Archive for the ‘debate’ Category

Team Obama’s Mindset: Attack and Smear Everything About McCain-Palin, Even Joe the Plumber

October 17, 2008

“Joe the Plumber” is a regular guy.  He is so regular that he might be in some trouble with the IRS and he never bothered to get a license as a plumber even though he cleans out and bends lots of pipe.  But after he bacame a household focal point of the “regular guy,” not unlike “Joe Sixpack,” an unusual thing happened….the Obama smaer team including Barack Obama and Joe Biden went after “Joe the Plumber” just to dicredit him and make him look bad.  This shows how afraid Team Obama is of facing the truth about their economic and tax plans; even though the Obama camp has a big lead in the polls and a huge pile of cash to use against McCain….
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(CNN) — After rocketing Joe ‘the plumber’ Wurzelbacher to stardom at Wednesday’s presidential debate, John McCain is defending the headline-grabbing undecided Ohio voter from what he calls Obama campaign “attacks.”

 

“Last weekend, Senator Obama showed up in Joe’s driveway to ask for his vote, and Joe asked Senator Obama a tough question,” McCain told voters in Miami Friday. “The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house.”

Wurzelbacher, who met Obama last weekend when the Illinois senator campaigned in his Ohio neighborhood, asked Obama whether his taxes would be raised if he bought a business and made $250,000. Obama conceded that they would — a comment McCain repeatedly sought to highlight at the third and final presidential debate earlier this week, when the plumber found himself thrust into the media spotlight.

“He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question,” McCain said at Friday’s Miami rally. “And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

Since Wurzelbacher’s rapid rise on the national stage, both Barack Obama and Biden have questioned his “average Joe credentials,” noting most plumbers do not make salaries well into the six figures.

“That a plumber is the guy he’s fighting for…” Obama said to laughter at a rally in New Hampshire Thursday. “How many plumbers you know making a quarter million dollars a year?”

Biden echoed a similar line on Jay Leno Thursday night. [Biden also went on NBC’s TODAY show to attack Joe….Biden started and ended Thursday on NBC in the “Trash Joe the Plummer” campaign….]

Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice-presidential candidate ... 
Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden chat during taping of ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

“The neighborhood I grew up, even the neighborhood I live in now, which is a really nice neighborhood, I don’t know many plumbers who are making $250,000 a year and worried about it,” Biden said. “We’re kind of worried about Joe the fireman, Joe the policeman, Joe the real plumber with a license.”

Infuriated By Possibility of Higher Taxes? So Is Joe The Plummer (See Video)

October 16, 2008

John McCain may have found a blue-collar face to help him argue that no American — not even the richest 5 percent — should pay higher taxes.

“Joe The Plumber” has weighed in on Wednesday’s presidential debate and he says that Barack Obama’s tax plan “infuriates me.”

“To be honest with you, that infuriates me,” plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told Nightline’s Terry Moran. “It’s not right for someone to decide you made too much—that you’ve done too good and now we’re going to take some of it back.”

“That’s just completely wrong,” he added.

Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama speaks ...
Joe the Plummer (L) Wurzelbacher talks with a guy that wants to raise his taxes and redistribute his wealth.  John McCain calls it class warfare….Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama spoke to Joe as Obama canvassed a neighbourhood in Holland, Ohio, October 12, 2008.(Jim Young/Reuters)

Read the rest and watch the video from ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Hope Ditto:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/
2008/10/joe-the-plumber.html

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By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama and John McCain may have turned him into the most famous small-business owner in America, but Joe the Plumber isn’t about to return the favor with an endorsement.
The morning after he emerged as the unexpected star of Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, declined to say who he will vote for in the November 4 election.

“It’s a personal decision, and myself and the button I push will know the answer,” the 34-year-old plumber and single father said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program.

Later outside his home he told a crowd of reporters “I want the American people to vote for who they want to vote for,” and in an informed way.

