Thursday, October 16, 2008

3rd and Final Presidential Debate

1 hour 30 minutes

Senator Obama was nothing but a gentleman all the way through. He never got angry, he never attacked Senator McCain, and he repudiated McCains lies all the way through. McCain attacked Obama on Ayers and Acorn. Obama never once mentioned the Keating 5 although he had a perfect right to do so.

Senator McCain on the other hand was attacking right from the start. saying anything to show that Obama was a liar. McCain kept repeating the same lies from the previous debates. He even mentioned the "over head projector" at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago - again. Did McCain NOT DO ANY homework?

And then McCain brought up Joe the Plumber. See the video posted yesterday. It looks like Joe the Plumber was probably not a good choice.


Hmm. McCain mentioned Nancy Reagan in the hospital, but not Dick Cheney??

Obama: “The fundamentals of the economy were weak”

McCain: Said he doesn’t want to ask Obama a question. He’s talking directly to the people…sounds familiar! Talking about some plumber named Joe who met Obama and wanted to buy some business. Obama would raise his taxes. Now he’s looking at the camera speaking to “Joe”.

Obama: Said it sounds like he’s been listening to McCain ads. Obama explains, yet again, his tax plan. Talks about Joe the Plumber.

McCain: Joe the plumber again. We need to spread the wealth around. He wants Joe the Plumber to spread the wealth around. Why would you want to tax ANYone?

Obama: Wants to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. Warren Buffet can afford to pay a little more, so Joe the Plumber could pay less when he needed it. Nobody likes to pay taxes. He doesn’t mind paying a little more.

Q. Aren’t you both ignoring reality about the deficit? What would you cut back?

Obama: We’ve been living beyond our means and we have to make adjustments. Strong believer in pay as you go. Go through the budget line by line. Investment in the future - health care, energy, education - will all allow us to drive the economy in the future.

McCain: Wants to get back to home ownership. (Palin tactic!) Schieffer tries to get him back to the question. Now he’s on energy (another Palin tactic) - wind, solar, offshore drilling. Across the board spending freeze. First a hatchet and then a scalpel. “I know how to save defense spending” “I know where to cut” Tariffs on sugar cane based ethanol? Somebody in jail, some airline…Blizzard of words! Planetarium projector!

[As an aside, ethanol comes from corn and sugar cane, BUT it creates a food shortage. Food prices have been rising the last 12 months due to people selling food crops to make ethanol and not selling as food.)

Obama: Earmarks account for 1/2 of 1%. Yes we need to eliminate “screwy” things but that’s not the main problem. When Bush came into office we had a surplus. (Yes!) Now we have a deficit of well over 1/2 a trillion. Pursuing same policies will not get us there.

McCain: Thinks he can balance the budget in four years. If Obama wanted to run against Bush, he should have run four years ago. (I bet he was waiting for that one). Let’s look at our records, Senator Obama. (Obama knew he needed time in the senate first to get 'experience" Interestingly enough, I dont think I heard anything about McCains 26 years of experience. Although he did indicate what experience he has had towards the end of the debate.)

Obama: Debunking the Obama raises taxes thing. Even Fox news agrees. McCain has been a major supporter of Bush. Giving credit for his stance against torture, but on economic policies he’s agreed with Bush.

Q. Both pledged to take the high road. Palled around with terrorists!!! Will you say it to each other’s face?

McCain: Been a tough campaign. Ah…it’s Obama’s fault for not agreeing to do Town Hall meetings. Tone of campaign could have been different. He regrets negative aspects of both campaigns. Rebuking Lewis for the George Wallace comments. Obama didn’t repudiate remarks. We will run a truthful campaign. Obama has spent more money on negative ads than any political campaign in history. He said he’d take public financing, and didn’t tell the truth.

Obama: We expect campaigns to be tough. 2/3 think McCain is running a negative campaign. 1/3 think I am. Nothing wrong with debate on issues. American people don’t want to hear about how hurt we are. Town Hall issue is rediculous. McCain campaign said if they talk about the economy they lose.

