Archive for Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain, Obama argue over war, taxes in first debate

Candidates carefully avoid missteps in first meeting

Republican presidential Nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., meet for their first debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Foreign policy was the main focus of the first presidential debate.

Republican presidential Nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., meet for their first debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Foreign policy was the main focus of the first presidential debate.

September 26, 2008


Presidential debate: September 26, 2008

Jim Lehrer introduces the candidates.

On the street

How much of an impact do the presidential debates have on your vote?

It really doesn’t for me. I already have my mind made up on who I’m voting for.

More responses

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

— John McCain accused Barack Obama of compiling "the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate" Friday night as the two rivals clashed over taxes, spending, the war in Iraq and more in an intense first debate of the White House campaign. "Mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's wrong-headed policies," shot back the Democrat.

Obama said his Republican rival has been a loyal supporter of the unpopular president, adding that the current economic crisis is "a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain."

The two men were polite but pointed as they debated at close quarters for 90 minutes on the University of Mississippi campus.

McCain accused his younger rival of an "incredible thing of voting to cut off funds for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan," a reference to legislation that cleared the Senate more than a year ago.

Obama disputed that, saying he had opposed funding in a bill that presented a "blank check" to the Pentagon while McCain had opposed money in legislation that included a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2002, before he was a member of Congress, while McCain voted in the Senate to authorize the war.

"You were wrong" on Iraq, Obama repeated three times in succession. "John, you like to pretend the war began in 2007."

McCain replied that Obama has refused to acknowledge the success of the troop buildup in Iraq that McCain recommended and Bush announced more than a year ago.

The two presidential candidates stood behind identical wooden lecterns on stage at the performing arts center at the University of Mississippi for the first of three scheduled debates with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day. The two vice presidential candidates will meet next week for their only debate, and Obama and McCain each put in a plug for his own running mate.

But there was a difference: Democrat Joe Biden made the round of post-debate television shows. NBC and CNN said they invited McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has granted only three interviews since joining the ticket a month ago, but she declined.

Age differences

The 47-year-old Obama is seeking to become the nation's first black president. McCain, 72, is hoping to become the oldest first-term chief executive in history - and he made a few jokes at his own expense.

"I've been around a while," he said at one point. "Were you afraid I couldn't hear him?" he said at another after moderator Jim Lehrer repeated a phrase.

But he also sought to turn his age into an advantage. "There are some advantages to experience and knowledge and judgment," he said. "And I honestly don't believe that Sen. Obama has the knowledge or experience" to serve as commander in chief.

McCain also made a point of declaring his independence from Bush. "I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoners, on Guantanamo Bay, on a long - on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record and the American people know me very well ... a maverick of the Senate."

The two men were pointed but polite, although at least once McCain sought to depict his rival as naive on foreign policy. That was in response to Obama's statement that it might become necessary to send U.S. troops across the Pakistani border to pursue terrorists.

"You don't say that out loud," retorted McCain. "If you have to do things, you do things."

He also criticized Obama for having said he would sit down without precondition with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"So let me get this right, we sit down with Ahmadinejad and he says 'we're going to wipe Israel off the face of the earth' and we say, 'no you're not.' Oh please," McCain said.

Obama said Henry Kissinger, the former Republican secretary of state and a McCain adviser, shared his view on talks with Iran.

Domestic issues

The two men also differed on federal spending. McCain said a freeze on most government spending was worth considering, except for veterans, defense and "some other vital issues."

Obama said the problem with that was that some programs needed more money. He mentioned early childhood education as an example.

Moderator Jim Lehrer's opening question concerned the economic crisis. While neither man committed to supporting bailout legislation taking shape in Congress, they readily agreed lawmakers must take action to prevent millions of Americans from losing their jobs and their homes.

Both also said they were pleased that lawmakers in both parties were negotiating on a compromise.

McCain jabbed at Obama, who he said has requested millions of dollars in pork barrel spending, including some after he began running for president.

As he does frequently while campaigning, the Republican vowed to veto any lawmaker's pork barrel project that reaches his desk in the White House. "You will know their names and I will make them famous," he said.

Future debates

The stakes were high as the two rivals walked on stage. The polls gave Obama a modest lead and indicated he was viewed more favorably than his rival when it came to dealing with the economy. But the same surveys show McCain favored by far on foreign policy.

Both candidates had rehearsed extensively, Obama prepping with advisers at a resort in Clearwater, Fla., and McCain putting in debate work at his home outside Washington.

