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Town Meeting! Town Meeting!
October 7, 2008 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Ah, the town-hall debate. Where Joe Sixpack and Jane Chardonnay can have their chance to ask a presidential candidate just about anything. Of course, such an open format can sometimes lead to uncomfortable moments for a candidate (although tonight might not have such fireworks).

First proposed by then-Governor Clinton in the 1992 campaign, the town-hall format has since become a staple of the political season, and its observers witnessing some of the most memorable campaign moments. That second debate of the Clinton-Bush season featured an exasperated George Sr. checking his watch at one point, a throwaway action that was not well-received by the public. The 2000 Bush-Gore debate saw Dubyah trotting out his now-infamous “We need a uniter, not a divider” trope.

On the surface, McCain would seem to have an edge this evening, having appeared at hundreds of town hall meetings on the trail. But given the recent economic meltdown and the conversational nature of the town-hall format, he’s going to have a tough time going negative against his opponent. More reading: “What to Watch for During Round 2.”

If you’re in Tennessee, hoping to attend the debate at Belmont University, you’re probably out of luck; the audience will be made up of 150 self-proclaimed “undecided” voters, hand-selected by the Gallup Organization, and tickets have been unavailable for months.

Is tonight’s debate likely to be a game-changer? Probably not. But we’ll be watching all the same.
posted by shiu mai baby (877 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
You'll have to forgive my memory but... I seem to recall a town hall type debate in Canada where someone running only spoke English (ie, not French, the country's other official language). A student was called on for a question and asked it in french. It was pretty obvious that the candidate's goose was cooked as he hadn't a clue what she asked. The translation was the nail in the coffin (paraphrasing): "How can you expect to effectively lead a country when you don't speak both of its official languages?"

Back to the topic/country at hand: I have to work tonight. Is there anyplace online where I can watch the debate sometime after 11pm est?
posted by Manhasset at 7:19 AM on October 7, 2008


The elitist versus the obsoletest.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:24 AM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I wonder what the potential is for audience-stacking, either intentional or coincidental. The conspiracy theorist in me expects the GOP to seed the hall with confederates. But on the other hand, if the audience really was selected months ago, then current trends suggest that the folks there might not be as "undecided" as they once were...

The most important thing, though, is question selection. Who gets to ask them, and what are they allowed to say? The media doesn't have a great track record on prior "open" debate formats like the YouTube debate -- hopefully the CPD will do better than CNN.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:38 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


That happened to Preston Manning when he came to give a speech and take questions at my highschool during his campaign.
posted by captaincrouton at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2008


erm, that was directed at Manhasset
posted by captaincrouton at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2008


I have come to distrust the media...I think a "shuffle the deck" plan would be a slight improvement. Each person selected to attend is given a card. On the car, you ask your question. Cards then shuffled and each candidate alternates in picking a card from the deck. If a question is a duplicate, pick a 2nd card.

Candidates of course can begin an answer to a question and quickly switch the topic and make the statement (my opponent hangs with terrorist, my opponent knows nothing about the economy etc), but that should be obvious and the other person can comment on the lack of addressing the topic.
how many undecideds can there be left in the nation?
posted by Postroad at 7:47 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm tired of hearing about Joe Sixpack. People need to quit hating on me just because I have awesome washboard abs.
posted by jbickers at 7:50 AM on October 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


The conspiracy theorist in me expects the GOP to seed the hall with confederates.

The way McCain and Palin's latest rallies have been going with epithets flying and people shouting ridiculous and violent suggestions, the GOP probably wishes it could seed the hall with actual confederates.
posted by cashman at 7:52 AM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think Joe Sixpack is a mischaracterization. It's now Joe Twelvepack or Eighteenpack. Of course living near Boston College, I'm mostly rubbing elbows with Emily and Brad ThirtyPack-BuschLight. Hyphenated last names are so pretentious.
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:59 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The last link doesn't work.
posted by lunit at 8:02 AM on October 7, 2008


I want to hear somebody stand up and ask both candidates what their thoughts are on race relations and minorities in the US.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:05 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The debate will be streaming live on Hulu, according to Lifehacker. Should be the best bet for a smooth, decent-quality online broadcaast.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:06 AM on October 7, 2008


Obama's big challenge in the last debate was to convince undecided voters that he was reliable presidential material. He succeeded. McCain now has the much harder task of convincing the voters that they were wrong and Obama isn't up to the job. It's not going to help any if he tries to do it by using racial innuendo, but that seems to be the strategy at this point.
posted by EarBucket at 8:07 AM on October 7, 2008


Also, how many Joe Sixpacks ya think we'll be seein' come Hollerween?
posted by iamkimiam at 8:07 AM on October 7, 2008


I'd like someone to ask how the economic crisis has personally been effected by the economic crisis.
posted by drezdn at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2008


I would love to see a remote controlled flying dildo at some point tonight.
posted by Sailormom at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2008 [27 favorites]


how many undecideds can there be left in the nation?

You gotta get out more. Drive to some part of town you don't typically have to go to. Walk around and talk to 10 people - you'll find people that have no clue about any of this. They may have heard something here or there, but there are tons and tons of people who don't follow this stuff like some of us.

It is simple really - cable/internet. If you're like friends of mine who don't have cable, and can't afford internet or a new computer or both, you're forced to just depend on others for the news you get. You see Judge Judy/Joe Brown/Price Is Right/E.R./Office on television and maybe you hear a snippet or two on the news. When you get on the internet at the library after waiting a while for a computer, you check your email, and maybe you see a headline or two - a brief snapshot at that moment in time - and you keep moving.

You go to work, and maybe you hear something here or there, but for the most part you are working, not sitting down and having extended policy discussions over coffee in your office. Because if you were, you'd have the internet and cable.

It's an incredible amount of information to process, and if you're not a) in the information stream b) experienced with it enough to be able to process the information rapidly and connect it all, you still aren't that informed. That's because reports come out, then get debunked, or modified, or proved false, then true. Polls come out and change, change back, show something but are within the margin of error, are done with different methodologies, are disputed, are validated. 539, Rasmussen, Ipsis, Gallup, CNN, CBS, RCP. Then the pundits are weighing in and saying this or that. Palin's giving interviews where she's a complete dunce. Debates! New allegations. Is this ad accurate? Is that ad accurate? Crisis! There's so much information to process.

There are absolutely loads of people who haven't had the time to keep up, and for a lot of people, they see the information moving like whitewater rapids, and they fear jumping into it and not being able to figure out how to handle it all. They want someone who is in the know to tell them what's been happening.

There are loads of undecided people, because if you don't have time to sit there and digest all this stuff because you have your pre-established patterns of going to work, then the grocery store, and taking care of kids or going to a second job, and running errands and things like that.

This is why you should talk to your friends and family and even people who are around when the topic comes up. You'll know, because you'll see them bring out some topic that has long been covered, and mention it almost as if to say "what's up with that - tell me", and that's an opportunity to share what you know. It may seem incredible to you and I, but yes, a lot of people are undecided, because they are uninformed. We have to inform them. Because some people just don't know.
posted by cashman at 8:10 AM on October 7, 2008 [38 favorites]


They make those now?
posted by iamkimiam at 8:11 AM on October 7, 2008


Cashman, I agree totally and my mother-in-law fits your description to the t. She only watches FOX, only, which means Judge Judy, FOX local news, FOX crappy programming all day, with one exception, the View. She changes the channel (I think, that's not FOX too is it?) to watch the View. Because of watching the View she has literally gone from quaking, "terrists-gonna-get-us" to confirmed Obama voter. Joy Behar has converted her to the dark side, I shit you not!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:24 AM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Google's Moderator beta lets you suggest questions for the candidates. Perhaps some of these will be asked tonight.

Top question so far for Obama:

"How will you reform and/or improve the public education system?"

And for McCain:

"Has the republican party completely abandoned it's ideals of 1) small federal government, and 2) fiscal responsibility?"
posted by futility closet at 8:29 AM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


The other day I was in the grocery store in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. There were about a dozen people in the produce section shopping, and I hear this guy say, "You're not going to vote?!?!" Instantly, everyone (myself included) turned around to see who he could possibly be talking to. This really shocked stock girl then says, "Why is everyone staring at me?!?!"

I should have stuck around for the rest of the conversation, but I was in a hurry.
posted by snofoam at 8:31 AM on October 7, 2008 [17 favorites]


Not to mention the fact that those folks checking their email at the library a couple times a week are still receiving a steady stream of Obama-Is-An-Angry-Secret-Muslim-Terrorist-OMIGOD-Be-Afraid-Of-The-Scary-Black-Man emails from their friends and relatives. Even if they don't beieve it all, it makes them think twice about supporting Obama.
posted by junkbox at 8:31 AM on October 7, 2008


Snofoam -- I just witnessed a similar thing in PA! I went with a friend to hear Obama in Abington, PA, and on the way back to Philly we stopped to grab a sandwich somewhere. The place was packed, and while we were eating, we heard a collective gasp from all the diners, and a low "Ooooooooh!" coming from the staff as they seemed to back away from the entrance. We looked up in alarm, only to see one of the women working the counter pointing her finger at someone and yelling, "This guy says he's not going to vote! Can you believe he's not going to vote?! YOU GOT TO VOTE!!!" The lunch crowd cheered in approval and the guy looked sheepish and said okay, okay, he'd register.

It was pretty awesome.
posted by mothershock at 8:45 AM on October 7, 2008 [11 favorites]


I’m guessing a heavy bias towards “stupid”, so this might end in a bump for McCain.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on October 7, 2008




Early voting in Georgia is holding steady at 38% African-American. If this keeps up, we could see Georgia in play this year. It bodes even better for the Senate race there.
posted by EarBucket at 9:10 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is why you should talk to your friends and family and even people who are around when the topic comes up. You'll know, because you'll see them bring out some topic that has long been covered, and mention it almost as if to say "what's up with that - tell me", and that's an opportunity to share what you know. It may seem incredible to you and I, but yes, a lot of people are undecided, because they are uninformed. We have to inform them. Because some people just don't know.

The other really fun thing about this is that you can do impressions of the candidates as you're going over their talking points. This was pretty great for me recently, when I was doing Sarah Palin, and my apolitical roommate was like, "Wait... she doesn't really talk like that, though, right?" And I was like, "She shoor gosh-darn does, you little maverick!"
It's fun to educate!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:12 AM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


I would love to see a remote controlled flying dildo at some point tonight.

Whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business.
posted by yhbc at 9:12 AM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


"[Senator McCain,] Has the republican party completely abandoned it's ideals of 1) small federal government, and 2) fiscal responsibility?"

"No. Barack Obama is in no way qualified to lead this nation in a time of economic crisis, is willing to sit down with terrorists at a table, and is not only black, but a leper. I was a POW! This year for Halloween I'm dressing up as a Maverick."

That came out more as a diss on McCain than a plea for the end of yes/no policy questions. We takes what we can gets, I guess.
posted by carsonb at 9:12 AM on October 7, 2008


An interesting take on Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.
posted by lunit at 9:18 AM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm really, really curious to see how this town hall will go. It's a real wildcard in the way that I don't think the P and VP debates so far were—there were questions with those, yeah, but as much of it was driven by narrative and nerves as anything and it wasn't shocking when both were pretty non-explosive. This is a format where I think there's both less expectation of a specific Thing That Will Go Wrong and more opportunities in general for something weird or gaffe-y or surprising to just bubble up out of nowhere.

It should be interesting in a way that the last two weren't, so much. I'm skeptical of the notion that McCain will come off particularly well—I think he'll probably hold is own; I think I'll probably not stop thinking he's an asshole based on anything that happens throughout; I'd be impressed and mildly pleased to be wrong about that—but I'm definitely curious about how it's going to play out, and about how the two candidates will interact with each other.
posted by cortex at 9:27 AM on October 7, 2008


I'm tired of people declaring debates to be non-game-changers. Has there ever been a game-changing Presidential debate? Even the Kennedy-Nixon debate wasn't that effective once you consider the television vs. radio story is likely a myth. Saying the next debate will be as uninfluential as all the others is like the evening news announcing that Earth will still be around tomorrow.
posted by spamguy at 9:51 AM on October 7, 2008


Obama, McCain deal puts limits on Tuesday "town hall" debate:
Tuesday's match-up at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will be moderated by NBC's Tom Brokaw, with the questions to be culled from a group of 100 to 150 uncommitted likely voters in the audience and another one-third to come via the Internet. The Gallup Organization -- as in past debates like this -- has the job of making sure the questioners reflect the demographic makeup of the nation.
...
An audience member will not be allowed to switch questions. Under the deal, the moderator may not ask followups or make comments. The person who asks the question will not be allowed a follow-up either, and his or her microphone will be turned off after the question is read. A camera shot will only be shown of the person asking -- not reacting.

While there will be director's chairs (with backs and foot rests), McCain and Obama will be allowed to stand -- but they can't roam past their "designated area" to be marked on the stage. McCain and Obama are not supposed to ask each other direct questions.
Brokaw is NBC's liaison with the McCain campaign.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:58 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I'm being dangerously exuberant, but I think Obama is going to trounce McCain tonight.

We keep hearing how the town-hall style forum plays to McCain's strengths. From the right, a common refrain is that Barack Obama can't talk without a teleprompter. Combined, this is supposed to be the night that Obama goes down in the fifth round.

I respectfully disagree.

Barack Obama is going to have no trouble tonight. I've watched enough of his stump speeches on TV to see that he has a generous back-and-forth with his audience. When he takes a a question from the public, you can tell how respectfully he listens to them, and how he frames a well-thought-out response, not just some clever soundbite. He sincerely cares about giving people the honest answers they deserve. This is a guy who cut his political teeth working directly with communities - you know, conversing with them, being on their level - not at arm's length from some desk or podium.

Remember too, that all of these town halls that McCain is supposed to have been dominating in since he began his campaign have been comprised pretty much of his own supporters, who are hardly going to throw him any tough questions that highlight his weaknesses. Barack Obama -- although he does have an incredibly large and growing base of supporters -- has had to deal with a lot more tough questions with regard to his values, vision and policies, and is still out there swinging today.

Prediction: Obama is going to be throwing a lot of hard jabs and punches tonight; McCain is going to get busy with his footwork, blocking and weaving.
posted by contessa at 10:01 AM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Welll that sounds really folksy.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on October 7, 2008


I wonder if there's an opportunity for one of the candidates to show expertise about what will happen to financial markets before the election. I guess it's risky, since it is impossible to predict, but things are moving so quickly there may actually be time to make predictions and be proven correct before the election. For example, I don't know what will happen when the short selling ban is lifted on Thursday.

Also, what if one of the candidates walked us through what was happening and what we should do. For example, explaining that FDIC insurance is being raised to $250k per account so we don't need to pull money out of our banks, etc. People want to know what the candidates will do about the crisis, but they also want to know they should do as individuals.
posted by snofoam at 10:04 AM on October 7, 2008


Um, didn;t McCain just try that, with horrible results?
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on October 7, 2008


SUSA Pennsylvania: Obama 55, McCain 40. Poll done over last 2 days. LV.


How's that race-baiting deal workin' out for ya, Sarah?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:10 AM on October 7, 2008


It'll be interesting to see how many answers relate to the actual questions asked. I don't know why moderators don't point this out more.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:10 AM on October 7, 2008


Did he? I remember him pointing out the soundness of the economy, but not walking us through what was happening. And, by one of the candidates, I mean Obama, since clearly McCain couldn't do this.
posted by snofoam at 10:12 AM on October 7, 2008


I'm expecting McCain surrogates to start explaining any day now that, after all, electors in many states are not legally bound to vote for the candidate who won their state.
posted by EarBucket at 10:22 AM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Today's Gallup Poll just released:

Gallup Daily: 9-Point Obama Lead Ties Campaign High
Voters prefer Obama to McCain by 51% to 42%.
posted by cashman at 10:26 AM on October 7, 2008


I'm tired of people declaring debates to be non-game-changers. Has there ever been a game-changing Presidential debate?

spamguy: this is code for "our guy isn't going to do well, but it doesn't mean a thing!"

Contrast with "Tonight could be a game-changer". (we expect our guy to do well, and if he does, it is Incredibly Significant)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:29 AM on October 7, 2008


Also, from the last debate, is there a consensus here about pronunciation of Pakistan?

My east coast liberal elite friends and I thought it was a terrible mistake for him to pronounce it properly in the last debate (pah kee stahn) rather than saying it American-style (pack i stan). (I don't know how to properly note pronunciation.) McCain said it American-style, (although by the end of the debate, McCain actually said a hybrid pack-i-stahn once as if he was suddenly unsure of how to say it).

Isn't it kind of a bad move to pronounce all that muslim shit the same way the terrorists pronounce it? If we can't say Pakistan the American way, is that a victory for the terrorists? But mostly, isn't it kind of...suspicious?
posted by snofoam at 10:31 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Under the deal, the moderator may not ask followups or make comments. The person who asks the question will not be allowed a follow-up either, and his or her microphone will be turned off after the question is read. A camera shot will only be shown of the person asking -- not reacting. ... McCain and Obama are not supposed to ask each other direct questions.

No followups ... no asking each other questions ... how is this a debate?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:40 AM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


So, this here is the new election thread?

*sits down*

Roomy.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:52 AM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I love how he pronounces things properly. I love how he called that stadium Mile High. I love how he said "game to 11" in the O'reilly interview. All small indicators to go along with the big ones, that he's in touch with the u.s. and the world. I've you've got a name that people frequently massacre or mispronounce, you know what it is like to have it pronounced gloriously correct. The sense of acceptance, the sense of connection. He's not perfect by any stretch, but the guy is pretty damn awesome. Perhaps someone can discuss how close each pronunciation is to the proper one, but I'm guessing Barack's is closer to it than McCain's.
posted by cashman at 10:57 AM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I personally prefer that Obama pronounce things correctly, I love it. We were just cringing at how we felt it would play out to the undecided voter.
posted by snofoam at 10:59 AM on October 7, 2008


Here is my drinking game for tonight:

* If McCain says something, I will have a drink of beer.
* If Obama says something, I will have a drink of beer.
* If Tom Brokaw says something, I will have a drink of beer.
posted by everichon at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah - I didn't properly articulate that I got that.
posted by cashman at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2008


A quick note on pronunciation: there isn't really a "correct" way to pronounce words. This is not to say that there aren't standards in each dialect, but no dialect is more "correct" than another, and those who tell you differently are confusing "correct" with "standard", and standards definitely change over time. Every dialect of any language is "correct" in the sense that it exists as a dialect of a human language, and therefore is valid. All of us speak a dialect of a language. Sarah Palin's dialect might not match many of yours, but then again the same probably holds for Jimmy Carter's dialect, and in neither case should we make assumptions about intelligence based on dialect (if she's affecting a dialect that's not her own for political gain then she's a craven panderer, but that's another story). Things become more complicated when we consider names from other languages: we don't say "Pah-ree" we say "Par-is", so how should we say Pakistan? Neither of the options mentioned are incorrect; one might be more standard but the real consideration is what motivates the choice of one over the other?
posted by tractorfeed at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


there isn't really a "correct" way to pronounce words

You are hurting me, please stop hurting me with this hurting.
posted by everichon at 11:23 AM on October 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


That is to say, if "nuculer" is ok, then nothing at all is ok.
posted by everichon at 11:23 AM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Nashville debate make or break for McCain
"Midway through this debate season, voters offered their opinions on the presidential tickets — and which one they think has performed best.

By a substantial margin, voters told multiple pollsters that the Obama-Biden ticket has easily outperformed the McCain-Palin ticket.

As the trailing team headed into four weeks of debates, John McCain’s campaign could not afford to lose any of those televised battles. But losing them they are.

And what’s more, they’re losing the debate perception game.

...What do voters want from these debates?

Whatever it is, McCain hasn't given it to them. Maybe they want more detail, maybe they want more anti-Bush rhetoric, or maybe the want more pointed contrasts with rival Barack Obama.

This last idea is going to be especially tricky for McCain to pull off tonight. Physically, he's going to be close in proximity to Obama and he's going to be answering questions from voters, not the media.

So if McCain pivots too hard to attack mode, he risks looking tone deaf to the current economic crisis and the voters will punish him for that.

McCain has to figure out a way to present himself as a credible problem solver.

...This is Obama's strength, not just looking calm in a storm, but coming across as pragmatic. But he may be lacking the ability to channel the country’s anger. Expect that to be McCain’s opening on Tuesday night.

He needs to be angry but also pragmatic in how he presents himself."
posted by ericb at 11:24 AM on October 7, 2008


there isn't really a "correct" way to pronounce words

My aunt wants either potatoes or tomatoes placed around the base of the vase we brought her from the Caribbean.
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on October 7, 2008


Also, from the last debate, is there a consensus here about pronunciation of Pakistan?

