Alex Blaze

Bilerico's online debate watching party

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 15, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Bob Schieffer, John McCain

Consider this the thread for those of us watching the debate. I'll be on economics and domestic policy. Each candidate will get 2 minutes to respond to each question and 5 minutes of discussion will ensue.

Bil, Scott Kaiser, Sara Whitman, and I will be around in the comments, as well as any other Bilerico contributor or commenter who wants to take part in our live discussion.

The fun starts at 9 Eastern, and will probably result in me making jokes about John McCain's penis.

Update: The debate's over. The post debate discussion is one post up.

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We're doing this the low-tech way. We're leaving comments for each other here. Feel free to jump in at any time. Remember to hit refresh occasionally if you haven't commented in a bit (you'll see the newest comments that way!).

Any predictions?

How many times can you say "angry" in 2 minutes?

fannie and freddie, right off the bat from McCain. Didn't I just post about this today? Does he not read TBP?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:05 PM

Is McCain stealing Obama's lines? His opening few lines sounded just like something Obama has said in his speeches.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:06 PM

Anyone else watching the "instant-gratification-o-meter" on CNN?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:08 PM

McCain isn't moving the meter.

Probably because everyone can see through something like that stupid story about Joe the Plumber?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:07 PM

Loving Obama's eye contact with camera. Looks like he's talking directly to me.

I feel special. *blush*

He winked at me! He winked at me!

(well, ok, he didn't, but if Palin can do it...)

Wow--McSame finally learned Obama's name!

Obama will take ur bizniz away LOLWTF!!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiit... So McCain's against income equality now? Isn't this like the absolute worst time to come out against that?

Obama's coming off as a whole lot more mature on taxes. But then I can't stand McCain so I'm not impartial.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:12 PM

McCain looks so proud of himself for the "Joe the plumber" attack, but Obama is countering him very well.

McCain is about generalities: "Spread the wealth around."

Obama is getting much more specific.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:16 PM

Forgive me for being naive, but why does McCain think "spreading the wealth around" is such a horrible idea?

I'd personally like to see McCain's wealth spread around. No more 7 houses. Let's spread them around.

That's because McSame is too simple minded to understand complex issues. If it can't be boiled down to one sentence, it's not worth talking about.

This drinking game should have included "Joe the Plumber." Might was well throw in "Thomas the Tank Engine" too. :)

That's a different movie, Rainbear. *evil grin*

*giggle* Yes, yes it would be! :)

So when do you start filming?

Jerame can be the guy who is home alone with a broken pipe... and you can come over and fix it for him! ;-)

Wow. Will a "Joe the Plumber" porno follow "Nalin' Paylin"? They're sure fluffing him here...

Poor Joe the Plumber. I so doubt he wanted to be mentioned here.

Hahaha. Sorry, Joe.

Oh I bet he remembers the Depression from personal experience.. ;)

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:19 PM

Doh! You beat me to it!

You know what they say about great minds.

Bob is a lot more strict on the time limits, eh? Geez. He's like a fucking stopwatch.

Not for nothing, but I'm glad. Seriously, politicians tend to ramble on and on. He's keeping them on topic, which is a good thing, IMHO.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:17 PM

"During the Depression..." Well, McCain would know. He was there.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:18 PM

"I know how to eliminate programs..." EPA? FDA? Public schools? They're all gone under my administration!

holy fuck. I'm not president bush? Scripted, but I'm a little uncomfortable.

Anyone else notice how McCain "knows how" to do all these things but never actually says what he knows or how he's going to do them?

He sounds like a little kid. "I know how to do long division Mrs. Crabapple. I do. I just can't show you because THAT ONE is watching me."

What a lame-ass.

Just like how Palin said "I'll get back to ya on that one!"

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:21 PM

Doesn't McCain realize that across the board spending freeze would actually slow the economy?

Well, duh, but it sounds good.


But that doesn't excuse Schieffer from idiotically pushing the issue as if it's a moral absolute.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:22 PM

McCain: "I'm not President Bush. I just voted for his policies over 90% of the time."

o/~ He's got a W in his pocket... and the other one is up his no-ose o/~

That 10% makes him a maverick, don't you know?

McCain is much more likely to attack this time. His trigger must be set to "hair." At least he's willing to look at Obama tonight, even if it is that sideways sneer when he's attacking.

oh pleasepleaseplease.. let him lose his temper--pleasepleaseplease!!!!!


