smirks, in my opinion.

Obama looks a bit more genuine tonight but he is still talking about raising taxes.

Oh this is good...McCain is starting to talk about the high business tax rate.  Cut.  Cut.  Cut.  And not spread the wealth around.  And McCain got the last word on that.  Very good.

C. Edmund Wright:

"Spread the wealth around" and "class warfare." Go Mac Go. And all Obama can say is 95% 95% 95%. And Exxon Mobile. This guy is a text book
redistributionist who has no understanding of how businesses work. He can only go back to his playbook.
And now McCain is nailing him on corporate tax rates by saying companies will go elsewhere and take their jobs with them.

Not a bad start in round one for McCain.

Clarice Feldman
Obama says won't tax anyone whose income is less than $250k..More tax relief for middle class families.
McCain hits Obama's statement "We need to spread the wealth around."Small businesses will see their taxes increases. Asks why we should increase anyone's taxes now?
Obama repeats he wants to increase taxes for 95% of the people..refers to Exxon and Buffett saying they can pay more. (Is someone locking up Buffett's checkbook and preventing him from paying more rather than taking advantage of all tax breaks?) McCain hits hard on how much higher our businesses taxes are than they are elsewhere.McCain says we don't need to spread the wealth around, we need to create more wealth.

Ed Lasky
McCain should move away from complaining about spreading the wealth. First of all..there is less and less wealth around. Secondly, in this environment, people want to spread the wealth around. He should point out that these policies will hurt growth-which will hurt all of us. Expand the pie not slice it up.


Obama again making the class warfare argument along with his magic 95 percent that ignores who doesn't pay tax. Jeers in room for Obama's lie about small businesses. Cheers when McCain called Obama on class warfare. Obama fumbling. Good forum for mccain.

Lee Cary:

McCain needs to ask him why he proposes to cut the NASA manned space program by postponing it for 5 years, while the best scientists go to work elsewhere in the world.  Obama is vamping. 

Clarice Feldman
Sheiffer asks what each would cut back on in federal spending.
Obama plays around and Sheiffer reminds him he wants specifics--
Would cut subsidies to health insurance sompanies for more specifics than that.
Obama talks about "investments", Still nothing about the question which is CUTS.

Lee Cary:
Obama didn't answer the question: Hit him McCain.  We've heard all of this before from both candidates.

Ed Lasky
How many times has Obama mentioned Exxon in this campaign? How many times has he mentioned terrorism?
One would surmise Exxon is the one mentioned more often as the enemy

Lee Cary:

Both are analyzing the problem, not providing solutions.

McCain answered the question - Obama dodged it.

Clarice Feldman
McCain Home Ownership--notes that his plan resembles a program in effect during the depression and follows a suggestion of Clinton's.
Goes into energy independence--if we are we will create millions of jobs.
Would cut across the board and then would get out a scalpel--Would spend billions in defense spending.Would cut the
Marketing assistance program and ethanol subsidies.WOuld eliminate tariff on imported ethanol.Reminds that he cut over $6 billion already.
Notes that Obama has been big on earmarks and pork.

C. Edmund Wright
Oh good, Obama in his economic and business genius will make sure the bail out is "structured properly." This from the guy who does not understand capital gains taxes.
And he will make programs we need "work better." His answer to everything is to "invest" by way of government. Classic Marxist.
Not so sure that McCain should refer to "during the depression we had......" That's not going to help the age issue. However, tying energy to the economy is great. Way overdue,
but great nontheless. And the across the board spending freeze is good point. He needs to hammer home that the government cannot grow while the free market system is shrinking.
The ethanol point is good, but count on the Dems to demagogue that in Iowa and Kansas and so on tomorrow morning. The ads are already being written I bet.
And I think that people will agree that in these times, we need McCain's "hatchet" over Obama's "scalpel." And I don't think Obama's defense of earmarks is great strategy.

Ed Lasky
Now McCain starts mentioning specifics. He should do this more often--with passion and energy. But enough of pork barrel and earmarks. If you talk about this topic, point out how Obama saw being a state and US Senator as a means to rewards his friends-Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, slumlords, his wife's employer-for their support. Obama looked at his role in the government as being the master of the spoils system: to the victor goes the spoils (or at least the spoils go to the victor's friends)

Lee Cary:

"I'm not President Bush."  About damn time he said that. "Any more than you're Jeremiah Wright" might have rounded that out.

Larrey Anderson

Great question from Schieffer. "What programs are you gonna cut?"

Obama goes off into generalities and then dodges the question completely ... as expected.

