You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Debate’ tag.

Oh boy!!

John McCain scored the zinger of the night with, “I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”

But his performance in the third debate was, in fact, incredibly Bush-like, mirroring Bush’s signature stubbornness — especially on Iraq — by doubling down on a failed strategy.

McCain’s reliance on angry, negative, personal attacks on Obama — including the pathetic Ayers smear and ACORN “destroying the fabric of democracy” — has been an unequivocal failure, with the poll numbers to prove it. But instead of course-correcting, McCain doubled down tonight — coming across as angrier and meaner than ever before.

This debate wasn’t decided on the arguments being made. It was won on the reaction shots. Every time Obama spoke, McCain grimaced, sneered, rapidly blinked, or rolled his eyes. “He looked like Captain Ahab, again and again going after Moby Dick,” John Cusack told me. “Or an animal caught in a bear trap. He even seemed pissed at Joe the Plumber.”

The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared. It was like watching a split-screen double feature — Grumpy Old Men playing side by side with Cool Hand Luke.

McCain’s contemptuous reactions were so intense and frequent, they’ve already been turned into a YouTube video. The disdain McCain feels for Obama was unmistakable. It’s as if Obama is not just blocking his way to the White House, but robbing him of his destiny.

By contrast, every time McCain was on the attack, Obama was smiling. And the nastier McCain got, the brighter Obama’s smile became. It was the non-verbal equivalent of Reagan’s disarming “There you go again” — and it served to underline McCain’s need for anger management. The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared.

It was like watching a split-screen double feature — Grumpy Old Men playing side by side with Cool Hand Luke.

McCain was frantic — as though he was running out of time, which he is — throwing everything he had at Obama, logical connection between thoughts be damned. In one memorable answer, he brought up Colombia, quickly jumping from free trade, to drugs killing young Americans, to hostages freed from Colombian rebels, to job creation.

Colombia also brought out one of McCain’s most sneering reactions, chiding Obama for never having “traveled south of our border” — a jaw-dropping line of attack from the man who chose Sarah “Just Got My Passport” Palin as his No. 2.

Another head-scratcher: McCain’s claim that “talking about a positive plan of action to restore this economy” is “what my campaign is all about.” Really?

This is another way in which McCain’s campaign mirrors Bush’s handling of the Iraq war: not only doubling down on a failed strategy but also engaging in an endless search for an underlying rationale.

McCain’s spirit at the beginning of the debate quickly curdled into a desperate rage.

McCain’s campaign was all about experience — until he picked Palin. It was all about putting country first — until he picked Palin. It was all about the success of the surge — until everyone from General Petraeus and the authors of the latest NIE made it clear that victory in Iraq exists only in McCain’s and Palin’s stump speeches. It was all about William Ayers — until voters rejected that line of attack. It was all about national security — until the economy collapsed.

Now it looks like it’s going to be all about Joe the Plumber — and Sarah Palin’s “expertise” on autism. Note to Sen. McCain, check out Palin’s record as an advocate for special needs kids. She may understand their problems “better than almost any American that I know,” but she sure isn’t making their life easier in her state. (Is it any wonder McCain choked on the words as he referred to Palin as a “bresh of freth air”?)

Another note to McCain: If your mentioning Hillary Clinton three times in the debate was an attempt to win the hearts of women, putting women’s “health” in air quotes and labeling it the concern only of “extreme” pro-abortionists was not a very good way to close the deal. He can kiss those women — and those pro-choice swing voters — good-bye.

McCain’s spirit at the beginning of the debate quickly curdled into a desperate rage. And looking at the post-debate insta-polls, one thing became crystal: for voters, a lot of anger doesn’t go a long way.

Obama closed by promising to “work every single day, tirelessly, on your behalf.” McCain closed by just sounding tired — exhausted by all the unleashed fury.

Source: HP

It is as if Obama has reached a point in the debate and in the election – where McCain’s Smith-like attacks are absorbed or controlled – and even stopped in mid air. So much so that McCain can’t seem to get into Obama’s psyche and take him down with them – and with the better deal – the American people gravitate towards him as the One – and against McCain’s Agent Smith tactics.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Debates should not be confused with trips to Lourdes: Few miracles are dispensed.

John McCain needed a miracle in his final debate with Barack Obama on Wednesday night, a miracle that would wipe away McCain’s deficit in the polls and re-energize his flagging campaign.

He did not get one. The clouds did not part. Heavenly choirs were not heard. Instead, the American public heard angry attacks from McCain.