My wife (whose parents are Pakistani-American) has been very gratified to hear Obama's pronunciation of "Pakistan."

Unfortunately, yes, it does prove that he is a secret Mooslim turrurist.
posted by designbot at 11:39 AM on October 7, 2008


Good lord, let us not get bogged down in another phonetics debate.

"Nucular" is an established regionalism, and defensible on those grounds in normal usage. It's perfectly fair to note the difference in pronunciation, but attribution of stupidity or foolishness or what have you to the natural use of the regionalism is silly and should be left alone.

The only thing that I think can be said to be at all interesting about the word in this context is that Palin and her handlers are clearly aware that opinions differ, and are clearly putting at least some thought into which pronunciation to affect. That she's apparently changed course on on this a couple times through the campaign is an interesting bit of inside baseball, and the question of how much of that is intentional vs. contemporaneous is interesting too, but none of that has much to do with the word itself.

"Pakistan" is a little more interesting in that there is a geopolitical angle to the question—when you're talking about not just local variation/preference in an abstract bit of vocab but a label that itself has a local/sovereign presence, I think it's a more worthwhile question—but it's still pretty minor stuff. More an excuse to hang an argument on something than anything worth arguing about itself in this context.
posted by cortex at 11:42 AM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


The commish is wise.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:49 AM on October 7, 2008


"Nucular" is an established regionalism, and defensible on those grounds

I am a grudging, unhappy descriptivist who knows better, and I acknowledge your point. That said, every time I hear this usage I feel like someone has flicked me in the nose.

I am currently treating this condition with orally administered beer.
posted by everichon at 11:51 AM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]




Prost!
posted by cortex at 11:56 AM on October 7, 2008


My aunt wants either potatoes or tomatoes placed around the base of the vase we brought her from the Caribbean.

Your aunt's house sounds rather tacky.
posted by troybob at 11:58 AM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I wonder why the candidates get to dictate the debate formats. I mean, these should be paid for in public money, and if you accept public money, you should get no say in them.
posted by maxwelton at 11:59 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


My prediction: I don't think Obama's going to trounce tonight, but he doesn't need to: Obama only needs to maintain the status quo. By contrast, McCain has the herculean task (for him) of staying calm, cool, and collected; speaking intelligently about the issues; and seeming to be an overall genuinely nice human being. McCain's already stated that the gloves are coming off tonight, so he's setting himself up for a pretty tall order.

Mitigating factor for McCain: Brokaw's slack moderation. I'm expecting a replay of the Gibson, Snuffleupagus Dem Primary debate, focusing on flag pins, Ayers, and other nonsense collateral to the issues. It's supposed to be about the economy tonight, but we'll see...hey, Palin proved the debate rules don't apply to her, right? Why can't McCain conveniently choose to ignore answering the questions he doesn't like? Brokaw will not challenge McCain on follow up, leaving McCain free to levy all sorts of bogus assertions regarding Obama's record on his last opportunities to speak, after which Brokaw will change the subject leave thereby putting the onus on Obama to rebut the lie by interrupting. Obama has to avoid this temptation, and leave the fact checks for the post-debate media analysis. (Scary thought, yes, but more valuable than Obama looking undignified)

Obama fans scoring along at home: We need to hear solid, coherent policy from Obama that even Joe Six Pack can figure out. We need specifics, followed by examples of McCain's record in which he favored deregulation and/or sided with Bush. Thereupon: Watch for McCain's angry eyes. That's what we want to see. Ang-ry eyes! Ang-ry eyes!
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:06 PM on October 7, 2008


I don't care what anyone says. As far as I'm concerned, pronouncing it nucular is as correct as Marge Simpson admiring the fall foilage.
posted by snofoam at 12:11 PM on October 7, 2008


Sorry -- that last link should have been this.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:12 PM on October 7, 2008


"Nucular" is an established regionalism, and defensible on those grounds in normal usage. It's perfectly fair to note the difference in pronunciation, but attribution of stupidity or foolishness or what have you to the natural use of the regionalism is silly and should be left alone.

That region is wrong.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:14 PM on October 7, 2008 [19 favorites]


More to the point, I don't, for one moment, believe that the nucular prononciation favored by some conservatives is because it is the favored pronunciation of their particular geographic reason. I think it is a deliberate attempt to sound folksy, in the same way that they pretend innocence when they call the Democratic Party the Democrat party, and in the same way Palin throws in "Oh sures!" and "You betchas" when she talks. We should be perfectly comfortable calling it out as a shallow affectation when it is.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:17 PM on October 7, 2008 [16 favorites]


If anyone seriously accepts nucular, I demand we also start discussing convectional weapons and geothramal energy.
posted by snofoam at 12:18 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


PPP Ohio: Obama 49, McCain 43.

Double the MoE.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:25 PM on October 7, 2008


I grew up in rural Alabama. this is a place where a food processor is referred to as a "KEW-zin-art" though if you asked, I pretty confident that a majority of people would say that "nuke-u-lar" sounds more stupider than "nuclear."

What makes Palin sound particularly stupid in the nukeular v. nuclear debate is that she can't seem to pick which one to use. Which makes her sound more folksy? Which makes her sound more Bush-like? Which makes her sound more informed on energy issues? Oh-my-god just wink and look perky!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:28 PM on October 7, 2008


Wisconsin, Survey USA, LV: Obama 52/McCain 42
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:29 PM on October 7, 2008


My long-ago housemate's cooking could be considered to have turned our oven into a convectional weapon.

Of ass destruction, even.
posted by everichon at 12:29 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


fcm, any chance you could collate your poll results to one digest comment now and then?
posted by cortex at 12:33 PM on October 7, 2008


My God, that conservapedia link is horrifying. People that think and believe that kind of vile slander really do live in this country, along with me.
posted by yhbc at 12:37 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would love to see a remote controlled flying dildo at some point tonight.
posted by Sailormom


Yes, yes. Sailormom. But first let daddy watch the debate.
posted by rokusan at 12:39 PM on October 7, 2008


Sure cortex.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:40 PM on October 7, 2008


Astro Zombie: "I think it is a deliberate attempt to sound folksy, in the same way that they pretend innocence when they call the Democratic Party the Democrat party"

That particular usage may be deliberate, but it sure ain't done to be "folksy."
posted by Rhaomi at 12:43 PM on October 7, 2008


I decided a while back to start refering to the GOP as the Republi Party in conversation.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:48 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh, I know. I just meant that when conservatives deviate from standard prnunciation, there is often a reason.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM on October 7, 2008


Sarah Palin and Intermittent Gunderson Syndrome

A follow-up follow up: "Brokaw wasn't a party to the deal, I'm told, and hasn't agreed to it, so the campaigns are expecting follow-up questions, a senior campaign official said."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:49 PM on October 7, 2008


"Nuclear" is an important enough word, scientifically and politically speaking, that regional variations should not hold sway. Any more than we'd accept "boilogy" or "chymestry". If you want to say "ain't" or "fixin" that's just conversational cutesyness. Saying "nucular" means "I wish to talk about an extremely technical subject but am not qualified (or don't care if I sound qualified enough) to do so."

In other words, Bush's misuse of that word makes America look stupid, weak, and incompetent, because we elected him to represent us. The stakes are bigger, so the mistake is more important.

(/rant)
posted by emjaybee at 12:50 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I was doing Sarah Palin, and my apolitical roommate was like, "Wait... she doesn't really talk like that, though, right?" And I was like, "She shoor gosh-darn does, you little maverick!"

I call it the Margie voice and everyone knows what I mean. Even without the link.
posted by rokusan at 12:51 PM on October 7, 2008


(Like kirkaracha said 2 mins ago. Gosh-durn it.)
posted by rokusan at 12:52 PM on October 7, 2008


We should be perfectly comfortable calling it out as a shallow affectation when it is.

Black Audience Member:
"Senator McCain my wife and I have just lost our home due to the mortgage crisis and I feel that my job is sincerely threatened by the recent bank collapses. What is your administration going to do to aid us?"

McCain:
"I 'preciate the struggle, yo. Know what 'm say'n. The Gee-Oh-Vee and me we down wit dat. Short on cheddar. We hear you, yo. But we gonna take the Man's hand outta yo pocket, Homes. We gonna take his shit back to where it belong, yo. You will have more green fo' your machine fo sho. AAAAAnd. We gonna take deez punk-ass Donkey's ovah here and make them save their green, too. Ain't nobody spending shit on my watch unless it adds up or it's for bomb'n some motherfucker who is diss'n a brother. You understand what I'm say'n? Word."
posted by tkchrist at 12:53 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Moderator:
"Senator Obama? Response?"

Obama:
"What the fuck was that?"
posted by tkchrist at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Forgive me for this, but come on.

Under the deal, the moderator may not ask followups or make comments. The person who asks the question will not be allowed a follow-up either, and his or her microphone will be turned off after the question is read. A camera shot will only be shown of the person asking -- not reacting.

While there will be director's chairs (with backs and foot rests), McCain and Obama will be allowed to stand -- but they can't roam past their "designated area" to be marked on the stage. McCain and Obama are not supposed to ask each other direct questions.


What? Why can't Americans run a goddamn debate up to the standards of the Apple Grove Seventh-Grade Debating Club? I have seen 10-year-olds debate "why my bedtime should be extended to 9 p.m." with more rigor, tenacity and pushback than this weak-kneed "nobody is allowed to look at sternly at the other candidate or frown" Simple Simon b.s.

Why is everyone so scared of Republicans? They changed the rules for the VP debate to turn it into a Pretty Pony Tea Party, and this thing demands zero accountability for the answers candidates give. Why are you even using the word "debate?" Doesn't that imply some sort of structured back-and-forth, instead of this bizarre toothless series of parallel interviews?

For 12 years now, this mincing "no real debate, please" has been to the benefit of one political party. The party with idiot candidates. For the love of God, just give me two candidates, two chairs, a moderator who despises dissembling bullshit and is going to die in 48 hours and therefore has nothing to fear, and throw down.

How is it that the Canadians have more robust, more aggressive, more intelligent, more rigourous debates than the burlyman Americans? Why are your candidates such goddamn fragile wilting blossoms, unable to stand the withering barrage of a follow-up question?

Republicans are manly men and moose-skinnin' women, yeah? So why are they so scared of a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-have-at-it debate? Why isn't Obama calling for a four-hour no-holds-barred mano-a-mano with McCain? Why can't Biden and Palin actually have an open exchange of ideas (okay, probably more a one-way flow of ideas)?

