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Obama gets “Schooled” in First Debate

Posted on 26 September 2008

Special thanks go to Alex Charyna of for the updates.

Right out of the chute, McCain looks and behaves quite collected, at ease. Obama looks uncomfortable and wooden.

McCain hits big on the first question, concerning the bail-out. Obama strings rhetoric as McCain gives facts and substance.

Obama is asked to direct a comment to McCain, he instead, speaks directly to the moderator.

Side note-Obama is wearing a flag pin-

“The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin,” Obama said. “Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.
“I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest,” he said in the interview. “Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.”

(ht to Alex for pointing that out to me)

McCain laments the use of earmarks as “a gateway drug”. Says that earmarks are one of the big spending issues that are out of control in government. He promises to veto earmarks ad naseum when he becomes president. Points out Obama’s ludicrous amount of earmarks.

Barry tells that he stopped taking earmarks for his home state. Of course! He hasn’t been in the senate chambers long enough this year to ask for any!

Obama states that earmarks aren’t the only problem…his $932 million in earmarks since he became senator would seem to me to be a big part of it.

The next question concerns their respective economic recovery plans…

For the record, McCain has never taken a dollar in earmarks for his home state of Arizona.

John Mentioned Barry’s definition of “rich” as it concerns the tax code…Barry comes back to say there are too many loopholes for the rich…I’d like to see what he paid last year in taxes!

They fence back and forth on tax breaks with nothing substantial to say.

Barry is putting forth the idea of energy independence, hybrid technology, keeping students viable in the world market, renewable energy sources, etc. Same old rhetoric we’ve been hearing from him, nothing new.

McCain is suggesting fiscal discipline, cleaning the dead wood out of the government agencies, from top to bottom, bottom to top. To essentially “scrub every agency of government”. He’s on fire!

Gaffe #1-Barry called McCain “Tom”

John is suggesting a spending freeze on everything except defense, veterans affairs, where Obama is for continuing funding education, McCain suggests that we can create jobs by building more nuclear power plants.

Gaffe #2: The moderator suggests that the next president will “rule” the United States.

Health Care, Health Care, Health Care…Obama wants to pay for it through (obviously) welth distribution through higher taxes…McCain says that the U.S.,government needs to stay out of the medical insurance business.

Obama Gaffe #2: He calls John “Jim”!

Obama says that McCain will be “business as usual”, McCain says I’m a maverick, and so is my running mate (props to SARAH!).

The next Question concerns the Iraq wr maybe becoming another Viet Nam.

McCain states that the war, ans subsequent surge is and has worked, and we will, under Petraeus, succeed, and come home winners, successful.

Obama states he was “brave enough” to stand up in the senate and oppose the war…busting chops about the cost of freedom and safety. He forgets that we need to be safe. States that we haven’t used our military resources wisely in Iraq. What war is he watching?

McCain just busted Obama’s chops over his support of  the troops, not visiting for over 900 days, never meeting with Petraeus…Barry’s face is priceless on the split screen.

McCain quips that Obama doesn’t know the difference between a tactic and a strategy! Priceless. Barry is reduces to interrupting and stuttering. He looks bad!

Now Barry is backpedaling on his previous stand on the war…he stated that he was for funding a war with a foreseeable end…I thought he was against funding the war?

Obama is constantly interrupting McCain…bad move, Barry!

McCain stated that Obama’s plan would “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”…Great line!

On to Afghanistan…Barry is all for additional troops in Afghanistan, but that we also should tie the two together. So now he’s an expert on military ops?

He says we have to press the Afgan government, that they need to keep their people in line. (side note: he’s pronouncing Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. like he’s lived there..oops, he has)

McCain is not ready to commit troops to Pakistan-he says the tribe mentality is very hard for us to be able to align ourselves with…true that. says that as we do need to work on Pakistan, we need to leave the decisions to General Petraeus.  Obama had stated that we need to invade Pakistan, McCain says :you don’t say that out loud!”. (Obama pronounces it “Pock-ee-stahn”)

(this ain’t easy…I now know how Alex felt when he live blogged the convention)

McCain’s record on national security issues, especially committing troops to combat, is stellar. McCain told the story of the mother of a service man killed in combat-she gave him her son’s bracelet and asked him to make sure that we win, that her son’s life wasn’t lost in vain. John rattled off the soldier’s name like it was his own…Barry looked at his wrist and said “I have a bracelet, too” (He had to look at his wrist to see the soldier’s name)

New question about the threat from Iran

McCain states that Iran having nukes will be a direct threat to Israel, and worries that there will be another Holocaust with a nuclear Iran.

He wants other countries to join with us to impose serious sanctions on Iran and can control the situation that way, if we work together. He goes on about the fact that Iran is supplying terrorists in Iraq with IED’s and such.

Obama says that the republican guard being a terrorist agency. Says that Iran’s strength has come from the war in Iraq. He claims that the policy (read war) of the last 8 years has been directly responsible for strengthening Iran.

Barry says sanctions will not work. By not talking to them, we’re not really punishing them, but strengthening them.

McCain says we should not have open dialogue with Iran, legitimizing their behavior. Reminds Barry that it worked when Reagan did it with the former USSR…and it worked. We don’t need no stinkin’ preconditions! Booyah!

Barry says: ‘but, but, but, but…” Claims he doesn’t necessarily not want preconditions…but it’s all Bush’s fault! Claims we need to sit down with our enemies and have a tea and crumpet party.

McCain says that he’s “not going to set the White House visitor’s schedule before he’s president…I don’t even have a seal yet”. Priceless jab!

Obama says preconditions mean preparation.


Obama sees them as a potential ally, although now they are perceived as a threat. Says we need to be tough with Russia, while allowing our “friends” to join NATO, if they meet the requirements. Claims that some of their nukes could find their way into the hands of al Qaeda…

McCain calls Obama naive for thinking that Russia and Georgia should both “back down from aggression” (I thought Georgia was defending their sovereign nation, not to mention the pipeline that runs through their land)

McCain supports allowing Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO…claims that the situation is difficult, but Russia should respect the borders of the other countries involved.

Obama just said that we should “forcefully object” to Russia’s resurgency…he copped that line from Demi Moore in “A Few Good Men”.

Alternative energy and economic recovery…McCain speaks, Obama interrupts…sheesh, what an amateur.

McCain upstages Barry on alternative energy, Barry gets flustered, interrupts, and says “let’s move on”. The sheer arrogance of this guy scares the bejeezus out of me (that he’s so close to maybe becoming president).

Are we going to be attacked again.

McCain states that we need to beef up security, especially along our borders.

Barry is reading from the democrat playbook, pointing our the Bush administrations foibles, no clear solution to offer.Quotes Ronald Reagan by saying that we need to once again become that “shining beacon on the hill”…this guy has never had an original thought, has he?

Barry equates Al Qaeda with borrowing money from China…whiskey-tango-foxtrot?

McCain delivers the coup de grace…says Obama lacks the experience in foreign affairs to the point that he still claims that the surge didn’t work, says he’ll take care of those who gave so much to keep the country safe, our veterans.

Obama says “my father came from Kenya” in the ’60’s…he came here for the American dream? he came here, got a free education and left his wife and son to pursue a career in Africa…some role model.

McCain gives a final statement that basically he’s the most qualified. I agree.

McCain-1, Barry-0