The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Blogging the Debate – LIVE!

Posted by ALmod on September 26, 2008

I’ll be blogging live to give my thoughts as things unfold.  I will be updating this post every few minutes starting at 8pm CST.  I’ll be watching on CNN this year.

8:00 – Okay, here we go.  Let’s hope my Internet connection holds out.

8:03 – That was an excellent first question.  Go ahead and get it out of the way.

8:05 – I’m not fully on board with any bailout, but I think that Obama did a decent job of outlining his various points.  They’re the same points that he made on Wednesday.  Great job expressing himself as the champion of the middle class.

8:06 – John McCain is looking at the moderator instead of the camera.  That’s the first thing I noticed.  Bipartisanship seems to be his main message.  He’s not being specific on what he wants.  Obama seemed to be a lot more detailed in what he wanted while McCain seems to be very generic.

8:08 – Let’s let ’em duke it out and see what happens.

8:09 – Someone has been working with Barack Obama on his speaking.  I’m noticing a significan’t lack of um’s and uh’s.  There seems to be a very striking contrast between the two candidates, and that doesn’t bode well for McCain.  McCain seems very boring and lackluster when speaking right after Obama, but also there’s a very noticeable lack of detail in what he says he wants to do when compared to Obama.  I’m looking at the audience reaction as well, and it appears that they’re having the same reaction to these candidates.  Barack Obama’s reaction goes up almost immediately when he starts talking.  (Ooh!  Joke from McCain!  Good one!)  For McCain, it takes a while, and the audience eventually warms up, but not quite as much as with Obama.

8:13 – McCain seems to be optomistic, but again…  Very generic.

8:14 – McCain talking about reigning in spending again, but he’s mainly talking about earmarks.  That just doesn’t account for very much of the deficit.  It’s a very small fraction, and I want to hear him talk about some other ways that he’s going to reduce spending.  What is he going to cut?

8:16 – Obama talks about trickle down v. trickle up.

8:18 – McCain goes negative.  So does the audience reaction.

8:19 – Barack, it’s rude to interrupt.

8:20 – McCain got his numbers wrong again.  It’s the same incorrect statistic that Ron Paul supporters pointed out in the primaries.  The U.S. does not have the second largest business tax.  Regardless, I don’t exactly sympathize much with businesses.  I’m more worried about my own income.

8:23 – Ooh!  I like how this is going so far.  I like that the two candidates are taking over and really having it out.

8:24 – McCain has stated the same thing that got onto him for that Obama raised taxes on folks making $42K.  It’s not true, but I can’t remember the details at the moment.  He’s repeating a few more now…  You can go to and check them out.  Tax breaks to oil companies is another one.

8:26 – What will you cut?  Great question!

8:26 – Apparently now it’s time for Obama to be generic.  He’s addressing alternative fuels, but he’s not answering the question.  He’s getting a very positive reaction, though.  Now he’s addressing other items, but again, he’s not being specific on anything that he’ll cut.  I’m hoping that the moderator will call him on that.

8:28 – Same old “cut earmarks” answer from McCain, “liberal” attack on Obama, but still no specifics on what he’d cut.  Something about defense systems, but it’s not registering well with the audience.

8:30 – Go moderator!  He called them both on it!

8:31 – Hrm…  Obama now…  Subsidies to private insurers…  I need to look into that.  I was unaware of that in particular.  His database seems to be getting high marks.

8:32 – Have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE this moderator?

8:32 – Obama FINALLY hit the big one.  Why send so much to Iraq when they have a surplus?

8:33 – Neither one of these guys appear to be fooling anyone when it comes to tip-toeing around this question of what they’ll cut.

8:34 – Whoever told John McCain to go negative gave him some really bad advice.  Every single time he starts, the audience reaction to him goes further negative.

8:37 – “Orgy of spending”?  What a visual!

8:38 – That’s the second time McCain has said “Miss Congeniality”.  Sandra Bullock fan, maybe?

8:38 – Lessons of Iraq.  Great question!

8:39 – Why is McCain choking on this question?  Iraq is his strong point.  His numbers should be through the roof, but they’re going very low on this question.  Maybe it’s his body language.  His voice is a lot shakier than normal.

8:40 – How did that just happen?!  I was expecting Obama to completely tank on this.  But that was a good answer to the question.  A lesson learned…  More caution before entering these things.  We shouldn’t have gone in to begin with.  Audience reaction just went through the roof!  (I’m looking at the Independent (green) line, by the way.