Sometimes McCain attacked directly, and sometimes he attacked sarcastically, but he never stopped attacking. And he never rattled Obama. Obama answered every attack and kept his cool.

How cool? Obama was so cool that after 90 minutes under blazing TV lights, an ice cube wouldn’t have melted on his forehead.

McCain attacked him on everything from wanting to raise the taxes of Joe the Plumber – – now the most famous plumber in America and at serious risk of becoming so wealthy his taxes will go up no matter who wins – – to not traveling enough.

How cool? Obama was so cool that after 90 minutes under blazing TV lights, an ice cube wouldn’t have melted on his forehead.

“I admire so much Sen. Obama’s eloquence,” McCain sneered. “Sen. Obama, who has never traveled south of our border.” (This from a man whose running mate got her first passport last year.)

But McCain didn’t just attack, he also defended, including defending those people who attend his rallies and the rallies of Sarah Palin who have shouted nasty and threatening things when Obama’s name is mentioned.

“Let me say categorically that I am proud of the people who come to my rallies,” McCain said. “I am not going to stand for anybody saying that the people who come to our rallies are anything other than patriotic citizens.”

Obama responded to all this — what else? — coolly.

“I don’t mind being attacked for the next three weeks,” Obama said. “What the American people can’t afford is four more years of failed economic policies.”

He never got off his game plan. He never got shook up.

The biggest impact of the three presidential debates for Obama was not anything said or not said. It was impressionistic: Obama simply did not appear to be the scary “other” that McCain needs him to be. “When people suggest that I pal around with terrorists, then we are not talking about issues,” Obama said smoothly.

For McCain, the biggest impact of the debates was visual: In the first debate he refused to look at Obama, in the second debate McCain appeared to careen around the stage and in this last debate McCain would scribble furiously with his Sharpie as Obama was talking or else smirk in response to what Obama was saying.

He never got off his game plan. He never got shook up. “When people suggest that I pal around with terrorists, then we are not talking about issues,” Obama said smoothly.

Moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS often asked provocative questions that sometimes did not get provocative responses. When Schieffer asked each man why the country would be better off if his running mate became president rather than the other guy’s running mate, Obama said Joe Biden “shares my core values.” John McCain said Sarah Palin is a “reformer” and “she has united our party.”

And McCain’s desire to keep his party united behind him — because who else is? — was very much on his mind, dipping deep into conservative Republican talking points. McCain repeatedly accused Obama of “wanting to spread the wealth” around, which doesn’t seem like all that bad an idea to people who aren’t wealthy.

But there was one place McCain would not go: He did not bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is a line McCain seems determined not to cross, even though some in his party are urging him to do so.

What McCain really needed is what he still needs: for Obama to make some huge gaffe, something that makes Obama look like the riskier choice between the two.

But Obama made no such gaffes Wednesday night.

“The biggest risk we could take right now is to adopt the same failed policies and same failed politics that we’ve seen for the last eight years,” Obama said.

The race is not over. It would be wrong to write McCain off. After all, there is still almost three weeks to go. And in politics, anything can happen.

It usually doesn’t, however.

Source: Politico

Politico

I can feel it coming in the Ayers tonight, oh Lord !!

McCain’s meant to kick some butt – at tonight the last debate – which is to cover domestic and economic polity – though I’m not sure how convincing the average voter that a tax cut for the very wealthy is going to help them – especially since the last one didn’t work.

Tonight is the last presidential debate, and the stakes are highest for John McCain — he’s on track to finish off the season with three strikes. The Arizona Republican has been heightening expectations for a fight. Before last Tuesday’s debate he made a similar move, suggesting to a crowd that he would “take the gloves off.” (He didn’t, and by many accounts the debate was not only “boring” but another win for Obama.) Tonight is McCain’s last chance to close the widening gap between him and Senator Obama. By McCain’s own predictions, it would seem that only a knockout win will do the trick. Read below for McCain’s two major pronouncements: that he’ll “‘whip’ Obama’s “you-know-what” and that it’s “probably ensured” he’ll bring up William Ayers tonight.

Source: HP

If the right question is asked McCain will bring up Ayers – i.e. if the moderator brings up Ayers then he will talk about it. Is that a one glove half off!

Imagine having to place all your eggs in a basket called Ayers. It’s the unfortunate corner McCain finds himself in.

It appears Sen. John McCain will take Sen. Barack Obama up on his challenge.

In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama’s comments that “I didn’t have the guts” to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have “probably ensured” that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday’s debate.

Source: Political Wire

McCain continues the smears ~ Obama launched his political careers in the local Ramada Inn.