He also said he was proud of what the U.S. military has accomplished in Iraq, feels his views are shared by many middle class working people he knows, is tired of people criticizing the United States and feels that the U.S. Social Security program is a “joke.”

Wurzelbacher came to prominence last week when he asked Obama about his tax plan during a campaign stop, which led to an appearance on a Fox News talk show and an invitation to a McCain rally.

Wurzelbacher said the sudden attention hasn’t yet translated into increased business.

“I hope I have a lot of jobs today. Yesterday I worked on a water main break for a gas station and that’s why I didn’t give any interviews. I was muddy and soaking wet,” he said.

Obama and McCain repeatedly invoked Wurzelbacher in their final debate as they sought to appeal to average Americans. McCain, a Republican, said Obama’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year would hurt small-business owners like Wurzelbacher.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081016/us_nm/us_usa_politics_
plumber;_ylt=Am6aXw2iArr4XUtRD1GD8HGs0NUE

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Joe Doesn’t Have License as Plummer

By By JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press Writer

“That bothered me. I wished that they had talked more about issues that are important to Americans,” he told reporters gathered outside his home.

Wurzelbacher, 34, said he doesn’t have a good plan put together on how he would buy Newell Plumbing and Heating in nearby Toledo.

He said the business consists of owner Al Newell and him. Wurzelbacher said he’s worked there for six years and that the two have talked about his taking it over at some point.

“There’s a lot I’ve got to learn,” he said.

Wurzelbacher said he started his day with an early morning workout and came back to his suburban Toledo home to do live interviews with TV networks.

Reporters camped out by his house overnight and by midmorning there were 21 people on his driveway surrounding him, holding cameras and notebooks.

Wurzelbacher said he’s feeling overwhelmed.

“I’m kind of like Britney Spears having a headache. Everybody wants to know about it,” he joked.

Joe Wurzelbacher, right, or as Republican presidential candidate ...
Above: Joe Wurzelbacher, right, or as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain dubbed him during Wednesday’s presidential debate, ‘Joe The Pumber’, chats with members of the news media outside of his home in Holland, Ohio, Thursday Oct. 16, 2008. Wurzelbacher was cited by the GOP presidential candidate as an example of someone who wants to buy a plumbing business but would be hurt by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plans. In Toledo on Sunday, Wurzelbacher told Obama that he was preparing to buy the plumbing company, which earns more than $250,000 a year, and said: ‘Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?’ Obama said that under his proposal taxes on any revenue from $250,000 on down would stay the same, but that amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax, instead of the current 36 percent rate.(AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)

In Toledo on Sunday, Wurzelbacher told Obama that he was preparing to buy the plumbing company, which earns more than $250,000 a year, and said: “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

Obama said that under his proposal taxes on any revenue from $250,000 on down would stay the same, but that amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax, instead of the current 36 percent rate.

Wurzelbacher said Obama’s tax plan wouldn’t affect him right now, because he doesn’t make $250,000. “But I hope someday I’ll make that,” he said.

“If you believed (Obama), I’d be receiving his tax cuts,” Wurzelbacher said. “But I don’t look at it that way. He’d still be hurting others.”

As he leaned against the Dodge Durango SUV parked in his driveway Thursday morning, Wurzelbacher indicated to reporters who crowded around that he was a conservative, a fan of the military and McCain. He said meeting McCain would be an honor but said he hadn’t been contacted by the Republican campaign.

Still, the plumber wouldn’t say who he was voting for and brushed off a question about whether he could influence the election or other voters.

“I don’t have a lot of pull. It’s not like I’m Matt Damon,” Wurzelbacher said.

“I just hope I’m not making too much of a fool of myself,” he added

Who Won Final Presidential Debate?

October 16, 2008

The morning of September 16, 2008, the Rasmussen poll is reporting that likely voters are for Obama 50%; McCain 46%…..

CNN polled people who wathed and said 58% said Obama won last night’s debate.  At Fox News, a “text-in” poll said 87% thought McCain won.  Dick Morris at Fox News said McCain won but Charles Krauthammer said the debate was a draw.  Most others said Obama won.

