Let’s try to blog the debate

I’m gonna try this.  I’m gonna try to live blog the debate.  It’s gonna start here in about five minutes.  I might just get too spun up to do it, but I promise to try.  Watch the comments section for updates. 

Right now, here’s what’s up:

  • The moderator, Jim Lehrer, has advised both campaigns that the economy will be on the docket;
  • The McCain camp is already making excuses (i.e. I’m tired because I’ve been up late focusing on the economy) for why he might tank;
  • The pressure is on Obama to be calm and presidential while still be engaging and charismatic.

Let’s see how it goes.  T-minus one minute and counting ….

57 Comments

Filed under Debates

57 responses to “Let’s try to blog the debate

  1. ashpolitics

    Direct exchanges between the candidates will be allowed. This should be interesting.

  2. ashpolitics

    Jim goes to Obama first on the economy. Why didn’t he hit McCain first? Hmmmm …..

  3. ashpolitics

    Obama speaks directly to the American people, not to the moderator. Obama refers to his economic plan as posted on his website and to the $700 b plan. He wants to make sure that taxpayers can get the $700b back and none of that money goes to CEOs in the form of golden parachutes. Finally, realize that this is a verdict on the Bush / McCain economic policies of trickle down economics.

  4. ashpolitics

    Now, McCain’s turn, and he starts off with pulling the heartstrings and giving sympathy to Senator Kennedy, who is back in the hospital. He praises the bipartisanship in negotiations. He emphasizes that he’s “been around a little while.” He sounds really nervous; his voice is shaky. The is the “end of the beginning” if we come out with a package.

  5. ashpolitics

    Jim Lehrer: We’ve got five minutes, we can negotiate a deal right here. ha.

  6. ashpolitics

    McCain says he warned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Let’s remember who runs his campaign.

  7. ashpolitics

    McCain’s talking about Eisenhower writing letters: one celebrating and one resigning. Talk about no accountability … did you see the ad congratulating McCain for winning the debate before he committed to coming. OH, that’s rich.

  8. ashpolitics

    Obama: Sen. McCain is right. We need more accountability, but not just when there’s a crisis.

  9. ashpolitics

    They’re both talking about how Main Street is suffering at the expense of Wall Street. The question is the difference in how they’ll solve that problem. McCain is talking more pie in the sky than Obama, which is a switch.

  10. ashpolitics

    McCain’s plan:

    Get spending under control. We Repubs came to power to change govt and govt changed us. Earmarking as a gateway drug. I will veto every spending bill that comes across my desk.

  11. ashpolitics

    Obama:

    Yep, earmarks are out of control, which is why I suspended the request for my state. But let’s be clear, earmarks were $18b in last year’s budget. Sen McCain is req $300b in the budget for tax cuts for some of the wealthiest folks. $18b is important, but $300b???? I’ve called for a tax cut of 95% of American families.

    Ok, let’s be real: with this crisis, ain’t nobody gettin’ a tax cut ….

  12. ashpolitics

    They’re goin’ at it now over figures. Who’s gonna cut more taxes? Who’s gonna spend more?

  13. ashpolitics

    McCain won’t look at Obama.

  14. ashpolitics

    McCain mentioned that the bus tax rate is 35%. Obama pointed out that the loopholes, supported often by McCain, make our tax rate effectively one of the lowest in the world for businesses and McCain doesn’t want to close any of those.

  15. ashpolitics

    Obama points out that, for the first time in history, McCain wants to tax health care benefits.

  16. ashpolitics

    Now McCain’s off on the energy bill. He’s all over the place.

  17. ashpolitics

    Obama points out that under McCain’s tax plan, oil companies would get $400b in tax breaks.

  18. ashpolitics

    Lehrer: What will the financial rescue plan make you have to give up in your platforms?

  19. ashpolitics

    Obama: Not sure yet. We have do these things:

    1. Energy plan: develop independence from foreign oil.
    2. Have to fix our health care system.
    3. Make sure that we’re competing in education. Invest in science and math. Make sure college is affordable for every young person.
    4. Invest in infrastructure, alternative energy, information technology.
    5. Eliminate programs that don’t work and invest in those that do.

  20. ashpolitics

    McCain:

    1. Cut spending (attacks Obama on his liberal voting record). Examine every agency in govt. Opposes ethanol subsidies. Cut defense spending: cut cost plus contracts. Get cost overruns under control. (He seems really good at putting people in prison, by the way, and proud of it.)

  21. ashpolitics

    Obama: There will be things that have to be deferred and delayed. I want to make sure that we invest in energy. I’m not willing to give up the need to do it, but there may be parts of it that we may have to give up.

  22. ashpolitics

    Obama brings up again his Google for Government = transparent government. Who did what, who sponsored what, where did the money go?

  23. ashpolitics

    Lehrer won’t let it go. McCain: spending freeze on everything but defense, veterans, and several other vital issues. Obama: problem with that is that you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel. If we’re gonna be strong at home, we need to shut down the war in Iraq, esp when they have an almost $80b surplus.

  24. ashpolitics

    Obama: There is no doubt that this crisis will affect our budgets. Even if we get the $700b back eventually, in the short term there’s an outlay and the economy is slowing down and so as President, I’m gonna have to make some tough decisions. But we have to know what our values are and if we’re spending money on tax cuts for people who don’t need them, then we’ve made a bad decision.

  25. ashpolitics

    McCain: a healthy economy with low taxes, with not raising anyone’s taxes, is probably the best recipe for helping our economy recover … less spending is key.

  26. ashpolitics

    Obama ties McCain to Bush and says that he can’t now turn around and say that he’s the leader on fiscal conservatism.