"erratic" does not equal "pals around with terrorists."

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:26 PM

Is McCain going to cry?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:28 PM

He slings mud non-stop, but now McCain is trying to play the victim?!? Oh puh-leez!!

Doesn't it make your heart bleed?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:31 PM

I liked Obama's response about hurt feelings not as important as the issues.

Can you two be nice to each other?

McCain: No. It's Obama's fault. Yes. It's still Obama's fault.

And he continues his attacks, so apparently the answer is, "I can sit next to him and act like an asshole."

"Repudiate" I do not think this word means what McSame thinks it means.

Can we just call him McBlame now? This guy takes NO personal responsibility.

If Hillary Clinton gave that little barely-crying speech about how her feelings were hurt, that McCain just gave, how would people have reacted?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:32 PM

Great point.


He said "joe the plumber" again.

Where the hell is Obama's righteous indignation?

I think he's doing just fine in that category. All I see is a whiney kid and an adult who sees the big picture.

I think that image will be all over the news tomorrow. Obama calls him out for "Kill him" and "Palls around with terrorists" and they show McCain scribbling on a notepad and then grinning vapidly at the camera. That's an image that can play for a long time.

McCain is defending his supporters for shouts of "Kill me" and "Terrorist"? Oh, Jesus Christ.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:34 PM

McCain's new strategy: playing victim?

Oh so, if a VETERAN shouts "kill him" then it's ok?

I think there's a big difference between "palling around with terrorists" and someone wearing an anti-McCain t-shirt.

And people clamoring "Kill Obama!" and a fucking anti-McSame t-shirt.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:36 PM

Notice how McCain is trying to keep the debate away from the issues? That's because he knows he'll lose if he has to talk about issues.

Ayers and ACORN in the same sentence. Fuck yeah....

Ugh. But he's not grabbing McCain by the throat and shaking him. He should be. Good Christ, Obama. Take a damn swing already...

Blink more, McCain... blink more...

I love his fake grin. Really.

Is it just me or does McCain look like someone ran an air hose up his ass and puffed him up? That would help explain that grin too...

And that last response? Economy, tax cuts, Ayers, terrorism, 9/11, and ACORN.

Yup, his whole campaign is buzz-words.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:37 PM

I wonder if McCain realizes there is video of him (McCain) at an ACORN meeting. Search for it on YouTube.

Senility means he doesn't remember much of anything - which is why his new talking points sound like the old ones in a different order.

OK, Ayers and Acorn. I think that's a great response.

He could have been more concise. He rambled, which makes him sound more guilty than he is.

Come on, Obama.. mention seeing Russia from Palin's house.. please!!!

Beautiful Obama laugh there on McCain's economy comment.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:41 PM

I can barely watch this. McCain isn't talking about issues at all.

Ayers? ACORN? Please!!!

And he acts so friggin' smug about it.

Did McCain wink after he mentioned Palin's husband?

"He's a swell guy, too!"



*theme from Leave it to Beaver starts playing*

Ooh--she understands speshul needs... yeah--she understands that she has a nanny to take care of her kids. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:45 PM

Someone needs to remind McCain that by some definitions a fart could be considered a "breath of fresh air." It still stinks though.

Notice how he really did dodge the whole foreign experience issue?

Not breath... "Bresh."

What are the chances he was thinking about breasts when he said that?

Don't we have some good ideas on the causes of autism? I mean, mercury in the water and in the vaccines. There are clear links to mercury levels and autism rates.

Here's the problem with admitting that...That "clean coal" McCain loves to talk about is a leading mercury polluter in our drinking water.

Cockamamie idea to divide Iraq? What about the cockamamie idea that Iraq has a national identity?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:48 PM

Tell the whole truth McCain: Palin cut funding for special needs people in Alaska.

My God, I can barely watch this. I keep reading the comments here instead of watching the TV.

The CNN "Do you like him meter" is swinging wildly tonight with a huge difference between male and female voters - it's never been like that before; they've been similar. Tonight male = McCain and female = Obama. And it doesn't really go with what they're saying on the stage.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:53 PM

I noticed that too.

I think this is a lot more interesting than the last one.

And McCain... if only we had 10 more of those boring town hall debates, then I wouldn't have to call Obama a terrorist.

