Home > Politics > debatable ’08: dinner table discourse

debatable ’08: dinner table discourse

I am jumping into this late (student related emergency), so let’s get straight to it:

  • My first exposure to this debate was Beth saying, “McCain told Obama” via text message.
  • I totally dig the round table.  I bet that Tom Brokaw is pissed … he could have inserted himself into the debate even more if he was actually sitting at a table with the candidates.
  • Beth comment: “(McCain) reminded him he is not running against George Bush and asked him to state one time he has stood up to his party”
  • To orient you to where I am in the debate, they are talking about negative campaigning and repudiation of anti-McCain comments.
  • Eye contact boys! Stare each other down.
  • “I don’t care about a washed up terrorist … but Hillary Clinton …” Clever transition into the Jim Ayers issue by McCain.
  • Obama’s response to Ayers and ACORN: sounded reasonable – water on the campfire. And McCain needs a wildfire to break out.
  • John McCain looks really pleased with himself as he sits in his seat and looks at the moderator.
  • I like the question about who the candidates will bring into their governments – great question.
  • “Climate Control” – I am for it.  I am not so sure about “climate change”
  • Obama did a good job of transitioning the energy question into an economic jab at McCain
  • McCain just nailed Obama on the oil issue: “I admire Obama’s eloquence – words matter … we will look at offshore drilling”
  • McCain is working the “Joe the Plumber” line
  • Smug is the word. McCain is really smug as he sits in his chair.
  • I don’t think I understand the health insurance system enough to parse the bull-ogna that is being spoken of at this moment.
  • I think McCain did a good job of boiling down Obama’s plan into Joe “making it” and Obama distributing it in his big government leadership.  I don’t know if it is true or not, but it is a solid talking point.  He is also doing a good job of showing the benefit of his small government approach where people have the freedom to make their own financial choices.
  • Supreme Court litmus test – great question.  Bob Schieffer should do all the debates!  This has gotten to the important issue of abortion.  How will Mr. “Above My Pay Grade”work his spin?
  • Beth comment: “This is by far the best debate. I have enjoyed the questions much more”
  • McCain did well going directly to Obama’s specific votes on the issue of abortion.  I will be clear with this issue – McCain is right on the issue of abortion.
  • Does anybody else feel an urge to root on the underdog?
  • Obama thinks sex is a “cavalier activity” and abortion is not a big deal, his spin on his abortion record falls flat.
  • I did not know that McCain adopted.  Good for him.
  • On education: Obama is right about the cost of college education, that college students find “they have a mortgage before they have a mortgage” – that said, it seems that at every point Obama bloats the size of the government and increased the national budget (and taxes, right ???)
  • McCain is really plucking at those heart strings of parents (and parents-to-be) by talking about the poor precious children with autism.
  • Anybody else hear that snort by Senator McCain?
  • Concluding Statement – McCain: We need a change in direction, I am that change. “Stop the spending – mortgage your children’s future”. Dang it! People started talking for the end of the remark!
  • Concluding Statement – Obama: Change. Brighter future. Non-partisan unity and sacrifice. Stirring, but it did not hit me as sincere.

Post-debate commentary:

  • Fifteen references to Joe the Plumber, good thing to keep tabs on.
  • Again, no major winners or soundbites
  • I am really curious what Bill Kristol is going to say here in a bit after his suggestion that McCain fire his team.
  • And … Bill … says … “not really a victory for McCain”
  • Other than a few details, I think that these commentators could simply replay their commentary from the prior debates – not much new from them.

Dial Poll Panel:

  • Nobody supported Obama when they walked into the room.  The majority thought Obama came out on top.
  • Strongest point of the debate: “I am not President Bush” by McCain
  • One poll guy: “McCain started strong, Obama finished better”
  • “This is a good night for Obama” -Pollster

Final Thoughts:  The winner of the debate was clearly Bob Schieffer – when I cancel my satellite contract tomorrow I will watch CBS news because of Schieffer’s impressive debate moderation.

Also, not McCain – he is still in a hole and basically out of time.

  1. October 16, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Thanks for posting these, Lee. They are very enjoyable…especially because at this point, all of the mud slinging makes me kind of nervous and a little bit disheartened. I like how you make them a little bit lighter.

    Note how they are wearing ties of the opposite party color. Does that demonstrate sympathy for the other party? I only noticed that because my English History prof at A&M pointed it out during the Bush/Kerry debate in ’04.


  2. leewilson7170
    October 16, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Clever thought on the ties… maybe that will help them “reach across the aisle” ?

  3. October 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm


    Your live blogging skills are excellent (again). I have absolutely hated watching the debates, but have enjoyed your running commentary of them. Good job.

    There was a particular line in the debate that I enjoyed for its humorous side, and may have been simply a slip of the tongue for McCain (which he seemed to be troubled by last night)…it was when he said “Mr. Government, er ah, Mr. Obama…”

    As for Schieffer, you are right, of the four moderators, he rose to the top of the pile and should probably have done them all. However, even though he is an employee of CBS, if you cancel your satellite contract, you’ll be getting Katie Couric, and not Bob, reading the news to you.

  4. leewilson7170
    October 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Dang it. I don’t want Couric.

    Does Schieffer do 60 minutes or 20/20 or whatever it is?

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