Bil Browning

The Great Debate Open Thread

Filed By Bil Browning | September 26, 2008 7:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Barack Obama, election 2008, John McCain, presidential debates, University of Mississippi

Jerame and I are going to hang out at a local pub with a friend of ours while we watch the debates. Consider this your Great Debate Open Thread. I'll join the conversation when we get back.

Anyone wanna give odds?

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Obama's gonna smoke McCain like a cheap cigar. It's not contest. Why do you think McCain wanted to cut and run? He's a total pussy, and not the good kind.

If only they could of gotten Dave Letterman to do the debate tonight then it'd be worth going to a bar to watch it.But I'm thinking if Obama can get through tonight without a stupid screw up he'll have a double digit lead in next weeks polls.

You can have McCain and pig with lipstick, I'll take Obama.

Serena.... part of why McCain wanted to bow out tonight was to postpone the VP debate. McCain's not that much of wuss, but Palin surely is the airhead as recent interviews have pointed out. Even another conservative has called for Palin to bow out (see Pam's House Blend:

No lapel pin on McCain. He hates America. End of story.

Obama will clobber him and win big in November.

Then the fun begins.

I dunno.... both are very credible and knowledgable. McCain when you get down to it always has been. Barack certainly knows how to get his time in. He doesn't wait, in that way he projects his "leadership" qualities.

"Gonna" ... "Wanna" "Gotta" - you can sure tell Obama is from middle-America. Did going to Harvard not change his syntax to any degree?

Look at the other guy, please, both of you! Ok, Obama is...

Seems like much of the time McCain has to make a point he has to make it by mistating Obama's views.

Still, I think it's a draw. Those who are worried about 9/11, terrorism, al-Qaida, and for Bushite fear factor is important will find solace in McCain. He certainly pulls on the heart-strings of America.

McCain did WAY better than I expected - unfortunately. I thought his chances might tank tonight, but instead I think he revived them.

Interesting use of language by each of them. McCain was patronizing, repeatedly saying that "Senator Obama just doesn't understand..." He gave himself the space to do that, though, by always referring to "Senator Obama," a very respectful form of address.

Obama, on the other hand, almost always used "John," I suppose to signal equality with this much older man. Obama's informality mainly came out in his "g" droppin' throughout the debate.

Substantively, I think the biggest problem for Obama in this debate was that he sounded like he was running against W's third term - a framing of McCain that has been central to his campaign. McCain, however, succeeded in sounding like he's his own man, and looking toward the future, rather than continuing to debate whether we were wrong to invade Iraq. McCain scored points by saying that the job of the next president will be to get us out, not to angst over having gone in.

This debate was supposed to be the one McCain had a huge advantage for - foreign policy. We watched CNN which showed the graph of watcher opinions and it was a total blowout for Obama.

If this is Obama's low point, we don't have anything to worry about.

I was amazed at how close the Independent and Democratic lines ran; they were almost always side-by-side with the Republicans running off in another direction.

Obama kicked his ass. Completely.

Well, I didn't watch it because, it doesn't matter.

Riddle me this;

What party has won the presidential election every time since the advent of electronic voting?

Ehat manufacturer of electronic voting machines is a major contributor, along with it's CEO and other corporate officers, to the GOP, and the GOP presidential canidates?

You put these two facts together, and it adds up to; it doesn't matter how well Obama does in this debate, the next debate, or his whole campaign.

Come November when you use that touch screen, or turn that wheel on that electronic voting machine, think about who is going to be able to tell how you really voted once it is all ones and zeros.

"The tree of liberty must be fertilized with the blood of patriots."

I thought McCain had the edge on foreign policy, unfortunately. But Obama definitely had the edge on economy issues, which I think are going to weigh more heavily with voters.

Significantly, the CNN panel of undecided voters gave the win to Obama by 69 percent. I would agree.

I thought it was interesting that CNN bent over backwards to avoid mentioning McCain's Letterman disaster, though they did mention Palin's Couric disaster.

Interestingly, the CBS poll of undecided voters also gave it to Obama by a large margin.

We were very disappointed with Obama last night. We wanted him to swing harder, and to interrupt McCain more, rather than looking like a little lost boy waiting for his turn. And why did he continually say "I agree with John"?

But we also recognized that nothing Obama would do would change our minds - we are very decidedly Obama voters. The purpose of the debate, from the candidates' point of view, is to get votes from undecided voters, not appeal to the base.