McCain is hitting this one pretty hard. This was a softball for McCain. He did well in his reply.

Obama's rebuttal is utter nonsense. But he delivers generalities like nobody's business.

Mcain is coming on hard. Finally. So far so good.

Clarice Feldman
Obama refers to Bush.McCain says if Obama wanted to run against Bush he's 4 years to late. Good on pointing out differences in their records re reform of spending and against his own party when necessary to keep spending down.

Lee Cary:

Obama not popular with the Teachers Union?  Come on.
Obama did not answer the question of when he stood up against his party.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Oh wonderful!  McCain saying he's not President Bush!  Yes, Obama should have run 4 years ago, straight from the state senate in Illinois. 

Obama looks too smug and arrogant, in my opinion.  Risky for a young guy with an older statesman.

Obama has the gall to say he has a history of reaching across the aisle.  Now he says even Fox news disputes this voted for tax increase for those making 42,000 a year.   Oh, great.  Now, Obama is trying to say that McCain really is Bush.

Thomas Lifson:

Good for McCain calling out Obama's evidence of standing up against his party. A score!


Huge cheers with the "I am not Pres. Bush" line. Followed by smooth attacks on Obama. Beautiful.

Obama suddenly supports charter schools. That is news to the room.

Obama condescending about torture point.

McCain is loaded for bear right now. Yay!

C. Edmund Wright:

I like the line about running against President Bush four years ago. It kind of sneaks in the fact that Obama was a state legislator four years ago. And I really like the fact
that McCain is talking about growing our way out of the deficit instead of taxing our way out of it.
And I want a fact check on the tort reform vote claim by Obama. And his line about confusing Bush's policies was weak...very weak. Too cute by half.
And good for McCain on interrupting Schieffer, though I am not sure that climate change is really the button to push at this moment. McCain will not score any more
points with the across the aisle thing. He has pounded it mercilessly and yet he is losing moderates to Obama who has not reached across the aisle.

Lee Cary:

Who is McCain running against - his own party?  He's taking the bait.

Stupid question by Bob Schieffer.  Can't we all get along?

Ed Lasky
Obama-wrong, wrong. Since when does he support pay for performance for school teachers and charter schools. He has fudged this issue repeatedly. He wants to rewards schools and let them decide how to go about "spreading the wealth"-nothing about teachers, there. Charter schools-Obama has backed away from that, too.
Good-McCain points out how he has fought his own party's priorities -and points out a long history of doing so.
McCain should have pointed out Obama's history on Chicago-this has lasted much longer than his Senate career and would give him a lot more fodder to work with.

Thomas Lifson:

"You didn't tell the turth!" Wow! McCain lays it out.

Clarice feldman
Scheiffer points out the "nasty" things they've said of eachother. Will you repeat these charges to eachother's faces?
McCain--It's been a tough campaign. If Obama had responded to my request for townhall meetings the tone could have been different. McCain regrets some of the negative things that have come out--hits Lewis' comments tying M/P with segregation--Obama didn't repudiate them.
Whenever someone has said something over the top of Obama, McCain has repudiate it.
Obama spending a fortune on negative campaign--Obama lied when he said he'd take public funding--highest campaign spending since Watergate. McCain looked GOOD>

C. Edmund Wright:
Oh I hate this question from Schieffer about the nasty campaign. It is I think this is a not so subtle way to try and get the McCain camp to back off and of course, the McCain
campaign cannot back off this late in the game. The John Lewis segway is brilliant. And running a truthful campaign but a tough campaign is a great way to answer Schieffer without backing down

Lee Cary:

"We expect campaigns to be tough," says Obama.  Is that why he complains that they're too tough? Obama is vamping. 

Ed Lasky
Obama ignores the issue of violating his promise to accept public financing.


re tone of campaign:

McCain finally touches on racism issue. Notes that Obama never repudiated any negative attacks on McCain. Calls Obama on broken promises.

Question for all of you reading this: is it going negative to tell the ugly TRUTH?

Obama smartly drags discussion back to economy. Good lawyer's trick.

Lee Cary:

Here's Obama using a classic Alinsky tactic. Unsubstantiated claims of vile language claimed by a partisan. 

C. Edmund Wright:
"Four more years of failed economic policies"....Obama is opening the door for McCain to go back into Fannie and Freddie. Will he do it? No, but he does
go on attack on the ads and the money spent and he goes back to Joe the plumber. Pretty decent answer.
And now Barack Obama is trying to translate John Lewis. Yeah, like he translates Jeremiah Wright.

