10:33 - Okay, nothing game changing here. However, I will close with a prediction. The polls will tighten a bit over the next week. McCain will not get into a tie, but it will get closer. The reason? I've decided that McCain's dive over the past week was due to Palin, not the economy. But Palin is done from the campaign -- she won't give interviews, so we won't get any more 'huh?' moments, and she already debated, so she's out of the picture. So I think some people that moved away from McCain because of Palin will shift back. G'night.
10:30 - What don't you know and how will you learn it? I like Obama's historical answer, the presidency can't be predicted... pivot to personal story allows McCain to end the debate by saying he didn't answer the question...
10:25 - Very direct question (but unfortunately hypothetical) - if Israel is attacked by Iran, go in with or without the UN security council.
10:23 - Yet another horrible black and white question from Brokaw. I hope that when some British historian write a tome on the downfall of America, large sections are given to the crappy gatekeeper job the media has done.
10:22 - After this debate, I really wish there were a Division Series game 5 to watch.
10:21 - McCain is predicting a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Hey, if you want it, you can have it -- I've played Risk. You should instead focus on the purple Australia area.
10:17 - I'm waiting for Sarah Palin to jump onto stage shouting 'Sic Semper Tyrannis' and squirt Obama with a water gun.
10:15 - McCain is getting a little Nixonian with his secret plans.
10:14 - Obama just pissed off McCain big time. I like it :)
10:10 - McCain is suggesting that Obama is too warlike, yet he sang a song about bombing Iran. And again, Afghan freedom fighters are actually bribed drug-lords.
10:08 - I got tired of Blogger (a Google subsidiary or something) asking me after every single post if I wanted to post ads, so I posted ads. It now is bothering me to do something else. Blech. I think I just swallowed the mouse to catch the fly.
10:06 - McCain's tie is way too long and is peaking out from under his coat.
10:04 - I like the use of the Holocaust as an example of when sometimes we actually need to act. Did you know that Florida has 27 electoral votes?
10:02 - I like the phrase 'McCain cheerleading the president' especially since Bush was, in fact, a cheerleader. Can you imagine if Kerry or Gore were actual male cheerleaders?
9:59 - McCain didn't understand the word 'peacemaker' and instead answers that his heart is fine, thank you. McCain is also under the impression that the world is a flat rectangle and thus has four corners. His yellow humour must be out of balance.
9:52 - What does it say about this country that the vast majority of our debates are arguments over facts? It seems that the facts of so-and-so's proposal are the debate, not whether the outcome of that proposal is good or wise. Can you imagine any other 'industry' spending its time arguing so much over the existence of facts rather than the interpretation of them? This leads me to two quotes regarding John Adams, one by him, one of him: First, by him: "Facts are stubborn things." Second, about him "Not only does he not suffer fools gladly, but also would tell them to their face they were fools."
9:50 - Obama is forgetting to thank so-and-so for the question. In related news, Sean Hannity just developed a boner.
9:47 - Wow, Tom comes up with another stupid question -- should we have a Manhattan Project or go with the Wozniak/Jobs model. Choose one! It must be one or the other! McCain is now reiterating the drill now drill often idea. I don't think this works.
9:45 - Environmental issues... thank you, whatever your name was... Nuclear power is not the best way to fix the environment, not to mention its obvious weapons proliferation issues. I like Obama's green jobs / computers analogy (I haven't heard him use this before).
9:40 - NOT THAT HARD TO FIX SOCIAL SECURITY?! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
9:37 - Obama needs to reply forcefully to the taxes issues.
9:34 - Random thought... does the fact that Obama is black make him more or less likely to be branded a class warrior? Ooh, I like the hatchet v. scalpel comparison.
9:28 - Nice questions, what sacrifices will you ask Americans to make? McCain wants to eliminate... defense spending (that is actually refreshing to hear). Obama is the first to mention 9/11 (effective debate technique). He should probably repeat the question, about sacrifices. Bush asked us to 'go out and shop' and missed an opportunity, well said. Wants to take burden off troops -- effective pivot.
9:26 - Tom, stop complaining about the rules. Do you know what happens if you don't follow them? Nothing!
9:24 - Oh Christ, great question, please rank your priorities, as if you had to do all of one and none of the other and that's it. I hate the moderators at these things.
9:22 - Is 'pork barrel earmarks' as redundant as 'ATM machine'?
9:21 - The McCainBot just remembered its instructions to turn and look at Obama every now and again.
9:17 - Yes, it will get worse before it gets better. Stay in school, avoid the real world! Actually, American workers have the highest rate of adult-onset diabetes, so they are probably not the best in the world.
9:12 - Bailout vs. rescue doesn't sound too different, in my opinion. I think McCain's barking up the wrong tree by re-living this campaign suspension bit. I don't understand this oft-repeated Republican attack line against Freddie/Fannie, in that beyond its inaccuracy, I don't think it works.
9:09 - Who would you appoint to Tres. Sec. Senator Obama? I would cut middle class taxes.
9:07 - McCain talking about home values, saying the treasury will buy bad mortgages and renegotiate the terms of the loans. Perhaps I should pretend to have problems paying my mortgage so the government will give me money. That's an odd "not you, Tom" retort. But it is a bad question. Why did McCain note that Buffet supports Obama?
9:04 - Obama watched the same CNBC report I did re: AIG. I don't know what it means to help homeowners stay in their homes... he's been vague on that in the debates, maybe his website has more.
9:03 - I wish McCain had come out riding a Rascal.
9:01 - I am not currently constrained by the ties of sobriety either.
9:00 - Okay, here we go. In my opinion, the only debate better than the first was The Empire Strikes Back.
8:57 - Did you know that the (former) CEO of AIG had the board of directors vote to essentially guarantee his salary regardless of how well the company was doing one week before they were bailed out this summer? I need to find a link to this, I just saw a piece on CNBC.
8:45 - I've never been to a town hall meeting, like an actual meeting where people from the town get together and, I dunno, complain about parking tickets. I'd like to imagine that they're all like the one in Hoosiers, where Jimmy Chitwood saves Coach Dale's job. While we're at it, who exactly are the people in the audience? I've long held that 'undecided voter,' this late in the game, is synonymous with 'moron.' I'd love to know how much overlap there is between people undecided in this election vs. 2004. I'd also love to know how many of the '04 undecideds who ended up voting for Bush still approve of the job he's done (hell, 1 out of every 5 or so people still do!) For the ones who voted Bush '04 and are unhappy with the job he's done, here's my advice: stop voting. You're a dufus. You are too easily fooled. Stay home and eat Marshmallow Fluff.
6:54 - Potential game changers (either direction):
• Instead of his usual flag pin, Obama mistakenly wears his burning flag pin.
• McCain suggest that we solve the financial crisis by re-opening the Yukon for gold exploration.
• Obama picks nose, examines, consumes.
• McCain nervously consults his watch during the debate then prematurely walks off stage, muttering that "it's lasted longer than 4 hours and I need to talk to my doctor."
• Asked to name his favorite philosopher, Obama unable to decide between Mohammad and "that white guy, you know, the one with the beard."
• McCain ends a defense of his foreign policy credentials by noting that his strategic plans have the support of many recipients of the Nobel War Prize.
5:22 - Tonight's presidential debate, moderated by Tom Brokaw, comes to us from Nashville, Tennessee. The town hall format is said to favor McCain, but I think there's a difference between a town hall filled with your supporters and a town hall where your opponent is standing right next to you. Polls continue to show Obama pulling away in this race, and McCain needs a game changer.