Although McCain says ‘I’m a Fighter’ no one history has made a comeback – from being 10 points down in the polls 3 weeks before the election – to win. Everyone is wondering – what’s McCain’s message – and maybe he should make that clearer – but I think what has happened is that people have heard his message and haven’t bought it. Tax cut proposals for multi-millionaires and billionaires – while the average person is losing their jobs or seen money tighten through higher prices. And because of the US administration of which John McCain belonged – not only the US economy, but economies around the world have been rocked by decisions John McCain and his trusted economic adviser made – the economic adviser one who was saying America has become a nation of whiners – and the recession was in people minds.

During the debate McCain had ample opportunity to tell the audience and America – exactly how Obama’s connection to Ayers – could mean he is a terrorist above and beyond all the students taught by Ayers’ who’s a professor, and the faculty that work with him on a daily basis.

At least the 2nd Presidential Debate got off to a good start!

At least it got off to a good start!

Tonight’s debate wasn’t even close. Sen. Barack Obama ran away with it — particularly when speaking about the economy and health care. Talking about his mother’s death from cancer was very powerful. On nearly every issue, Obama was more substantive, showed more compassion and was more presidential.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain was extremely erratic. Sometimes he was too aggressive (referring to Obama as “that one.”) Other times, he just couldn’t answer the question (on how he would ask Americans to sacrifice.) And his random attempts at jokes (hair transplants?) were just bad.

Tom Brokaw was terrible as moderator. His fixation with the rules — particularly when the candidates were not complaining — was distracting and a disservice to everyone. The format didn’t work very well, but Brokaw made it worse.

Other reactions:

Andrew Sullivan: “This was, I think, a mauling: a devastating and possibly electorally fatal debate for McCain… I’ve watched a lot of debates and participated in many. I love debate and was trained as a boy in the British system to be a debater. I debated dozens of times at Oxofrd. All I can say is that, simply on terms of substance, clarity, empathy, style and authority, this has not just been an Obama victory. It has been a wipe-out. It has been about as big a wipe-out as I can remember in a presidential debate. It reminds me of the 1992 Clinton-Perot-Bush debate. I don’t really see how the McCain campaign survives this.”

Ezra Klein: “Tonight was supposed to be John McCain’s night, but it was the first clear debate win Obama has scored over the course of this campaign — including the primary. McCain, as it turned out, was badly disadvantaged by the format. This debate was more physical than previous encounters. And McCain, for reasons of age and injuries and height, has a less commanding physical presence than Obama.”

Mark Halperin: “McCain spent much of the evening trying to define Obama on his terms, but never broke all the way through.”

Marc Ambinder: “CW says that John McCain had a 90 minute window to turn his campaign around – to put into play the McCain Resurgence Strategy, if you will, and if that’s the CW threshold, I don’t think McCain met it.”

The instant polls taken just after the debate also show Obama as the winner.

CNN poll of debate viewers: Obama 54%, McCain 30%

CBS poll of uncommitted voters: Obama 39%, McCain 27%

Source: PoliticalWire

That One was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn’t have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed. That One turned down lucrative job offers after law school to return to Chicago, leading a successful voter registration drive. He joined a small law firm, taught constitutional law and, guided by his Christian faith, stayed active in his community. That One and his wife Michelle are proud parents of two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

More at thatone08.com

Another predictable debate which noone won can only be good news for Barack Obama who needs only not to lose to winGerard Baker, US editor in Nashville, Tennessee

If John McCain’s supporters were hoping that Tuesday night’s second presidential debate would turn back the Obama Tide that has engulfed their campaign in the last two weeks they will have been disappointed.

It was a flat, unmemorable affair, a matchsticks-on-the-eyelids struggle to stay awake, a predictable canter through the now familiar fields of the fading 2008 presidential election landscape: the financial crisis and the economy; health care; energy; taxes; Iraq; the war on terror; Afghanistan, Iran.

Some of the exchanges, it is true, were sharper than in their first debate two weeks ago. Senator McCain, behind in the polls, swung a few times and landed a blow or two on the glass jaw of his opponent. But this was not a debate in any meaningful sense of the term. It was once again an alternating recitation of standard campaign lines.

Senator Obama – you may be shocked to hear – promised tax cuts for working people; universal health care, an end to financial deregulation, the winding down of the war in Iraq, a renewed commitment to the war in Afghanistan and an America that is liked by the world. Senator McCain – in case you hadn’t heard – is a Republican who will continue the failed policies of George Bush.