Larrey Anderson

McCain wasted time going after some stupid congressman.

Go for the throat John! Where's Wright? Where's Ayers?

(The comparison with Obama with Nixon at the end was good.)

Obama is stumbling all over himself. He is clearly uncomfortable with anything remotely related to the truth.

Lee Cary:

Now, right now, is McCain's change to talk about "pal around with terrorists" comment Obama made. NOW!! 


Obama just agreed with Rep. Lewis and then threw him under the bus.
Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Well, McCain did get in some reminders about Obama's lies.

But Obama keeps coming back to the economy, his winning issue.

McCain is reminding Obama of Lewis' comments.  Now, Obama is taking up for Lewis' "George Wallace" comparison.  Oh, Obama is so smoothly playing the race card.  And now he is moving back to the professor stance of telling the American people what they think and what they want.

I despise haughty, I know exactly what you think and why you think it and I'll explain patiently to you why you are wrong.  Obama is one of those people.

Lee Cary:

Now, right now, is McCain's change to talk about "pal around with terrorists" comment Obama made. NOW!!  

Clarice Feldman
Obama would love to spend the next three weeks discussing the economy.
McCain attacking Obama's misleading ads..Obama spending unprecedented amounts of money on negative ads--Of course McCain is talking about the economy .Raises Lewis again.
Obama was not aware of Lewis' statement--said audiences at Palin's appearance were shouting out terrorists etc at the mention of Obama's name--Finally gets to saying Lewis' was an inappropriate comparison.
Said he repudiated it and Lewis retracted it.
Obama suggests we are too cynical..
"Palling around with terrorists" isn't productive...
McCain says he's proud of his supporters and those who attend his rallies--won't stad to have them slandered..Points out a lot of things that have been yelled at O rallies and Tshirts ..Fact is, we need to not stand for things that have been going on and he (McCain hasn't)

Lee Cary:

NOW DAMIT.  Ayers. 

The worst financial crisis since the great depression happened during the Carter years. 16% interest on home loans, inflation over 8%. 

Ed Lasky
Did Obama actually say 100% of McCain's ads have been negative?  Nielsen Media Research says both campaigns are running equal number of negative TV ads. Or does Obama think that every ad that is not glowing and adulatory is negative?


McCain smartly defends his supporters and again attacks Obama for his silence.

Lee Cary:

Okay.  Obama smirks when Ayers and ACORN comes up.
Obama's response: When did Obama condemn Ayers acts?
Look at Obama's face. We haven't seen that look before.  On the ropes. Head ducked. Frowning

Ed Lasky
Obama is actually smiling when McCain brings up ACORN. Unfathomable. ACORN has been subject to numerous suits for voter fraud all over the nation. Obama smiles?

Lee Cary:

Now is Mccain's chance to mention Raines and Johnson with whom he associates. NOW DAMNIT. 

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Okay, I don't think I've ever seen anyone lie like Obama with such smoothness, as he is about Ayers and ACORN.  Obama is the smoothest liar I've ever seen.

Obama just sitting there saying "that's not the truth," when McCain tells the truth is killing me.

Clarice Feldman
Need to know Obama's relationship with Ayers and ACORN which is destroying the fabric of our nation. These things all need to be examined.
Obama:Ayers is a professor of ed in Chicago--40 yrs ago when I was 8 he engaged in despicable acts--10 yrs ago I was on a school bd funded by Annenberg, Reagan friend, pres of Chicago Tribune on that. Ayers is not involved in campaign.
ACORN is a community org and paid people to registered votes and some just filled in names--we weren't involved..I represented them (along with DoJ ) on Motor Voter law.
On economics I associate with Volcker and Buffett.
etc--lists prominent people who will surround him in WH.
McCain:While on Bd of Woods foundation --sent $230K to ACORN; Ayers launched his political campaign. In 2001 Ayers said he wished he'd bombed more--all the details need to be known about Ayers and Acordn and Obama.
Will not raises taxes in a tough economy.
McCain was quite good.

C. Edmund Wright:
Well, doggone, McCain just launching into Ayers and ACORN and so on. Good.
Now Obama wants to call them "allegations." He calls Bill Ayers a professor of education and went back to the 8 year old thing. This is a big fact softball...will
McCain take a swat at it? He must.
ACORN is a community organization. Yeah, so were the Black Panthers. So was the KKK. McCain cannot let this go un-answered.
And he doesn't: Good. This is getting Obama on record as lying and YES....Mac getting into the fact that Ayers is still unrepentent about his terror. Good exchange. 