The two presidential hopefuls are scheduled to debate twice more, at Belmont University in Nashville on Oct. 7 and at Hofstra University in Hempsted, N.Y., on Oct. 15. Vice presidential contenders Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are to square off in a single debate Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.


beatrice 9 years, 6 months ago

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not wantHe makes me down to lieThrough pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by.With bright knives He releaseth my soul.He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places.He converteth me to lamb cutlets,For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.When cometh the day we lowly ones,Through quiet reflection, and great dedicationMaster the art of karate,Lo, we shall rise up,And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water.Tom, you are running around like Chicken Little! Blaming the "liberal" media for "putting" Obama in the White House is absurd, and you know it. Answers to correct the current administration's failed policies is what will put Obama in the White House. Not being a part of the group that supported Bush's failed policies will be what will put Obama in the White House. Being intelligent and able to react without kneejerk diplomacy will be appreciated once Obama is in the White House. Maybe you can go to Alaska and you and Mr. Palin can push to secede, seeing as how much you both hate America. Don't let the gate hit ya on the way out.

Mixolydian 9 years, 6 months ago

jonas_opines (Anonymous) says:Mixolydian (Anonymous) says:"That was a god debate."So McCain talked more, then? ;)=====================================Oops, Ha, my bad! I guess that would be technically correct if it was referring to the earlier Saddleback forum. Too funny.

Alexander Neighbors 9 years, 6 months ago

we used to not have any taxes, The govt taxed us once to fund a war and has never stopped

supertrampofkansas 9 years, 6 months ago

Interesting debate. This was my first time to see either candidate in a debate format. Obama: I thought Obama was better at answering the questions directly but I was distracted by his deliveries. That lack of smoothness was a little disappointing to see. I also felt like Obama missed out on the jugular a couple of times and lack that Clintonian instinct for "I get it, or I feel your pain".McCain: Definitely a smoother delivery but way more rambling than I am used to. That surprised me given his earlier penchant for giving the shorter answers. He was far too heavy on the war stories. He would go too far off the path in terms of answering the actual questions. Obviously he wanted to convey experience in foreign matters but for me he was not able to show how that experience translates to an advantage in actually dealing with these matters. His attempts at showing his bipartisanship really fell flat with me because at the same time he was very condescending to Obama and attempted to paint him as a far-left looney. McCain wouldn't even look at Obama. Not exactly a bipartisan or leadership type of behavior. If you claim to be someone who will reach across the aisle, then you need to show that ability at all times. Granted that can be a fine line when you are in a debate, but definitely a line that you need to pay attention toOverall I would call the debate a draw, with no clear winner.The surreal moment: Sarah Palin was not available to comment on the debate with the major networks but Biden was. That has to be a real problem for McCain and the Republicans. This shielding of Palin is really coming back to bite them in the @ss and it is becoming painfully obvious as we get closer and closer to the election. If I was an independent (and obviously I am not) that has to weigh very heavily on my choices. No way that Palin is qualified to be President if her own party and boss are not confident enough to let her stand on her own even if it means she has to deal with alledged liberal media. To parrot others, they really need to free Sarah Palin if they expect to win the White House.

bondmen 9 years, 6 months ago

"Okay, I've watched the debate twice tonight (it's about 2:00 a.m. as I write this), and I won't mention that McCain incorrectly called Iran's Revolutionary Guards the "Republican Guards." Because what's even worse is that the Obamatard actually "cheated" on the test by copying McCain and also calling them "Republican Guards!!!"Maybe Obama was thinking, "Uhm: Gee, if I parrot back McCain's talking points, I'll look like I know what the hell I'm talking about, and no one will ever be the wiser!"Nor will I mention that McCain really grabbed everyone's attention when he began passionately talking about the bracelet he was given by the mother of a dead soldier and how the soldier's Mother wanted McCain to ensure that her son did not die in vain; asking McCain to do everything he could to help the military win the war against terrorism.Then, the Obamatard tried to cheapen the moment by almost falling over himself to say, "I've got one, too!" - He acted like a conceited little snot-nosed brat at the playground trying to one-up all the bigger kids; "That ain't nothin' - I've got one, too! So there! Nyana-nyana-nyanaaaaa!!!" - Jerk:Nor will I mention that Obama said John McCain was RIGHT more times than I could keep track of - I kinda' lost count around the fifth or sixth time. But, I could swear Obama thought McCain was right more often than not:But, be that as it may, what I will be mentioning is the following:"

Terry Jacobsen 9 years, 6 months ago

MerrillI do not believe that anyone who spent years as a pow comes back and votes against the veterans. Are you claiming to be a veteran? Are you claiming to speak for veterans?I agree UFC the debate was good. I don't think it changed anyone's mind on either side, but showed me that we have two very good candidates. Now people just have to decide which of these men will work to accomplish the things that seem most important to them.

jonas_opines 9 years, 6 months ago

teacher101 (Anonymous) says: "Nice choice for President. An old guy or a muslim."Could be worse, like a racist and ageist jack@$$.

