Commentary Magazine


Posts For: October 15, 2008

McCain on Biden

McCain is quite good on this. Without attacking Biden, he lays out why he’s been wrong in all the areas that are supposed to be his strengths: voted against the Gulf War, wants to divide Iraq into three countries, etc.  McCain has been more disciplined in this debate than in the last one (not perfectly disciplined, but better).

McCain is quite good on this. Without attacking Biden, he lays out why he’s been wrong in all the areas that are supposed to be his strengths: voted against the Gulf War, wants to divide Iraq into three countries, etc.  McCain has been more disciplined in this debate than in the last one (not perfectly disciplined, but better).

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McCain

A very serious gaffe. He seems to think Trig Palin is autistic when Trig has Down Syndrome.

A very serious gaffe. He seems to think Trig Palin is autistic when Trig has Down Syndrome.

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Is Palin Qualified?

McCain did as well as he could with this hot potato. I’m surprised he didn’t make more of the fact that he chose a woman when Obama passed over Hillary Clinton. Why not wake up that sleeping dog?

McCain did as well as he could with this hot potato. I’m surprised he didn’t make more of the fact that he chose a woman when Obama passed over Hillary Clinton. Why not wake up that sleeping dog?

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Ayers

“I don’t care about a washed up terrorist.” We need to know the full extent of that relationship and with ACORN. They need to be examined of course. Very perfunctory.

Obama says it has become the “focus.” He calls Ayers a professor and does the 40 years ago was a terrorist thing. He says we served on a school board funded by Annenberg. ( He doesn’t mention Woods Fund nor offer any apology or sign of contrition.) On ACORN: didn’t involve us ,he says. The “only” involvement was as a lawyer. Well, not quite — he worked as a trainer and he gave them $200K on the Woods Fund. Come to think of it he never mentions the Woods Fund.

“I don’t care about a washed up terrorist.” We need to know the full extent of that relationship and with ACORN. They need to be examined of course. Very perfunctory.

Obama says it has become the “focus.” He calls Ayers a professor and does the 40 years ago was a terrorist thing. He says we served on a school board funded by Annenberg. ( He doesn’t mention Woods Fund nor offer any apology or sign of contrition.) On ACORN: didn’t involve us ,he says. The “only” involvement was as a lawyer. Well, not quite — he worked as a trainer and he gave them $200K on the Woods Fund. Come to think of it he never mentions the Woods Fund.

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McCain Picks Up On Woods Fund

He notes that Obama sat on the Woods Fund and gave $200K to ACORN. He doesn’t really gain much here by simply saying the issue is we should know all the facts. No one who didn’t know the facts here I think was much persuaded by McCain.

He notes that Obama sat on the Woods Fund and gave $200K to ACORN. He doesn’t really gain much here by simply saying the issue is we should know all the facts. No one who didn’t know the facts here I think was much persuaded by McCain.

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If People Want to Know Why McCain Didn’t Go On the Attack…

…on Bill Ayers before, his utter inability to frame the attack coherently explains it very well.

…on Bill Ayers before, his utter inability to frame the attack coherently explains it very well.

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People Who Have Shaped My Ideas

Obama has offered reassurances and now McCain is not getting out why this is important. He stumbles and then he tries to redirect the topic to the economy.

Obama has offered reassurances and now McCain is not getting out why this is important. He stumbles and then he tries to redirect the topic to the economy.

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McCain Says Obama’s Ads Are Lies

He mentions some particulars — healthcare, stem cell research and immigration. Obama grimaces, but never responds. Obama doesn’t quite repudiate Lewis but he gets in the allegations (exaggerated and inaccurate) about supporters at the McCain rally. He is incredibly slick.

Obama is almost taunting him by mentioning the “palling around with terrorists” remark. He shows not the slightest interest in making a stance on Ayers.

He mentions some particulars — healthcare, stem cell research and immigration. Obama grimaces, but never responds. Obama doesn’t quite repudiate Lewis but he gets in the allegations (exaggerated and inaccurate) about supporters at the McCain rally. He is incredibly slick.

Obama is almost taunting him by mentioning the “palling around with terrorists” remark. He shows not the slightest interest in making a stance on Ayers.

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Relationships

 Finally McCain hits Obama on ACORN–but didn’t do a great job describing who they are and now Obama will give his spin.

 Finally McCain hits Obama on ACORN–but didn’t do a great job describing who they are and now Obama will give his spin.

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Bob Schieffer …

… is the best thing going for this debate. His questions are interesting, on-point, and topical. His question about negative campaigning is the first real personality-relevant question that we’ve seen thus far in three debates.

… is the best thing going for this debate. His questions are interesting, on-point, and topical. His question about negative campaigning is the first real personality-relevant question that we’ve seen thus far in three debates.