Again: where's this vast overarching hand-wringing fear of having a real debate coming from? Are you scared that Rush Limbaugh is going to shout at you? That Hannity is going to say the debate was, I don't know, mean or something? They're already saying that. Gimme a put-up-or-shut-up chess timer questions-from-a-hat rock and freakin' roll all-subjects brain-brawl between Obama and McCain. Let the wingnuts whine about it. They're going to whine about it no matter what happens. Might as well frame it as a real debate for tough-minded candidates and position them as the moral and intellectual weaklings. Can't handle an open debate? How you gonna handle the Red Phone? The War Room? How can you run a country if you can't even answer a question?
posted by Shepherd at 12:56 PM on October 7, 2008 [76 favorites]


People that think and believe that kind of vile slander really do live in this country, along with me.

In some sense. But then they also live in their own private hell of hatred and paranoia. Normally I'd say that's punishment enough, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception.
posted by dersins at 12:57 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish to talk about an extremely technical subject but am not qualified (or don't care if I sound qualified enough) to do so.

Exactly, especially for someone who is constantly reminding us of what an "expert" she is on energy policy. If she was an expert on energy she'd certainly be able to use the terminology correctly at the very least doncha think?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:58 PM on October 7, 2008


I'd enjoy real "town hall" debates, where the candidates could be asked anything and would be forced to actually deal with questions that there's no way in hell they could have prepared for. No screening or filtering, though if they want a five second kill switch for obscenities, fine. In fact, I'd like one of those every freaking day for a month. THAT would be more useful than the ridiculous "campaign" dance we do now.

But this isn't close to that. They can get questions from 10,000 regular people, fine, but there's still a single funnel-point editor who will define which questions get asked, and that's pretty much the same thing as just proscribing them. In fact, you could write 20 questions yourself, and then just flip through the 10,000 submissions until you find matches.

Of course I'd also appreciate a moderator who would just say "Yes, but can you answer the question, now please?" and repeat it four or five times if necessary until the candidate did so. I would like that to be the moderator's primary job duty.
posted by rokusan at 12:59 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain: "I 'preciate the struggle, yo. Know what 'm say'n. The Gee-Oh-Vee and me we down wit dat.

Oh, if only we had Romney to tell us how be appreciates our need for bling-bling.
posted by rokusan at 1:01 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have never seen that Romney clip. Oh, my!
posted by ericb at 1:02 PM on October 7, 2008


Why is everyone so scared of Republicans?

I think the simple answer is that the Dems take what they can get just to have the opportunity to place their guy side-by-side with the opponent. Clearly this hasn't been enough because the GOP can win points with those stupid fucking one-line zingers that get replayed on the 24/7 news. A long proffessorial explaination may answer the question better, but it isn't going to get you constant replay on the "No Spin Zone."
posted by Pollomacho at 1:08 PM on October 7, 2008


With the market performing as it is, Obama needs to ask Americans if they're better off than they were eight days ago.
posted by snofoam at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


David Talbot in Salon: The Palin's Un-American Activities

We learn that:

[Alaska Independent Party founder Joe] Vogler's greatest moment of glory was to be his 1993 appearance before the United Nations to denounce United States "tyranny" before the entire world and to demand Alaska's freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.

That's right ... Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran.

posted by fourcheesemac at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


BTW. I don't believe for a second there is still the huge body of undecideds out there. No way. I get out. I go to the red colored gun toting nether regions of this country all the time and what I see is:

1: People say they are not sure but that's largely becuase they don't want to be pressed on the RACE angle of this election. They wavered slightly for Hilary yet would vote McCain anyway and are afraid to say so because they are essentially racists.

2: People say they are unsure because they are conservative or War Supporters who don't really like McCain all that much and are embarrassed by Bush but... they will hold their nose and vote McCain becuase of the war.

3: A fraction are unflinching GOP and will do what the GOP or talk radio says no matter what.

The rest are out and out pure Obama supporters.
posted by tkchrist at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2008


Why can't Americans run a goddamn debate up to the standards of the Apple Grove Seventh-Grade Debating Club?

The debates should resemble UK's Prime Minister's Questions. More of our government needs to look like that. Everything is a battle of prepared statements, and our leaders have grown weak because they are never directly challenged on anything. Anything that does not allow, for instance, someone to ask Palin, appropriately, "What in holy hell are you talking about?" is useless.
posted by troybob at 1:10 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Palins' -- sorry. Freaking plural possessive is enough to make a body go nucular.

PS -- linguists have a name for the "nucular" variant -- it's a phonemic metathesis, like the common variant "aks" for "ask" in AAVE.

I'd like someone to ask Palin to explain how nuclear power works. If I thought she knew, roughly, I wouldn't care as much how she pronounced it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:11 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Of course I'd also appreciate a moderator who would just say "Yes, but can you answer the question, now please?" and repeat it four or five times if necessary until the candidate did so. I would like that to be the moderator's primary job duty.

Wouldn't that be awesome. If the Moderator had the power to keep the debate going for HOURS and could cut off the mic of a candidate if they strayed from message.


Debate Hour 36.

Gewn Ifle:
"Look people. I have all night. Answer the god-damned question or we're here until Hanukkah."

McCain:
"I... I'm tired... please.. please let me go... I have pills to ta..."

Gewn Ifle:
"Senator Crypt Keeper you have already complained about your prostate AND missing Matlock. ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION."

Obama:
"Oooooh. Ooooh! I know this one! Pick me!"

Gewn Ifle:
"Quit showing off, Senator Obama."

McCain:
"You... you herre that? I hear my fathers voice... he... he's calling me to supper... yes. Pappa. I'm coming, (starts to lie down) So... soooo tired..."
posted by tkchrist at 1:22 PM on October 7, 2008 [10 favorites]


red colored gun

Ralphie got one of those. A Red Ryder Ranger Model Air Rifle.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on October 7, 2008


You know, during the VP debate Palin out-and-out admitted that she wouldn't answer the questions to the media's expectations, and on multiple occasions brazenly changed the subject to something completely unrelated mid-answer. She suffered virtually no blowback for this, egregious as it was.

So why shouldn't Obama simply ignore the "no response, no follow-up, no talking to eachother in a debate" rule and reply to McCain if when he says something absurd or unfair? Who's going to stop him? Is McCain really going to go and say "hey, hey, hey, SHUT UP!" And I doubt the moderator will have a spine to do anything. And the media? How are the Republicans going to spin it? "Oh my stars, he broke the rules by talking to his opponent." They try that whiny shit and McCain's claim on maverick-ism is rendered transparent on national television.

Same goes for the "no walking outside the invisible line" rule. What are they going to do, taser him? Walking about the stage to address the crowd is dynamic, interesting, great TV. They wouldn't stop that. And again, how could McCain surrogates complain afterwards? "He walked around when he wasn't supposed to! Not fair, not fair!" It would sound preposterous, even by their low, low standards.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:24 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


If anyone seriously accepts nucular, I demand we also start discussing convectional weapons and geothramal energy.

I support your regional dialect, my good man.

I say, this Obama, if he's not teflon, he's aluminium.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:25 PM on October 7, 2008


Calling this a"town hall meeting" is an insult to actual town hall meetings. I grew up in New England, and my high school had one block (class period) a week for town meetings. Policy was proposed and debated. Sometimes people shouted at each other. Personal attacks were out of bounds, but questions and discussions could get pretty harsh. We were all 14-18 years old.

I'm not going to watch this stupid thing tonight, since I do not want to throw things at the television or get shouty and scare the cats. I'll follow along via whatever liveblogs are out there, and catch up via clips on the interwebs and the Daily Show.

Stupid media. Stupid political parties. Get the hell out of my town hall.
posted by rtha at 1:26 PM on October 7, 2008


our leaders have grown weak because they are never directly challenged on anything. Anything that does not allow, for instance, someone to ask Palin, appropriately, "What in holy hell are you talking about?" is useless.

This is why I don't get the MSM "confusion" over Palin's performance at the veep debate in contrast to the Couric interview. Of course she was poised (for the most part). She stood there and rattled off memorized content. The only challenge was to not be distracted by the questions. On any judgment of it as a debate performance, it was an utter failure.

And I'm behind you 100% on bringing in the scrum.
You think Medvedev is going to press Palin on an issue, and then be so utterly charmed by her, he forgets that they're not talking about hunting and hockey?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:39 PM on October 7, 2008


Rhaomi's ideas are perfect. I really, really, really hope that's what Obama does. I'd love to see the fallout from the McCain camp trying to complain about it.
posted by amyms at 1:57 PM on October 7, 2008


You think Medvedev is going to press Palin on an issue, and then be so utterly charmed by her, he forgets that they're not talking about hunting and hockey?

Why not it worked for Bush right?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:57 PM on October 7, 2008




Back when I used to think Camille Paglia had something to say, I remember reading her impressions of women in colleges in the UK and how the debate is so free and open, and how women here could not handle the same thing at all. Of course, her initial assessment of Palin was so predictable, I could have written it for her (the new 'Madonna'...check; 'i've been saying since my early career...'...check; 'why I live with the real people...'...check; Steinam and the feminist establishment...check).
posted by troybob at 2:10 PM on October 7, 2008


Metafilter: Policy was proposed and debated. Sometimes people shouted at each other. Personal attacks were out of bounds, but questions and discussions could get pretty harsh. We were all 14-18 years old.

Couldn't resist.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:20 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been a game-changing Presidential debate?

Elections, especially ones like this, are games of inches. It would be convenient if debates were such clear blowouts that they swayed huge numbers of votes, but they rarely do. Obama's bump from the last one was about as good as it gets. Even when someone lands a good, memorable zinger, it doesn't mean the game is changed. LLoyd Bentsen never got to be VP, though he was pretty slick. Debates are one piece in a large mosaic that is a coordinated campaign strategy. So I don't think they've ever been "game changers," and I don't think even the campaigns think of them that way. The media might wish they were that way, since it would be a strong narrative to get them through the next chunk of news cycle. The campaigns themselves seem to consider them a combination of outreach event and message reinforcer. Same stuff they do every day, bigger audience.

I decided a while back to start refering to the GOP as the Republi Party in conversation.


I've been calling them "the Gops."

BTW. I don't believe for a second there is still the huge body of undecideds out there. No way.


