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Obama-McCain Debate #3
Wednesday, 2008 October 15 - 10:31 pm
So, McCain was pretty sharp... for about 25 minutes.

McCain definitely scored on a few points. Perhaps the most memorable part of the debate was when he said, "I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago." That line will get a lot of play in tomorrow's press. And he was able to get a lot of jabs in about the economy.

But then McCain lost his way. Twice, he seemed like he was about to implode. The first was when he started talking about Representative John Lewis' criticisms of the rabidly racist supporters that have appeared at a few of his (and Sarah Palin's) rallies. (And if you don't know what this is about... check out the various YouTube videos of some of these rallies.) It made McCain seem petty and whiny. And it was disingenuous to hear him complain about being attacked when all of his own TV ads are negative, when Sarah Palin is accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists", and when a Republican party official says Obama and bin Laden "both have friends who have bombed the Pentagon." There is no universe in which McCain can plausibly claim to be taking the high road in this election.

The second implosion was when he was trying to make a point about the so-called "fine" that Obama would impose on small business owners who didn't get health care for their employees. He clearly thought he would score by continuing to press the question of how much the fine would be. So when Obama said the fine would be "zero", because his plan has an exemption for small businesses, McCain looked like he had just swallowed a cat.

It's true, as some of the CNN analysts said immediately after the debate, that McCain was on offense and Obama was on defense for much of the debate. But still, Obama was effective on defense, and he scored highly on the issues that mattered. This is an election about domestic issues; right now, everything else is secondary. William Ayers? Being opposed to the trade agreement with Colombia? Is that what your campaign has come down to, McCain?
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Posted by Ken in: politics


Comment #1 from Noelle (Guest)
2008 Oct 16 - 2:25 pm : #
Ken, I assume you saw the "McCain walking off stage" photo right? The moment he was told he was going in the wrong direction?

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