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Obama says dismissively

“We can have a debate back and and forth about the merits of each other’s campaigns.”

Am I crazy or is that what we tuned in for?

“We can have a debate back and and forth about the merits of each other’s campaigns.”

Am I crazy or is that what we tuned in for?

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Debating the Campaign

Schieffer has let this debate about the conduct of the campaign go on for far too long. Why does anyone other than reporters care about whether the campaign is “nasty.” Don’t reporters say that about every presidential campaign? The fact that we can spend ten minutes on this bolsters Obama’s claim that the public is cynical about Washington politics.

Schieffer has let this debate about the conduct of the campaign go on for far too long. Why does anyone other than reporters care about whether the campaign is “nasty.” Don’t reporters say that about every presidential campaign? The fact that we can spend ten minutes on this bolsters Obama’s claim that the public is cynical about Washington politics.

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Cheering for the Arizona Cardinals …

… over the Dallas Cowboys (aka, America’s Team) might not be such a wise move. Cowboys fans are rabid. Good thing Texas is a lock.

… over the Dallas Cowboys (aka, America’s Team) might not be such a wise move. Cowboys fans are rabid. Good thing Texas is a lock.

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McCain’s response…

Actually, Jen, I thought they way he handled th question about negative campaigning was extraordinarily skillful. He turns it around to a question about why Obama hasn’t repudiated Congressman Lewis’ outrageous attack. You can tell how effective it is because Obama looks stunned and his response is rambling and cautious.

Actually, Jen, I thought they way he handled th question about negative campaigning was extraordinarily skillful. He turns it around to a question about why Obama hasn’t repudiated Congressman Lewis’ outrageous attack. You can tell how effective it is because Obama looks stunned and his response is rambling and cautious.

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Would You Say It To His Face?

For reasons known only to him McCain brings up the townhall meetings that never happened and John Lewis’ attacks. McCain seems to get choked up and accuses Obama of not repudiating the remarks. McCain then brings up Obama’s reneging on public campaign finance spending. If you were thinking McCain might defend his running mate or say “I stand by the ads on Ayers” you’d be disappointed.

For reasons known only to him McCain brings up the townhall meetings that never happened and John Lewis’ attacks. McCain seems to get choked up and accuses Obama of not repudiating the remarks. McCain then brings up Obama’s reneging on public campaign finance spending. If you were thinking McCain might defend his running mate or say “I stand by the ads on Ayers” you’d be disappointed.

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Obama’s Claim is False

Obama said 100% of McCain’s ads have been negative. Here’s the Boston Globe:

While most polls show that voters believe John McCain is running a more negative campaign than Barack Obama, a new count out today suggests they are running nearly equal numbers of negative TV ads in local markets.

Nielsen Media Research says that from June 3, when the Democratic primaries ended, through Sept. 7, the most recent reporting period, the McCain campaign ran 76,238 negative ads against Obama, and the Obama campaign placed 75,246 negative commercials against McCain.

Obama said 100% of McCain’s ads have been negative. Here’s the Boston Globe:

While most polls show that voters believe John McCain is running a more negative campaign than Barack Obama, a new count out today suggests they are running nearly equal numbers of negative TV ads in local markets.

Nielsen Media Research says that from June 3, when the Democratic primaries ended, through Sept. 7, the most recent reporting period, the McCain campaign ran 76,238 negative ads against Obama, and the Obama campaign placed 75,246 negative commercials against McCain.

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Obama Is Blowing It

He didn’t answer McCain’s challenge on John Lewis.  And he totally avoided the question of his failure to abide by his pledge to accept public financing. 

He didn’t answer McCain’s challenge on John Lewis.  And he totally avoided the question of his failure to abide by his pledge to accept public financing. 

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Meanwhile in Asia

On CNBC, the network is showing graphs of the Asian markets tanking. The debate is reduced to a small box in the bottom right.

On CNBC, the network is showing graphs of the Asian markets tanking. The debate is reduced to a small box in the bottom right.

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The Townhall Defense

John McCain is essentially saying, “If Senator Obama would have done things my way I would have been nice. ” I never understood why he goes down this road.

John McCain is essentially saying, “If Senator Obama would have done things my way I would have been nice. ” I never understood why he goes down this road.

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Trash Talk

Schieffer’s suggestion that they call each other out in person is sort of silly. This isn’t a boxing match.  But McCain’s reference to John Lewis’s charge that McCain was akin to George Wallace was well done. Let’s see what Obama says.

Schieffer’s suggestion that they call each other out in person is sort of silly. This isn’t a boxing match.  But McCain’s reference to John Lewis’s charge that McCain was akin to George Wallace was well done. Let’s see what Obama says.

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