Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Liveblogging the Final 2008 Presidential Debate

Hi! And welcome to my liveblog of the third debate between the 2008 candidates for President of the United States of America. I'm your host, let's get to it. As with all my liveblogging posts, if you're just starting out, you might want to start at the bottom of this post, as new tidbits are added at the top. Refresh frequently for the latest.

Let's rock.

10:31 The audience is tempted to clap, but The Schieff shuts them down by saying, "Go vote now. It'll make you feel big and strong." Huh-wha? Katie Couric dives in to the post-mortem, and I call it a day. Needing to be at the church at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, I turn off the TV and head to bed, likely to dreams of acorns, terrorists, patriots, and Joe the Plumber. None of which, really, I look forward to.

10:29 Obama does his closing.

10:28 McCain gets to go first on the closing statements, using the big gamble of "It all depends on whom you trust."

10:27 The Schieff invites us to go to, which is apparently a MySpace property.

10:26 I realize The Schieff hasn't asked a single question about Madonna and Guy Ritchie's divorce. Maybe THAT'S this October surprise I've heard so much about?

10:24 McCain says Sarah Palin knows about autism better than anyone. Doesn't her child have Down Syndrome? Or did I miss something? (Does she have an autistic child? Or are Down Syndrome and Autism the same thing now?)

10:23 I realize I am kind of a jerk, in that the candidates' physical appearance will play at least a small part in my decision. You know I love me some Count Chocula and some Frankenberry; I gotta vote for the guy that looks like if they had a kid together.

10:22 The candidates disagree on vouchers and higher-ed accessibility.

10:21 The candidates agree on charter schools and teacher accountability.

10:18 I guess we're talking about education...?

10:17 I totally just missed The Schieff's question, which he promised was the last. (Don't tease me, bro!)

10:16 Scott from WA does the background research for me and confirms that the Joe the Plumber drinking game is now the #11 killer in the US.

10:15 OMG! Obama just said nobody's really pro-abortion. I could be an Obama speech-writer!

10:14 Obama: "Don't be cavalier with your sacred sexuality, kids!" What?

10:12 Snack and Bathroom Break! (Frosted Mini-Wheats and number 1, if you must know.)

10:10 Is anyone really "pro-abortion"?

10:09 Obama wouldn't impose any litmus test re: Roe v. Wade; rather, he would look at their qualifications. Such qualifications include a law degree, judicial experience, and being in favor of Roe v. Wade.

10:07 McCain wouldn't impose any litmus test re: Roe v. Wade; rather, he would look at their qualifications. Such qualifications include a law degree, judicial experience, and being opposed to Roe v. Wade.

10:05 McCain directly addresses Joe, and emergency rooms around college campuses throughout the US are flooded with binge-drinking Poli Sci majors. I hereby officially call an end to the Joe the Plumber, debate-based drinking game.

10:04 I grow weary of McCain's tone. I do not find it Presidential. Alas, the last guy's non-presidentiality didn't really make much of a difference, so I do not take comfort in this.

10:03 McCain directly addresses Joe. (CHUG!)

10:00 Obama resists the urge to call into question McCain's sense of hearing. "I said it at the last debate, John..." I immediately fire off an e-mail petition for Don Rickles to join the Obama campaign and help him out as his Deputy Assistant for Zingers.

9:59 I don't get what "a five-thousand-dollar refundable tax credit" means. And, ugh, Joe the Plumber (DRINK!) again. And again!

9:56 Healthcare.

9:55 Hasn't this been way more than a 9-minute segment? I am hella bored. Energy policy is National Security policy; the end. Finally! The Schieff brings it to a close.

9:53 RevIzzy chimes in on the comments in defense of "cockamamie," also pointing out the resurgence of such gems as "doggone" and "festooned." Ah, "festooned."

9:51 McCain parses Obama's words. And who the hell told him to use the phrase "I am a free trader" (which sounds exactly like "I am a free traitor")?

9:49 I lose interest and flip around the channels for a second. My Fox affiliate is not carrying the debate, in favor of a baseball game, which I imagine is an important baseball game.

9:47 The Schieff says "How much can you reduce our oil imports in four years?" McCain almost says the S-word, I think. "Canada says we're going to sell our sh-- our oil somewhere else." (or whatever)

9:46 Use of the word "cockamamie" does very little to de-emphasize one's 72-year-old-ness.

9:45 I grow weary of the scalpel-and-hatchet analogy.

9:44 And also because her husband is a pretty good guy, too.