For his part Senator McCain insisted he was – wait for it – a reformer who would reform Washington, end corruption on Wall Street, drill for oil, win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and robustly defend America’s interests. Senator Obama, he gravely reminded the audience, could not be trusted because he didn’t have the experience or the judgment.

One expects candidates to get their points across in these debates. But real debates involve thrust and parry; contention and objection; point and counterpoint. This had none of those necessities. And neither candidate was properly challenged by the moderator, Tom Brokaw, the superannuated NBC News Voice of God, to explain the trickier elements of their observations or square the contradictions in their claims. The town hall format, in which a few regular Americans in the auditorium (and a handful from outside via the internet) asked mostly bog-standard questions failed to break the gnawing predictability of it all.

Before the debate there had been much discussion about whether Senator McCain would use the occasion to repeat some of his campaign’s recent attacks on Senator Obama, specifically whether he might raise the spectre of some of the Illinois Democrat’s questionable associations in his past. Senator McCain has a reputation as a bare-knuckled fighter when he’s down, and given the parlous state of his campaign with less than a month to the election, it was thought he might take the lunge.

But in the event the Republican left the gloves on. There were no references to William Ayers, the 1960s lefty terrorist with whom Senator Obama evidently has a not-fully-explained past entanglement. Nor was there any time – on this occasion – for the volcanic Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama’s professionally aggrieved preacher and mentor.

Instead, Senator McCain tried to duff up his opponent by what might be called Marquess of Queensberry Rules. In the financial section of the debate he got in a few good jabs over the Democrat’s support over the past few years for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage behemoths whose bloated expansion, with the willing support of Democrats, is at least as much to blame for the current crisis as any supposed capitalist rush to deregulation. And he cheekily compared him to Herbert Hoover, the Republican widely credited (if that’s the word) for the policy errors that led to the first Great Depression.

Probably the only moment of real surprise in the whole 90 minutes came when Senator McCain, explaining how he and his opponent had voted differently on an energy bill, referred to Senator Obama as “that one”.

It produced a slight wince of disapproving dismay in the media watching hall, the sort of response you might evince when someone gently belches at a dinner party.

But, like that little betise, it was gone in an instant. The debate quickly resumed its lumbering path towards bedtime. Even a final bright question from the internet that asked the candidates to say what they didn’t know and how they might learn it quickly became an excuse for another predictable recital of stump speech talking points.

In short, as with the first presidential debate two weeks ago, and the vice-presidential contest last week, no-one won this bout.

All of which is good news for Senator Obama. Thanks to the financial crisis that has erupted in the last three weeks , the Democrat has opened up a commanding lead in the polls that will surely now – less than four weeks before the election – only be undone by some terrible error on his part, or some unimaginable breakthrough by Senator McCain.

The Illinois senator is now in the position of a golfer who is dormie three in a matchplay tournament. If he doesn’t lose, he wins. And he can even afford to lose a couple of holes and still be in command.

Source: Timesonline UK

Sen. John McCain has said he wants to shift the national dialogue away from the ongoing economics crisis and onto Sen. Barack Obamas character, and will likely use the stage of tonights debate to do just that.

Sen. John McCain has said he wants to shift the national dialogue away from the ongoing economics crisis and onto Sen. Barack Obama's character, and will likely use the stage of tonight's debate to do just that.

Obama Wants to Talk About the Economy; McCain Wants to Talk About Obama

Sen. John McCain has said he wants to shift the national dialogue away from the ongoing economics crisis and onto Sen. Barack Obama’s character, and will likely use the stage of tonight’s debate to do just that.

When the candidates meet tonight at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., for their second of three debates, the pressure will be on McCain, who is trailing in the polls, to convince people to reconsider their priorities as well as their votes.

That means continuing his campaign’s strategy of attacking Obama’s judgment, analysts said.

“He’s got a very difficult task ahead of him,” said Torie Clarke, a Republican strategist and ABC News political consultant. “He has to do something different. He has to say something that will change the game. He has to inject something into the system that will shake things up, because right now, it does not look good.”

Tonight’s town hall style debate is moderated by Tom Brokaw of NBC News. Brokaw will ask six or seven of the more than 6 million questions submitted over the Internet.

Another dozen or so questions will be asked by a group of 80 undecided voters from the Nashville area selected by the Gallup Poll.

Questions on both domestic and foreign policy will be followed with a two-minute response by each candidate and then a minute of open debate between the two.

McCain favors the town hall format and has previously challenged Obama to other town hall debates, but he arrives tonight at a moment when people say they are deeply dissatisfied with the current Republican administration and worried about their financial futures.

