Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate Notes

My comments in bold:

McCain's opening statement was a little weird. "We Republicans" – out of control spending and corruption (uh, you're a Republican John)

McCain – Obama wants to increase spending by $300B (nice jab)

Obama – focus spending on health care and education – spend money wisely – help middle class instead of the rich

McCain – 11% business tax in Ireland vs 35% tax in U.S. means we need to cut taxes on businesses (great point until Obama follows up)

McCain – raise taxes slows down business

Obama – tax loopholes for businesses mean that businesses have lowest tax rates in the world (and a left hook)

Obama – have to have energy independence (10 years), environment, health care (didn't like that he didn't answer the question about what he would give up)

McCain – cut spending, eliminate ethanol subsidies, do away with cost plus contracts in the military (direct answer to the question)

McCain – saved taxpayer $6.6B (Boeing and DOD)

McCain – spending freeze except for Defense, veterans, entitlements (that's what I'm talking about)

Obama – hatchet instead of a scalpel(nice one)

McCain – nuclear power (700,000 new jobs)(double whammy - energy independence and jobs)

Obama – have to trust the values of the candidate (amen and he's shown better overall judgment)

McCain – doesn’t want to hand health care over to the federal government (talking point)

McCain - $800B in new spending via Obama (whoa nelly!)

Obama – McCain agreed with Bush 90% of the time, presided over deficits and increase in spending – (keeps slamming this home)

Obama – against Iraq from the beginning, spent $1T, lost 4000 troops, Al Qaeda is resurgent in Afghanistan, spending $10B a month, when Iraq has $79B surplus, borrowing money for basic functions

McCain – Obama said surge wouldn’t work, but Obama recently said that surge worked (it sucks when you're wrong)

Obama – better judgment based upon 2003, McCain pretends war started in 2007 (one of the top three lines of the night)

McCain – Obama doesn’t understand difference between tactic and a strategy (that's gotta hurt)

Obama – better judgment. McCain took eye off the ball and said we could muddle through Afghanistan (another top three line of the night)

McCain - Obama's initial reaction to the Georgia/Russia crisis showed inexperience (major foreign policy point in McCain's favor. why won't McCain look Obama in the eye?)

After that, it started to get slow and less interesting. McCain's focus on pork was nice until you realize that pork is only $18B out of a $3T plus budget. Peanuts in the grand scheme of things.

McCain's reference to Obama's naivety and his experience was his driving theme. Obama's was his judgment. McCain was better than expected on the economy, until Obama started hammering him on tax cuts for the rich.

McCain had the tactical advantage on foreign affairs with his knowledge of everything foreign and hammered him on the "no preconditions" before talks with axis of evil heads of state, but Obama's better judgment on Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan (the muddle comment was brilliant) makes it about even for me.

Both had good poise. I liked the format. Obama took the initiative by talking to McCain first. McCain's creepy smile and using his nickname to refer to himself was a little odd. He obviously despises Obama.

Both appeared presidential and no major gaffes. Maybe next time.


liz said...

for some reason i think it is super hot to see you so fired up about all this.

is ross perot on the ballot? jk

Anonymous said...

I am gone for a few days and your blog becomes the next great political center of the blogosphere. While interesting, you should also stick with your roots of running and food.

PassTheChips said...

Don't worry anonymous. Food and running could move to the top of the list at any point.

John said...

Finally got to watching the debate. Fairly even to me with some good one liners on both sides. McCain looks uncomfortable at times, but plays the grumpy old man that won't take crap from anyone pretty well. Obama stays cool and once again came across very presidential.

In terms of Foreign Policy, I look at it as McCain taking a strong handed and more expensive approach with foreign threats and Obama reaching out for unilateral support. Practically how do we fight conflicts on 3-4 fronts without stronger international partners? Obama should have made this a point. McCain stayed aggresive about the across the table theme which kept Obama on the defensive when he could have played this up more.

In terms of the Economy. I would have liked more specifics from Obama and McCain although McCain had the slight edge here. If either candidate would provide details and priorities with balancing of the budget being number one, he would swing millions of undecided voters.

BTW- Isn't bloging about writing about what's on your mind, not what 'Anonymous' wants to hear?