Who DID win?  Depends upon who you asked….

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) — A majority of debate watchers think Sen. Barack Obama won the third and final presidential debate, according to a national poll conducted right afterward.
McCain, Obama get tough in final debate

Fifty-eight percent of debate watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said Democratic candidate Obama did the best job in the debate, with 31 percent saying Republican Sen. John McCain performed best.

The poll also suggests that debate watchers’ favorable opinion of Obama rose slightly during the debate, from 63 percent at the start to 66 percent at the end. The poll indicates that McCain’s favorables dropped slightly, from 51 percent to 49 percent.

The economy was the dominant issue of the debate, and 59 percent of debate watchers polled said Obama would do a better job handling the economy, 24 points ahead of McCain.

During the debate, McCain attacked Obama’s stance on taxes, accusing Obama of seeking tax increases that would “spread the wealth around.” But by 15 points, 56 percent to 41 percent, debate watchers polled said Obama would do a better job on taxes. By a 2-1 margin, 62 percent to 31 percent, debate watchers said Obama would do a better job on health care.

Sixty-six percent of debate watchers said Obama more clearly expressed his views, with 25 percent saying McCain was more clear about his views.

By 23 points, those polled said Obama was the stronger leader during the debate. By 48 points, they said Obama was more likeable.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/
10/15/debate.poll/index.html

Tease? Team Obama Gives Debate “Talking Points” To Media; What Will McCain Do?

October 15, 2008

Final preparations are made at the presidential debate site ... 
Final preparations are made at the presidential debate site at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. John McCain, needing a dramatic turnaround to his waning White House hopes, vowed to unmask his rival Barack Obama as a radical sympathizer at their third and final debate in New York Wednesday.(AFP/Getty Images/Win Mcnamee)

Politico

The Obama campaign is trying to raise the stakes for McCain by stressing that the debate may be his last chance to turn the race around, and to raise the expectation that he’ll attack.

“This is John McCain’s last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn’t disqualify him from being President,” say the talking points.

And they’re continuing to drive the “erratic” message.

“John McCain has been erratic and unsteady since this crisis began — staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks,” says the document, which is essentially a more deadpan version of Bill Burton’s pre-debate memo.

Full talking points after the jump.

Talking Points

· This is John McCain’s last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn’t disqualify him from being President.

· Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to “whip Obama’s you-know-what” at the debate, and he’s indicated that he’ll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to distract voters.

· So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack

Barack Obama….
Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081015/pl_politico/23794_1
Related:
Obama Says He Really Does Believe In “Income and Wealth Redistribution”
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Just one troubling quandry for John McCain….

 

Mike Allen
Politico

John McCain is at odds with many of his top advisers over launching a renewed attack on Barack Obama‘s ties to his long-time pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to campaign sources.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and several top campaign officials see a sharp attack on Wright as the best — and perhaps last — chance to rattle Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill. ) and force voters to rethink their support of him. But McCain continues to overrule them, fearing a Wright attack would smack of desperation and racism, the officials said.

With McCain unlikely to budge, GOP officials are hoping groups outside of the campaign will finance an ad attack on Obama-Wright ties. It is unclear if any conservative group has the cash to bankroll a serious effort, however.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ...
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., makes a campaign stop at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“Wright is off the table,” said one top campaign official. “It’s all McCain. He won’t go there. His advisers would have gone there.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081015/pl_politico/14587;_ylt=AkPRWw2LJ5790c.O3kohb_Os0NUE

Related:
Barack Obama’s Famous Friends, Associates: Hate Speech, Crimes, Fraud Incorporated
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — GOP Sen. John McCain must clearly differentiate his plan to fix the ailing economy from that of his rival Sen. Barack Obama at Wednesday night’s presidential debate if he is to shake up the race, political analysts said.