There is. I'm volunteering at the local campaign office, and this has been my job for the past month - calling people from a long, long list who were identified as "undecided" in June, seeing whether they were still undecided, whether anything has clarified for them. These people are amazing - really oddballs. Some of them fit the categories you list, but honestly, not all of them. Some are out of touch, just don't follow politics very closely. Some are embittered and will vociferously insist "they're all the same, Democrat, Republican, all the same, I just wanna know what's gonna happen with my 401K." Some have an exaggerated idea of the power of their vote, and are holding it out there until someone spends half an hour on the phone with them begging them for it. Some have the idea that they are going to use their vote to out-Founding Father the Founding Fathers and engineer a balance of powers by electing different parties to the House and Senate or the executive and legislative. Some are naive about how people in groups exercise power, and are innocently and seriously examining the messages of each campaign without an awareness of the effects of party platform activity. Some are just dumb. But the thing is, they're all over the map, the oddest and most nonsensical group of people I have ever talked to in all my born days. It's quite an education. And they've been the ones casting the deciding votes in most elections, as people with some guiding principle or other decide very early on where they stand. But I'm here to say that genuine undecideds do exist, they aren't just closet conservatives, and I've been talking to twenty or thirty of 'em a few times a week for several weeks. They make my head spin.
posted by Miko at 2:28 PM on October 7, 2008 [15 favorites]


Wow, homunculus. That is a killer piece of writing. Thanks.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


So what's the over/under on how long it takes someone at a McCain/Palin rally to shout "nigger!" within range of a microphone?
posted by EarBucket at 2:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


So what's the over/under on how long it takes someone at a McCain/Palin rally to shout "nigger!" within range of a microphone?

Washinton Post's Dana Milbank -- who wrote about the "kill him" comment at Palin's Clearwater, Fla. appearance yesterday -- mentioned on MSNBC this afternoon that a racial epithet was also used, but he couldn't repeat it on television.
posted by ericb at 2:47 PM on October 7, 2008


*Washington*
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on October 7, 2008


I first gave up on the substance of these debates during... I think it was Gore-Bush, which was the first time I read about how the two campaigns had teams of lawyers negotiating the terms of the debates. How many minutes for this, what format that, who could ask what and respond to whom.

I've read this about every debate since. The terms are so watered down that no wonder nothing ever comes of it. Why do they get to define these terms?

The allegedly in-the-public-interest Commission on Presidential Debates, or whatever they're called, should dictate the terms based on their own research on what the damn country wants. They should invite both camps to debate on these terms, and if one side refuses based on the terms, that should be a media frenzy of humiliation until they acquiesce.

"Why is Senator McCain afraid to allow rebuttals?"
"What is Senator Obama's problem with yes/no questions?"

Shame them into showing up. Make them play by the rules that we, not they, have established. And see what the hell happens.

I will also never forgive Kerry for not walking across the stage, rules be damned, and asking "Mr President what is this THING in your ear?"

That would have been Must See TV right there.
posted by rokusan at 2:49 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


ericb: Was it Macaca?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:55 PM on October 7, 2008


I really hope McCain brings up Ayers. Because guess what?
Obama and Ayers were both politically active members of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, and both were affiliated with the neighborhood's University of Chicago. But the very New York Times article that Palin cited as a source concluded that "the two men do not appear to have been close."

So Palin’s "palling around" accusation is no more true than her boast that she "told congress ‘Thanks, but no thanks’" on the Bridge to Nowhere, or that she had the Alaska Permanent Fund divest from Sudan.
Sure, the Times article did say all that. But then again, reading is for commies.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:57 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus. Not that I have taken Paglia seriously for years, but this: "Palin: Feminism's greatest leap forward since Madonna" is beyond the fucking pale.
posted by jokeefe at 3:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Palin: Feminism's greatest leap forward since Madonna" is beyond the fucking pale.

To be fair, she got every word right there except "forward". That's a good batting average.
posted by rokusan at 3:01 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Weird letter going out to Obama supporters in Virginia.

Also, apparently McCain wrote a letter on behalf of James Fowler, the former Alabama state trooper who's been charged with murdering a civil rights protester in 1965. That's not good.
posted by EarBucket at 3:08 PM on October 7, 2008


"Treason!"
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on October 7, 2008


MetaFilter: Your aunt's house has fruitflies.
posted by cookie-k at 3:16 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


It gets better. The racial epithet Milbank couldn't mention, apparently, was "uppity negro." (Followed by "sit down, boy" to the African American sound man).
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:30 PM on October 7, 2008


TPMtv -- "How Low Can He Go" -- excellent overview of the evidence. (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:33 PM on October 7, 2008


I know that there was a bit of negative campaigning from the very outset, but it's really gotten bad since the VP debate last week. I know that the smart move for Obama would be to just keep on message, talk about hope and the great things his administration will do, but a small, petty part of me would really like to see him confront McCain on this. If for no other reason than to see the shocked look of a candidate actually being called out for being dishonorable, right there on national TV.
posted by quin at 3:34 PM on October 7, 2008


About the undecideds...

So my wife works in Spencer, small conservative town with meth problem, you know the type. She drives there from Bloomington, commie central in Indiana. I went with her Sunday, noting no McCain signs, but she said their were two or three McCain/Palin signs in Spencer. Only when we got there, they were gone. Counted 19 yards with local political signs, no presidential. So McCain signs had become worseless, in other words less likely to get a local voted in.

On the way back, between Spencer and B'ton, we paid more attention and saw three Obama signs. But the reality shift was that one was right next to an Ellington sign. Ellington is a long-time small business Republican, runs a tree business. To have Ellington next to Obama means that, not only is McCain worseless to run alongside, the locals are thinking they are more likely to stay in business if Obama gets in.

This may not seem like much, but Indiana has been a lock for Republican candidates for a very long time. McCain is starting to look like a Republican version of McGovern.
posted by dragonsi55 at 4:13 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know you all like these debates and all that, but next time can you schedule it for 9pm Australian time? I get that it's for your president, but it really is quite inconvenient for me. Thanks!
posted by twirlypen at 4:20 PM on October 7, 2008


Did McCain win the debate yet?
posted by mazola at 4:33 PM on October 7, 2008


But the thing is, they're all over the map, the oddest and most nonsensical group of people I have ever talked to in all my born days. It's quite an education.

What Miko said. I've been canvassing door-to-door for a couple of weeks, and the target market is the "undecideds" and "leanings." And the undecideds are bizarre. I can't quite tell if they're really undecided or just saying that to get rid of me, because when I ask the next question about particular issues they're concerned about that have an impact on their decision, 8 times out of 10 the answer is "not really, nothing specific." Then if I follow up with, "So have you been watching the debates? Did you know you can look at Obama's detailed plan on his website?" (to people who clearly have Internet access), etc., I get a lot of "um, yeah" hemming and hawing. I get the impression that a lot of these folks are disengaged, apathetic/disaffected, too busy, or whatever but NOT that most of them at this point are seriously and slowly weighing each piece of information before deciding. For those who are really undecided now, I get the sense that it'll come down to some last-minute "gut thing" if they bother to vote at all.

I'd guess the rest of my undecideds are actually decided but a) are too polite to say "none of your business, girlie," which I would prefer since it'd save us a return canvass visit, or b) don't want to admit to the race thing. I frequently get the "lack of experience" hooey from undecideds, and I'm pretty convinced that this is code for "black folks aren't mature and trustworthy enough yet."

Either that or people are just fucking brain-dead idjits -- since Barack has roughly the same amount of experience in political office as the presidents of the last 25 years, has no less executive experience than McCain, and no more "came out of nowhere" than ANY presidential candidate in my lifetime? Except in the now-and-then news story involving Congress, who had heard of 90% of these guys before they ran for president or made some nominating convention speech that then marked them as the "next rising star" of their party?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:48 PM on October 7, 2008


Either that or people are just fucking brain-dead idjits...

A lot of people follow news on a headline basis; they read the headline and maybe a little blurb, and they feel they know the whole story. That's why so much political strategy allows for a lie, as long as the retraction is weak and delayed and doesn't get the same volume of coverage. The headlines say Obama associates with terrorists; there's not enough room in a headline to say why this is not true. (Once the impression is out there--and this relates to my under-appreciated 'residual false memory' theory--there's always a part of you that references it on some level, even if it is proven false.)

I kind of view it as I do sports. If you follow the sport, particularly attached to a team, you know all the ins and outs, and you've decided more often that anything the other guys do is unfair, and anything your side does is justified. But as someone who doesn't follow sports, pretty much all I know is Barry Bonds used steroids, Billie Jean King is a lesbian, and greco-roman wrestlers are hot. Just as I don't feel like engaging with sports has anything to offer me, many people feel disconnected from politics and feel they have nothing to gain from involvement; a lot of political maneuvering is designed to keep them feeling that way. (And as a loyal team player, I'm inclined to say that Republicans do this a lot more than Democrats.)

This leaves me wondering how much you can engage someone like this. If someone feels the process has no effect on his or her life, and if you can't well prove otherwise, that person has no investment in the outcome and might well base the decision on any number of superficial criteria.
posted by troybob at 5:15 PM on October 7, 2008


The conspiracy theorist in me expects the GOP to seed the hall with confederates.

Luckily, they should be easy to spot, based on the uniforms.

My aunt wants either potatoes or tomatoes placed around the base of the vase we brought her from the Caribbean.

Your aunt needs to lie down.
posted by scody at 5:15 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


shameless plug: Liveblogging over at PoliticalFilter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on October 7, 2008


All right, I think I'm going to sneak out of work early so I can get home in time to try to follow this thread in real time during at least part of the gosh-golly-darn debate-a-majig. (Ah, the perils of West coast living.)
posted by scody at 5:30 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh, but first: any over/under on McCain snapping, throwing his mic to the floor, and snarling "fuck it!" as he stomps off?
posted by scody at 5:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]




scody: some general odds regarding tonight's debate can be found here.

The money is on Obama to benefit the most from the debate, which isn't necessarily the same as a "McCain hulk smash" flame out.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:57 PM on October 7, 2008


Beware intrade odds on events occuring on intrade, they're vulnerable to manipulation.
posted by topynate at 5:59 PM on October 7, 2008


Boomhauer@!!!
posted by notsnot at 6:04 PM on October 7, 2008


Ha, Obama read about the AIG junket on MeFi, I'll betcha!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:06 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama isn't answering the first question. I'm annoyed. Come on, answer the question: what is to be done for senior citizens living off of investments?
posted by jb at 6:06 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama isn't answering the first question.