I'm noticing that the women go up first, then the guys follow.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:50 PM

CNN meter was spiking during Obama talking oil dependence.

And now McSame's speech is going down. Women aren't buying it.

McCain reminds me of Gabby Johnson from BLAZING SADDLES.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:55 PM

Did McCain just roll his eyes at Obama?

He did NOT just deflect that whole issue for an attack. What a loser.

Seriously...He knew he had NO answer on energy and is now attacking him on foreign policy. What a kook.

Yup--and did you notice the Uncommitted Ohio Voters didn't buy it? :)

CNN's still in Ohio? Did they buy a foreclosed house their for their debate parties?

Bob: "Given the economic conditions right now... aren't you going to postpone health care reform?"

BO: I will not buy into your puny false choice.

He had me at "no preexisting conditions"...

Bil, put down your drink. For the love of god, this debate's about goddamn joe the plumber, and I fear for your health.

I'm so bad at this thing. That wasn't a reply to Jerame.

Now you know why I said I was having a hard time watching this.

*glug glug*

Bil, I really, really want to hear from Joe the Plumber now. And something tells me all the networks are looking for his number right now.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 9:58 PM

CNN meter going up with Obama talking about health care. Meanwhile McCain snarls and rolls his eyes.

And plummet back down again when McSame starts talking. I *like* this Ohio group.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:00 PM

As soon as McCain started talking about health care the CNN meter fell dramatically.

People aren't buying the McBlame healthcare plan at all. Obama's lines were off the chart and McBlame is SO bombing on yet another very important issue.

Did you see how stunned he was when Obama mentioned the $0 fine? It took like 30 seconds for him to get back on track.

Melanie Davis | October 15, 2008 10:00 PM

I didn't see the Kennedy vs. Nixon debate when it was televised, but listening to this on the radio, that's what I am reminded of. McCain is stumbling all over himself to begin his sentences. He almost sounds like a Jewish kid in debate class who has been given the task of defending Nazism. There's no heart in his words, just a desire of wanting to just get it over with.

Oop, he said Joe the Plumber again. Is this Joe the same guy with a six-pack?

I think it's his middle name:

Joe ThePlumber SixPack

I agree with the HS debater comment. He has a lot of weird tics I've seen in HS debate (coached and judged when I was in college... there are a lot of McCains but not that many Obamas).

It can't be Joe Six Pack. With this game, he'd be out of beer by now!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:01 PM

McCain said joe the plumber again: everybody drink!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:02 PM

You know the network news stations are going to go nuts trying to find "Joe the plumber."

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:05 PM

I don't like McCain, but I think he would go so much farther if he stopped acting so smug and condescending.

Apparently the CNN focus group agrees.

He can't stop - he really thinks Obama is lesser than him.

Scheiffer: Tell me about your healthcare plan.

Obama: I want to cover everyone.

McCain: Get off my lawn! He's a terrorist! He's a tax and spend liberal. Joe the Plumber!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:06 PM

"Joe you're rich" - Does that mean he now has 7 houses like McCain?

Melanie Davis | October 15, 2008 10:06 PM

Is McCain AWOL from the institution, again? I can't follow hos B.S. fill in the blanks with soundbites bullscheit.

My plans for my fellow prisoners...

John: I voted for Ginsberg and Breyer, not because I believed in their ideology, but because I had no idea what was going on.

No litmus tests!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:11 PM

Not unless they pay for their own litmus test - Palin style!!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:09 PM

How come Obama sounds like he's talking *to* the American people whereas McCain sounds like he's trying to pull one over on us?

Legislate from the bench, you mean like Brown v. Board?

Or Bush v. Gore?

Oh, no, erm, um, my friends!

Lilly Ledbetter's back! w00t!

She's my favorite real-world person that the candidates bring up. Seriously, she's awesome.

I dunno, Alex. McCain might pull Erin Brockovitch out of his ass and see Obama's feminist but raise him an environmentalist.

Oh wait. Brockovitch supports Obama already. LOL

Anyone else notice how Obama is just looking tired right now? Like he's sick and tired of dealing with McSame?

This just in from AP, re: Joe the Plumber (they've put it in past tense):

Stop them already!

"Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night's debate and said he still thinks Obama's plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him.

