Tonight is the final presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. There's talk that McCain will "pull off the gloves," though I have no earthly idea what that means. I'm thinking that a slugfest between a 46 year old and a 72 year old (veteran though he is) doesn't offer promising odds to the 72 year old......but perhaps it's just a figurative removal of the gloves, whereby John McCain delivers a character attack against Barack Obama and thereby persuades the remaining undecided voters in America that McCain truly would sell his soul to occupy the White House.
No drinking game tonight, though I'm contemplating dipping into the family Halloween candy stash every time McCain offers up one of his favorite lame platitudes: calling us "my friends"; indictments of the greedy Wall Street crowd; or promises to balance the budget (this last being the boldest lie of the campaign so far...which is saying something).
But it's 9:01 and we're off and running, live from Hofstra University just north of here...........show Mama the Obama victory.
Ahhh, yes, I am one of those "innocent victims of greed" Senator McCain. And may I thank you for the dark chocolate that I've just popped in my (greedy?) mouth.
Does McCain know that Paulson has already blown $250 billion of the $700 billion bailout to re-capitalize banks? Because if we then spend $300 billion to bail out mortgages (and, that by the way, is a deeply confusing prospect....but I defer), then we don't have much left. I'm just saying.
Is this Joe of which McCain speaks Joe Sixpack, Sarah's friend?
No, it's Joe the Plumber. And he gets a tax cut if he makes less that $250,000 a year. And if Joe the Plumber is making more than $250,ooo a year, well, then, damn I should have skipped college and become a plumber.
McCain is not going to let go of the "Obama will tax the hell out of you" mantra.
McCain is always talking about things he knows how to do: find (and kill!) bin Laden at the last debate; tonight he knows how to slash spending, save zillions from defense spending. But he never explains just how he will do this. I'm reminded of Nixon's secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. And we know how well that went.
McCain is a little disjointed ---- passionate ---- but all over the place in his answers.
And McCain just said "sure, I can balance the budget in 4 years." WTF?! Call him on this Obama.
Bob the moderator just asked the boys if they could be nice to one another and McCain explains that he wanted to be nice and have a bunch of town halls but that Obama said no and well, since then, he's just had no choice but to deliver the nastygrams.
McCain looks as if his feelings are truly hurt. Whatev.
Obama should answer the questions about public funding of campaigns (he declined because his campaign is raising money by the fistful; McCain is stuck with public funding because he committed to the system early on, when his campaign was a long shot). He's about to hit the homerun: go ahead and attack me for the next three weeks, but what the public wants to hear about is the economic challenges ahead of us. Bingo.
Obama is spending more money on the campaign than McCain. Because he has the money to spend.
I think that McCain is wishful thinking to assert that 10,000 - 15,000 people attend his rallies. Obama is awfully successful at staying on message: the American people want to hear about the issue.
McCain just said that ACORN is destroying the fabric of American democracy. Dude, you need to dial back the rhetoric because you're in danger of making a complete ass of yourself. And you fell for the Ayars bait, John, John, John....Obama is about to eat your lunch.
Schiefer just asked Obama and McCain to defend their choice of a running mate. Oh my.
Obama: completely about Biden, no attack on Palin. Nicely done.
McCain: also did a pretty god job as well, though Sarah Palin isn't a role model to any woman I know.
I am of the view that free trade is a good idea, so it may very well be that I tip toward McCain on this (though we're not going to create millions of jobs selling crap to Columbians....it's not exactly on the list of the world's wealthiest nations). But most Democrats are not with me here and even though I'm disposed to prefer McCain's answer on this question, I thought he just seemed cranky. And suggesting that Obama should wander down to Columbia and check things out is just nutso.
Sweet Jesus: preconditions back again. Enough already. McCain is just all over the damned place and then, when he needs to conclude his comments he accuses Obama of preparing to raise our taxes.
If Joe the Plumber is making more than $250,000 a year in income, then he and his small business can damn well provide health insurance for his employees.
I'm guessing that Joe's phone is ringing off the hook now.
McCain is totally rambling. Though did I hear him say that he will be taxing all of us on our healthcare benefits? Doesn't he know that he's opposed to taxes?
Abortion. Yawn. More Americans support a right to choose and Obama knows it and isn't afraid to own being pro-choice. McCain has to kiss social conservative heinie on this. He did.....and when he did it kissed goodbye to the last undecided moderate women voters in America.
Plain's baby isn't autistic; he's got Down's Syndrome. Totally different situation....I trust McCain knows that he mis-spoke.
Michelle Rhee, the Superintendent of D.C schools supports charters, but as I understand it, she doesn't support a widespread system of vouchers.
McCain just couldn't resist getting in a last word that showed him to be a jackass. He has looked incredibly awkward tonight, aggressive but without reserve and though his closing remarks are a little more organized than his other comments, I haven't been particularly impressed.
Obama had a nice clean closer. He is one cool customer: impressively articulate and thoughtful. Very calm under pressure. Well done. I have to confess some relief that the debates are over. I am starting to get really hopeful that we've got smooth sailing to an Obama victory and I'm looking forward to being proud of my nation and its president again.