Live Blogging & Twittering Tonight's Presidential Debate

Check in here at the blog and if you're on Twitter, follow me there. I'll be live blogging the presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi between McCain and Obama starting at 9 p.m. eastern. 

It's 9 p.m. ... and we're off!

Jim Lehrer is moderating and laying out the groundwork. 

Obama and McCain now onstage to short applause. Lehrer begins with the economy despite this debate being about foreign policy.

Obama calls economic crisis worst since Great Depression. "We have to move swiftly and move wisely." He's calling for oversight in the bailout and taxpayers should get their money back. None of the money should pad CEO bank accounts or promote golden parachutes. Helping homeowners is key. This is a final verdict on eight years of Bush and McCain's politics!

McCain says he's feeling better tonight because Republicans and Democrats trying to work out a deal. He's echoing Obama, basically. 

Obama and McCain talking to each other...Obama calls him out on fundamentals of economy being strong statement. 

McCain going into his rah-rah, America is great and strong bit. Give me a break.

McCain pulled out his pen and did the old I'll veto everything and make them famous. Get a new script!

Obama said McCain is proposing 300 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest in America, which pales to 18 billion in earmarks.

Obama said he'll go line by line and veto pork spending, but getting rid of earmarks won't solve the problm alone.

McCain said he wants to cut business tax so companies will stay in America. Hammers Obama on earmarks again. 

Obama says McCain wants to tax healthcare benefits. McCain changes subject.

Obama says McCain tax breaks will give oil companies an additional 4 billion.

Obama says he's put forward a plan for alternative energy -- solar, wind, bio-diesel. Says the average deductable on healthcare has gone up 30 percent.

Lehrer says he doesn't hear any difference from either candidate to change things after the bailout. Snap!

Obama says he's not wildly liberal, just opposing Bush's policies. 

McCain says he wants a spending freeze on everything but defense and veterans care. Obama says that's using a hatchet when you need a scalpel. 

McCain wants more nuclear power plants. 

Lehrer not satisfied with candidates answers, wants more specifics. Obama says he will make tough decisions based on the new economy. 

McCain says spending restraint is vital. We owe China 500 billion. McCain says he's fought against excessive spending and he has plans. And that would be what?

McCain just dodged again and started calling himself a maverick and that Sarah Palin is a maverick. It's all rhetoric and no substance.

McCain is now yammering about victory in Iraq. Obama says he opposed Iraq from beginning.

Obama says we've spent 600 billion, soon to be trillion, 4,000 dead and Al Qaida stronger now.

Obama says McCain thinks war started in 2007 and the troop surge was damage control for four years of terrible mismanagement of the war.

McCain says Obama refuses to acknowledge we are winning in Iraq. Obama says we should end the war responsibly and turn attention to Afghanistan where Al Qaida is rebuilding.

McCain says Iraq is central battleground on war on terror -- what planet is he on? 

Obama says more troops need to be in Afghanistan immediately. 

Obama says Bush and McCain has dropped the ball in Pakistan where terrorists are being harbored.

Obama just nailed McCain on his jokes about bombing Iran. Obama is kicking John's ass in this debate now.

McCain is telling his warm, fuzzy war stories again. Jesus...he's out of touch.

Obama says McCain hasn't been consistent on Afghanistan. Reminds him of quote about "muddling through" in Afghanistan. 

McCain says Iran is "existential" threat to Israel. Ummm...I think that's a bizarre choice of words. Obama says war in Iraq has strengthened Iran.

McCain griping about Obama meeting with dictators. McCain wants war and isolation as usual.

Obama just called McCain on meeting with dictators and reminded him Kissinger (McCain's adviser) said negotiate with Iran. SNAP!

Obama says Russia's action in Georgia unacceptable. Need unified alliance and explain to Russia you can't be 21st century superpower and pretend like your a 20th century dictatorship.

McCain looked into Russian leader's eyes and saw the words KGB. Oh, brother...

Obama says Russia is resurgent and Putin feeling powerful because of US oil consumption.

Obama says McCain voted 23 times against alternative fuel and energy.

McCain says America is safer but long way from safe. He's worked across the aisle on reforms, but after 911 he and Lieberman created 911 commission.  I guess that was after McCain created the Blackberry.

McCain back on Al Qaida in Iraq. Is anyone still buying that shit?

Obama says next leader needs wider world view, not just focusing on Iraq.