Lee Cary:

[1/3 of the way through - McCain is bringing up issues uncomfortable to Obama]  

Ed Lasky
Obama says the only involvement he had with ACORN was as a lawyer.This is another big lie. He trained ACORN, his campaign gave an ACORN affiliate hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few months.
McCain points out Obama-when he was on the Woods Fund board-gave money to ACORN. Obama arrogantly and contemptuously smiles.
What is with that smile?


Yay! McCain got to ACORN and Ayers.

Let the whitewash begin. Obama avoids Ayers' political views and tries for redemption by association. As for ACORN, Obama does anything but get facts out. Falls back on legalize and huge misrepresentations.

McCain hits back fairly hard. But then gets lost in canned statements about economy.

Lee Cary:

McCain: Mention that Biden wanted to divide Iraq into three countries.

Lee Cary:

McCain must now quote Biden sahying the Obama is not ready to be president. NOW DAMNIT.

Larrey Anderson

There it is: Acorn and Ayers. Nicely put by McCain.

But Obama dodges again and tells same old story about Ayers. Same old story about Acorn. McCain must follow up. Obama's campaign gave Acorn money. McCain should have cut Obama off. McCain needs to stick the Acorn knife in deep. He has failed to do so. Hope he comes back to this and demands an answer.

Lee Cary:

If Biden has always been on the right side for American families and he voted for the war in Iraq that Obama would have voted against, then does that make Obama wrong on the war? 

Why doesn't McCain quote what Hillary said about Obama not being qualified to be President.  WAKE UP. 
McCain, now is the time to hit Obama on infanticide.  NOW DAMNIT.

C. Edmund Wright:
Biden v Palin: this is McCain's chance to call Biden on all his mistakes in the last debate.
Except that Obama is changing the subject to "investing" again. Man I wish McCain would call him on the fact that this means taxes. Oh yeah, Obama did manage to
at least mention Biden's name about two times.
McCain's breath of fresh air is good contrast to Biden's long time service in the senate. The energy bit is good, and I guess the special needs comment has an audience, but not that
strong of a response.
And of course Obama cannot talk for one minute without talking about more spending.
But McCain pointing out that Biden has been wrong on many foreign policies....even calling one cockamamie (sp?) is very good. And then calling Obama on the always talking
about spending more -- GREAT. Is McCain channeling this blog?

Ed lasky
McCain is listening to Lee Cary about Biden's mistakes regarding Iraq. Good for McCain to point out Biden's mistakes.

Clarice Feldman
Quesrion why would your vp pick be better for America.
Obama--Biden shares my corps values..need to reprioritize America..stand up for the struggling little guy--energy independence..make sure our kids get a great education and get to go to college.
McCain:Americans know Palin is a role model to reforemers and women--she took on a gov who was a member of her own party--she resigned from energy board when there was corruption--she negotiated the pipeline---breath of fresh air and will sweep out cronyism--she'll be my partner..She also understand special needs families and help them--
Proud of her-she has united our party and people all oover the country.
Sheiffer--Is she qualified to be president
Obama she's capable and has excited base of Rep party. Commendable what she's done re special needs children.(Can't help them if we have an across the bd cut)
McCain--Biden's qualified inmany respects but notes he's been wrong on many foreign policy issues  and that's supposedly his strength. Also wrong on a lot of security ssues.
Hits on Obama's always proposing we need NEW spending and NEW taxes--says we cna accomplish more my adjusting how it's spent.

Thomas Lifson:

McCain hits Obama's renegotiate NAFTA remark! About time he started telling voters how naive BO is.

Larrey Anderson

Lee Cary must have a bug in McCain's ear. Lee tells McCain to mention BIden's proposed division of Iraq -- and two minutes later McCain does.

McCain is doing better than I expected so far.

Both men's encomiums to their running mates are unoriginal and meant to appeal to their bases.

Obama careful not to attack Palin's experience but manages to demand more money.

McCain smartly attacks Biden's foreign policy errors since that's supposed to be Biden's strength. Good move into Obama's constant demands for spending and Schieffer cuts him off.

Lee Cary:

Foreign Oil: Obama gets away with not answering the question. Schieffer is asleep at the wheel.

McCain: Please tell him that oil companies don't drill where they don't think there is oil. Large leases are a gamble. You lease a large area and then look for oil. You don't drill where you don't expect to find oil. Hello! 