“I think what he has to to do is talk about the issues. … He’s got to talk about his economic plan,” CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger said. “Yes, he’s got to convince voters that he’s got the judgment to be president, but he’s also got to convince voters to like him.”

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic policy during their second presidential debate.

Above: Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred about domestic
policy during their second presidential debate.

The third and final debate, taking place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, at 9 p.m. ET, may be the last time the Republican presidential candidate may be able turn the race to his favor before Election Day, now less than three weeks away.

The 90-minute face-off, which will air on CNN and CNN.com, will undoubtedly focus on the economic crisis plaguing the country.

CNN political editor Mark Preston said the debate will likely be McCain’s “last chance to reach tens of millions of people with his vision for America.”

“He needs a game-changer,” Preston said.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/15/presidential.debate/index.html?section=cnn_latest
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By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer

TOLEDO, Ohio – Republican John McCain is looking to turnaround his fortunes in the final presidential debate with Democrat Barack Obama, a forum focused on pocketbook issues and domestic policy Wednesday night.

Both candidates released proposals this week designed to boost the economy as financial institutions wobble and voters feel the pinch of a faltering economy. The debate is at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., with the candidates seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS.

With the economic crisis fueling public unease, Obama has built leads nationally and in key states as the turmoil has returned the nation’s focus to the policies of the unpopular President Bush. The burden now is on McCain to try to reverse his slide.

To that end, the Arizona senator took a new approach this week, positioning himself as a fighter for the American middle class and easing off his most direct attacks on Obama, an Illinois senator. McCain also took pains to separate himself from Bush.

“We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. … As president I intend to act, quickly and decisively,” McCain said Tuesday in battleground Pennsylvania.

He announced a $52.5 billion economic plan Tuesday that calls for halving the tax rate on capital gains and reducing the tax on withdrawals from retirement accounts, among other measures. A day earlier, Obama unveiled a $60 billion proposal that includes an extension of unemployment benefits, a 90-day freeze on home foreclosures, penalty-free withdrawals from retirement funds and a $3,000 tax credit for each new job.

Both candidates call for doing away with the tax on unemployment benefits.
McCain has suggested that he is likely to bring up Obama’s links to William Ayers, a radical during the Vietnam War era. Ayers was a member of the violent Weather Underground group but later became a university professor in Chicago and an expert on education. He and Obama both worked with some of the same charity foundations in Chicago, and Ayers hosted a reception for Obama when he first ran for the Illinois state Senate.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081015/ap_on_el_pr/presi
dential_debate;_ylt=Ani.AQbuYEOmHVlQlchoDwes0NUE

McCain’s Prospects Depend on Telling Truth About Obama

October 15, 2008

By Phillis Schlafly
Townhall and The Washington Times
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The media are piling on against John McCain and some pundits are predicting it’s all over, that Barack Obama has somehow won the election. As the old saying goes, it’s not over until the fat lady sings, and it’s high time for the fat lady to sing about Obama’s scary agenda and the many reasons why it is too risky to elect him president.

We need to hear more about ACORN, the special-interest group that would like to steal this election by registering people who are not eligible to vote, such as registering ghost voters in Nevada under the names of the Dallas Cowboys. Obama’s years of close association with ACORN need to be known to the public.

We should hear more about Obama’s political friend William Ayers, the unrepentant bomber and Ward Churchill-type professor, who has a really scary plan to remake the curriculum of public schools in order to turn kids into radical socialists like himself. Obama helped deliver big bucks to Ayers’ radical education project in Chicago.

Obama has already introduced one bill in the U.S. Senate called “Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act,” which would implement Ayers’ social-outcome notions, and another to teach kindergartners Al Gore’s propaganda about climate change. Voters should be reminded that Obama has called for making “sure your child can speak Spanish.”

We need to have further explanations….

Read the rest:
 http://townhall.com/Columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2008/
10/14/mccains_prospects_depend_on_telling_truth_about_obama

In Final Debate, Can McCain Rattle an Imperturbable Foe?