Down in the polls in the key battleground states, McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, went on the offensive this weekend, aggressively attacking Obama for his association to 1960s radical William Ayers, a move some see as part of a last-ditch attempt to revive a flagging campaign.

Source: ABC News

At the vice presidential debate in St. Louis, the McCain campaign rented out a stadium to re-energize the conservative base in light of Sarah Palin’s recent gaffes. Despite the revival feel, zeal for Palin isn’t translating in the polls. While some would argue Palin exceeded expectations, unregistered voters seem unimpressed.

Source: ANP

One could mention – that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones – but I don’t think Sarah Palin would listen.

While Palin digs into – Barack Obama’s “palling” around with Vietnam protesting terrorists – others look at her relationship and seeming support for an Alaska secessionist group and her patriotism.

Palin’s Attack On Obama’s Patriotism Legitimizes Questions About The Palins’ Association With Group Founded By America-Hating Secessionist

Sarah Palin attacked Obama’s patriotism today over his association with former Weatherman Bill Ayers — a move that makes it perfectly legitimate to raise questions about the Palins’ associations with a group founded by an Alaska secessionist who once professed his “hatred for the American government” and cursed our “damn flag.”

In Colorado today, Palin seized on the big front-page New York Times story about Ayers and Obama, which concludes that the two men “do not appear to have been close,” to launch her most vicious attack yet on the Illinois Senator — a harbinger of what’s to come.

“This is not a man who sees America as you and I do — as the greatest force for good in the world,” Palin said. “This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.”

If Palin is going to say this, it is now perfectly legitimate to point out that she repeatedly courted a secessionist group founded by someone who openly professed hatred of the American government, cursed our flag, and wanted to secede from the Union. Sarah’s husband, Todd Palin, was a member of this group, which continues to venerate that founder to this day, for years.

As you already know, the group is the Alaska Independence Party, which sees as its ultimate goal seceding from the union. Todd was a member, with a brief exception, from 1995 until 2002, according to the Division of Elections in Alaska.

And though Sarah Palin herself was apparently not a member of this group, there’s no doubt that she repeatedly courted this secessionist organization over the years. In 1994, Palin attended the group’s annual convention, according to witnesses who spoke to ABC News’ Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign has confirmed she visited the group’s 2000 convention, and she addressed its convention this year, as an incumbent governor whose oath of office includes upholding the Constitution of the United States.

Sarah Palin addresses the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) convention.

The founder of the AIP was a man named Joe Vogler. Here’s what he had to say in a 1991 interview, only a few years before Palin attended its convention: “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government.”

He also said this: “And I won’t be buried under their damn flag. I’ll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home.”

Vogler has also said: “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.”

McCain apologists will argue that Sarah Palin was not a member of this group. But Obama wasn’t a member of any Ayers anti-American group, either. And again, Palin repeatedly courted the AIP, and her husband was a member for years.

The main takeaway from today’s Times story is that Obama’s ties to Ayers are, if anything, less substantial than commonly alleged. So if the Ayers association means Obama “palled around” with “terrorists,” as Palin put it today, surely Palin can be said to have “palled around” with a secessionist party whose founder openly professed hatred of America.

If Palin is going to directly question Obama’s patriotism over his association Ayers, surely all these facts are now fair game and freshly relevant

Source: TPM

Source: AM 1090

I Killed A Moose and I liked it!

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reports: Stakes are high for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin going into tonight’s vice presidential debate with Sen. Joe Biden, D-Dela., with the latest poll finding she has become a drag on the Republican ticket.

Any mistake or gaffe by Palin could be fatal with a new poll finding voters are now questioning their commitment to Republican presidential candidate John McCain because of her.

About one third of likely voters, 32 percent of likely voters now say Palin makes it less likely they’ll vote for McCain, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released today.

Palin is beginning to have a big credibility problem: 60 percent of Americans are now doubting her qualifications for office, up 15 points from an ABC/Post poll last month.

The poll found a minority of likely voters, 35 percent, believe she is experience enough to be president.

The ABC poll also suggests that questions about Palin are reinforcing concerns about McCain’s age. Almost half of voters, 48 percent, now say the senator’s age is a worry — a new high — and 85 percent of that group say that Palin is not qualified to serve as President.

It hasn’t been an easy month for the Alaska governor. Palin initially boosted McCain’s poll numbers, but after refusing to speak to the media she gave a few select interviews where she gave muddled responses.

Contributing to her perception problem: more voters have likely seen the Saturday Night Live sketches making fun of her rather than hearing her speak on the campaign trail.