Clarice Feldman
Obama:We need to expand domestic production--use or loose leased reserves. We can't drill our way out of the problem (solar, blah,blah), more fuel efficient cars have to be invented here.. Believes in free trade but for far too long that any trade agreement is a good agreement--NAFTA wasn't good because it does't have appropriate labor and enviro provisions (poppycock)

Lee Cary:

McCain need to look directly at Obama and speak to him. To his face.

Larrey Anderson

All of the alternative energies mentioned by Obama are already subsidized by the federal government. They have been for years. They have not worked. This is not a new idea -- it is an old failed idea. McCain should say so. But he won't.

McCain goes after Obama's vague "we will look at offshore drilling." Nice shot.

Lee Cary:

Obama just screwed up on Columbia. Suppose the MSM will pick up on that? Naw. 

Clarice Feldman
McCain--catches out Obama's linguistic acrobats on drilling..
Free trade agreements--Goods and products we send to Colombia are taxed and Obama won't approve Colombia free trade agreement--good trading partner, good ally, no reason to oppose Colombia. Suggests Obama ought to travel down there and see it.
Obama says Colombian labor leaders have been targeted for assassination and we have to stand for human rights.

C. Edmund Wright:
You have to examine Obama's words. FANTASTIC! Never travelled south of our border. GREAT. Bringing up the Columbian agreement. BAM. No brainer. GOOD.
And what does Obama go back to? Labor and enviromental protections. This is very weak and very tone deaf in this economic day. McCain needs to hammer him on this while he's on a roll.

Lee Cary:

Obama swallowed hard at the end of his comment on retooling auto plants to make wind mills.  He knows he's blowing smoke.  

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama on trade agreements and human rights is sounding just like Jimmy Carter.

Obama sounds like he has control of the entire economy.  Isn't that socialism?  Isn't that Nazism?  When the government controls the industry and tells them what they can and cannot do?

clarice feldman
Obama prattles on about all the jobs that would be created by greening economy.
Notes Obama will stuff our ally Colombia but is happy to sit down with Chavez who's funding FARC which is responsible for the violence in Colombia,
McCain:Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade--policies that brought us the great depression.

C. Edmund Wright:
No doubt that Obama wants to restrict trade and raise Herbert Hoover. Good tie to today and the Great Depression, but good ole moderator Bob changed the subject too darn fast.


McCain must have dined freely on red meat before this debate. He's on fire on free trade. Heavy on facts and insults. Obama comes back smoothly.

I hate to say it but Obama, even though prevaricating, dodging, weaving and lying, sounds smooth and good. You have to listen hard for the holes. McCain is listening hard. Hoover reference smart. Obama is another Hoover.

Lee Cary:

Health Care:  Forced choice question from Schieffer.  Stock answer from Obama. Lower costs. All you current choices.  Everyone saves money. bla bla bla.

Obama is going to prevent diabetes. I have a diabetic child. They don't even know what causes it, so prevention is still a dream. He's making stuff up, folks. 

Ed Lasky:

McCain points out Obama does not want to reach a trade deal with our strongest ally in South America and biggest importer of agricultural products in the world, Columbia, but will meet with our adversary and the adversary of Columbia, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
That is a good sound bite that actually encapsulated Obama's world view.
Obama's repsonse? That unpleasant smirk-smile.

Lee Cary:

McCain knows what he's talking about.  Increase in child diabetes because of obesity.

C. Edmund Wright:
How will the Messiah cut the average familie's health insurance by 2500 bucks a year? Devine healing? Can Reverend Wright do that?
And I love the "discrimminate against pre-existing condition" statement. This is blithering economic ignorance. How can a company survive if they have to assume a couple
hundred thousand dollar loss guaranteed by a pre existing condition when they will only get a couple hundred a month in premiums? Pre existing conditions is a tough issue,
but you can't just call it "discrimmination." It's real dollars. It's business.

Lee Cary:

Joe the Plumber Returns: It's be nice if McCain could have quoted Joe who spoke on Limbaugh at length today.  Joe is not an Obama fan and is articulate in his reasons. 

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama did a great sell on his socialist medical care plan, stating the positives without any of the negatives.  Perfect.

McCain is talking more real and much better sense about the health care problem, I think.  But  of course, I've talked to a lot of people from Britain, France and Canada who say their health care systems are horrible, just horrible. 

Now, Obama is claiming he does not fine and exempts small businesses from having to pay to play on the health care system.  McCain looks like he thinks it's a lie.  But, is it?

