A quick update on the live-blog situation. Our regular host, the legendary John, is currently on the Disabled List, having suffered what is known in medical circles as gettin'-smacked-by-a-softball. As he is recovering, I will do my best to fill in. Mostly I just want to open the thread to the insightful and witty comments that we all enjoyed last time. I will also add my own thoughts as well. Let's all begin by wishing John a speedy and complete recovery. Hooray for baseball! Hooray for debates! Hooray for live-blogging!
9:02 McCain's tie is red and Obama's is blue. Did they plan this?
9:05 I'm not sure how much of this financial mess is really Bush's fault, but what an effective line of attack!
9:10 Ebay versus Warren Buffet: would either of these people actually take the job? For Warren that is certainly a demotion!
9:15 This is the problem ofr McCain. He does have a long history of fighting for deregulation. Whatever one thinks about the economic argument, the fact is that people are not receptive to this message right now. In fact, they're downright terrified of it. Hence, his efforts to remake himself.
9:18 I would like to extend a warm welcome to a 3rd Matt, who will be posting comments tonight! Well come! May the Giant Bee be with you.
9:20 Obama is very effective in talking about the middle class. That's probably the single greatest asset you could have in this election.
9:23 Earmarks and pork-barrel spending are still the only economic issues that get McCain excited. Unfortunately for him, I don't think those are all that high on anyone's list.
9:25 And Welcome back to John Four-Stiches!
9:27 Obama actually talks about cutting earmarks as effectively as McCain. But is that really a game-changer for anyone right now?
9:29 I'm actually watching this on a local network without benefit of the CNN Happy Line graph thingy. I feel left out. Time to switch.
9:32 It's notable that the energy Policy Obama is talking about would have been considered very left wing not long ago. Now, the lines seem to love it! (yes, I went back to CNN)
9:34 "High on the hog?" Sure you aren't talking about lipstick on a pig? Obama you sexist bastard!
9:36 From the Comments: Matt says:
Here's something I've been noticing on CNN throughout all the debates: nobody really likes John McCain when he gets negative. It's really striking. Everybody likes the positive stuff though.
9:38 Talking about Social Security has to be one of the hardest tasks in modern American politics. Talking about cutting taxes is much easier. I would have liked a more serious answer on this, but I can't say I'm surprised.
9:41 McCain does have a point there. He does have a much longer record of working across party lines than Obama. McCain has fought with people in his own party before. I'm not sure if Obama has. But now that Mccain has cozied up with the far-right, can he still do this effectively? Also, did he seriously say that fixing Social Security would be easy?
9:44 McCain should have just picked Lieberman as his running mate. They love each other. It's touching actually. If Joe were a Republican, he might actually be pretty popular.
9:46 Obama is effective in pointing out that McCain has been in Washington for about 3 decades and hasn't worked towards some of the things he claims to care about. It was always absurd for him to run as an agent of change.
9:48 Wow, they just both got chewed out by Tom! I liked his scolding, very professorial.
9:49 Typewriters baby typewriters (Hat Tip: Alabama Matt)
9:51 "Shoot, a cat on my lap is making posting hard." Let's keep this clean folks, okay? There might be kids reading this.
9:52 John says: "I was on Navy ships that had nuclear power," so it must be clean??? Not sure I follow that line of reasoning.
Me neither. I bet a fair amount of stuff went on in the Navy that is not exactly clean, or safe.
9:54 Is the hair-plugs thing a crack about Biden?
9:55 The lines like Obama on healthcare. And so do I.
9:58 Nice effort at tying banking in with heathcare! And women especially LOVE Obama on health care. But they apparently don't like McCain's question about the size of the fine.
10:01 You can tell McCain is relieved to be talking about foreign policy again. If this were still 2004, he would probably win.
10:02 But if you want proof that it is NOT still 2004, just look at the Lines reaction to Obama's comments about the war. I am not sure this would have been a very crowd pleasing vignette back then.
10:03 I love America times infinity.
10:06 Perhaps the most vital issue of the night: "Kim's concern, however, is that Brokaw's tie is telling of media bias. She believes that Brokaw is in the tank for Johnny Mac."
10:08 Corinne says: "delaware has loose laws. hilarious." Sounds like song. I'm going down to Delaware to get some fresh crabs and loose laws.
Is that even true anymore? I don't know that Delaware is actually any looser than anywhere else, but I can't claim to know much about it.
10:11 Dude, is McCain seriously claiming that Obama is responsible for anti-Americanism in Pakistan? The flak that Obama has taken for his stance about Pakistance is absurd. I feel like McCain would have said the same thing and now he doesn't just to be able to call Obama "naive." Also, the happy lines don't seem impressed.
10:14 Matt says "If McCain gets elected, the new special word will be "Tolleebahn"" I like the way he says it. Hey Mr. Tolleebahn, tollee me banana..."
10:16 Did McCain just use the word "Telegraph?" he's really up on the latest technology. His aides help him. Originally the line was " I won't Pony Express my punches." That's right. I went there.
10:19 Matt says "Yes Venice, that's exactly the song I was singing in my head!" Excellent! Great minds and all that.
10:21 McCain is vastly more effective on Russia than he is on domestic policy. So far he seems to be getting a better reaction on the subject than Obama. But I think in this cycle, at least, domestic issues will be paramount which gives the edge to Obama. I don't know, BTW, if us buying less Russian oil will matter much. I suspect China will be more than happy to pick up the slack.
10:26 Much as I care about this subject, I expect the responses to be very cookie-cutter. Could anyone seriously running for president say that he would wait for UN approval to defend Israel?
10:29 The Happy Lines like Obama on this subject more than I would have expected. BTW which is better: The Community of Nations or the League of Democracies?
10:30 NO! The last question is from my neighborhood and it's totally stupid! It sounds like something from a cheap self-help book.
10:34 John: "I think somebody needs to make a game pitting the League of Extraordinary Democracies vs. the Community of Nations or whatever the hell they are called... it would kick butt." The Community of Nations have more hit points but the League has a lower armour class and better spells.
10:35 I think Obama was much stronger tonight but neither hit it out of the park. Since Obama is way ahead, I think he should be counted as the decided winner tonight. On another note, I feel like McCain really despises Obama.
10:38 John: ""What I don't know is what the unexpected will be" says McCain? Not sure either one of them could do well with this final bizarro world question... but that line struck me as particularly um... awkward." You took the words out of my mouth, or off my keyboard. Basically, he said he didn't know what he didn't know. But what should he have said? stupid New Hampshire.
10:41 Once again, this was loads of fun! Thanks to everyone who contributed. John, we're all glad that you've made it through your injuries and are back on the roster!