It’s all cementing in the minds of voters a preconceived notion that Palin is ill-prepared for the job.

Biden’s poll numbers contrast starkly with Palin’s with 75 percent of Americans saying he understands complex issues, 70 percent saying he has suitable experience to take over as president if necessary, and just 13 percent saying the Delaware senator makes them less apt to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

In his debate against Palin tonight, Biden will try to show gracious restraint, and focus his attacks against McCain, Obama campaign aides tell ABC News.

Meanwhile McCain campaign aides say Palin will attempt to aggressively take the fight to Obama.

Source: ABC

NEW YORK — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin enters her debate Thursday with Joe Biden needing to make a strong positive impression on voters, many of whom are expressing serious doubts about her readiness.

A new AP-Gfk poll released Wednesday found that just 25 percent of likely voters believe Palin has the right experience to be president. That’s down from 41 percent just after the GOP convention, when the Alaska governor made her well-received debut on the national stage.

This photo provided by the Palin Campaign shows Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, preparing for her first and only debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Sedona, Ariz., ranch of her running-mate, Sen. John McCain, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. On the left is McCain-Palin campaign senior policy advisor Randall Scheunemann. The debate will take place Thursday in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/Palin Campaign) (AP)

This photo provided by the Palin Campaign shows Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, preparing for her first and only debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Sedona, Ariz., ranch of her running-mate, Sen. John McCain, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. On the left is McCain-Palin campaign senior policy advisor Randall Scheunemann. The debate will take place Thursday in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/Palin Campaign) (AP)

Thursday night’s debate in St. Louis gives her a chance to overcome the doubts in a 90-minute showcase, the first time most Americans outside Alaska will see her in a lengthy give-and-take session.

On the other hand, a poor performance against Biden, the Delaware senator, could cement a negative image for the rest of the campaign.

Palin has been preparing at Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s retreat in Sedona, Ariz

Source: Washington Post


Sarah Palin discusses global warming and its causes, vaguely, on CBS
Sarah Palin clearly was in her comfort zone when she chatted on-air Tuesday with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. As The Ticket noted , she presented a persona and offered some lines that could serve her well in her Thursday debate with Joe Biden.

Tuesday also saw the broadcast of the last of her several interviews with Katie Couric of CBS (we will miss them; they were fast becoming a staple of our daily routine).

The final segment may not spark more calls from conservative commentators that Palin give up her spot on the Republican national ticket. But in front of the television cameras — and in the face of more pointed questioning — the self-assurance that marked her conversation with Hewitt continued to elude her.

One answer by Palin will do little to quell concerns about her position on global warming. As she did with ABC’s Charlie Gibson a few weeks back, she did her best to skirt a direct answer on its causes.

From the transcript:

    Palin's idea for the polar bears is to shot them - literally - Palin and her husband Todd are challenging the Federal Gov. to have polar bears removed from the threatened species list - as their habitat - which is already being eroded by the loss of ice - gets in the way of their and Big Oil’s proposed oil drilling plans, but also to lift the ban on hunting them.

    Palin’s idea for the polar bears is to shoot them - literally - Palin and her husband Todd are challenging the Federal Gov. to have polar bears removed from the threatened species list - as their habitat gets in the way of their and Big Oil’s proposed oil drilling plans, but also to lift the ban on hunting them.

    Couric: What’s your position on global warming? Do you believe it’s man-made or not?

    Palin: Well, we’re the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state, up there with the changes in climates. And certainly, it is apparent. We have erosion issues. And we have melting sea ice, of course. So, what I’ve done up there is form a sub-cabinet to focus solely on climate change. Understanding that it is real. And …

    Couric: Is it man-made, though in your view?

    Palin: You know there are – there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about it.

Pardon us for asking, but would it not be difficult to devise an effective policy to mitigate the effects of global warming without a firm grasp on what caused it?

Palin also was not about to be pinned down …

… by Couric on the subject of her reading habits. Here’s the exchange:

    Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

    Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

    Couric: What, specifically?

    Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

    Couric: Can you name a few?

    Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Palin may well ace her final on Thursday (especially if much of the public decides to grade on the curve). But following the debate, we think it far more likely her future bookings will tilt heavily toward tete-a-tetes with friendly radio types than sit-downs with the likes of Gibson and Couric.

— Don Frederick

Source: LATimes

Will looking good be enough!! Without a teleprompter how will Palin communicate the facts?

She’s clearly good at making up a story or two – perhaps this might be one of her solutions.

But we should all look to getting behind Joe Biden – so far every reporter that Palin has had an interview with has been accused of beating her up – it’s the workman who blames his tools for the Republican spin artists.