  27. ashpolitics

    McCain: claims he voted against torture bill which BLATANTLY false.

  28. ashpolitics

    Lehrer to McCain: what are lessons of Iraq. McCain: you cannot have a failed strategy which will cause you to then lose a conflict. The war was mishandled after the initial victory. I fought for a new strategy after 2003. This new strategy has succeeded. We will come home with victory and honor. We will see a stable ally in the region and a stable democracy. Thanks to the great General David Petreaus we have succeeded.

  29. ashpolitics

    Obama: McCain and I have a fundamental difference. Should we have gone in the first place? I said no six years ago ( he lists his reasons ). I wish I had been wrong, but that’ snot the case. We’ve spent over $600b, lost over 4k lives, and Al Qaeda has emerged stronger than anytime since 2001. And we’re spending $10m/month. The lesson to be drawn is that we should never hesitate to use military force, but we have to use it wisely.

  30. ashpolitics

    McCain: the next Pres won’t have to address the ques of why we went in, but how and when we come home.

  31. ashpolitics

    They spar over funding bills: McCain voted against funding the troops when there was a timetable attached. Obama voted against a funding bill when there was an open ended time frame, thus giving bush a blank check.

  32. ashpolitics

    Lehrer moves to Aghanistan: to Obama: should there be more troops there and when? Obama: yes and soon and I’ve been saying it for a while. We have four times more troops in Iraq, where there was no Al Qaeda before we went there, than in Afghanistan, where its always been. We not only need more troops, but we need to press the Afghan govt to make sure they’re working for their people and I’ve said that to Karzai. We need to work on the exploding poppy export issue. We need to work on the Pakistan issue.

  33. ashpolitics

    McCain goes back to Pakistan: I’m not prepared to cut off aid to Pakistan, so I’m not prepared to threaten them.

    Note: we’re already fighting with Pakistan and crossing their border without permission, per Bush’s orders. So, what’s up with that?

  34. ashpolitics

    Obama: (paraphrase) it’s pretty rich for someone who has sung, “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and threatened to exterminate N. Korea to say that we can’t simply go into Pakistan to take out a terrorist target or two.

  35. ashpolitics

    McCain just invoked Reagan. What took him so long? lol

  36. ashpolitics

    They’re one-bracelet-upping each other with bracelets from mother’s of fallen troops. OK, boys, settle down.

  37. ashpolitics

    Obama: Sen McCain, nobody’s talking about defeat in Iraq …. We don’t “muddle through” going after bin Laden.

  38. ashpolitics

    I love McCain’s grandstanding on all the places he’s been. Translation: I’ve made the American tax payers spend millions of dollars to send me all these places when I could have gotten PowerPoint presentations on the issues in these areas and saved all that cash, like Obama did.

  39. ashpolitics

    McCain’s spouting his “League of Democracies” to go after Iran and other countries.

  40. ashpolitics

    Obama: Ironically, the single thing that has strengthened Iran over the last several years has been the war in Iraq.

    They agree that we cannot tolerate a nuclear Iraq. Obama invokes Israel as our “stalwart ally.”

  41. ashpolitics

    McCain can’t prounounce the name of the leader of Iran, but he’s invoking him and bringing up the statements that Obama made last year about meeting with the leaders of other countries “without preconditions.”

  42. ashpolitics

    Obama: I reserve the right to meet with anyone at the time and place of my choosing if I think it’s the right thing to keep America safe. Kissinger, one of McCain’s advisers, just said that meeting with Iran is the right thing to do.

  43. ashpolitics

    Obama invokes the Spain interview. “If we can’t meet with our friends ….”

  44. ashpolitics

    McCain: Reagan invocation #2.

  45. ashpolitics

    McCain’s being condescending and Obama’s laughing at him.

  46. ashpolitics

    Lehrer moves to Russia: competitor, enemy, partner?

  47. ashpolitics

    Obama: their actions in Georgia were unacceptable and unwarranted. We have to affirm the fledgling democracies in that region. We need a membership action plan immediately for those nations re: NATO. Nuclear proliferation is key re: the Russians.

  48. ashpolitics

    McCain just called Putin an instrument of the KGB and now he’s invoking the Cold War .. over and over again.

  49. ashpolitics

    Obama: McCain and I agree pretty much on these issues. We disagree on how I reacted to Russia going into Georgia as I was forceful about disagreeing with Russia’s position.

    We have to have foresight and anticipate some of these issues.

  50. ashpolitics

    Lehrer: What’s the likelihood of another 9/11 attack? McCain: less than right after 9/11. Brings in Lieberman’s name re: 9/11 commission.

  51. ashpolitics

    Obama: we are safer in some ways, but we have a long way to go.

  52. ashpolitics

    Obama: Al Q is now operating in 60 countries, not just Iraq. We need to focus on them, too. We also need to understand is that the way we are perceived in the world is key. We are less respected now. This is the greatest country on earth.

  53. ashpolitics

    McCain: Reagan #3.

  54. ashpolitics

    McCain: “If we fail in Iraq.” What is he talking about???? How is responsible withdrawal “failure?” He makes me insane. The Iraqis want us out. It is their country. We can no longer economically afford to be there. Damn.

  55. ashpolitics

    McCain just compared Obama to Bush re: inflexibility. Are you f-ing kidding me? Unbelievable.

  56. ashpolitics

    By the way, I just noticed that Obama is wearing his flag pin. McCain is not.

  57. ashpolitics

    I hate to admit it, but I think it was a draw. We’ll see what the pundits have to say. I’m signing off. Good night.

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