Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Presidential Debate -- The Final Volley

In tonight's final Presidential debate, I will again be commenting on the progress of the debate, followed up by my own thoughts, and posting it after the debate ends.
  • Senator McCain brings up the recent plumber who asked Obama about his tax increase in Ohio. He contrasts his tax plan with Obama's to show how his plan would be better for small businesses like that of Joe the Plumber.
  • Obama continues to push his plan of tax breaks to 95% of Americans. A tax break that is not real. A "tax break" that leaves out other tax increases, like Social Security.
  • Senator McCain comes back with the comment from Obama to Joe the Plumber that "we need to spread the wealth around," quoting Obama. Senator McCain has taken the gloves off tonight.
  • Obama -- who is definitely NOT middle class -- says he doesn't mind paying more taxes. Senator McCain says we need to CUT taxes, NOT spread the wealth around.
  • Senator McCain speaks of the $700 billion per year we send to countries that don't like us for energy. We need energy independence.
  • Obama refers again to the presidency of George W. Bush and the surplus he had going into office. Senator McCain says "I'm not President Bush. If you wanted to run against George Bush you should have run four years ago." People in the audience actually broke the silence rule and clapped! Obama got visibly angry.
  • Senator McCain rattles off several times he stood up to his party in response to Obama's "torte reform."
  • Senator McCain charges Obama with not keeping his word when he said he would accept public financing, then backed out. He accuses him of the highest spending on negative ads of any time since Watergate. Obama said nothing to repudiate the charges made by Senator McCain.
  • Senator McCain comes back with specific negative ads that are currently being run by the Obama campaign, ads that make false claims against Senator McCain.
  • Senator McCain says, "I personally don't care about an old washed up terrorist, but we need to know the full details of that relationship. We need to know the details of his involvement with ACORN." Obama says he has condemned the attacks committed by Bill Ayers. He says Ayers has never been involved in his campaign and will not advise him in the White House. {the truth is that Obama's political career was kicked off with a party in Ayers living room before his successful run for his current Senate seat} Senator McCain returns by citing cash that Obama paid to ACORN and with the charge that Obama's political career was launced in Ayers living room. Obama says that isn't true.
  • Moderator asks, "Why would the country be better off if your running mate became President than if his running mate." Obama replies that Biden has some of the best foreign policy credentials of everybody, that Biden has never forgotten where he came from, that his consistent pattern throughout his career has been to fight for the little guy. He then goes on to spout more of his talking points. He says Joe Biden has always been on the right side on the key issues that America faces.
  • Moderator asks, "Why would the country be better off if your running mate became President than if his running mate." Senator McCain replies that Governor Palin is a role model to women, that she is a reformer who took on corruption in her state opposing big oil, prior government, and that she has given money back to the taxpayers. He mentions that she understands special needs families better than anyone he knows. He says that she has united the party and people all across America.
  • Moderator asks Obama if he thinks Governor Palin is qualified to be President. He replies that he thinks that will be up to the American people, then mentions that autism research will require additional funding and attacks Senator McCain on his claim of an across the board spending freeze.
  • Moderator asks McCain is Joe Biden is qualified to be President. He responds that Biden is qualified in many areas, but mentions several issues Biden was wrong on, including his idea to divide Iraq into three countries.
  • Senator McCain says he believes we can eliminate our dependence on middle eastern oil and Venezuelen oil. Senator McCain speaks of clean coal technology, nuclear power, and hybrid energy, and says in 7 to 10 years with focus we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
  • Obama says we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil in ten years.
  • Obama says he believes in free trade, but not in the attitude that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement. He is strongly opposed to NAFTA.
  • Senator McCain says, "I admire Senator Obama's eloquence, and you really have to listen to the words." Senator McCain mentioned that Obama said, "We can look at..." in response to a question, never actually stating his position on the issue, but making it sound like he did. He then charges that Obama has never traveled south of our border and doesn't understand NAFTA. He says that free trade with Columbia is a no-brainer, and if Obama would travel down there he might learn a better understanding of it.