Joe Biden when asked how would he deal with Palin – he said “respectful” – what more can she hope for – but this in no way should mean he should give her an easy ride.

The only easy ride she should get is from McCain!!

*

Not since Dan Quayle took the stage in 1988 have debate expectations for a major party candidate been as low as they will be on Thursday for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

A newcomer to the national scene, Ms. Palin has given little indication that she has been engaged in a serious way in the pressing national and international issues of the day.

But a review of a handful of her debate performances in the race for governor in 2006 shows a somewhat different persona from the one that has emerged since Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, named Ms. Palin as the vice-presidential nominee a month ago.

Ms. Palin, a former mayor who had become a whistle-blower about ethical misconduct in state government, held her own in those debates. (There were almost two dozen in the general election alone; she skipped some, and not all were recorded.)

She staked out a populist stance against oil companies and projected a fresh, down-to-earth face at a time when voters wanted change. That helped her soundly defeat Frank H. Murkowski, the unpopular Republican governor, in the primary and former Gov. Tony Knowles in the general election.

Her debating style was rarely confrontational, and she appeared confident. In contrast to today, when she seems unversed on several important issues, she demonstrated fluency on certain subjects, particularly oil and gas development.

But just as she does now, Ms. Palin often spoke in generalities and showed scant aptitude for developing arguments beyond a talking point or two. Her sentences were distinguished by their repetition of words, by the use of the phrase “here in Alaska” and for gaps. On paper, her sentences would have been difficult to diagram.

John Bitney, the policy director for her campaign for governor and the main person who helped prepare her for debates, said her repetition of words was “her way of running down the clock as her mind searches for where she wants to go.”

These tendencies could fuzz her meaning and lead her into linguistic cul-de-sacs. She often used less than her allotted time and ended her answers abruptly.

When questioned about the nuts and bolts of governing, Ms. Palin tended to avoid specifics and instead fell back on her core values: a broadly conservative philosophy and a can-do spirit.

“My attitude and my approaches towards dealing with the complexities of health care issues,” she said in an AARP debate in October 2006, “is a respectful and responsible approach, and it’s a positive approach. I don’t believe that the sky is falling here in Alaska.”

These patterns could help explain why the McCain campaign negotiated for less time for discussion in her debate Thursday with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware than the presidential candidates had in their debate last week.

Ms. Palin was not always at her best when questioned by her opponents in the governor’s race.

In the AARP debate, Mr. Knowles and Andrew Halcro, an independent, double-teamed her to press her about how she would pay for health care.

In response to Mr. Knowles, she mentioned “certificates of need” and said they had been inflexible, “creating an environment where a lot of folks are lacking the receiving of their health care that is needed in some of the areas, especially in some of our larger markets.” She added, “The State of Alaska needs to be looking specifically at that inflexibility that exists today in order to fill some of the market needs that are out there in Alaska in our larger markets.”

She then added, “I can’t tell you how much that will reduce monetarily our health care costs, but competition makes everyone better, it makes us work harder, it does allow reduction in costs, so addressing that is going to be a priority.”

Mr. Knowles was nonplussed, saying that he did not understand her answer and that Ms. Palin had missed the point.

Mr. Halcro asked how she would pay for critical health care programs.

“Well, the point there, Andrew,” she said, “is that these are critical, and again it’s a matter of prioritizing and it’s a matter of government understanding its proper role in public safety, is health care, so it’s a matter of priorities.”

Mr. Halcro called her answer “political gibberish.”

But other times, she gave direct answers that appealed directly to her audience. The candidates were asked in a debate on Aug. 17, 2006, by a rural resident via video whether they would restore a longevity bonus for senior citizens, a payment intended to keep them from leaving the state.

“No,” Mr. Murkowski said gruffly. John Binkley, a third candidate, said yes. Ms. Palin’s response was filled with emotion.

“Yes, our precious, precious elders,” she said, looking into the camera. “For those who were prematurely lopped off, I am so sorry that that has happened to you.”

But generally, her voice carried surprisingly little affect.

“In tone, manner and sometimes even language, she treated every issue exactly the same,” Michael Carey, the former editorial page editor of The Anchorage Daily News, wrote in an essay about Ms. Palin. “She gave no suggestion that some issues are of higher priority than others. Her voice was cheerful, up-tempo, optimistic, never off key but always in the same key.”

Perhaps her strength in debating was coming across like an average person who understood the average person’s needs and would not be expected to have detailed policy prescriptions.

