Live-Writing the Presidential Debate #2

Below are my transcribed notes of the Presidential Debate conducted on October 7, 2008.

It goes on a for a bit…and I fell asleep near the end [hence the illegible….suiggly…transcription]

[Oh, and I thought both did well.  I though Obama had the best line…

“Senator McCain’s campaign announced last week that they plan to ‘turn the page’ on the discussion about our economy and spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. He and Governor Palin are out there saying all kinds of stuff,” he said in a not so subtle nod to Palin’s recent comments that Obama associates with “terrorists.” “I can take four more weeks of John McCain’s attacks, but the American people can’t take four more years of John McCain’s George Bush policies.”

McCain doesn’t like it, and Palin doesn’t get it, but George W. Bush was a Republican.  And so were his policies.  McCain and Palin, for all their mavricky rhetoric, are also Republican, and have the policies to prove it.]

I scored the debate: 14 to 5 for Obama [note: my scoring is like the electoral college, one winner a question, no partial credit]

UPDATE: Here’s Obama backstage before and after the debate.

See detailed analysis below.

Note: I’ll try and do stage directions and semi quotes [p] means “paraphrased” which is how most of the quotes hit me.

[McCain comes out and looks at Obama, I think he winks at him]

Question #1: To Obama, fastest and most positive solution to economic crisis?

[Obama Answer #1]

A1: [Attacks Bush and McCain for Republican poliicies]

A2: Step 1: The Package that was passed, mentions CEO pay limitation [which will slow adoption, IMHO -ed]

Step2: Middle Class tax cuts, build roads and bridges.

[Editorial: I though he missed a chance to mention that there was no quick fix and it would take a long, steady, rational approach to rebuild]


[McCain Answer #1]

A1: Americans are angry and upset, like McCain.

Energy, cut taxes for everyone, $10,000,000,000,000 debt.

Reform home values for retirees, order Paulson to do what Paulson already said he would (generally).

[Point: Obama]

Question #1a: Who would you pick for Teasury Secretary? [tough question…McCain surprised by question and says it won’t be Brokaw]

[McCain Answer #1a]

A1: Buffett? (Obama’s friend) Meg Whitman? [who’s company just had layofffs. -ed] Americans don’t have trust because of Greed.


[Obama Answer #1a]

A1: “Warren would be nice” [name-dropping, far-fetched, Buffett won’t do it. -ed] No real answer, attacks McCain.

[Point: McCain]

Question #2: From the audience, young black guy, [p] “What do I get from the bailout?”

[McCain Answer #2]

A1: [p] “Wrong! It’s not a bailout, it’s a rescue!”  Suspended his campaign…went to give oversight. [Watched $140,000,000,000 get added in tax breaks and earmarks. -ed]. Obama has “cronies” named Fannie and Freddie which the young black guy probably hasn’t ever heard of.

A2: Stabilize markets and shore up institutions.  Government buys loans. Fannie and Freddie. Others take a hike.


[Obama Answer #2]

A1: Explains what a “credit market freeze” is and how it trickles down to everyone.  Gives examples.  Came back to question and talked to the young black guy (who was in love).  This was one of his best answers of the night.  He explained what had happened, how it affected people, and what the government was trying to do.

[Point: Obama]

Question 2a:  Follow-up, Is it going to work?

[Obama Answer #2a]

A1: 20th Century regulation on 21st Century markets. Lobbyists and special interests need to stay out.


[McCain Answer #2a]

A1: Good or bad, who knows.  Depends on what we do.  John has a letter.  Obama’s name isn’t on it.  Ass-kissing towards American workers.

[Point: Obama]

Question #3: How can we trust either of you with our money [ya damn politicians -ed]?

[Obama Answer #3]

A1: “Look” (bad start, smacks of lecture). Understands cynicism. There’s a lot of blame, mostly on Bush.

A2: What I’m going to do, investment and cuts, cutting more thant spending. 


[McCain Answer #3]

A1: Maverick is consistent reformer.  Bi-partisanship is good, then attacks the Democrat.  McCain has a record, my friends.  Names some congressional groups that like him.

A2: Obama voted for a projector in a planetarium [update: money never was spent, old projecter is older than I am. -ed]

A3: Drill, baby, drill.

[Point: McCain]

Question #4: Priorities: Health, Energy, Entitilements (Social Security and Medicare)

[McCain Answer #4]

A1: All of the above.  I will cut Social Security, build nyukular plants, my friends, $700B to terrorists…what?!  That’s a bit of a strong word to use for Wall Street…or Obama.