UFC_FAN 9 years, 6 months ago

if you are going to try to sway voters to your side then don't use THE NATION or HUFFINGTON POST. all around, a good debate. the moderator was fair. and the audience kept quiet and remained respectful. a good job all around.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 6 months ago

We still have a $9 trillion defecit, and $40 Trillion of liabilities with Medicare Medicaid and Social Security.If anybody thinks things wil be like they have been for the last 2 decades of waste and politicaly BS with the Clinton/Bush dysfunctional age you are sadly mistaken.One thing I took form Obama is to "change" my POV. It is back to basics and back to principals.OUr elected leaders are wastes of flesh. Every one of them should step down of commit mass sucicide. They are corrupt and out of touch, and so is the MSM.That is the old dynamic. The new dynamic is a very angry and injured citizen that is seeing all this money going to La Raza Acorn etc., and it is coming out of their pockets.

JohnBrown 9 years, 6 months ago

Merril, didn't know you were a vet...Welcome Home.It was a tie, with McCain being snarky, meaning O'Bama wins on being the adult.Too bad O'Bama didn't drive home the 'opportunity costs' he briefly referred to associated with the very poor decision to invade Iraq:What we lost by invading Iraq:1- an Iran with a formidable neighboring enemy,2- a reserve combat division able to aid our allies on a moments notice (like Georgia),3- half of our National Guard Equipment,4- four thousand plus troops, and counting...5- an inability to go after al-Qeida in Afghanistan,6- a failure to continue to weaken the Taliban,7- Bin Ladin. In golf, a 'bin ladin' is a ball hit out of bounds, never to be seen again.8- $600 billion in direct costs,9- part of the Constitution,10- financing to get us off of oil (note: all oil, even our own, goes on the open market, meaning China can buy all the oil we'll drill off our coasts).What we gained by invading Iraq:1- $100+ oil 2- $3.35 gas3- 45,000+ casulties for life,4- a stronger Iran,5- an inability to project power in places like Georgia,6- $3 trillion in debt,7- reigniting the Sunni-Shi'ia conflict,8- a less safe world and country.O'Bama said it straight: we took our eye off the ball, and McCain was in the front of the crowd urging us to do that. McCain can lead all right, lead us right over the cliff.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 6 months ago

Results of this debate:McCain haters = Obama WonObama Haters = McCain and Barbie doll wonMy worthless opinion = Limbaugh will have some new dittocrap for sale on Monday.O"Reilly will continue to claim his "no-spinnness" while hawking his new bookA few more commercial banks will go belly-upBush will continue to embarrass the people in Nowhere, TexasFlorida will continue to figure out how to count holes in paper cardsThe sun will continue to come up in the east.

LeslieJeanne 9 years, 6 months ago

This was not a high school debate in the sense that points are scored according to some rule book and then everyone goes home and forgets about it. Obama has some real plans for changing the country for the better. I am sick and tired of McCain whining about his service to the country and how that qualifies him for something. Millions have served in the military and thousands have been captured at some point and none of them are qualified to be a leader of a boy scout troop.No one won or lost this debate. Obama put forth the better plans that will help more people.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain Sells Out VetsMcCain voted against an amendment that would have ... he voted to kill "an assured stream of funding for veterans' health care that ... is chock full of links to the roll call votes, and the roll call votes have links to the actual underlying bills and amendments. I present this so that there is support and things that can be rattled off when saying that McCain is not a friend of the military. Feel free to use it as you want, but this can be tied into the "Double Talk Express". But here is a very quick statement - John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans.In mid 2007, Senator Reid noted that McCain missed 10 of the past 14 votes on Iraq. However, here is a summary of a dozen votes (two that he missed and ten that he voted against) with respect to Iraq, funding for veterans or for troops, including equipment and armor. I have also included other snippets related to the time period when the vote occurred.So there it is. John McCain is yet another republican former military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military. If he can't even see his way to actually doing what the troops want, or what the veterans need, and he doesn't have the support of veterans, then how can he be a credible commander in chief?

