Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate live blog

[newer posts 1st]

Final Assessment: No one's mind was changed. McCain still a poor debater. One tendency stuck out this time -- that of repeating campaign catchphrases that will mean little to the undecided voter (example: his mockery of health exceptions to abortion bans; also his ridiculing of "transplants", see below). Obama is much better at beginning with terms of reference that everyone will understand. [update: here's a very good explanation of McCain's problem]

Incidentally, as we've said before, the split-screen view of both candidates is a bad idea, and tonight it hurt McCain (see the 10.31 comment).

McCain is back to this talking point about "gold-plated" healthcare plans that he got from George Bush. He even mocked plans with coverage for "transplants". Hopefully the undecided voter knew that he meant hair transplants and not organ transplants.

McCain: No Child Left Behind was the first time we had taken a look at education from a nationwide perspective. Where was he during Brown versus Board of Education i.e. desegregation?

McCain is telling Obama to travel to Colombia when Palin hasn't been anywhere?

Oil is $71/barrel. Is US offshore oil economical at $71/barrel?

OK, one criticism of Obama: the US didn't invent the auto industry. Germany did.

McCain goes from arguing that the US can avoid all imports of Middle Eastern oil (& Venezuela) to saying that Canada could send all its oil to China rather than the US. Oil is a globally traded commodity. Global supply and demand. What one country might send to another country is irrelevant.

Does McCain know that Trig Palin has Down's and not autism? He keeps bringing up autism?

Acorn (which most voters have never heard of) is a bigger electoral fraud than Bush versus Gore?

Poor Maverick couldn't enjoy his Cardinals game because of all the Obama ads in between.

McCain told Rick Warren that John Lewis was one of the three people he most admired. Now he wants Obama to repudiate his words.

McCain never corrected his incorrect fact from last time about Ireland's corporate tax rate.

McCain keeps hammering at Fannie and Freddie as the source of the crisis. That's not what Ben Bernanke thinks --

This financial crisis has been with us for more than a year. It was sparked by the end of the U.S. housing boom, which revealed the weaknesses and excesses that had occurred in subprime mortgage lending. However, as subsequent events have demonstrated, the problem was much broader than subprime lending. Large inflows of capital into the United States and other countries stimulated a reaching for yield, an underpricing of risk, excessive leverage, and the development of complex and opaque financial instruments that seemed to work well during the credit boom but have been shown to be fragile under stress. The unwinding of these developments, including a sharp deleveraging and a headlong retreat from credit risk, led to highly strained conditions in financial markets and a tightening of credit that has hamstrung economic growth.

Does McCain have to open every debate with a nod to someone in hospital (Nancy Reagan this time, Ted Kennedy last time)?

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