Saturday, September 27, 2008

The debate

John McCain seems to have misheard something at the Friends of Ireland event in Scranton earlier in the week. Ireland's corporate tax rate is 12.5%, not 11%. And as Obama points out, he's not comparing US corporate tax rate with other countries on an effective (i.e. after loophole) basis.

But so far (25 minutes in), it's a stalemate. Obama is slightly sharper but both are just reusing their stump speeches.

McCain has no answer to the question of what additional cuts he would make to the pay for the bailout. Remember, this is $700 billion of new cuts that he needs on top of all the other things he promised to cut.

Does John McCain think that Pakistani people won't notice a US attack if it's not announced?

Pakistan was a failed state when Musharraf took over? Does McCain know that Nawaz Sharif could be back in power in Pakistan very soon?

Final impression: a draw. Both have things to work on. McCain needs to drop that slightly demented voice he takes on when's trying to sound extra serious. And Obama needs a way to defuse the point about meeting Ahmadinejad "without preconditions". It's an idiotic point but McCain is going to keep bringing it up and clearly had his "What we will say: No you won't?" line ready for it. But by the same token, the point is also McCain at his worst. He keeps talking about wanting to be bipartisan but he thinks that the presidential nominee of the other party has a policy that is "dangerous". Nor will he or Palin explain exactly what it is that they would encourage Israel to do about Iran. Now that policy -- not being clear about military intentions -- is dangerous, my friends.


UPDATE: McCain may be 10 years off in his assessment of Pakistan as a failed state. It's looking like one now.

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