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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The second debate

The second debate was a little disappointing in that I heard way too many misrepresentations and on McCain’s side at least, they were ones that had already been refuted. There was question dodging by both (perhaps that was the format, which I hated) and the repetition of portions of their previous speeches. I guess they get points for having a green debate with all the recycling going on. However, it kind of made this one a snoozefest.

McCain definitely excelled in this format, in a way. He sounded more passionate than in a speech. It was hard to say who did better on the questions since I didn’t really like the questions and neither did that great on substance. Obama perhaps had a more organized response, but perhaps that is due to the fact that McCain repeated already debunked misrepresentations and I have a growing doubt about his capability the more I look at his record and what he says. I was underwhelmed after this second debate overall.

The most entertaining was the competition for the best analogy or cut down. Nailing Jello to a wall and a wheel falling off the straight talk express (the implication being a not so straight path) were pretty funny and descriptive. Can we expect “your mama” jokes at the third debate?

I kind of held my breath and was a bit embarrassed for McCain when he referred to Obama as "that one." Yikes. And people thought Obama's pig in lipstick comment was a poor choice of words. Was he trying to refer to Obama's age/experience or was it a racial slur, like calling him "boy"? I think it was harmless myself, if a poor choice of words, but if you thought the pig in lipstick comment was sexist, then you should be very worried about this (one ;) ).

I don’t like the Town Hall style at all. It is interesting to see how the candidates interact with the public, but I thought the questions weren’t very good. But Brokaw’s weren’t much better. He was way too concerned with the clock than asking quality questions and getting at different angles. Had they had Bill Moyers or Amy Goodman, I bet we’d have had some really interesting stuff. The CPD probably isn’t fans of those two, especially the latter, though. I thought Ifill did a much better job than Brokaw and I have high hopes for Schiffer.

In a way, though, I think one debate probably is enough. McCain’s desire for 10 or 15 town Hall meetings is a bit crazy. The networks wouldn’t go for that. On the other hand, it would be nice to hear them respond to the smaller weekly changes in the campaign, like the recent Ayres and Keating 5 ads, in addition to the things that matter. While this is basically a distraction touching on or reaching for the judgment issue, it might be interesting to hear them talk to each other about the attacks and responses and how it relates to the kind of clean campaign each no doubt said they wanted to run. I wonder if this kind of accountability- knowing they’d have to face each other and the public weekly and rather directly would make for a cleaner or more vicious campaign on both sides?

Let the fact checking begin! There are probably a lot of duplicates...

Palin was active yesterday as well. She's latched in barracuda fashion onto the misleading and well-debunked and explained "Obama has voted to raise taxes 94 times" line (as did McCain yesterday), much like she did the oft-repeated, equally misleading achievement of saying "thanks, but no thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere." Perhaps that's the barracuda reference- she'll hang onto the claim even way after it's been debunked...much like Bush and Cheney did.

Amen to this! Palin needs to be careful in attacking Obama's truthfulness, for sure.

Also about Palin in Florida:

This kind of talk- "terrorist" and "kill him" should be condemned by the campaign, not given tacit support. I hope they make a statement soon. Or is this what they are trying to achieve? A Bush-style, fear-mongering victory.

I guess I'm not much of a Palin fan.

Or an Elisabeth Hasselbeck fan for that matter:

A candid quote about the negative campaigning:

"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."

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