C. Edmund Wright:
Obama says "large businesses that can afford" to buy health insurance versus small businesses. Hmmm. I Think business owners will make sure to bust up their company up every time it gets on the verge
of getting "large" because God knows I cannot afford everything Obama thinks "large businesses" and "corporations" can afford. I hope the Joe the plumber stories will get across to the voters the absolute
lack of any business understanding of Obama.

Lee Cary:

Obama:  The average health care policy is $12000.  Nonsense.  Much more closer to the $5,000 credit plan of Obama.
Joe lives in a modest home.  Plans to buy the company he works for. The houses in his neighbood sell from 90,000-150,000.  Joe says redistrubuting his money to others will stop him from growing his small business. 

(Note to McCain - if you can indeed read: Get Joe the Plumber on a TV ad fast. He's willing.)

clarice feldman
Obama I exempt small businesses from providing insurance."Big businesses" will have to pay it..otherwise emergency rooms have to pick it up. McCain's plan--give you a tax break to buy insurance..but then employers will drop insurance because older people's premiums are too expensive and won't carry it..and McCain will tax people's insurance benefits. Under McCain state rules would be stripped away and insurance plans will cherry pick who they cover.
McCain--Joe wanted to buy the business he's been working for for 20 years. Obama wants you to pay a fine if you don't buy the insurance that Obama MANDATES for you. 95% of Americans will receive more money under McCain's plans--will get insurance plus 5k$ credit--average cost is $5800 for insurance--you can pick your own furute and buy whatever insurance you want..Sen Obama wants govt to do the job--I want you to do the job and keep the money in your pocket--too much govt and too mcuh spending..Sen O with DEMS IN CHARGE OF CONGRESS things have gotten worse.

C. Edmund Wright:
Senator Government. I love it. Mac shouldn't have corrected himself. Freud, are you listening?
And wow, a Democrats in charge of congress sighting. About time Mac, about time. Keep it up.


Obama sounds great describing his medical care goals. No mention of cost of course.

Love the way McCain talks to Joe the Plumber about penalties. Obama suddenly says no penalty but does so only by fudging did between small and large businesses.

Obama mounts good albeit dishonest attack on McCain's plan.

McCain back to Joe. Explains how Obama will destroy Joe's freedom of choice. McCain brings in the notion of market choice, which is a huge difference.

Larrey Anderson

Dismal discussion of health care. Neither of these candidates knows "jack" about health care. Obama spins and spins. McCain talks about Joe the Plumber. Ugh.

McCain is letting Obama dominate the discussion. Are any of our American Thinker commentators out there timing the speeches? Please let us know how much time each candidate is getting.

Nothing substantial on health care. Dismal.

Ed Lasky
Obama mischaracterizes McCain's position on health care. McCain wants people to be able to shop across borders and not be restricted to their own states that might have mandates covering procedures and therapies that they don't want but are forced to pay for. This is not stripping away regulations and rules-it is about finding policies appropriate for individuals-taking away unnecessary and unwanted mandates.
Obama fear mongering: McCain's plans might lead to unraveling of employer-based health care without mentioning that McCain's plans offer other options to help ensure health care needs are met.

Lee Cary

SCOTUS: McCain (i'm sending brain waves) now is the time to bring up Obama's support of infanticide. NOW DAMNIT.

McCain just missed his chance to say that Obama supports infanticide. Big miss there.

McCain: Infanticide NOW, DAMNIT.  Now is your chance.

McCain just missed, or is about to, the retort that the states interpret the 2nd Amendment. About 25 states have a concealed handgun license law. Others don't. That's the states interpreting the 2nd Amendment.

C. Edmund Wright:
Good ole predictable....trying to hem the Republican in on the abortion issue. McCain handled it pretty well. But can we have a rant now on moderators?
Who will the GOP agree to host next cycle? Al Jazeera?
But I digress. Decent answer by McCain on "adherence to the constitution" and Obama being almost, well, idiotic by comparing the "right to privacy" as being just as big
a part of the constitution as "the first amendment." Yeah, I think I heard Franklin and Jefferson mention privacy in Philly in 76.

Clarice Feldman
McCain--I'm a federalist..doesn't believe in litmus tests--believes in qualified nominees..talks about the deal he worked with others to block filibustering--voted for Ginsberg  not because he agreed with her.Notes Obama refused to join the no-filibuster gang.
Disagrees with Roe v Wade but would apply no litmus test.
Obama Litmus test not a good is true the SCOTUS appointments  will be the most important part of the next term. Agrees with Roe--goes on about that --thinks abortion should not be subject to state or popular vote. Will look for judges who have intellect and outstanding judicial record.
Opposed Ledbetter case--(This was an outrageous case and the CT was dead right if Ledbetter case had been overturned you might as well shutter all the businesses in America because labor lawyers will own the country --McCain notes that briefly.)