McCain: Didn’t hear a repudiation of Lewis. Joe the plumber again.

Obama: Lewis made his statement without the knowledge of the campaign. Talking about the Palin rally. “Kill him!” “Terrorist” and she didn’t call them out. Think that Lewis inappropriately drew a comparison. Immediately put out a statement saying a statement it was inappropriate. What the American people want is to focus on challenges. When people suggest “I pal around with terrorists” we’re not talking about issues.

McCain: He’s proud of the crowds at the rallies. He won’t stand for anyone saying his crowds are anything but patriotic wonderful Americans.

Obama: If we’re going to solve 2 wars, financial crisis, lifting wages, then we have to work together. We can’t try to characterize each other as bad people.

McCain: I don’t care about a washed-up old terrorist, but we need to know about it and about Acorn. Tearing apart the fabric of the country!

Obama: Ayers has become primary focus of McCain’s campaign. Brilliant explanation of Ayers and Acorn.

McCain: All the details need to be known! Ayers, Acorn, Ayers Acorn. My campaign is all about goodness and light, and not raising taxes.

Q. Why would we be better off with your running mate?

Obama: Experience, foreign policy, crime bill, violence against women act. Hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. Shares the same values. Lists them.

McCain: American’s have gotten to know Sarah Palin. Role model to women. Took on her own party. Saw corruption. Gave money to taxpayers. Cut size of government. Faced down oil companies. Reformer through and through. Sweep out old boy network. Understands reform. Understands special needs families. I’m proud of her. She’s ignited our party. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her. Her husband is a pretty tough guy.

Q. Is your opponent’s VP qualified?

Obama: The American people will decide.

McCain: Biden is qualified but wrong. Obama wants to increase your taxes.

Q. How much can we reduce foreign oil imports? Give me a number.

McCain: Canadian oil is fine, but we need to eliminate Middle Eastern oil and Venezuelan oil. Mocking energy safety. “You don’t tell people your going to renegotiate NAFTA…”

Obama: In 10 years we can reduce dependence so we don’t have to import oil from M.E. or Venezuela. This is the most important issue. Borrowing from China and sending it to Saudi Arabia. Expand domestic production. Use or lose current leases. We can’t drill our way out of the problem. Solar wind biodiesel, geothermal. Fuel efficient car built in USA.

McCain: ”There’s another example of Senator Obama’s eloquence, but you have to look at words.” Obama has never even traveled south of our border. Maybe you should travel down there and you’d understand it.

Obama: Actually I understand it pretty well. Proceeds to prove he knows it pretty well.

Well, we knew this wouldn’t be a game changer for McCain and it isn’t. This debate is more of the same. Obama is undeniably presidential, and McCain is agitated and cranky.

McCain: Obama wants to sit down across the table without precondition with __________. (In this case Hugo Chavez). Did he mention that Obama wants to raise taxes? Comparing Obama to Herbert Hoover. Again. He simply cannot invoke Herbert Hoover without sounding really old. For Obama it would sound like a history lesson. But McCain makes it sound like they were buddies back in the day.

Q. Healthcare.

Obama: This issue will break your heart. Explains plan.

McCain: Painful for Americans. Explains plan. Joe the Plumber AGAIN! and AGAIN! Man, if anyone came up with Joe the Plumber for a drinking game, you’d be smashed. How much will you fine people for no health care?

Obama: Joe the Plumber! There is no fine. Joe the Plumber! McCain will tax health care benefits from employer. Average policy costs $12,000, so $5000 won’t help much.

McCain: Joe the Plumber x 3! This is getting really ridiculous. I think Joe the Plumber has become the defining name of this debate. He’s the “that one” of debate III. SNL will love it. Squabbling about money. He’s bringing up cosmetic surgery and hair transplants again. Joe the Plumber. Too much government. Government is too big. Democrats have been in charge for the last two years. (Democrats have just rubberstamped everything Bush wants - they have NOT done anything to STOP Bush).