So now I see Obama's strategy worked. He was viewed as knowledgeable and nice in a fairly polite way, though he did get in some very hard jabs at McCain about the wars, past and future, as well as how to handle US enemies. McCain, on the the other hand, was viewed as condescending, nasty and grumpy. Amazingly, some people are just starting to turn their attention to the election. Those of us that have been standing on the sidelines cheering hard for months are weary of this and want to see Obama get in a KO, but there are still 12 rounds to go. Seems like Obama played it just right.

The debate was so boring that I fell asleep before it was done. I did see most of it. I also watched the three lines and they were also unimpressive. Basically, after hearing the CNN analysis after the debate, I got the impression that if you liked McCain, the debate didn't change your opinion. Same with those who like Obama. It is on the shoulders of the independents. Maybe the next two debates will make a difference.

I thought Obama came across much more crisp and direct and less "professorial" than during the primary debates. McCain does have the edge in connecting with anecdotes, etc., although those of us who follow this thing almost 24/7 heard the same old lines over and over. Obama would benefit by being a tad more "folksy", if that's really part of him, but if not, he should try to be someone that he's not.

Bil, I sat one table down from yours at the pub last night, and couldn't help be impressed at how you managed to assemble a group of undecideds and independents. (:

McCain's tie was a disaster. Who thought that stripes were a good idea? Doesn't he know by now that you never wear patterns on TV? Solids. Doesn't he have a gay adviser to dress him? Oh wait, he has a gay chief of staff. Where was the gay before the debate?

Obama sounded great, except for the frequent stammering. I liked that he had specifics and numbered examples. He was a very organized speaker. And he actually answered the questions, unlike McCain.

John R. Selig | September 27, 2008 1:33 PM

I thought that both candidates did a good job. I purposefully avoided the commentators for awhile I thought about their performances.

There were several opportunities that Obama missed at going back at McCain. The polls did give Obama the edge. McCain had been doing so poorly the past few weeks that his performance in the first debate isn't likely to help him much, especially since Obama seemed to do better with the undecideds that McCain did.

Time Magazine gave Obama a grade of A- and McCain a grade of B- which isn't good enough in a debate on foreign policy, McCain's strongest area.

McCain's biggest problem was his temperament and body language. He wouldn't look Obama in the eye which makes one believe that he was either lying or had something to hide. He appeared to be a tired, grumpy old man which is not a good image to portray especially considering his running mate who I wouldn't vote for as president of an eight grade class in junior high school.

The one thing all of us must not do is get complacent, however. McCain is tricky and so are the Republicans. Who know what surprises they are going to spring in October.

Still, I can't imagine how panicked they must be about Palin's upcoming debate against Biden on October 2nd.

The VP debates will be so structured that we will not see either one ask the other person a question. They get asked a question, answer it, then the next person gets a question. The GOP insisted it to be like that because They know Palin cannot think on her feet. Wait. She cannot think sitting down either. So, yes, the GOP are scared of her being exposed to anyone.

It was funny on CNN afterwards when they had Joe Biden talk with Anderson Cooper. After he was done, one of the analysist remarked that they would like to hear from Sarah Palin. Cooper said, "Don't hold your breath." Way to go, Anderson.

John R. Selig | September 27, 2008 4:50 PM

The debate will be structured much the way most presidential debates have been in the past. the fact of the matter is that she won't be able to give coherent answers to the questions she is asked by Gwen Ifill the moderator for the debate. Other debates of this type have often had participants comment on their opponent's comments at the beginning of their answer to the next question from the moderator.

From what I have read, Palin has done poorly during debate practice and the McCain team are scared.

Personally I hope she performs below their worst nightmares.

What better example of McCain's rash and inept judgement do voters need than his selection of his running mate?


Here's an idea for the Bilerico Project.

You can give a prize to the first, sixth, or fifteenth person who is identified most frequently by all of these adjectives:


Second contest would be to add words to the list.

Ehat manufacturer of electronic voting machines is a major contributor, along with it's CEO and other corporate officers, to the GOP, and the GOP presidential canidates?

You put these two facts together, and it adds up to; it doesn't matter how well Obama does in this debate, the next debate, or his whole campaign.

The minute I believe that, I have ceded control of this country to the Forces of Intolerance.