That's always annoying. I don't see McCain answering the question, either, so far.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:07 PM on October 7, 2008


Something about McCain's head-and-shoulder silhouette makes me think Mike Myers is actually playing him tonight.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:08 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


To be honest, the question was a bit poorly phrased. It took me a moment to figure out WTF the dude just asked.
posted by sciurus at 6:08 PM on October 7, 2008


You know, I hope he does create some more jobs. A few more $10 an hour jobs that won't give me more than 30 hours per week, I might just be able to pay my rent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:08 PM on October 7, 2008


NO FOLLOW-UPS, BROKAW. OR HAVE YOU NOT READ THE RULES?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:09 PM on October 7, 2008


And no, energy independance won't pay nursing retirement home fees.

Okay - now talking about home values and keeping people in their homes. McCain for the better answer on this, though his tax policies are terrible.

To be honest, the question was a bit poorly phrased. It took me a moment to figure out WTF the dude just asked.
posted by sciurus at 9:08 PM on October 7


It was quite clear - what will you do about senior citizens living off investments?
posted by jb at 6:09 PM on October 7, 2008


Ebay - Product Placement!
posted by dejah420 at 6:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain: He'll put the Treasury Secretary up for auction on Ebay.
posted by yeti at 6:10 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's not verbatim what the dude asked, there was a bunch of other stuff bracketing that core. Not really worth arguing about it though. ;)
posted by sciurus at 6:10 PM on October 7, 2008


No way is Warren Buffett taking a government job. If he hasn't wanted one before, he sure as hell isn't going to want one now.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:11 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


cronies - friends
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:12 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama's doing talking points. I know why - actually spontaneous answers gets no one elected because they are too unpolished. But talking points annoy me, too. I've heard this before - he's done the speech. I want new material!

oooh - cronies. That's a nasty word.

and blaming poor people. That's classic. Nasty but classic.
posted by jb at 6:13 PM on October 7, 2008


house - home
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:13 PM on October 7, 2008


The independent line appears to be building an Excitebike track.
posted by Simon! at 6:14 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Please - Rick Davis.
posted by cashman at 6:14 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain is really getting in people's personal space. I hope he's got a breath mint.
posted by splatta at 6:14 PM on October 7, 2008


Vote McCain, he'll buy your mortgage.
posted by ryoshu at 6:17 PM on October 7, 2008


finally! talking to the people, not just reciting points.

And nice Cspan is listing the questions at the bottom of the screen, for when I stop listening properly.
posted by jb at 6:17 PM on October 7, 2008


Ok fuck the Green, Yellow, Red light thing. They need to cut the mics after that Red light comes on. Why have rules if you won't follow them.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:17 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sally Jesse Rafael!!
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:19 PM on October 7, 2008


You know, I think the Chinese might give the US a run for their money as exporters.

Also, the American worker would be a lot better (off) if the US gov't were supported better social policies.
posted by jb at 6:19 PM on October 7, 2008


OK, Obama could make the "Are you better off than you were eight years ago?" point more succinctly than this.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:20 PM on October 7, 2008




Does anyone have nay insight as to why Obama didn't point out McCain's campaign manager was a lobbyist for Fanny and Freddie Mac, up until they collapsed?
posted by Merik at 6:22 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain: I have taken on the special interests...

But that was McCain mark 1, the one with a few shreds of integrity left.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:22 PM on October 7, 2008


John is so calm, but it is a constant sniping attack on Obama. Christ, what an asshole, he is completely empty. All he's got is "look at the BAD THING Obama did"
posted by Meatbomb at 6:23 PM on October 7, 2008


FUCK planetariums! Yeah!
posted by almostmanda at 6:23 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama: wrong on Laser Floyd, wrong for America.
posted by Simon! at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2008 [19 favorites]


Merik, I think he did mention that.
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2008


Merik, He did...
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain hates science.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2008


Broken fucking record, John. Yes, reach across (around?) to Joe Lieberman! You can do it! My friends!
posted by Meatbomb at 6:25 PM on October 7, 2008


AwkwardPause, oh, good, i must have been drowned out by the sound of me hitting the refresh button on a half dozen live blogging pages.
posted by Merik at 6:25 PM on October 7, 2008


ONE MINUTE DISCUSSION PERIOD MY ASS.
posted by sciurus at 6:26 PM on October 7, 2008



McCain: I have taken on the special interests...


By making sweet love to them.
posted by drezdn at 6:26 PM on October 7, 2008


I have a history of bipartisanship. Why, just this morning I reached across the sink to my mirror reflection.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:27 PM on October 7, 2008


I think McCain's debate coach told him that he should walk around to appear sprightly and engaged, but his weird stage movements just makes it look like his debate was blocked by a 6th grade drama teacher.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:27 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good question, Fiora! You go, girl!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:28 PM on October 7, 2008


I WILL DESTROY THE PROJECTOR!
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:29 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, John, the sacrifices are going to be made by the poor who need government assistance?
posted by cimbrog at 6:30 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why isn't John's freeze being picked up on? He mentioned it in the last debate too, the fucker wants to fuel the war machine, and nothing else. WTF?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:30 PM on October 7, 2008


So, John, the sacrifices are going to be made by the poor who need government assistance?

Ayup.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:30 PM on October 7, 2008


yeti: "149McCain: He'll put the Treasury Secretary up for auction on Ebay."

And Obama's Treasury Sec would be, "Ah, ooh, lots of qualified, uh, ahh"
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:31 PM on October 7, 2008


holy fuck, the Democrat is the first to mention 9/11. Have I slipped into the Mirror Universe or something??

/checks Obama for beard
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:31 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe that by 'freeze' he means that everything gets its budget locked in at its current level. No increases for anyone. It's still pretty extreme, but unless I'm mistaken it's less drastic than it first sounds like.
posted by echo target at 6:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What is McCain's obsession with this planetarium overhead projector?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:33 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama hasn't written one note so far -- BECAUSE HE IS THAT BADASSSSSSS..
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:34 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama just indirectly answered my question - good man.
posted by cimbrog at 6:35 PM on October 7, 2008


Wow. Jello on a wall. What a great, fresh new metaphor.
posted by notsnot at 6:35 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama is like Hoover? That's it. I'm changing my vote.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:36 PM on October 7, 2008


OBAMA = HOOVER?

My friends.
posted by scody at 6:36 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yep, that's just what McCain wants to be associated with- the choice dessert of nursing homes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:37 PM on October 7, 2008


LAY DOWN THE LAW TOM!!!!
posted by cimbrog at 6:37 PM on October 7, 2008



What is McCain's obsession with this planetarium overhead projector?


They wouldn't give him his money back when he went to the Pink Floyd show.
posted by drezdn at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Herbert Hoover was the transvestite, right?

J. Edgar I know...
posted by sciurus at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008


Thank you Tom for enforcing a rule.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008


Why oh why can't we just have these guys sit down across a table from each other and actually debate, rather than spout platitudes at an audience that's prohibited from reacting?
posted by echo target at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


CAN'T SLEEP TICKING TIME BOMB WILL EAT US UP
posted by scody at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aaand... McCain's lies about taxes go unchallenged.

Also, did McCain just say that he isn't in favor of cutting taxes on the wealthy?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:38 PM on October 7, 2008


Why oh why can't we just have these guys sit down across a table from each other and actually debate, rather than spout platitudes at an audience that's prohibited from reacting?

Because both campaigns demanded that not happen.
posted by almostmanda at 6:40 PM on October 7, 2008


Nah, he has a nice comeback to get the tax thing in.
posted by jb at 6:40 PM on October 7, 2008


Judging by the facial expressions on the audience members as each candidate is speaking, it looks like people are not liking McCain's answers very much.

Side note: Does McCain's gait look strange? His legs and feet aren't making smooth movements. I keep thinking he's going to trip.
posted by amyms at 6:41 PM on October 7, 2008


Ya know, if you ya'll just had an NHS, you wouldn't need Medicare. And it all would cost less than what the US is currently spending on healthcare, private or public.
posted by jb at 6:41 PM on October 7, 2008


"It's not that hard to fix Social Security"?

Uh?
posted by scody at 6:41 PM on October 7, 2008


I just want everyone to know that somewhere out there is a picture of a young Stewriffic, sitting on Tip O'Neal's lap, in Nashville.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:41 PM on October 7, 2008


"Not that hard to fix Social Security" = first time I've agreed with McCain since like 2000. All we need is Obama's tax plan!
posted by penduluum at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2008


Dear lazyweb, please create a real-time "my friends" counter.
posted by finite at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2008


Well, college-aged young, anyway.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2008


What? "Have the smartest people come together" for a commission? JOHN MCCAIN YOU ELITIST!!!!
posted by scody at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2008


His legs and feet aren't making smooth movements. I keep thinking he's going to trip.

That's because he's a fragile doddering old man in the process of quickly dying.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Jesus, why did I have to pull "my friends" out of the fish bowl? I'm gonna be throwing up all night.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Man. Brokaw is way, way cranky tonight. The man has become seriously unpleasant.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The smartest people on health care issues - aka those who study public health, health care, etc - have already told you what to get:

SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE.

It's like socialism, only all the good parts and none of the bad.
posted by jb at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is creepy. This whole environment, with all these people with dorkily self-aware looks on their faces.
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love that Jiminy Jillickers thing McCain does with his arm. I love it.
posted by Simon! at 6:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Never forget. the struggle. that Americans are in. today.
posted by finite at 6:44 PM on October 7, 2008


I know that 25 people CNN paid to sit in a room isn't a really strong arbiter, but it's fascinating to see how the lines really just don't jump up as high for McCain. It's not a matter of agreement or disagreement with policy; people are just starting to settle into the belief that they simply don't like McCain.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:44 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"The danger that climate change opposes"?
posted by scody at 6:44 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


My friends! "My friends" is McCain's "dude", my friends.
posted by stavrogin at 6:45 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Why oh why can't we just have these guys sit down across a table from each other and actually debate, rather than spout platitudes at an audience that's prohibited from reacting?

They used this format for the 2004 VP debate. It was so yawn inducing I turned it off (and I'm an unrepentant political junkie). You just can't connect with people in the same way when your body language and mannerisms are suppressed like that.
posted by TungstenChef at 6:45 PM on October 7, 2008


Hmmm...John can pronounce Nuclear. Are we sure he's really a Republican?
posted by dejah420 at 6:45 PM on October 7, 2008


That's because he's a fragile doddering old man in the process of quickly dying.

Well, yeah, there's that. But I was noticing that he seems even more unsteady than usual.
posted by amyms at 6:45 PM on October 7, 2008


If McCain campaign had gotten VP debate to be in this style, he'd be President.
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:46 PM on October 7, 2008


What he fails to mention is that he's been there 26 of 'em.