beatrice 9 years, 6 months ago

No major knock-outs either way, and this was supposed to be McCain's big night. I felt that Obama was a bit clearer than he has been in past debates, but was too polite to McCain. It really bothered me that McCain wouldn't even look at Obama and came across as condescending at times. This tells me that McCain will not work with others across the aisle, unless it is his idea to begin with. Otherwise, he won't even look at them. mixo, why wasn't McCain expected to be as "polished" as Obama? He has been in congress since 1982. With 26 years in major political positions and having been part of god knows how many debates over the many years, why shouldn't he be polished enough to say what he wants to say in a deliberate and clear manner? Why are you willing to set a lower bar for your candidate than you do for the first term senator? I was surprised McCain waited until near the end of the debate to mention the fact that he had been a POW. That seems to be a theme of his platform, even though it tells us nothing of what he will do as president. Next Thursday, I suspect that McCain will truly wish he had picked Romney to be his running mate, especially since the economy is such a major issue right now. The fact that McCain couldn't see this coming a month ago is extremely telling. People who support Palin are setting a low bar for this debate too, which might go against Biden. However, unless Biden starts telling us how George Washington used walkie-talkies during the Mexican American war, he should win the debate. Overall, edge to Obama.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 6 months ago

Tom: "... I must ask you and the other fans of Obama, where would Obama be without George W. Bush?"Not facing a first term having to undo the calamities of the past two.

Fort_Aubrey 9 years, 5 months ago

....and why does everyone now want Palin glasses?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

I say the world is tired of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Yes the world would like to see the USA military out of the middle east. This is increasing the cost of living around the globe.

towanda54 9 years, 6 months ago

teacher101- Please tell us you don't teach or plan to teach our children.

jonas_opines 9 years, 6 months ago

Mixolydian (Anonymous) says: "That was a god debate." So McCain talked more, then? ;)

beatrice 9 years, 6 months ago

Tom: "George W. Bush will be nothing but a distant memory, and life for Obama and the rest of us probably won't be real pretty. But, hey, you guys are demanding he be president, not me. I will be able to say, "I told you so"."Ironic, isn't it. Of course, those of us who opposed and still oppose the policies of Bush can say "I told you so" in the here and now, because he has mucked things up so thoroughly. We don't have to hope that in the future things fall apart as you appear to be doing. I would think that as an American you would hope to be able to say, "Well I'll be darned. He has been a great president after all." Certainly that is what I would want to say should McCain/Palin get elected. I really don't believe they would do well by most Americans, but I sure would hope to be proven wrong. However, your interest in our nation doing well seems to come second to your own little petty desire for future vengance of being able to say back to Democrats what they have been saying for the past several years -- "I told you so." You have truly let you love of party overtake your love of country, and that is sad.

blakus 9 years, 6 months ago

ummm... ok. I am waiting for the VP debate. Oh man that should be a real dandy!

RogueThrill 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, Ageism just doesn't have the kind of bite other -isms have. They probably need better lobbyists.

Dan Edwards 9 years, 6 months ago

@Mixolydian - Obama's hand signals were to the moderator seeking permission to speak so he could correct some of the aspersions McCain was casting on him. I thought it showed a degree of respect for Mr. Lehrer, as opposed to McCain who just interrupted whenever he felt like it. And if you go back and look, McCain smiled incredulously a great deal while Obama was speaking. As an aside I think men and women will tend to see the outcome differently (party affiliation notwithstanding). Many men will feel that McCain won, framing it in terms of a schoolyard fight or military battle, whereas women will tend to see it as a victory for Obama, who held his own while at the same time treating his opponent with respect and finding common ground in addition to all the differences.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 6 months ago

Bookemdano, I think you have it exactly right. On the merits of things stated and sheer debating the points, McCain probably had the better night. But then he was supposed to do so & I thought he interrupted way too much. Leher and Obama were way too deferential to him when he did so. I imagine Obama's folks will encourage him to fight a little more next time, although he is running a front runner strategy and is probably playing things a little too safe. Having said that, Obama was, as expected, articulate, thoughtful, almost always on point with a direct answer to the question. He wins because he stands toe to toe with McCain & finally got to bat down some of the outright lies McCain is so willing to tell. I think he came across as the more Presidential, hopeful, serious and competent of the two. McCain, as expected by his recent behavior, was competent, but cruel, dishonest and way, way too egotistical. On to the VP's.

justthefacts 9 years, 6 months ago

It was a complete draw. No one on the fence will likely have been able to pick who they'll vote for (if they vote) and both men's supporters will be happy enough with how their guy did. I too am looking forward to the VP debate.