October 15, 2008

By Mark Halperin
Time Magazine

Barack Obama is nearly impossible to rattle. His aides and friends are fond of pointing out that his emotional highs are not too high and his lows are never particularly low. It is Obama’s almost preternatural calm that will be John McCain‘s main obstacle at Wednesday night’s final presidential debate in Hempstead, NY.

Workers prepare the stage at the site of the third and final ... 
Above: Workers prepare the stage at the site of the third and final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 14, 2008.(Jim Bourg/Reuters)

With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, the Republican presidential nominee faces a daunting overall task. He is so far behind in the national polls and in most key individual states that it is difficult to assemble a single combination of Electoral College votes to get him to the necessary 270. Despite Monday’s unprecedented stock market rebound and Tuesday’s campaign announcement introducing a new McCain economic policy proposal, voters largely continue to blame the Republicans for the financial crisis and the gloomy mood of an unstable nation. At the same time, the impact of Obama’s massive fundraising advantage has hit full force, flooding battleground states with television ads, direct mail, and well-paid armies of local organizers. As Obama’s lead has held (and even grown in some polls) pundits and political strategists in both parties have begun to assertively predict an easy Obama win, possibly producing a self-fulfilling wave.

 

Under these challenging circumstances, and with a vast audience of voters tuning in, McCain will enter the debate hall for his last chance to shake up the race…

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20081015/u
s_time/infinaldebatecanmccainrattleanim
perturbablefoe;_ylt=Ai4b_ANW8OMUagxhTRNiVd2s0NUE

Obama has 4-point lead on McCain: Zogby

October 15, 2008

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent
October 15, 2008

HEMPSTEAD, New York (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama has a 4-point national lead over Republican John McCain as the White House rivals head into their final debate, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Obama leads McCain 48 percent to 44 percent among likely U.S. voters in the latest four-day tracking poll, down slightly from Obama’s 6-point advantage on Tuesday. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Above: John Zogby

Obama’s lead in the poll has remained stable, drifting between 4 and 6 percentage points for the last week.

“It’s not over, but it’s not moving a lot,” pollster John Zogby said. “There does not seem to be a dramatic shift going on.”

Obama and McCain meet in their third and final debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Wednesday night, giving McCain one last chance to reshape a presidential race that appears to be tilting toward Obama with less than three weeks before the November 4 election.

Some other national polls in the last few days have shown Obama with a double-digit lead on McCain, fueled by perceptions Obama would do a better job managing the faltering economy and unhappiness with McCain’s attacks on him over the past week.

The Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll shows Obama with an 8-point edge among independents, down sharply from Tuesday, and an 8-point lead among women, two key swing voting blocs.

Both candidates have solidified their base support, winning nearly nine of every 10 votes from members of their own party.

McCain, 72, an Arizona senator, leads narrowly among men and by 14 points among whites. The former Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam reclaimed a slight lead among families with at least one member in the military.

Obama, 47, an Illinois senator who would be the first black president, wins nine of every 10 black voters and solid majorities of Hispanics, Catholics and Jewish voters.

Zogby said McCain has been stuck at about 44 percent in more than a week of polling. Obama has lingered at about 48 percent for most of the week, hitting 49 percent twice but never breaking 50 percent.

The poll, conducted Saturday through Tuesday, showed independent Ralph Nader with 2 percent. Libertarian Bob Barr registered 1 percent.

Four percent of voters said they were still undecided.

The rolling tracking poll surveyed 1,210 likely voters in the presidential election. In a tracking poll, the most recent day’s results are added while the oldest day’s results are dropped in an effort to track changing momentum.

McCain and Obama are battling for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

Obama, McCain seek leader’s image in final debate

October 14, 2008

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama and John McCain will both pursue the image of a strong leader in troublesome economic times as they meet Wednesday night for their third and final presidential debate.