Now there's a classic.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:47 PM on October 7, 2008


What is going on with Tom Brokaw's lower teeth (dentures?)? He looks older than McCain does.
posted by cosmic osmo at 6:47 PM on October 7, 2008


There's a steep slope as you quickly die, amyms. A vote for McCain means President Palin soon into the first term.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:47 PM on October 7, 2008


Heh: Obama just picked a hole in the offshore drilling business. Plus the moderator is supremely annoying.
posted by dhruva at 6:48 PM on October 7, 2008


"That one"?
posted by Ndwright at 6:49 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


he hates goodies! mind the gap!
posted by snofoam at 6:49 PM on October 7, 2008


Hey! Brokaw! Shut the fuck up! Either moderate or don't, don't fucking whine about it. You're wasting everybody's time and attention and destroying your own objectivity.
posted by penduluum at 6:49 PM on October 7, 2008


All kinds of goodies!
posted by Abiezer at 6:49 PM on October 7, 2008


The Manhattan Project? Oh lord, what I wouldn't give to see Sarah Palin's answer to that. "In what respect, Tom?"
posted by scody at 6:49 PM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


Is it just me, or is McCain now channeling Dana Carvey doing Senior Bush? "It's bad, it's bad!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:50 PM on October 7, 2008


I tink I'm offikally drubk...I've had a shot for each of McCain's "my friends," "earmarks," "special interests" and "nuclear."
posted by ericb at 6:50 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe health care should be treated as a division of the Department of Water and Power, and that we should each have Doctor taps on our sink right alongside Hot and Cold.
posted by penduluum at 6:50 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain's starting to do that thing George W. Bush does where he starts talking in a loud whisper, like he's telling you a secret, to try and emphasize that it's important.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we should fund an Alan Parsons Project in every garage.
posted by ryoshu at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Say it! Say it, Barack! SINGLE PAYER!

(a girl can dream.)
posted by scody at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I for one support Brokaw reminding them about time limits. Isn't that part of moderating?
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2008


Meatbomb: "227There's a steep slope as you quickly die, amyms. A vote for McCain means President Palin soon into the first term."

And a vote for Obama means a quick slide down a steep slope to a quick death for the American economy. I'll take President Palin.
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2008


I support enforcing those limits, in the place of continuing to talk ineffectually about it.
posted by penduluum at 6:52 PM on October 7, 2008


Ah, there he is. I was wondering when he'd show up.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2008


If he were Canadian, Obama would have just answered the "should healthcare be a commodity" question as "NO (Non)."
posted by jb at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am John McCain's seething rage!

Yes! Obama's hitting him on preexisting conditions.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2008


Keep my going across state lines stuff out of this.
posted by hal9k at 6:54 PM on October 7, 2008


Yeah for hair transplants!
posted by ericb at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008


That was ... incredible. Delicious.
posted by penduluum at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain's grin and freaky maniacal smile, coupled with his exasperated whispery delivery, IS CREEPING ME THE FUCK OUT. Please stop it, John, kthanxbai
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Senator Obama will FINE YOU, plus he will MANDATE HAIR TRANSPLANTS.
posted by scody at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I vote for the man who allows me to put a hair transplants on my gold plated Cadillac, and McCain is speaking right to me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008


"gold-plated Cadillac" insurance policies?

And we know who drives those big flashy Cadillacs instead of buying their families groceries, don't we?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:55 PM on October 7, 2008


A RIGHT! YES, OBAMA!
posted by Meatbomb at 6:56 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait until they find out about Obama's plan for forced abortions...
posted by ryoshu at 6:57 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Independents seem to be trending pretty strongly toward Obama. The yellow line is generally down when McCain is speaking, and generally up when Obama is speaking—and it drops sharply down when McCain starts attacking Obama directly.
posted by greenie2600 at 6:57 PM on October 7, 2008


Rafaelloello: And a vote for Obama means a quick slide down a steep slope to a quick death for the American economy

Unlike what we're currently witnessing after eight years of Republican govt.
posted by normy at 6:58 PM on October 7, 2008 [8 favorites]



shiu mai babyPoster: "249McCain's grin and freaky maniacal smile, coupled with his exasperated whispery delivery, IS CREEPING ME THE FUCK OUT. Please stop it, John, kthanxbai"

I was thinking the same about Obama. Kind of pale and washed out looking. He may not be too healthy.
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:58 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama wins this question, hands down.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:58 PM on October 7, 2008


Hell, even the red line is often up when Obama is speaking.

I'm really starting to think he'll pull this off.
posted by greenie2600 at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008


Why did Obama bring up Delaware's loose credit card laws? He's practically inviting McCain and the media to lay into Biden's alleged role in all that once again.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


What the fuck is with Brokaw's philtrum? Did he have a bad nose job, or a booger he's afraid to wipe on-camera?
posted by notsnot at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008


He may not be too healthy.

Some hair transplants and he'll be good to go.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just look at their delivery styles.

McCain will say anything, my friends, to get you to trust him and like him; he comes off as a sleazy, phony, desperate old man. I can totally see him handing out lollypops and creeping out my daughter.

Obama will say what he believes, whether or not you'll like it, and hope you believe too; he comes off as naive and eager. Maybe he doesn't know everything, but he seems willing to learn, and think.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow. And they were complaining about Gwen being biased. Let him get those cheap shots in, Ted.
posted by cimbrog at 6:59 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama was excellent and rose above the stupidity of the format on that health care question.
posted by ltracey at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2008


I did hear the size of the fine, but Obama said it in one of those hypersonic-ringtone voices that old people can't hear, which explains why McCain and Brokaw missed it. And then shared a little chuckle about it.
posted by penduluum at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


How much do we drink if Tom starts crying?

I suggest a sip.
posted by Simon! at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2008


harhar ... "Did we hear the size of the fine?" -- McCain's "joke" falls flat!
posted by ericb at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2008


My friends, we've gone to all four corners of this earth -- this flat earth, as my running mate has reminded me.
posted by scody at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Brokaw + McCain = Old Guy Lovefest
posted by defenestration at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain's "joke" falls flat!

Tommie liked it.
posted by drezdn at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2008


Wendigo in and wedigo out!
posted by sciurus at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2008


5k tax deductions? My friends, everyone in America is going to get a box of bandaids, a bottle of aspirin, a fifth of Jack for pain and a bullet to bite on.

What the fuck is a five thousand dollar tax deduction going to do when GROUP health plans cost $1500 a month, GROUP PLANS? Fucking hell.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, baby, "here's what I don't understand."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


seanmpuckett: "263Just look at their delivery styles.

McCain will say anything, my friends, to get you to trust him and like him; he comes off as a sleazy, phony, desperate old man. I can totally see him handing out lollypops and creeping out my daughter.

Obama will say what he believes, whether or not you'll like it, and hope you believe too; he comes off as naive and eager. Maybe he doesn't know everything, but he seems willing to learn, and think.
"

Kind of like 4 more years of Bush?
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2008


I think the women independents on the CNNHD track at the bottom of the screen just tried to dial up to 11 while O talked about health care.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's weird that both camps, presumably independently, came up with "look at the record" as their big lever of message tonight. If there's one thing both sides can pretend to agree on, it's that they want you to have intimate familiarity with their personal voting histories.
posted by penduluum at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2008


No on-the-job-training! Except for perky Wasillans!
posted by scody at 7:03 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


notsnot, Tom was born with a cleft lip.
posted by pearlybob at 7:03 PM on October 7, 2008


CNN need to put this trendline on all of their programming. Some days it could be Homosexual Lumberjacks from Maine, other days it could be Apathetic Idaho Cosplayers and Sundays could be Bi-Curious Maryland Crab Fishermen.
posted by stavrogin at 7:04 PM on October 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


McCain will say anything, my friends, to get you to trust him and like him; he comes off as a sleazy, phony, desperate old man. I can totally see him handing out lollypops and creeping out my daughter.

Honestly, he sounds like a used car salesman down on his luck... "If I can't make this sale, I can't pay my rent. Oh my god, I gotta make this sale."
posted by jal0021 at 7:04 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Again with Lebanon? From the last debate:

"McCain seriously mistated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it."
posted by homunculus at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to be a Bi-Curious Maryland Crab Fisherman.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2008


I want the audience to rise and scream in unison, "Get out of my secret friend place John McCain."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:07 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


tried to dial up to 11
That's ridiculous.
posted by finite at 7:07 PM on October 7, 2008


When McCain whispers to me, I feel like he's making love to me.

My spinal cord just shuddered, tore itself out of my back, and fled the building.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


Ok, I'm an asshole.
posted by notsnot at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2008


Wait, did McCain just claim he's been in dangerous war situations "my whole life"? So he's STILL a POW?
posted by scody at 7:09 PM on October 7, 2008


exacerbating our reputation. (my friends.)
posted by finite at 7:09 PM on October 7, 2008


John McCain: "My friends."

Me: "Fuck you. You're not my friend. Get it straight. Again, shut the fuck up!"
posted by ericb at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Dow 8000 by election day, Dow 6000 by inauguration, Dow 4500 18 months from now. Whoever wins, he'll be good or be gone.
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:11 PM on October 7, 2008


Ceiling Cat is watching you exacerbate.
posted by jal0021 at 7:11 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


The difference between McCain and Bush? About 4 planes, right?
posted by fnord at 7:11 PM on October 7, 2008


Okay now he's just saying Pakistan over and over again to show off his ridiculously superior pronunciation.
posted by rokusan at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2008


did McCain REALLY just fuck up that Roosevelt quotation after originally getting it right just to make a jab at Obama? Really?
posted by cosmic osmo at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2008


"If you were a country, what kind of country would you be? How would you festoon your flag, my country-friend?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2008


His hero is Teddy Roosevelt? What about REAGAN, you fickle fucker?
posted by scody at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2008


9/11 = "the situation that required us to conduct the Afgan War". Nice one. That's my personal favorite political euphemism of the year.
posted by penduluum at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2008


ericb: "290John McCain: "My friends."

Me: "Fuck you. You're not my friend. Get it straight. Again, shut the fuck up!"
"

Obama supporters don't seem to have much of a vocabulary. But they sure have words they like to use a lot.
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"and other extremist organizations... like the AIP?"
posted by scody at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2008


did McCain REALLY just fuck up that Roosevelt quotation after originally getting it right just to make a jab at Obama? Really?

