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Last Night's Debate - Mo's Journal
October 8th, 2008
11:29 am

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Last Night's Debate
Well, it's pretty clear Obama won, and won bigger than he had last time. Why the difference? Certainly it's partly the continuing economic crisis. Beyond that, McCain's erratic behavior has really made things so much harder for him, I think. Arianna Huffington has a good piece today. Excerpt:

In the run-up to the debate, McCain lowered himself into the sewer in a desperate attempt to portray Obama as dangerous, untrustworthy, a risk too big to take.

But Obama's measured reasonableness totally countered that caricature. You could fault Obama for not being particularly inspiring, but you could not miss the rock steady competence he exuded -- authoritatively delivering substantive answers to questions on the economy, health care, taxes, and foreign policy.


Obama was not my first choice for POTUS this year, or my second for that matter. I think he'd be a better candidate and a better POTUS if he had more years in the Senate. Still, I think he's a good candidate and getting better all the time. It's incontrovertible that he's smart and competent and level-headed. John McCain was a huge, and scary contrast.

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From:talktooloose
Date:October 8th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
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Bill Maher commented that McCains strategy for the debate would be to claim his wallet had been stolen after the handshake.
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From:executrix
Date:October 8th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Obama could then reasonably claim that his--and almost everybody else's--wallet had been stolen by the financial policies for which McCain was an insider.
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From:mofic
Date:October 8th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
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He did really well with the "Senator Obama doesn't understand" line.
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From:mofic
Date:October 8th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
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The more McCain/Palin try to play to white voters' racism with a subtext of "He's dangerous because he's black!" "He's angry because he's black!" "He's dishonest because he's black!" the more the contrast between that portrayal and Obama's public persona - calm, reassuring, positive, honest - becomes clear. I think it's too bad he *can't* respond angrily to the lies about him, but it's good that he's so self-disciplined that he manages to stay even-tempered under duress.
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From:realpestilence
Date:October 8th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
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I work for a Cuban-American doctor and he, his brother-in-law (the office manager), and the other doctor in the practice...well, the OM has been commenting for days about how "dangerous" charismatic young men with visions are because=CASTRO and I just passed the doctors talking about how "rigged" the debate was because the moderator obviously favored Obama, who apparently "goaded" McCain into his behaviour.

I wondered what *they'd* been watching.
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From:mofic
Date:October 8th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
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So interesting! So even they saw how poorly McCain performed but they need to manufacture a reason for it that makes it not their guy's fault.

I read an article today by someone who was canvassing in Pennsylvania for Obama and encountered undecided racists. These were people who had no compunctions about expressing blatant racism, yet they were so worried about the economy that they were thinking about voting for him, anyway.

I think if your agenda is God (fundamentalist Christian only), Gays (get rid of them) and Guns (the more the better) then it's obvious that McCain is your candidate, particularly since he added Palin to the ticket. But if you're concerned about real issues, it's got to be hard to vote for the Republican ticket.
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From:skyline3way
Date:October 9th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
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I missed it due to complete exhaustion, but I must ask if anyone brought up Lincoln Savings & Loan?
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From:mofic
Date:October 10th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
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I don't think it was mentioned once. Even when McCain said something about Obama "and his cronies" having caused the financial crisis, which was a really good opening to point out that only one guy on the stage had actually been censured by the Senate for cronyism related to a financial crisis.
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From:fyredancer
Date:October 9th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
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The thing that annoyed me most about McCain was his contemptuous body language and the fact that he mostly kept his eyes averted from Obama's direction. Well, and calling Obama "That one."

Obama has been unfailingly respectful even when calling McCain out; McCain, the so-called honest politician, has used dirty tactics and he won't even look his opponent in the eye.

Ugh, I just really don't like the man. I've lost all respect for him.
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From:mofic
Date:October 10th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
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Joe Biden had a very generous explanation for this whole body language thing. He says that the thinks that McCain is so uncomfortable with his own behavior and that of his campaign that he can't look Obama in the eye because he (McCain) is ashamed of himself. As I said, a kind and generous interpretation but it may be right. He's known McCain for a long time. He truly has sold his soul to win this election and it might not even work...
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From:fyredancer
Date:October 10th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
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That's a decent, plausible explanation... and if it's true, it truly HAS lost McCain a lot of respect.

Where did you see Joe Biden say that? *interested*
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From:mofic
Date:October 10th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
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I saw it in a news article the day after the debate, but I can't find it now. There are so many articles when you google "attack Biden McCain" on the news setting. And it seems now Biden is making the related, but harsher, comment that if McCain really believes all the horrible things he's saying about Obama he should look him in the eye and say them.
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