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Judges.  Abortion.  McCain is hammering on the no-litmus-test-for-judges principle.  He is right, of course. 

McCain is stating the principle of American jurisprudence, which has been thoroughly ignored by those on the left for 35 years now.

Well, wonderful.  At least Obama is being truthful on the fact that he thinks Roe was rightfully decided.  And is stating that the Constitution supports this penumbral right to privacy that protects abortion.

Obama now does tell that he wants judges that take into account the person's personal predicament and not just the law. 

McCain bringing up the infanticide vote. 

Obama smirking over the protection for life.  Perfect.  Could Satan do it better?  I doubt it.

Lee Cary:


McCain is on a roll on abortion.  Is the religious right hearing this?  Are you are there people?

Obama lies about infanticide.  Suppose the MSM will pick up on this? Naw.

Larrey Anderson

Lee Cary does it again! Lee says bring up infanticide -- and McCain obliges.

Lee, just keep telling McCain what to say. You are doing God's work here.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Obama is absolutely lying in his statement about his vote in Illinois over infanticide, and I can prove it's a lie.  I will write about this ASAP.

I can't believe he has the gall to LIE about this still in public.  I'm sick at my stomach.

C. Edmund Wright:
Uh oh. Here it comes. Infanticide. Tick Tick Tick. Partial birth abortion. Voted present.
"I don't know how you align yourself" with such a philosophy. BOOM.
And now Obama will try to lie his way out of it. I think, hope, this exchange will have legs in the coming days. Especially since Obama is defending
his vote of present. And of course, the answer is always more government education.
Cavalier activity? Is that what they're calling it these days?

Lee Cary:

Obama's Common Ground Default Position:  This is important. It's his fallback position when he gets in a cul de sac.  "Can't we all get along."

(2/3's of the way. McCain is doing well)

Obama: "We've to to get our education right."  Who is "we" is the question. McCain: Ask Obama if he favors the nationalization of Public Schools.  PLEASE.

My son-in-law is still paying off his medical school loans. So what? He can do it.
Are we going to make parents turn off the TV, Obama? Get real.

Ed Lasky
Obama did vote to withhold life-saving treatment from babies who survived an abortion. He tries to deceive on this issue. He did vote to withhold such treatment. He is smooth..have to appreciate that. Slick Willy-you have been bested.


Education: Obama wants to spend again. The question tho' pointed out that we already spend and spend with no return. Obama is right about parental involvement but the more he injects government the less room there is for parents.

McCain talks about choice. He wants to use the marketplace not the government to improve what is available without spending our money.

C. Edmund Wright:
OK, I like Bob Schieffer again. He almost posed the question about education and spending on education like Thomas Sowell would have. I wonder how
Obama will defend spending too much by spending more.
And he DOES. More government education at younger ages, more pay for teachers and more free college. That's right. We spend and it stinks so let's spend some more.
No class on Fridays, free pizza for everyone, and I'll make the rich kids hand over their money. Vote Obama for Student Council Prez!
McCain's "choice and competition" is good reply. And getting rid of ridiculous certifications is a great point.
And now Obama is claiming that they "left the money behind" again. Scuze me Barry...your boy Teddy wrote that bill!

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

Why isn't McCain bringing up vouchers on education?  He said a lot of good stuff, but did not bring up CHOICE.

Now, Obama is plugging his federal control over education.  And it, of course, all comes back to money. 

Now would be a great time for McCain to bring up Annenberg and Obama's and Ayers' ideas of "education."

Larrey Anderson

This debate reminds me of Wylie Coyote and the Road Runner. McCain pulls out his Acme brand of conservative arguments and launches them at Obama. Obama responds "beep beep, beep beep" and moves on down the road. McCain needs to cut Obama off and demand a real response once in awhile. (E.g., McCain completely blew the Acorn opportunity.)

Lee Cary:

Look at Obama's facial expression. He's not doing well and he knows it. Suppose the MSM will not that? David Gerhen? Naw. 

Schieffer: "Do you (Obama) think the federal government should plahy a larger role in schools?"  Key question here. (I've written about Obama's plan.)  Obama is dodging the question. HE doubled charter schools in Illinois!  What's he smoking.

Obama: "We can't say we're going to do thing and not say how we're going to pay for it."  Another classic Saul Alinsky tactic. Accuse the opposition of what you're doing. 

McCain must define "transparency."  What does that mean. You listing McCain Campaign?  (I doubt it.)