8:43 – Okay, McCain smiling…  Officially creepy.

8:45 – These two are getting on my nerves with all the shouting down of the moderator.  I’m glad that they’re not scoring any real points for it.

8:46 – Again with the “cut funding for the troops” comment.  Good to see Obama address it.

8:48 – Who is this moderator?  Jim Lehrer?  He needs to open up a can on both of these guys.

8:50 – Jim Lehrer is too nice.  More troops in Afghanistan?

8:50 – Obamaspeak translation:  Yes, we need more troops.

8:51 – I’ve noticed that there don’t seem to be many strong reactions to these foreign policy/defense questions.  Maybe it’s just because that’s not on their minds right now.  I know that they were interviewed before and NONE of these people listed foreign policy as their top issue.  That includes Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

8:52 – John McCain isn’t prepared to stop sending aide to Pakistan?  Didn’t they just fire on some U.S. planes yesterday?  News for McCain…  Afghanistan and Pakistan is not Iraq.  Totally different situation.

8:58 – Yes, Sen. McCain.  You have a record.  I’m very well aware of that record.

9:00 – I find it interesting that Sen. McCain isn’t getting as high marks as I thought he would.  Obama actually seems to be getting higher marks.  And I completely DID NOT expect that.  McCain seems to be doing poorly, and I fully expected him to do well.

9:02 – Iran and their threat?

9:03 – McCain’s answer seems a little vague starting off, but now he’s using the “H” word– Holocaust.  Seems to be getting mid to high marks on this one, but nothing spectacular.  So far, McCain has gotten higher marks in his responses on the economy, but like I said before, I think it could be because the economy is a much more important issue to a lot of folks right now.

9:06 – On a completely unrelated note, my husband is bringing home ice cream, so I may take a few steps away from the laptop for a bit.

9:07 – lol!  McCain stumbling over Ahmadinejad’s name!  I can’t blame him much, though.  I have trouble, myself, and he’s doing a heck of a lot better than Bush.

9:13 – McCainspeak translation:  “Talking with Iran is bad.”  I’m sure we didn’t score any points with North Korea with a presidential candidate sarcastically saying “dear leader.”

9:15 – Apparently John McCain doesn’t watch CNN.  Kissinger did in fact say that.

9:18 – WOW!  VERY low marks for McCain just now.  Audience does not like condescendig remarks about Obama being naiive.

9:21 – Okay, now that he’s flexing his muscle and showing his grasp of defense issues, McCain is getting some high marks on the Russia/Georgia situation.  And he deserves them.

9:23 – Obama has somehow spun this into being about alternative energy rather than talking about Georgia and Russia.

9:24 – Does anyone else want to see Jim Lehrer go all Incredible Hulk on these two?

9:26 – This is a 9/11 question…  Why isn’t McCain getting higher marks?

9:31 – McCain is losing them.  HOW?!?!  Obama just killed.  How is this happening?!  My world is askew.

9:33 – Veterans issues from Obama.  Good call, and apparently the audience agrees.  Chocolate ice cream is good.

9:34 – This is getting to be nuts!  This is a subject that’s supposed to be considerd McCain’s strong point, but it’s amazing just watching the audience reaction…  He starts speaking and the reaction numbers just go down, down, down.  I don’t think at this point that it has so much to do with the importance of this issue to the audience.  I heavily suspect at this point it has more to do with McCain going negative against Obama rather than addressing his own stance.

My final thoughts:  This was by and far a HUGE win for Barack Obama.  He didn’t address any of the issues and concerns that I have– neither of them did.  But while I expected Barack to dominate on the economy, I fully expected John McCain to dominate on defense issues.  I was completely surprised to see the opposite happen.  I’ll chime in with fact checking tomorrow.


One Response to “Blogging the Debate – LIVE!”

  1. Don said

    I wonder about this “audience reaction” thing. I’ve thought for a long time that too many people vote for candidates for the wrong reasons such as their appearance and their manner of speech rather than on the substance of what they say. Some of the audience reaction could be for the same reasons. Obama is younger and more handsome than McCain, and his oratory has been one of his primary attributes whereas McCain is a notoriously poor public speaker. Some of the reactions of course were valid responses to what few real points either candidate made and also to one candidate going negative. People generally disapprove of negative remarks, yet negative campaigning seems to be effective in many instances and I just don’t understand that.
    Anyway, I don’t think I missed much by not watching this performance in its entirety.

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