BigPrune 9 years, 6 months ago

The spot polling is total b.s. Couric's CBS had 49% Obama won and 22% McCain won. It's blatently obvious the press is trying to get their man Obama elected. There is no doubt in my mind. When the Washington press corps is 90% registered democrat, how can the American people get fair and balanced wonder Fox News kills the competition because they ARE fair and balanced.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

Democracy Now,The Nation and Huffington are three of the few left on the USA planet that will bring news that the other conglomerates which are owned by the few will not. Veterans such as myself prefer media that is not controlled by the few and are not restrained by high dollar advertisers. McCain simply has not been supportive of vets for several years. Once he was a he is a poltician,not a maverick, controlled by special interest money and by the way contrary to his own opinion he votes for earmarks.Three sources are better than none.It is clear to me that McCain does not pay his own bills which keeps McCain out of touch with reality. Nuke Power is the most expensive electric energy source in america and far from being clean,green or affordable. Too slowNuclear power stations take anywhere from 10 to 15 years to build. We can't wait this long to address climate change.Too expensiveThe Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that a dollar spent on energy efficiency is seven times more effective at reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power. Nuclear is still the most expensive means of boiling water ever devised.Too dirtyRoutine emissions, high level waste and millions of tonnes of radioactive tailings as well as inevitable greenhouse pollution: nuclear power has never been clean and green.Too dangerousAs reactors age and more are built in unstable parts of the world, the risk of a catastrophic meltdown is increasing. The world can not afford more Chernobyls.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

If McCain was truly interested in restoring the USA economy he would not continue to support our very expensive and illegal occupation of Iraq. Iraq was not involved in 9/11/01 nor did Iraq have WMD's.If Bush and McCain had demanded that the USA not invade and occupy Iraq without absolute hard evidenceour econony would be far more substantial. Germany has declared the USA is no longer considered a economic superpower. Bush and McCain should have invested $3 triillion in the USA NOT war!Why?Invasion war is a money hole with zero payback. Hitler taught us that.Just think if polticians such as McCain and Bush had spent $3 trillion on healthcare for all,alternative energy and the the green industry the USA would be making money off the new jobs the money created thus new wealth for the USA not bankruptcy.Add a stiff excise tax on all USA named imports made in China then the USA would be rolling in the dough!When Castro nationalized the Cuban sugar industry, American shareholders (the owners) had their equity wiped out as well. Socialism is tough on capitalists.Perhaps the quick-buck boys on Wall St. should have thought about this before now.It happened to the oil boys and girls as well. So we send our expensive military in to tell other governments,Iran and Iraq, they cannot do business as they see fit.Fact is that is a risk corporate america must assume when investing abroad. Stockholders must ALSO assume that risk when investing in corporations that invest abroad. The military SHOULD NOT be used as the Wall Street Protection Service.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 6 months ago

Sooooo... anyone else catch the Dandys, last night?( Dandy Warhols, for the uninitiated )

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

Taxpayers in Lawrence, Kansas will pay $131.6 million for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:42,095 People with Health Care for One Year OR135,509 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR3,118 Public Safety Officers for One year OR2,867 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR21,393 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR1,582 Affordable Housing Units OR75,900 Children with Health Care for One Year OR21,782 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR*2,831 Elementary School Teachers for One Year

geekin_topekan 9 years, 6 months ago

Meh,McCain came out flinging distorted truths and Obama had to waste airtime clearing it up.McCain stated that corporate greed is to blame(bout time a repub acknowledged that)and he saw this train wreck coming for a long time(but his wallet was getting fat so why intervene?).

