Tag Archives: Presidential debates

All the water has left the shore

You know how before a tidal wave, all the water goes out to sea?  It’s bizarre and frightening and tells you that something really, really bad is about to happen.  That’s how this morning feels to me.  There’s _nothing_ happening.  I don’t mean to be flip as, of course, the entire world’s financial markets are in major crisis.  But politically, there’s nothing happening.  Yes, polls came out yesterday showing Obama up in swing states.  Yes, McCain is playing dirty.  Yes, Palin’s doodles are out.  But this morning, there’s nada afoot.  And why is that?  Because the debate is on tonight.  Or quasi debate.  The town hall, the side by side press conference, the Presidential play date (to quote Brian Williams’ wife) is on tonight.  Here are the details:

When:  October 7, 2008 (that would be today)  9 pm Eastern

Where:  Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Moderator:  Tom Brokaw

Format:  Town Meeting

  • Questions have been submitted in advance.  Audience members may not vary from the approved questions.  Neither audience members nor moderator may ask follow up questions. 

The moderator in this one seems like a ceremonial post to me.  What are your thoughts?  Will it get ugly?  Will McCain find a way to bring up Ayers?  Will Obama bring up Keating?

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Questions for the Debate

Over at The Caucus blog at The New York Times, David Sanger has a list of 10 questions he’d like to see asked at tonight’s debate in Mississippi.  Here are a couple of my faves:

#4:  Pakistan, our sometimes ally, has said that if American forces enter their territory to hunt down terrorist groups, the Pakistani military will defend the sovereignty of the country. Earlier this week, there was a brief exchange of fire between Pakistani and American forces. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but some day soon our luck is going to run out. If the Pakistanis will not let us over their border, as president would you order overt or covert actions inside Pakistan to hunt down al Qaeda or the Taliban? If fired on by the Pakistanis, should American forces fire back?

#8:  President Bush considered — and then rejected — sending American troops into Darfur to protect a population that has been nearly wiped out. Did he make a mistake not sending them? Under current conditions, would you send them?

#9:  Georgia was not yet a member of NATO when Russian forces bombed the country last month, in response to a Georgian military action to take control of the region of South Ossetia. If you were president, would you speed Georgia into the NATO alliance — and potentially commit the United States to military action to protect the country — or would you avoid provoking Moscow and leave it outside of NATO for several years to come?

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Filed under Debates

Political Grandstanding: debate as flag pin

I hate this kind of crap.  Here’s what happened, as far as I can tell:

Wednesday morning:  Without talking to the press, Obama calls McCain and suggests that they issue a joint statement on the economy.  Obama, who is *leading* in the polls on this issue (and in general, I might add), had nothing to gain on this.  He thought it was the right thing to do and was reaching out to McCain.

Wednesday afternoon:  McCain calls back to say, “Great idea.”  McCain, who has everything to gain from this, then one ups Obama and ALERTS THE MEDIA that he will be suspending all campaigning after Thursday when he will return to Washington to “focus on the nation’s financial problems.”  And oh, by the way, he suggests that he is reaching out to the Obama campaign to try and reschedule Friday’s debate so that everyone can stay focused on the economy. 

What bullshit.  McCain has now put Obama, who originally reached out to him out of goodwill, in a no win situation:

1.  Say “yes” and appear to the average, non-think-for-yourself American as if he is following McCain’s lead; or

2.  Say “no” and appear as if he is choosing politics over the good of the American people.

McCain’s a jackass who, incidentally, still wants three debates.  This debate schedule was agreed to *last* November, folks.  Tell me where they’re gonna stick in another one.  And tell me who’s gonna pay for all the logistics to reschedule this one?  And what about the citizens who have tickets?  And the journalists and bloggers who are scheduled to cover it?  What about their economy? 

I know, I sound harsh, but there’s a lot to think about here.  And I think John McCain is simply grandstanding.  He’s trying to score political points, trying to seem concerned to distract attention away from the fact that he has no plan to solve this crisis.  He had a disastrous week last week in which he called for both the firing of the chairman of the SEC (which the Pres can’t do) and the resignation of the head of the FEC (what?).  He was against regulation before he was for it.  It was bad and now he’s trying to figure out a way to crawl out of that hole with these antics.  We shouldn’t let him get away with it.  This is the equivalent of the flag pin.  Don’t let it distract you.


Filed under Debates, John McCain