[Obama Answer #4]

A1: Energy, $3.80/gas. Investment $15,000,000,000/yr.  Compare to moon goal, Healcare, earmarks, paying for stuff.

[Point: Obama]

[Brokaw whines at candidates]

Question #5: What sacrifices will you aks of Americans?

[McCain Answer #5]

A1: Some programs will be eliminated.  Defense spending will be looked at. [surprised to hear him say this…sadly…Obama can’t for stereotypical reasons…but I’ll bet Obama will cut defense spending…which is needs…badly. -ed]

A2: Earmarks, projector (again…see above). Spending freeze. Prioritize with transparency.

A3: “We’re not rifleshots, we’re Americans” (??)

A4: We can do anything and I know how to do everything.


[Obama Answer #5]

A1: 9/11!! Surprise.  Did a good job brining it back to question.

A2: Bush said, “Go out and Shop.”  Which was retarded. 

A3: American history discussion, says that thinking about what you do is a sacrifice Americans need to make and he couldn’t be more right, IMHO.  Anti-intellectualism is killing our innovation, as illustrated by McCain disdain for planetariums.

A4: We have to work to make us more efficient.  This is for your kids and should double the Peace Corps to take the burden off the military (Nice!)

[Point: Obama]

Question #6: Wall Street Drunk [o.k….not sure….but that’s what I wrote. -ed]

[Obama Answer #6]

A1: Have to lead by example.  Spending and Revenue discussion.  Share the burden.  Some have been living high on the hog (PIG REFERENCE!!!!…j/k)

A2: Hatchet vs. Scalpel (good analogy).

A3: Everyone must sacrifice.


[McCain Answer #6]

A1: My friends….Obama wants to raise taxes….Herbert Hoover…protectionism.

A2: Obama wants to tax profits (McCain slid a “revenue” into one of his barbs that totally changed the meaning of the statement….essentially rendering it meaningless, but it still sounded bad).

A3: Kids = more money.  $5,000 for healthcare, pray you don’t need more than that.  Let’s not raise the taxes on the greedy wall street types that destroyed our economy.

[Point: Obama]

Question #7: Ambush question by Brokaw, will you pledge to fix Social Security in two years?

[Obama Answer #7]

A1: Talks A LOT about taxes and tax policy.  We need to reverse last 8 years first, then we can deal with Medicaid and Social Security.


[McCain Answer #7]

A1: “I’ll answer the question” (Note: he wrote down that Obama didn’t….but Obama did…just at the end of his answer, not the beginning, when McCain writes down his zinger).

A2: “Social Security is an easy fix”.  There were inaudible gasps across the country at this revelation. It’s been done before.  Reagan fixed it (which is why it isn’t broken now, eh?).

A3: Obama is not a mavrick.  We need a commission, like a “congress”, to fix Social Security.  Like we did for base closings.

A4: Attacks Obama for having the audacity to vote against tax cuts (during a war, no less).

[Point: Obama]

 Question #8: Section C, Climate Change, what would you do?

[McCain Answer #8]

A1: Economic and War…I’m against Bush [and Palin -ed] on this.  Nuclear power.  Obama said something or other, whrrgrrbl. For hybrid.  For hydrogen. We can do it because we’re awesome [and I’m freezing spending]


[Obama Answer #8]

A1: Crisitunity!

A2: Like the computer (err…”internet).  He missed on this word fairly badly.

A3: We have to invest. Nuclear power.  26 of 30 years we’ve faced a crisis McCain has been in Congress they haven’t fixed it.

A4: Drilling 3% of the world’s oil (the U.S’s), no matter how vigorously and joyously, won’t supply 25% of the world’s oil consumption (the U.S’s).

[Point: Obama]

[Brokaw keeps whining]

Question #9: Should we fund a new Manhattan-type Project for energy independence?

[McCain Answer #9]

A1: We should invest as government.

A2: My friends.  You know who voties for goodies? Him! (heehee) [Note: this is the “that guy” comment].

[McCain Answer #9]

A1: [Missed it, probably peeing]

[Point: McCain, just to try and keep it close]

Question #10: Is healthcare a commodity?

[Obama Answer #10]

A1: Explains how much costs have risen (in numbers, not words).

A2: There is a moral reason to act.  Explains his plan.  Attacks McCain’s plan. Mention article talking about how bad McCain’s plan is.

[McCain Answer #10]

A1: Costs “skyrocketing”.  Obama is talking like he is part of government [like somehow McCain isn’t].  Obama’ll fine you, like the government does.

A2: Why not go across state lines?  Hair transplants won’t be covered (Hi, Joe!)

[Point: Obama]

Question #11: Healthcare a priviledge, right, or responsibility.