About McCain: "He's got it right as far as I go."

Even so, Wurzelbacher declined to say who was getting his vote.

He said he was surprised that he was called "Joe the Plumber" repeatedly during the debate.

"It's pretty surreal, man, my name being mentioned in a presidential campaign." "

OK, now I want to hear from the person who owns the plumbing company....

"What??? Joe thinks he's going to buy me out?"

"I don't pay him enough to buy me out - he must be moonlighting..."

And Joe loses his job because his boss is a Republican.


Joe must not be a terribly smart plumber if Obama says directly to him that he's gonna give him a tax credit and Joe still thinks he's gonna get a tax increase.

The number of people out there like Joe astound me. Lets hope he wakes up and votes the right way on election day.

He might be one of these folks:

Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart.

Yes, the spot worked. Yes, they believed the charges against Obama. Yes, they actually think he's too liberal, consorts with bad people and WON'T BE A GOOD PRESIDENT...but they STILL don't give a f***. They said right out, "He won't do anything better than McCain" but they're STILL voting for Obama.

The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, Nascar fan...hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."

Did he slur his words when he spoke to the reporter? The debate isn't over with yet, so how can he know what Obama had to say about him since he's still being invoked more often than Jesus at a Nativity play.

Anyone else watching on HD? The pundits are giving it to McCain right now - and it's last question. Obama won according to 2, they tied with another and McCain won the rest.

How in the hell could they think McCain won this?!?!

They always give it to the Republican.

But this year's been a bit different with the snap polls shutting that shit down.

Nope. They've given it to Obama each time. Last time only one pundit gave it to McCain. Obama is tied with David Gergen; he's winning Paul Begala (Duh!) and Roland Martin. John King is going for McCain and so is Bill Bennett (Duh!) and the Castellanos guy. (I know he's a Republican, but I like him.)

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:21 PM

Keep in mind that although the media loved the "McCain down in polls" story this past week, the love comeback stories even more.

Oh gods.. yes--let's get more unqualified teachers! JUST what the hell we need in schools! We'll just put them in the ghettos, cuz who cares if they get good educations, right?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:24 PM

For the record, the schools here in Arizona (McCain's home state) SUCK! I would never raise a child here for that reason alone.

NJ isn't terrible, but the bad neighborhoods/cities here suck donkey c*ck with razor teeth.

Sadly, yes I can. People can be barking idiots sometimes.

OK, back to special needs kids. We'll open up our wallets for them.

But, seriously, vouchers? Is this 1995?

So tonight's sponsors are Joe Six Pack Plumbing and Sarah Palin's daycare service for children with special needs.

I think Nanny911 needs to pay a call on McPalin...

I think Obama's doing a really good job with the whole special needs issue - pointing out that we can't cut spending *and* provide for special needs children.

I dislike the idea of charter schools, though...

But then I also dislike the idea of a two-party system but that's for later... I want this to be over.

That being said, I think McCain is coming off as crazy and lacking in specifics. Yay for obvious statemements like my last one.

How are we supposed to reform programs like Head Start without spending money to fix them?

Oh - he did not just say "precious children who have autism, SP knows what that's like"! Can you be more manipulative?

Hey - Paige goes to a charter school. I'm a big fan. The public school where I live is horrible. She'd have a horrible education if we hadn't gotten her in at the charter school.

They've been a success in NJ, so far!

Oh, I know what you mean - I just came away from a meeting at Chicago Public Schools about the proposal for a new LGBT school here, and that topic came up.

I know and understand the frustration of parents who wonder about what other options to give their kids when the district schools are lousy. My larger issue, and this is also very specific to Chicago, is the way that charter schools end up funneling energy and resources away from the p.s. system. And add to that the fact that public school teachers here are generally underpaid and overworked, and charter school employeers (at least in Chicago) aren't allowed to unionise.

But it's a complicated issue if most other options aren't good ones. The problem here is that the fact that public schools are underfunding and hence sometimes less than to the best of their ability becomes a self-perpetuating idea when charter schools get introduced as the alternative.
Instead of bolstering and fixing the issues facing the p.s system. And add to that the things that are done to "fix" p.s, like the militarisation of Senn High School, right in my neighborhood (said militarisation actually offered up as a good alternative for low-income immigrant youth who don't, apparently, deserve a regular education but need to be recruited for the machinery of a needless war).