US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ... 
US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) greets US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at the end of their second presidential debate with at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee October 7, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Their face-off comes as Obama widens his lead in typically Democratic states and campaigns with an air of optimism about his prospects, while McCain seeks a way to gain ground and finds himself defending traditionally Republican states with less than three weeks left in the race.

“We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. … As president I intend to act, quickly and decisively,” McCain said Tuesday in battleground Pennsylvania. There, he unveiled new economic proposals and previewed a possible debate strategy: argue that he would be different from Bush and better than Obama.

One day earlier in swing state Ohio, Obama outlined his own economic plan and showed off his own pitch. He suggested that McCain was more of the same and that putting a Democrat in charge was the only way to fix the economy’s woes: “It will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years.”
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Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081014/ap_on_el_pr/
debate_stakes;_ylt=Aht3q0GBCdpkGo5K7pgZfr2s0NUE

Obama, McCain spar on crisis, Iraq, Pakistan

October 8, 2008

by Stephen Collinson

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, (AFP) – John McCain and Barack Obama clashed heatedly over the financial crisis, Iraq and Pakistan, but strove to empathize with voters’ economic fears in their second presidential debate.

Republican McCain was under intense pressure to throw his sliding campaign a lifeline, as he trails Democrat Obama by widening margins in national polls and in battleground states with time running out before the November 4 election.

After days of intensely nasty campaign trail rhetoric, the two senators strolled onto the stage in Nashville, Tennesse, smiling broadly, and shook hands, both patting the other on the arm before their “town-hall” style debate.

But the tension was boiling just below the surface, as both senators laced their answers with attacks on each other’s proposals and records.

McCain, who was widely criticized for rarely looking at Obama during their first debate two weeks ago, may have let his dislike of his opponent emerge again in a point likely to be discussed exhaustively after their showdown.

The Arizona senator said he voted against an energy bill laden down with tax breaks for big oil firms. “You know who voted for it? That one” he said, in a sharp comment directed at Obama.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081008/ts_afp/usvote_081008035805

Debate One: No clear-cut winner

September 27, 2008

Michael Calderone
Politico

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, shortly after the first presidential debate said, “there was not a sense the world had changed.”
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That’s a pretty high bar to set for a debate. But at the same time, with this week’s headlines of impending financial collapse and a suspended presidential campaign—not to mention doubts that the debate would actually take place — perhaps only a world-changing showdown could have lived up to the hype.

For hours beforehand, pundits tried to get inside John McCain’s head. There were questions about his “temperament,” his “risk-taking”, and — as the Obama campaign might say — his “erratic” ways.

But when the “two prizefighters,” as NBCs David Gregory called them, exited the stage, the attention shifted away from the chaotic past 48 hours and toward the previous 90 minutes.

Fox’s Brit Hume called it a “spirited debate,” but like other commentators, agreed that there was no standout moment that will be replayed on an endless loop.

“There was not in this debate, it didn’t seem to this observer anyway, one of the moment — that will be the sound bite of the night, that you know when you hear it — oh boy, that’s going to be the one on the morning programs, that’s going to be the one everybody’s talking about,” Hume said.

Moderator Jim Lehrer didn’t grandstand like other high-profile journalists during the primaries, and engaged the candidates, courteously pushing them to provide more specifics on what they would actually do in office. There weren’t any ‘gotcha’ questions to trip anyone up, or cause a major gaffe.

As expected, both campaigns claimed victory, and spin room surrogates appeared on screen to make their candidates’ case. Joe Biden appeared on all three cable networks, while Sarah Palin didn’t — leading CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to bring up her absence several times.

Of course, some partisans were quick to offer conclusive opinions. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said that there was no doubt Obama won, while Fox’s Bill Kristol contended McCain won. No surprises there.

“There will be a deal this weekend, and he will be vindicated,” Kristol said.

But for the most part, there was no knockout punch to easily give the victory to either Obama or McCain.

“I would have a hard time saying one person won this one,” said CNN’s David Gergen.

So without picking a clear-cut winner, many pundits analyzed….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/14009;_ylt=Ap1P
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