Obama: "The data doesn't show that vouchers..."  Another Alinsky tactic. Quote unidenfied sources as credible. What data?

C. Edmund Wright:
Why won't someone take the liberals to task for the cost of college? Liberals have ruled higher education for many many decades. If it is too expensive, it is due to
the fact we pay "education professors" like William Ayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to teach terror! Why can't we fire the Ayers and the Ward Churchills to reduce the cost of college
instead of always asking the taxpayers for more?

Ed Lasky
Obama doubled charter schools in Illinois. That is what he said. Hmm..was he a Governor of Illinois? No. In charge of the education department? No. He really does have bad habit of claiming credit for things he did not do. He had his name tacked on bills in his last year in the state legislature through the intervention of the Illinois State President, Emil Jones-his political godfather. This was done in the last year of Obama's state senate job in order to give him a record to run on when he ran for the Senate.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is doing GREAT now on education!  Talking about the voucher system in D.C.  Perfect!

Talking about children honestly and knowingly.  McCain is so genuine on this issue.  I love him for this.

Money doesn't solve the problem.  Reform and Competition solves the problem.  Plugging vouchers strongly. 



Obama wants more and more Fed involvement. He's right about no child left behind being burdensome. Does not seem capable of imagining getting the feds out rather than demanding more money.

McCain nearly hammers Obama on vouchers. McCain rightly says let's reform educational programs rather than to pour good money after bad.

clarice feldman
McCain gets to the infanticide issues.
Obama: More to do with our economic future than anything and with national security..Need to get our Ed system right. Need more money and reform (surprise--Obama votes present again).
Need to recruit "an army " of new teachers esp in science and math.
Need to make college affordable . (Propose tuition credit in exchange for community service)
Parents need to show more responsibility.
McCain:It's the civil rights issue of the 21st century--we have achieved equal access to schools --Now need choice and competition --charter schools and rewarding good teacher. Need to give parents the same choice the Obama and McCain's had for their children--choice. Throwing $$ at the problem is not the solution. Need to encourage Teach for America and Troops for Teachers..
As far as college--need full student loan programs and adjust eligibility for inflation.
More federal money for schools:
Obama says federal govt needs to help local school districts. NCLB not good because of unfunded mandates.
Wants to focus on early childhood education.
Wants to be able to get rid of bad teachers.
Disagrees on vouchers. Disagrees with McCain on money for college.
McCain:McCain--sure he understands that vouchers are provided in DC. 9k parents applied for the 1k provided.
NCLB had its pluses and disadvantages..need to reauthorize it. For head start program is good but not doing what it should be doing--wanted to reform it..Dems refused to.Need transparency, accountability not just adequate funding.
Autism--we will find cause of it and care for them but we spend so much on education for bad results. Vouchers a good and workable system.

C. Edmund Wright:
It was great of McCain to lecture Obama on the DC vouchers system and to bring back Schieffers point that we already spend more than any other
country in the world. And great final line on "not enough vouchers" by Mac at the end of the education question.

Last point before my thumbs give out: I think Scheiffer has been the best of the three moderators and McCain did kick a**.

Kyle-Anne Shiver:

McCain is bringing in the TRUST issue in his final statement.  Perfect finish.  Reminding us that he has the long record and the real, whole life to offer us.

Perfect finish.

Obama repeating the "worst crisis since the Great Depression."  I'm sick to my stomach.  Going to drink some good wine and go to bed. 

Lee Cary:

Closing Comments:  This is not the worst economic crisis since the great depression, as Obama says. Are there no historians out there? 
Postlude: Watching the old big media spin this to an Obama victory will be the observation of verbal hernia in mass. Listen to the tone of their voices. How little passion they exhude as they belch the words. Obama lost this debate - not because I favor McCain - but because I' ve coached  business people to speak for 25 years. And I read body language. Obama fumbled. 
C. Edmund Wright:
Well, at least McCain mentioned he does from time to time "take on the other party." That's refreshing.
I am not sure that the "careful stewards" line is strong enough, but it's not a bad way to sneak the trust and associations issue in through the side door.
Now Obama is going on about Washington's failure over the last decades, most of which of course were dominated by Democrat rule in congress. And invest
in this and invest in that blah blah blah. And what is a "policy that will lift wages." Doggone sure won't life the wage of Joe the plumber for sure.

Not a bad night. Wish our side would hit the Marxism points a bit harder though. me at McCain HQ tomorrow and we'll throw Schmidt and Davis out and take over!!
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