Mixolydian 9 years, 6 months ago

That was a god debate. I liked the format. Good give and take and Jim Lehrer was top notch.Obama had a smooth delivery and no major slip ups. It seemed that he got the points out he wanted to make. He had the worst off-question appearance though. When McCain spoke he smirked, appeared shook a couple of times and kept looking out in the audience and making hand signals to someone out there. What was up with that?McCain, as expected, was not as polished or as smooth as Obama, indeed he stumbled over the Iranian president's name a couple times. More than a few hitches in delivery. He scored good points with rattling of names of foreign leaders he's conferred with and countries he's visited. That played well in his argument that he's more qualified and experienced. Obama did get under his skin once and caused a loud outburst in response from McCain, but McCain did it with a smile so no points for Obama in making McCain look hotheaded.No knock outs, knock downs or TKO's. But I would score it a McCain win 6-3 on the 9 questions. McCain certainly finished stronger. Obama's "My dad came from Kenya" seemed strange and out of place. Looking forward to the next two debates and the VP next week.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 6 months ago

Merrill: You say McCain sold out vets, care to explain the whole bills? No why? Ok maybe you can't understand all of the stuff that goes into the bills. Also, McCain voted against a bill that would give more money to troops because the democrats put a time table for withdrawing from Iraq. You know cut and run.For me, I really think we need to revamp the tax rates. People who make very little should get money back from the government- IE Earned Income Credit.We need to get people of welfare-0 amybe you can start hiring them to mow for you Merrill- you would have more time to cut and paste.CBS did some middle ground but they still favor Obama.

labmonkey 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed UFC fan. It is nice to have two people that aren't absolute morons like the Bush Kerry debates. Although I thought McCain won, neither candidate had a major slip-up. Jim Leherer should moderate all debates from now on.

antney 9 years, 6 months ago

Good debate. - McCain looked very comfortable and sold his experience well. Not sure if the debate went past his bed time though because he started fading at the end there. Should have just said "not on my watch" on the Sept. 11th question.- Obama could use a little more polish. Not as crisp on the delivery. Kinda talked too much at times. Should have just said boldly he'd "have direct talks with Iran without preconditions" and cite the five recent Secretary of States who favored it Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry KissingerLooking forward to the VP debates. Biden's going to eat Palin alive.

fandango12 9 years, 6 months ago

Merrill: But can you deny McCain's strategy to increase troops and train Iraqi militia and promote another to oversee the war unsuccessful?commuter: We already do get money back from the government - or I do, at least, as I run my own business(es) and make less than $12K/yr.As for getting people off welfare: YES! I have not used Welfare. I came to a community where jobs are scarce. I flipped (the middle finger) off the community and started three different businesses. I'm not a mower but I am a house cleaner and a pet sitter and do specialized snack bar wrappers as favors.People: Get off your ass, start thinking and quit relying on our government and we the taxpayers to pay your way.

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't worry Tom. When you leave the country after the election, you'll find that isn't just Americans that know how to pray. We're not the only people who know how to speak English nor are we the only people who have biased media reporting. Where will you go in your love it or leave it world?

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 6 months ago

John McCain believes that Obama is not prepared to be President of the United States, but Sarah Palin is.John McCain's first most important decision and he goofed big time.This guy is so emotional he needs to be put on medication.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain talks quite often of being a 'maverick.' What about Bush's swagger? Hasn't he been an international maverick for about 8 years now? Where has that taken our country? Do we want someone who will not even speak to the countries with whom we disagree, thereby raising their hackles? What happens when a country's hackles are raised? Well, probably things like Guantanamo Bay, centrifuges, and Cuban space programs.And this whole 'negotiations without preconditions' thing drives me crazy. What the heck is that about? Let's say we don't negotiate with Iran--they acquire centrifuges and posture in front of the world audience. Let's say we DO negotiate with Iran--they acquire centrifuges and posture in front of the world audience. What the heck do we have to lose? It isn't like Ahmedinejad or the Iranians are going to be able to brainwash the US negotiator, especially if it is the President. Get real, people. That's my rant.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

"McCain won."- koolaidNot according to the CNN Flash polls, their bi-partisan point allocation system or any of the major networks.Have another drink, koolaid-heck, chug the whole pitcher...

jayhawks911 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain obviously believes we could have won Vietnam with a surge. We of course had many of those. We can win wars but occupation of countries half way around of the world is a whole other stories. McCain is still fighting the Vietnam war in his mind and has little else to lend to recovery our economy. Remember the economy we had before we attack a country that had nothing to do with the attack on American soil on 9-11. That attack of course was meant to draw us into these traps of fighting a war on their turf