9:43 McCain rattles off a variety of accomplishments and vaguely relevant factoids, stumbling over "breash of freth air". (Presidential!) And then he says that Sarah Palin would be a better POTUS because she understands special-needs children. Wha-huh?

9:42 I flip over to Palin As President and prepare for McCain's answer to the question about Sarah Palin. (Don't click the red phone.)

9:41 Obama talks about Joe Biden articulately. I wonder if he really believes that, or if it's like the Pres & VP in the movie "Dave," where they hate each other and never talk?

9:40 The Schieff asks about their Veeps. Why would the country be better off if your running mate became President, rather than his running mate? (I can't wait to hear this -- I kind of think they both suck.)

9:38 Obama gives a shout-out to Dick Lugar. What? (Oh.)

9:36 Obama responds to Ayers and ACORN.

9:35 McCain brings up Bill Ayers and ACORN.

9:34 Obama brings it back to, "Look. We're in a mess. We're gonna need to work together." (Again, paraphrasing.) "Disagree without being disagreeable."

9:33 McCain totally mischaracterizes what Obama just said, and Obama respectfully takes it.

9:30 McCain invokes Joe the Plumber again. Drink!

9:28 Obama responds with "100% of your ads, John, are negative." I'm kind of bored with this. Can't they just arm wrestle it out?

9:27 McCain looks at Obama and directly addresses the public-finance issue.

9:25 McCain goes back to the fact that Obama didn't do the town-hall-style meetings and points out that Obama has spent more money than anyone on negative ads.

9:24 The Schieff asks a good question -- "Are you willing to say to your opponent's face what your ads are saying?"

9:21 Obama flashes a smile when McCain starts talking about their records, as though he was waiting for that.

9:20 McCain goes back to the talking point: "Americans are hurtin' and they're angry."

9:18 Jon and Jenny chime in from Gila Bend, AZ. They are on the road and are listening to the debate on the radio. How could they possibly bear it?

9:17 McCain correctly pronounces the word, "nuclear" -- and I thank God.

9:16 Obama uses the word, "profligate" -- utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute. (I looked it up.)

9:14 The Schieff brings the stats: "You're each adding more to the deficit. WTF?!" (I'm paraphrasing.)


9:12 Clearly, I am an Obama supporter, but so far he's seeming more presidential. McCain is laughing bitterly, smirking, fidgeting. Did we learn nothing from Nixon v. Kennedy? TV makes a difference.

9:11 I am tired of Joe the Plumber already.

9:10 McCain finally gets around to the zinger -- "Spread the wealth!" "Spread the wealth!"

9:09 Clearly, tax policy is a big difference between the candidates. Obama explains this while McCain futzes around on the table.

9:07 McCain brings up the plumber thing, right off the talking points: "Spread the wealth," Obama said. He's a Socialist! McCain directly addresses Joe Wurtzelburger Wurzelbacher (updated to include link and correct spelling), and I am embarrassed for them both.

9:06 Obama proposes four things, enumerates two of them and then rambles.

9:05 Obama stumbles on the name of the university. This might be bad for him.

9:04 McCain: "Americans are angry," and there must be short-term and long-term responses to the economic crisis. He's discussing how to use the $750B allocated in the bailout bill. Is this not already spoken-for? He wants to use almost half of it for his ideas...

9:03 Sen. McCain looks waxy and alarmingly alert, like he just slammed a triple espresso. Obama seems mellow in comparison.

9:02 Handshakes all around, let's get it on!

9:01 Bob Schieffer, whose name I look up to make sure I spell it right (two B's, an O in the middle), welcomes us. The next 90 minutes will be divided into 9-minute segments, something something. The audience will be quiet, except RIGHTNOW! Applaud, audience monkeys! Applaud!

9:00 I tune into CBS, and Katie Couric welcomes us to Hofstra University. The format changes -- the candidates are sitting at a table! There's a lot of Western movie metaphors, which make me apprehensive.


Anonymous said...

Facts are facts and records are records? Um, Yes they are Senator McCain and the records/facts show he didn't start his campaign in the living room of Bill Ayers.

Who, by the way, according to my Husband who was his student, is a great brilliant man.

Anonymous said...

re: 9:46:

I dunno, I think this election has done a good job at bringing back good wholesome words like Cockmamie, Doggone, and Festooned.....

P.S. Thank you for Liveblogging. This debate would be way boring without it.

Scott said...

I think the Joe the Plumber drinking game is now the #11 killer in America. (Take that, seat belts!)