[McCain Answer #11]

A1: Responsibility.

A2: Obama will fine you with mandates from the Government.

[Obama Answer #11]

A1: Healthcare is a right {Yea!! “Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness”…which is why emergency rooms don’t turn people away…we just all pay fo rit]

A2: Mom story.  A little cold…but then again, he’s not goint to pull a Biden and cry.

A3: Kids are cheap to cover and need healthcare.  McCain voted against CHIP (ouch!).

A4: Government should crack down on insurnce companies, explains why going across state lines is bad (Using Delaware for banking…should have used Utah for usury [most “Payday Loan” companies are incorporated in Utah])

[Point: Obama]

[McCain chirps up: “Did we hear the size of the fine???!”] 

Question #12: Does our failing economy hurt our ability to be world’s Peacemaker?

 [McCain Answer #12]

A1: We’re Number #1.  Four corners of globe. Peacemakers.

A2: We can prvent genocide, and he knows how.  Didn’t tell anybody, but he knows.

A3: Surge!! With Electrolytes!!  Russian Agression!!! The Home Game!!  No, on the job trailing (he forgot about Palin for a moment)


[Obama Answer #12]

A1: What he doesn’t understand…

A2: Iraq-cheerlieading is wrong.  Iraq costs $10B/mo.

A3: Talking about history and problems caused by current foreign policy.  Comes back strong on McCain’s strength and takes the point.

[Point: Obama]

Question #13: Do you have a Doctrine for Congo, Somalia, Darfur?

[Obama Answer #13]

A1: Holocaust, we can’t stand idly by…but…can’t be everywhere all the time…so we need allies.


[McCain Answer #13]

A1: My friends, Obama’s withdrawal would have damaged us, then we would have gone back, and we would still be there…but I’ll win.

A2: Cool hand at the tiller.

A3: Kinda looking desperate now.  Mentions how kept got us out of Lebanon after we lost 300, but neglects to mention losing 4,000+ in Iraq being a good call.

[Point: Obama]

Question #14: Hamas-Pakistan Border?  [I’m kinda fading here… -ed]

[Obama Answer #14]

A1: Questioner doesn’t like answer.  They are plotting in Afghanistant/Pakistan now.

A2: Encourage democracy, increase non-military spending, Musharraf is now an evil dictator.

A3: Obama will kill Osama.


[McCain Answer #14]

A1: Teddy Roosevelt.  Obama wants on invade Pakistan (?!).  “We” drove Russia out of Afghanistan (?!).  Then the Taliban came “back in” (?).   Maybe I was just falling asleep here, but McCain’s version of events in Afghanistan in the 80’s is curious.

A2: Same strategy, but very different.

A3: Waziristan [mentioned here]

[Point: Mc…wait Obama want to keep talking…and McCain says he has to as well]


[Obama Rebuttal #14]

R1: Talk softly and sing about bomb, bomb, bombing Iran (oh, snap!).

R2: Next stop Baghdad

[McCain Rebuttal #14]

R1: Not true, not true. I was joking about bombing a country we are currently very tense with (yea…that’s the point).  I’ll get him. No matter what. 

R2: Mentions how he responsibly lost 5 planes while in Navy.

[Point: Obama]

Question #15: Afghanistan needs help.  What are you going to do?

[Obama Answer #15]

A1: Pull out from Iraq.

A2: Pressure Karzai to be a better ruler


[McCain Answer #15]

A1: Petraeus

A2: 2X Army.  NATO, Pakistani.

A3: Surge!!! New, now with Afghanistani Electrolytes!!

[Point: Obama] 

Qeustion #16: Russians.

[McCain Answer #16]

A1: No cold war, but Russia is now doing evil stuff.  Agressive. Putin.

A2: Moral support for Georgia. Naked agression. G8


[Obama Answer #16]

A1: Economic suppo….[scribbling]

[Point: McCain, by default]

[Snore.  This was where I nodded off.  I made it pretty dang far, if you ask me.]

[Closing Arguments]

[Obama Closing Argument]

[still sleeping]

[McCain Closing Argument]


CA2: Daddy, just country, gerbil. I think I was dreaming.  Steady hand at the tiller.

[Point: McCain, by deault]

And that was it.

One that that I was struck by in the post debate event…it looked like they gave small disposable cameras to each of the “undecided” voters in the event.  When it was over, the cameras kept showing them shaking hands with Obama and taking pictures.

I thought it was pretty biased since they weren’t showing McCain, and Obama was very obviously getting along fabulously with these people. 

It turns out that it wasn’t media bias, McCain had bolted.  No doubt to suspend his campaign and act busy.

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