She also neutralized some of her conservative social views. She said intelligent design should be taught in schools — along with evolution. She said she favored the teaching of abstinence — along with the teaching of sex education. “Let the kids debate both sides,” she said.

She was not a particularly aggressive debater, and she rarely took an opportunity to challenge her opponents. But when pressed, she could be tough. In a roundtable discussion in October on the “Bob and Mark Show,” Mr. Halcro suggested that Ms. Palin had not attended enough debates.

“It’s been a year today that I’ve been on the campaign trail,” Ms. Palin responded, “attending many, many more forums, more debates, than either one of you, Tony and Andrew, because I had a primary opponent. You know, you got to have the balls to take it on in the early part of a campaign, and not just go right to the big show.”

Source: NYT

The first Presidential Debate kitted off tonight between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.

A skilled Barack Obama held his own – against the more experienced but narrowly focused McCain.

McCain attempted to use his campaign stump – condescending phrases to outline his superior judgment on matters – but found it very difficult to undercut Obama’s steady focus and confidence.

McCain looked authoritarian at times – and almost fossilized – age can be accounted here – though it is more John McCain’s frame of mind – which could seem frozen in the past. Particularly when McCain says he looked into Russia leader Putin’s eyes and he saw three things K G B – then quickly added that he doesn’t think we should go back to the cold war – which is not what he said in his speech – at the GOP Convention.

Barack Obama called it – looking at it through the prism – of Iraq – and then he broadened that and said that we need to have wider diplomatic focus – as for example China is now beating the US at their own game.

While McCain talked about – utilizing allies in Europe for war – and if like Spain there is some difference (over Iraq) – he is prepared to cast them aside – even a NATO ally – Barack Obama talked about bringing in European allies together to negotiate – with thugs for example in Iran – and if America needs to attack – then it comes down to a consensus – and the US military doesn’t have to virtually go it alone – but more – Barack Obama believes respecting our allies – and something he has talked about before – on hearing their allies concerns – and taking those into account as a part of US foreign policy.

When the US goes it alone – and it appears that no one else can have any input – then you end up with situations like the already suspicious Russia becoming aggravated – and then worst – the new alliances which form out of that aggravation – such as the partnerships with Venezuela – and the lack of full support on Iran by Russia.

America with all its military capability can’t come off looking like the aggressor. With the either you’re for us or you are against us – black and white US diplomacy – which McCain still holds on to with regards to Spain – you can’t build allies – you are going to make enemies anyway – there is little that can be done to please the Iranian leader or satisfy Hugo Chavez – but building as broad a base of allies can’t be overlooked. In addition it restores America’s image in the world as it comes across looking fairer – with the added benefit of more people sharing a similar view.

Obama sees a chance to use America’s influence – not only as a police force – around the world – (and I might add concentrating only on those areas which have to do with oil and gas) – but to extend America’s influence by seeing more investment in improving people’s everyday lives – like in areas of education so that more children have the chance to go to school (and the eradication of malaria in places like Africa) – around the world.

Here’s Obama undoing McCain’s bluff-it style – where he uses his age to promote confidence in is judgment even though he could be completely wrong – Obama should be wary of McCain’s over confidence – where he appears to have it under control – likely he doesn’t – as Obama showed in the following clip.

John McCain confidence on issues – belies his lack of foresight – Obama takes advantage

Obama Will Make Debate A Townhall If McCain Doesn't Show

Obama Will Make Debate A Townhall If McCain Doesn't Show

UPDATE: An adviser Barack Obama says he expects John McCain to attend:

“I actually think he’s going to come to the debate,” the adviser, Robert Gibbs, told reporters in Washington on Thursday.

And echoing a talking point that Senator Obama used in his press conference on Thursday, Mr. Gibbs added: “I think he will decide that a president is capable of doing more than one thing at a time.”

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain’s absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

Such a course of action could make life incredibly difficult for McCain, who has called for the suspension of the debate in light of the current economic crisis. Should he stay in Washington D.C. — if a bailout is not completed by then — and let Obama alone reach tens of millions of television viewers?

A lot, of course, depends upon what the debate commission decides to do. At this point in time, there is no indication that they are going to postpone the affair, as the McCain campaign has asked.

Separately, on Thursday, Obama himself said he was intending to go to Oxford, Miss for the scheduled debate and called on McCain to be there with him.

“The American people deserve to hear directly from myself and Sen. McCain about how we intend to lead our country,” Obama said. “The times are too serious to put our campaign on hold, or to ignore the full range of issues that the next president will face.”

Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on Thursday that he expected the debate to go forward as planned.

Source: HP

November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930