9:00pm The townhall audience looks small. Well there you have it. Brokaw just said there are 80 people there. That’s a small town. Like Wasilla small.

9:03pm Obama: The current economic crisis is the final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last 8 years. Solid start. Middle class rescue package. Long term – health care, energy… hmmm. Let’s hope not so long term on health care.

McCain: My plan to fix this problem is energy independence. China, what? Sorry. Emmy just found a bug, and I got distracted. Do you think Alan is a little afraid of old man McCain talking at him and sorry he asked a question? McCain is now talking about picking a new Treasury Secretary and the value of trust and confidence. This is the man who put Palin on the ticket.

9:10pm Oliver wants to know what’s going to help real people out in the bailout package. McCain redefines bailout as rescue. Obama looks like he’s biting his lip listening to McCain lie about his involvement in negotiations. Now he’s laying into Obama on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. McCain just took it off the rails. Here we go.

Obama is addressing Oliver calmly and directly. He is explaining the credit crisis so people understand why the bailout passed. Now he is turning the tables back on McCain. I like the counter. McCain is grimacing and pacing.

9:15pm Obama’s calling for updated regulatory procedures. McCain just called Obama – or someone else – “my friend.” It’s hard to tell. McCain assumes he has a lot of friends.

9:17pm Teresa wants to know how she can trust anyone with her money. Ooo. We have to reform health care to help you with your budget. I hear health care. That makes me happy.

McCain just called himself a consistent reformer. And attacked Obama again. This is annoying. I hope the rest of the audience is as annoyed as I am with the negativity.

9:23pm Priorities. McCain: Reform entitlement programs. Did he just say he would take stuff away? Nuclear power plants? This isn’t resonating with me. Health care. Affordable and available health care. As a national security issue? Huh? Btw, let’s count how many times McCain gives a shout out to Feingold and Lieberman. We’re at 2 apiece so far.

Obama: Energy as a national security issue. That’s more like it. Health care as priority #2. Education as #3.

9:27pm A question about sacrifice. McCain thinks we are going to have to eliminate programs. Defense programs. Earmarks. Spending cuts…no, scratch that…spending freeze. All except defense, VA benefits, and vital programs. Oh crap. McCain wants to tackle health care right away. His plan is a disaster. Please don’t.

Obama wants to create volunteer corps to help renew America. That’s a nice positive upbeat message for a change.

9:32pm McCain just went off on Obama wanting to raise taxes. I thought we debunked that over and over again. How can you stand on stage and lie in front of the man you are lying about? Oooo. The $5000 health care tax credit came up. Go for it, Obama. Nail him to the wall on it.

And Brokaw changes the subject. Crap.

9:37pm Obama: If you make less than $250,000, you will not see a dime of your taxes go up. Only a few % of small businesses make more than $250,000 year. Small businesses want to give health insurance and can’t so Obama will help with that. Health care plan – again mentioned but no detail. Such a tease!

McCain is talking about bipartisanship again. (c’mon Feingold and Lieberman…c’mon…) Commission on Medicare? Up or down vote on Medicare? Like base closings? He just compared health care for seniors to military base closings. Wow.

9:42pm Climate change and green jobs. Oh, a Lieberman mention. That’s 3!

I know this isn’t very green, but I’m going to toast a bagel. Brb.

9:48pm Health care as profitable industry. Great question. Go Obama go. We have to do something about the health care crisis. If you have health care already, keep it if satisfied. We will work with employer to lower cost of premiums. If you don’t have, you can buy same kind as we have as Senators. No exclusion for pre-existing conditions. McCain will tax employer-based benefits. Will strip away state protections. Just today, business organizations said McCain’s plan would lead to the unraveling of the employer-based system.

McCain: Costs go up. Put health records online. Community health centers and walk-in clinics. Fundamental difference. Obama will impose mandates. Not true. $5000 refundable tax credits. Don’t we go across state lines for other things? Why not? Why not? Because it strips away consumer protections. Shop around? Gold-plated policies? Who has hair transplant coverage?

Is health care a privilege, a right, or a responsibility? McCain says a responsibility. And harping on fines. Obama says it should be a right for every American. No mandates. 50% tax credit to help small business. Yes, you have to make sure your kid has health care. McCain voted again SCHIP. It’s important for government to crack down on insurance companies who are cheating customers. Insurance companies will find a state with no requirements and all set up shop there. That’s how it works in banking. The consumer protections you need won’t be available. McCain believes in deregulation. It hasn’t worked.

Good for Obama. He pushed through.

And then McCain chimes in with the snarky “what about the fines?” bullsh*t. Was he not listening? How frustrating!

10:06pm Is McCain gasping for air? Is he out of breath? He sounds winded. All that lying must be exhausting.

10:07pm Should we go into Pakistan? Obama says it’s a tough situation because we made a bad judgment going into Iraq in the first place. We got distracted, and now bin Laden is in Pakistan.

Btw, I never made it to the bagel. This liveblogging thing is time-consuming.

10:13pm Ok. That was awesome. McCain tried to be funny and ended up getting schooled. He’s trying to explain away his “Bomb Iran” episode now. Then he says he knows how to get bin Laden. If that’s true, why hasn’t he shared that knowledge at some point over the past 7 years? What’s he waiting for?

10:18pm McCain says Russia’s behavior is outside the norm for countries with their petrol dollars. We have to make the Russians understand there are repercussions for their behavior. Obama says we can’t just provide moral support. We also have to provide financial and concrete assistance to rebuild economies. And we have to anticipate and see around the corners. I don’t think I have much of an opinion on this one. I’ll call it a draw.

10:24pm If Iran attacks Israel, what will you do? McCain drools over the questioner, avoids the question by attacking Obama, and then calls for sanctions to modify Iran’s behavior. Obama says he will prevent a nuclear Iran and will never take military options off the table. He also calls for sanctions.

10:29pm What don’t you know and how will you learn it? What an odd question. Obama says it’s the challenges you don’t expect that consume most of your time. Here’s what I know, he says. This country gave me opportunities.

Like Obama, McCain says what he doesn’t know is what’s going to happen. He also just tried to pass himself off as being raised by a single mother too. Whatever.

Call me biased, but Obama killed it. Killed it. Not even close. He was cool and calm and collected and honest while McCain was cranky and bitter and snarky and lied through his teeth.

Hopefully, some of the issue messaging got through tonight. We shall see. I’m done for now. I’ve got a date with a bagel and a full adult dose of Nyquil.

2 thoughts on “Debate”

  1. Okay, I’m confused – is McCain running for president or is Petreaus? It seems whenever McCain speaks about foreign policy he feels the need to name-drop the general.

  2. Thank you for live blogging. I became so completely enraged when McCain scoffed at medical errors and then made a hair plug joke when discussing health care (an extremely serious subject), that I couldn’t focus on the rest of the debate. Tonight McCain showed that he does not have any empathy for us, but Obama left no doubt that he understands, when he discussed how his mother had to fight with insurance companies in the last month of her life.

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