Scott Drummond 9 years, 5 months ago

"Palin will come out strong in two maybe three more weeks, turn the charm on, and white (and hispanic) America will show the same pride in their republican candidates as black Americans are showing for their democratic candidate."As I posted earlier, I was somewhat taken aback by Obama's very soft and really downright deferential responses to McCain. I was hoping for a point by point refutation of McCain in strong and forceful terms. Today, however, reading through the debate reactions I came across one pundit who pointed out that Obama had to walk a careful line between being effective and being seen as too "uppity" in the minds of low education, working class whites in several of the battleground states. Koolaids comments above certainly serve to remind that the ignorance of great swaths of the voting public cannot be ignored. When viewed through that prism of understanding, Obama's performance was truly remarkable. He contested the points he needed to contest, showed himself to be very well qualified (in terms of both substantive knowledge and overall temperment) and walked the line he, unfortunately, had to walk, perfectly. He will make a suberb President. Too bad bush is working so hard to tie his hands fiscally.

Confrontation 9 years, 6 months ago

The best part happened just after 9pm. McSame was about to explode. I guess he needs to retake some anger management classes and learn how to be an adult.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

koolaid-so you don't like Bill Bennett or Alex Castellanos, etc? koolaid did you mean to say you had yet another accident in your boxers? Poor deluded koolaid-either wear your Depends or go potty before you go to sleep. I will give you this; you are the resident expert on clowns.Unlike water, koolaid and objectivity do not mix. I'll get you the paper if you promise to use it this time to get housebroken. It's obvious you can't learn anything else constructive from it or any other source of information. Now go back to your freak show, clown. Oh yeah!

RJ 9 years, 6 months ago

When I watched the debate on TV, I thought that Obama did quite well, but when I read the transcript I realized that I got hypnotized by him and that he just said alot without saying anything.I noticed that when Obama and McCain were pressed (four times) about what they would have to give up, priority wise, due to the bailout, that Obama never answered the question. He did admit that it wouldn't be possible to do everything he wanted to but just kept telling us what was in his $800 B grab bag of goodies. McCain, on the other hand, proposed across the board cuts and a "spending freeze" on everything except defense, veteran care and entitlements. Obama couldn't answer the question and McCain provided several details, earmarks and DoD to name a few.I thought the hatchet/scalpel comment was telling. How is Obama going to give out a massive tax cut, ramp up the war in Afghanistan(maybe Pakistan too) and still increase spending by $800 B by using a scalpel? His head is in the clouds. Empty promises.McCain wins!P.S. Did anyone else see CNN's poll after the debate? The one with a 4.5% margin of error. Any statistician worth anything knows that a poll isn't worth the paper it printed on if the margin of error is over 3%. While I was pondering why they would even use it, a pundit made it very clear when he discussed the nature of polls. Early polls become a self-fullfilling prophecy he said. People who start out undecided take cues from the polls and what everybody else thinks. Major media manipulation going on at CNN.

UFC_FAN 9 years, 6 months ago adults are trying to have a conversation. if you cannot resort from name-calling, then go back to the kiddie table.both men did well. the moderator did well. the audience did well. this was an outstanding debate! i tend to lean for mccain, but i think that obama may have won this debate. was a draw. name calling = 3rd grade.

UFC_FAN 9 years, 6 months ago

we still have troops in germany and japan. is that an occupation?

Sean Livingstone 9 years, 6 months ago

One thing for sure, people earning more than $250,000 contributed to 80% of all income taxes in this country. Obama's proposal makes sense. No matter how much you cut or increase taxation for people below $250,000, you won't gain or lose much.

Mixolydian 9 years, 6 months ago

Subparts to the "Hitler" rule:1. You say Mcsame:you lose.2. You say Obambi:you lose.3. You say RePUKElicans:you lose.4. You say Dummiecrats:you lose.5. You say any variation of the above:you lose.Not only do you lose, you should know that you're not:1. Funny2. Witty3. Clever4. Insightful5. RelevantIf you use any of thes terms, or variations thereof, you should:1. Put your self esteem elsewhere besides a political party.2. Put down your thesaurus.3. Back slowly away from the computer.4. Go clean out your gutters.5. Don't come back to your computer if you have more than 500 posts.And God help you if you ever say the word "ilk."

Confrontation 9 years, 6 months ago

No adult would be a UFC fan. UFC=2nd Grade.

Potawatomi 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain has voted against health care benefits for returning veterans the last 4 years. Some can't even get a replacement leg. He's got his hands in the insurance companies pockets. Fact. Google it.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 6 months ago

No clear winner. Now for some sad news Paul Newman passed away yesterday and I am very sad.

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