Obama wins debate by slight margin, but it really changes nothing. It's back on the campaign trail for both.


DeadMule said…
I can't wait to see your insight, Collin. BTW, got your chapbook to review today. I didn't realize "Katrina Origins" was in it.
christine said…
Great way to leave us your thoughts, Collin. I'll go find ya!
Rupert said…
McCain's tie is vibrating - reminds me of that DE-Light video - I couldn't dance w another, bom-de-bom-de-bom . . .who picked it out? Cindy? Try again lol
Anonymous said…
Collin, I have been a longtime lurker on your blog since I've known you, and you are almost always right on point with me. The live blog has been great tonight.

p.s. You'll have to check out the Palin button I created - it's on my MySpace page. She scares me. A lot.

-tanya keyser.
Justin Evans said…

I have a little present for yo posted on my blog. Go have a looksy.
DeadMule said…
You pretty much nailed it, Collin. Only you forgot to say, "Obama just doesn't understand." McCain must have said that twenty times.

Plus, if McCain spent as much "significant time" in as many places as he said he did, he hasn't been home in years. No wonder he's so out of touch with regular Americans.
Rachel Mallino said…
You won't believe what I'm about to say -

I think Obama lost the debate last night (of course, not that he lost me as a voter, but I think he did not impress any independents)

Please tell me WHY Obama kept saying "John is absolutely right" - ya know, I understand having an intellectual debate with someone and obviously that is Obama's strategy (ha! remember that moment!) - but it was like he forgot how to play politics. He should not have said ONCE that "John was absolutely right" - not once!


I would have really liked to hear more facts and more substance, too. I think Jim was totally frustrated with both of them.
stacebro said…
Hi, Rachel.

To borrow a page from Obama's playbook, you're right about Obama and the fact that he kept affirming certain McCain points. But like most things, I think the way it will be interpreted will depend upon how the individual leans--either it's a sign of weakness in acquiescence on Obama's part, or it's a signal that he can acknowledge the truth or correctness regardless of which side of the aisle it comes from and incorporate it into his own position. It's either a danger flag or a sign that this man can lead people who disagree. Obama has always come from a position of listening to the various perspectives in order to forge his own strategy, and for me, it's very reassuring to know that he would deal with foreign leaders in this way. Agreeing with them when they're right about something goes a long way toward building rapport and strengthening relationships, which is something that the current administration--and McSame--"don't understand."
Rachel Mallino said…
Stace - I'll respond to you later on my own blog! =)
Collin said…
Rachel, well most of the polls this morning give Obama the win. As I said last night, I think Obama took it by a very slight margin...mainly because he was so strong on the economy issues that led off the debate. He totally whipped McCain's ass on that. McCain needed a decisive knock out last night to regain momentum and that simply did not happen.
stacebro said…
Hi, Rachel. Looking forward to reading your blog!

Don't get me wrong--I'm not at all sure that Obama should have used this approach in a debate. But I do take comfort in the fact that he can incorporate the points of others into his own points. Rhetorically, it's a good strategy. But politically? It probably leads to too many sound bites of "You're right, John." And it probably won't happen again...
Rachel Mallino said…

I'm actually shocked about the polls, my dad and I were just talking about it now.

I definitely think Obama kicked ass in the beginning of the debate - but I grew more and more worried as the debate went on.

Hey, I'm glad I'm wrong! I want the polls to show an Obama favor.

Stace -

You pretty much just stated what I was going to state on my own blog! I agree with the ideology behind the strategy, I felt uncomfortable with it on a "political" level (especially when we are talking about half of a nation who consider Obama an "elitist" and "too cerebral"!)

I guess, too, I started thinking "what would Hillary have done?"
Maggie May said…
Very much my thoughts as I watched-
I thought McCain was strong only on foreign policy... he gave many specific details on the issues and his proposed solutions- not that I necessarily agree with him. I thought Obama was strong on everything. Well spoken, so intelligent, calm and in control with detailed explanations on most of the issues brought to point. It is thrilling to watch him.
Maggie May said…
' I have a bracelet too'

that was MY 'snap!' moment.
Lisa Allender said…
Loved your commentary, your "play-by-play", Coll.
I thought he should STOP saying "I agree with John on this." and "John is absolutely right on this...". I noticed other commenters here have also mentioned this. It did bother me, though from the polls I'm seeing, I guess it did not affect anyone in a negative way, as he (Obama) appears to have "won", handily.

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