I'd actually like to continue this conversation because the school system here has been on my mind a lot. Here's some of what I've been reading:

vouchers are pork for the religious right madrassas...

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:28 PM

Did you just see how much McCain was smirking and snarling while Obama was speaking? God he's an ass.

Can't he at least show his opponent a little respect? Oh wait, no... civility is beyond his reach.

You mean, show respect for "That One"?

Shirley, you jest!

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:31 PM

I've been listening more than watching them speak as I've been looking at my computer. Has McCain been that rude during the entire debate?

Yes, he really has. Rolling eyes, monkey-like grinning, stuff like that.

Did McCain just pull the "My grandpa and daddy were somebodies!" card? After all, the desire to best his daddy seems to be the driving force in his life.

I thought that was W's driving force... (oh wait--can he drive? Or is his license still suspended from his DWI's?)

Tom Brokaw started prattling on about Cindy and Michelle not saying hi to each other at the last debate and I turned the TV off. What a gasbag.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:34 PM

I can't stand all the pundits personally. It's always the same.

I always point out brokaw because I find him particularly insipid. It's always about stuff no one cares about for him.

OMG. It's over. I'm so glad. I can't stand to watch old man McCain any longer. He comes across as old, cranky and pitiful. His cheap shots and mannerisms are unprofessional and certainly not presidential. And don't start me on Palin.

The pundits left it like they did before. 2 for Obama, tied with David Gergen and the others for McCain.

I have to say, I thought McCain did a better job from listening to it and not watching as much. His points jabbed hard and Obama stammered on his answers. I kept waiting on Obama to finally swing back and say, "John, are you listening to yourself?" or something... But he didn't.

I hate to agree with Bill Bennett, but sometimes you can be presidential and even tempered while still showing some backbone and that you're willing to stand up for yourself.

I liked Bergen saying that Obama won the last half though since it looked like McCain was having a problem controlling his temper.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:37 PM

It was McCain's best debate HOWEVER he only accomplished that by keeping Obama talking about things like Ayers, etc.

I don't think McCain won, but we'll see how they spin it.

P.S. Where are you watching the pundits?

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:35 PM

Now the McCain spin machine is going to go all over the web trying to spin it that McCain won.

Go to sites like CNN, MSNBC, etc and vote for who *you* think won the debate.

"Joe the Plumber" has replaced "Joe Six-Pack" according to Tom Brokaw... Heaven help us.

Even Candy Crowley "Not Obama's best debate" but she thinks "McCain got angry" will be the topic of the day tomorrow.

I think the real question for tonight is:

What sort of tax breaks would Joe the Plumber get if he had an abortion of a live infant whose father was Bill Ayers? Obama, please tell us how you'd deal with this considering the current economic conditions, which of course require us to cut spending during a recession.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 10:41 PM

This was fun, so thank you to Bil, Alex, Jerame, Rainbear, Yasmin, greg, Melanie, and anyone else I missed.

My partner had to work this evening, and I didn't feel like going anywhere so I didn't have anyone to watch the debate with. Thanks for keeping me company and the great comments.

Agreed, Scott. I had a lot of fun sitting around and chatting with everyone. Several readers wrote in today to recommend LiveChat or other similar software isntead of old-fashioned refresh the page technology... Next time we'll use it (when I've got more time to set up for the post! LOL).

Thanks to everyone for joining in. I had a great time.

Is it wrong that I still want to see Anderson Cooper's O face?

I think if you get Anderson Cooper in bed, you won't see his face. It'd be buried in the pillows.


That wouldn't bother me one bit! WooF!

Thanks for playing everyone. It was fun.

You and Bil need to go film Bil The Plumber now! ;-)

Interesting.. CNN's undecided panel says:

10 say McSame won
15 say Obama won
5 felt it was more of a tie.

Hey, let's move the post-debate discussion on to another thread since this one's kinda big already.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 11:09 PM

Oops... sorry... missed that.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 15, 2008 11:05 PM

Just in case anyone comes back to this thread, CNN's poll shows Obama overwhelmingly winning the debate. CBS's early numbers say the same thing.

Alex posted the numbers from CNN in the next thread. It's A Good Thing!

192 comments!?!?!!?!!! I didn't even realize they discussed Harry Benjamin Syndrome during the debate!!