Obama: Reiterates what he has already said. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Joe the Plumber…

Q. Roe v. Wade. Could you nominate someone to the Supreme Court who didn’t share your views?

McCain: Decision should rest with states. Roe v. Wade was bad. Should nominate on qualifications not litmus test. Obama voted against Justice Breyer and Roberts because of ideology. I will find the best people who strictly adhere to the Constitution.

Obama: Shouldn’t apply a strict litmus test. Most important thing is fairness and justice. This will be one of the most consequential decisions of the next president. Roe v. Wade probably hangs in the balance. Thinks that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. Good people on both sides can disagree. Women are in the best position to make this decision. Thinks it’s a constitutional, rather than state’s rights issues. Court has to stand up for people.

McCain: We have to change the culture of America. We who are proudly pro-life understand that. Obama voted against bills in state senate partial birth abortions…terrible… Voted “present”. How do you align yourself with extreme pro-abortion.

Obama: If it sounds incredible that I would vote to withhold lifesaving treatment from an infant, it’s because it isn’t true. Completely supportive of ban for late term abortions unless there is a threat to the mother’s life. He voted “present” because there was no provision for the mother’s life. There must be common ground where we all say we need to prevent unwanted pregnancy, promiscuity, helping single mothers who want to keep baby. Nobody is pro-abortion.

McCain: He’s being “eloquent again”. “Health” of the mother (made little quote thing with his fingers). This is code for pro-abortion all the time… Of course we have to work together.

Q. Education.

Obama: Early childhood education. Recruit new teachers especially in math and science. More pay. Higher standards. College debt. $4000 tuition credit every year in exchange for military service, peace corps, community service. Parents will have to turn off the TV, and instill thirst for knowledge.

McCain: It’s the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Ah. Vouchers. Choice and competition. Find bad teachers another line of work. Charter schools. Throwing money at the problem isn’t the answer. We must improve. Make loans available.

Obama: Important for gov’t to help schools. No child left behind. They left the money behind. Agree about Charter Schools. Bad teachers need to move on. Disagree on the idea of vouchers as a way of securing problems. Disagree on McCain’s record on college accessibility. Our youth are not an “interest group”.

McCain: Vouchers in D.C. He’s getting pissy… Cindy and “your wife”. Precious children with autism…Sarah Palin knows better than most. Vouchers are good and workable system. (Trig Palin has Downs Syndrome, NOT Autism)

Obama: DC school system is in terrible shape. (Squabble about whether mayor of DC supports vouchers) for all three debates.

Closing statement -
McCain: My friends! America needs a new direction. I have a record of reform. Taking on my party. We have to stop the spending. Can you trust us or not? Examine my record and my proposals for the future of country. I’ve put my country first. Proud to serve. I’d be honored and humbled to serve.

Obama: America is going through tough times. Worst economic crisis since Depression. Worst thing we can do is adopt failed policies and failed politics of the past and expect something different. Our brighter days are still ahead. Need to invest in people. Health care, tax cuts, college, businesses of the future. Fought for these policies. Not easy. Not quick. We all need to come together. Will work tirelessly on your behalf and on behalf of your children.

Whew! Debates are over. McCain was more aggressive, but Obama is the clear winner here. He missed a couple opportunities to really zing Palin. And missed an opportunity to talk about why we actually have to have taxes. But, this was nowhere near a game-changer, which is what McCain needed.

John McCain could not stop talking to Joe the Plumber through the TV screen. By next week, we expect Joe will have his own TV show. As an aside, Joe was mentioned on NPR this morning. He admits that he would not face a tax increase under Obama’s plan, but he’s afraid the income ceiling might be lowered.

Now if you want to know the FACTS of who was right and who lied in the debate - read the fact checkers response to the debate.

Here is another review of the final debate.
And one last review of the debate by Joan Walsh, and I promise I will stop now.

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