  • Moderator asks if either candidate would favor controlling health care costs over expanding health care coverage. Obama says, "We've gotta do both." Obama goes on to explain how he hopes to lower the average family's health care premium by about $2500 per year. Those who don't have health care coverage can buy into a health care pool like the US Senate has. He won't allow insurance companies to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. He says they will manage chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes that are preventable. He doesn't explain how he will manage those.
  • Senator McCain on healthcare: but records online like the VA does, create more community health centers, more physical fitness programs in schools, employers rewarding employers who enroll in a health care program, $5000 tax credit to families for health care. He again mentions the fine that Obama plans to charge families who don't have health care. He asks Obama to tell how much that fine will be.
  • Obama answers, "Here's your fine: zero." He goes on to say that he exempts small businesses from having to pay into a "kitty" but that large businesses that can afford it either provide health insurance to their employees, or somebody has to. He doesn't explain what happens to those who work for a large company that end up with no health care. He then attacks Senator McCain on his $5000 tax credit, claiming that older Americans won't be able to afford health care under Senator McCain's plan.
  • Obama thins that the average cost for health care in America is $12,000. Sentor McCain says it is $5800. They both can't be right. A recent Towers Perrin Health Care survey says that the average cost of health care in 2009 will be $9600.Health Care
  • On the Supreme Court, Senator McCain says he would not impose a litmus test on his nominees based upon abortion. Obama says he believes that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. If he said anything about whether he would nominate someone who disagrees with him -- which is what the moderator asked -- I didn't hear it.
  • Senator McCain charges back that Obama voted against a law in Illinois that would provide immediate treatment for babies born alive during an abortion. Obama voted against a band on partial birth abortion.
  • Obama says it isn't true that he voted against a bill that would provide life-saving treatment for infants. He says there was already a law on the books in Illinois that would require life-saving treatment for babies, so he voted against the new one. So it isn't untrue. He did vote against it. He just thinks it was okay. He says he is completely opposed to partial birth abortion as long as there's an exception for the mother's life.
  • Senator McCain charges that "health of the mother" has been stretched to mean almost anything.
  • Obama says we have to get our education system right. He says there has been a debate between more money and reform, but he thinks we need both. Senator McCain says it's the civil rights issue of the 21st century. He says that choice and competition among schools is one of the key elements. Have charter schools, reward and promote good teachers, find other teachers another line of work, give parents the choice to send their kids to the school of their choice. Senator McCain says that throwing money at the problem is not the answer. "You will find that some of the worst schools in the country get the most money per student." Make student loans available, give them a repayment plan they can meet, adjust student loan eligibility to inflation. Senator McCain replies that he's surprised that Obama didn't pay more attention to the voucher system in Washington, DC.
  • Obama comes back to talk about the condition of the DC school system to try to demonstrate that he does know what's going on in DC. He says he disagrees with Senator McCain about vouchers because "the data doesn't show that it solves the problem." Senator McCain sums up Obama's point to say that we shouldn't have vouchers because there aren't enough of them, even though it's working.
  • In closing statements, Senator McCain talks of his long record of being a careful steward of tax dollars, of making health care affordable, of making quality education available, of stopping the spending. He asks voters to examine his record and to examine his proposals for this country. He says he has been proud to serve his country his entire life.
  • In closing statements, Obama says America is going through tough times right now. He mentions the Bush Presidency again and it's "same failed policies and same failed politics." He says we need fundamental change in this country. He talks of policies that will life wages and grow the middle class. He says it won't be easy and it won't be quick. He calls on everyone to renew a spirit of sacrifice and service and responsibility.
From the very opening of tonight's debate, Senator McCain had Obama on the run, constantly playing defense while in no way actually repudiating the very real charges from McCain. Moreso tonight than in any of the prior two debates, Obama was stuttering and stammering and trying to form his thoughts on the fly, rather unsuccessfully.

Once again, Obama referred to Senator frequently as "John," while Senator McCain consistently referred to Obama by title and name. Why is it that Obama insists on so blatantly disrespecting Senator McCain?

Again, I'm sure that the media will spin tonight's debate in favor of Obama. I do not know how anyone can possibly think Obama even placed in tonight's debate. Senator McCain went to the debate tonight with victory in mind. He took off the gloves and kicked Obama's tail!

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