Shame on me. Nevermind. I guess I'm a little eager to hate on the old fool.
posted by cosmic osmo at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2008


Snap.
posted by penduluum at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh shit! Obama's green behind the ears! He should see a doctor about that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:14 PM on October 7, 2008


Obama supporters don't seem to have much of a vocabulary. But they sure have words they like to use a lot.

We're not the ones yelling "nigger" at cameramen at Palin rallies. MY FRIEND.
posted by scody at 7:14 PM on October 7, 2008 [24 favorites]


Shut him the fuck down, Obama!
posted by stavrogin at 7:15 PM on October 7, 2008


oh snap! Mccain tried to be funny with obama, and obama looked at him, and said im not complimenting you, and brought up the irresponsible things mccain said. McCain averted his eyes and looked beaten!
posted by Merik at 7:15 PM on October 7, 2008


I'm glad they both basically told Brokaw to shove it and have turned it into a debate.
posted by sciurus at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's refreshing to see that McCain's faux-patriotic code words (e.g. "American blood" etc.) fall flat when he's not surrounded by sycophants. (Yes, I realize that the audience can't "react" but you can tell by their faces that they're not responding favorably to McCain's bait.)
posted by amyms at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh good let's have more followups! McCain can't think in real time like a fully functioning human.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2008


"I know how to to do it. But I'm not gonna tell YOU!
Just like I didn't tell the North Vietnamese."
posted by zoinks at 7:17 PM on October 7, 2008


My friends, how will we work with Pakistan if they are broke?
posted by drezdn at 7:19 PM on October 7, 2008


"Honour and victory" is for old men.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:19 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any minute now, Brokaw is going to explode into an Eric Cartman "Respect mah authoritaaaaaaaa! Screw you gahs, I'm goin' home" hissy fit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:19 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Psst, Senator McCain. Could you please tell President Bush how you would capture bin Laden? Thanks, you selfish fuck.
posted by ryoshu at 7:19 PM on October 7, 2008


"we're not going to have another Cold War with Russia." Unless PUTIN KEEPS LOOMING OVER ALASKA.
posted by scody at 7:20 PM on October 7, 2008


Tom, my friends. Greatest country on earth, Tom. My friends, we are so good, no country has ever been better. Obama just said it's a great country as well, but I shall reiterate, my friends, that we're good. We're on the road to Weimarization in re to our currency and economy, and pretty much fucked so bad we might as well not have a debate but a wake for times that will never be again (although, me talking, may the bad be gone with the good; years of systemic reform can lead us to have a humble, strong nation that works for the greater good of all), but we'll be good about it, my friends. After we blow up Iran.
posted by raysmj at 7:20 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Where is Rafaelloello pulling those random numbers from when he quotes a prior statement to excoriate it?
posted by yhbc at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008


I looked in Putin's eyes and saw three letters: КГБ.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh man, I wish I hadn't drawn "apparatchik" as my finish-the-bottle word.
posted by penduluum at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Putin is walleyed. One eye on Ukraine, the other in Alaska.

Walleye are delicious.
posted by sciurus at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008


"Naked aggression into Georgia." So that would make Russia General Sherman.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008


I wish that when McCain was done talking about Russia, Obama would say "Well, John, luckily we have people watching Russia from the shores of Alaska, so I'm not worried."
posted by inigo2 at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


That's the first time I've heard McCain concede that Obama was right on something!
posted by dhruva at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2008


Unless PUTIN KEEPS LOOMING OVER ALASKA.

Rears his head, scody, REARS HIS HEAD. And don't forget the little hand gesture!
posted by amyms at 7:22 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Commish, he's got a Firefox plugin that the comment number next to the comment.
posted by sciurus at 7:22 PM on October 7, 2008


Where is Rafaelloello pulling those random numbers from when he quotes a prior statement to excoriate it?

They're our personalized Numbers of the Beast that he's assigned to us! I'm 305! FEAR ME
posted by scody at 7:23 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


yhbc: "320Where is Rafaelloello pulling those random numbers from when he quotes a prior statement to excoriate it?"

I would explain ti to you, but you would probably blame it on Bush. Try this:

Count all the comments and see if you can match up the number to the sequence of the comments in this thread. You might also want to Google GreaseMonkey (and that's not a racial epithet)
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:24 PM on October 7, 2008


EVIL EMPIRE!!!
posted by ericb at 7:24 PM on October 7, 2008


(and that's not a racial epithet)

..the fuck is wrong with you?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:25 PM on October 7, 2008 [19 favorites]


I would explain ti to you, but you would probably blame it on Bush. Try this:

Also, in numerology, these are numbers that represent various Cold War agencies. You might try looking it up.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tom: Is Russia an evil empire?
John: It depends on how we respond to them.
posted by finite at 7:25 PM on October 7, 2008


Okay, why would you want to do that?

(and I'll blame Clinton, just to be contrary)
posted by yhbc at 7:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


AH HE'S COMING OVER TO TOUCH ME OH MY GOD HE'S TOUCHING ME WHAT DO I DO THIS IS SCARY
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain gets wood for ARMY ARMY service blood victory honour!!!!1
posted by Meatbomb at 7:26 PM on October 7, 2008


scody said: They're our personalized Numbers of the Beast that he's assigned to us! I'm 305! FEAR ME

Awh scody, there's no way you're 361 away from the Beast. You're totally a 610 in my book!
posted by dejah420 at 7:26 PM on October 7, 2008


In Obama's socialist America, comments number you!
posted by ryoshu at 7:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain shambling over to pet that guy was AWESOME.
posted by penduluum at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


I've known a lot of Israelis, and Stinking Corpse is actually quite a popular cologne over there.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"We can effectively... uh, uh, abridge their behaviour." Yes, real time is hard for dying old men.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2008


Okay, he hesitated when he realized the baby he was going to kiss was a middle-aged man gesturing for a handshake. How many drinks is that worth?
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain shambling over to pet that guy was AWESOME.

Well he was a petty officer.
posted by mazola at 7:28 PM on October 7, 2008 [11 favorites]


yhbc had comment 333, he's the semi-christ.
posted by sciurus at 7:28 PM on October 7, 2008 [17 favorites]


...Google GreaseMonkey (and that's not a racial epithet)...

Well...it wasn't until you just turned it into one...
posted by troybob at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain shambling over to pet that guy was AWESOME.

Shambling! That's the perfect word to describe what I was trying to point out earlier. A cross between shuffling and ambling.
posted by amyms at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2008


How many drinks is that worth?

Chug the rest of your Metamucil.
posted by ryoshu at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2008


Is anyone doing a tongue jut count?
posted by sugarfish at 7:30 PM on October 7, 2008


Ad now, your moment of zen.
posted by hal9k at 7:30 PM on October 7, 2008


No, both you 'tards, Russia is not an evil empire. Putin is a nasty little fuckstick surrounded by similar, who has made life hell at home and in neighbouring states, but Russia itself is full of people just like us whose lives suck and who wish things were better.

America != Bush; Russia != Putin.

GWB might have shown you by now how little words like "evil" help.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:31 PM on October 7, 2008 [16 favorites]


dejah, thanks -- I aspire to your 420-level of LIBERAL EVIL!
posted by scody at 7:32 PM on October 7, 2008


"What I don't know is apparently where some countries are located on the map."
posted by penduluum at 7:33 PM on October 7, 2008


Ah, unknown unknowns! Where have I heard that before?
posted by notsnot at 7:33 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain says "we're going to be talking about countries that we hardly know where they are on a map."

Like Spain?
posted by inigo2 at 7:33 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Daddy was out doing the country's business, while mommy was at home doing some sort of girl work.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:33 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah, McCain knows tough times, but like Sarah Palin, he can't come up with a specific example of them.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:34 PM on October 7, 2008


So after all that you did to frustrate Brokaw for an hour and half, you block the poor man's script at the end!
posted by the other side at 7:35 PM on October 7, 2008


Watching the people in the hall taking little cell-phone camera pictures with the candidates is kind of adorable.
posted by penduluum at 7:36 PM on October 7, 2008


Michelle seems to be her own woman, and Cindy a lapdog.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:36 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


The winner of tonight's debate: the timer lights.
posted by ryoshu at 7:36 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


My favorite part of watching the approval bars is how they all simultaneously plummet to zero the moment the pundits start talking.
posted by Simon! at 7:36 PM on October 7, 2008


I kind of missed that. Did McCain just refuse to shake Obama's hand?
posted by penduluum at 7:37 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well fuck ME, Brooks gives it to Barack.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:37 PM on October 7, 2008


Did McCain just refuse to shake Obama's hand?

Yeah, it looked like he brushed him off so Obama shook Cindy's hand instead.
posted by lullaby at 7:38 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, unknown unknowns! Where have I heard that before

But, of course, you know!
"As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know."

Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
posted by ericb at 7:38 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Interesting: it looked like Obama just stuck out his hand for McCain to shake, and the hand hung out in space for a while and ended up being shaken by Cindy McCain. I could be mistaken-- the hand could have been extended to Mrs McCain in the first place-- but, hmmm.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:39 PM on October 7, 2008


Yeah that's how it looked to me too. Hand extended to John and ignored, so he kind of swung it over to Cindy. Not to make a big deal of it.
posted by penduluum at 7:40 PM on October 7, 2008


Yeah that's how it looked to me too. Hand extended to John and ignored, so he kind of swung it over to Cindy. Not to make a big deal of it.

Would you want to shake hands with that one?
posted by ryoshu at 7:41 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did McCain just refuse to shake Obama's hand?

I recorded the debate, so rewound it...and he did indeed refuse to shake Obama's hand. He saw the hand, he pointed at Cindy and he stepped back.
posted by dejah420 at 7:43 PM on October 7, 2008


Classy move.

Also it looks like the McCains have gone back to the green room, while the Obamas are still meeting people and talking. Kind of interesting.
posted by penduluum at 7:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just rewound the video.

McCain pats Obama on the back to get his attention.
Obama turns around and extends his hand and says "Good job John"
McCain doesn't extend his hand instead i think he says something about Cindy wants to shake your hand.
McCain then seems to say something about not shaking his hand.
Obama shakes Cindy's hand and turns away a bit miffed.

So McCain sort of snubbed him.
posted by Merik at 7:45 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, that's really bad.
posted by pitseleh at 7:46 PM on October 7, 2008


The handshake dodge strikes me as the type of thing that could resonate with some people. It was classy on Obama's part to do it, and classless of McCain to dodge it.

Considering how some people see a handshake as the measure of a man, McCain might have just lost some points. Then again, maybe mavericks don't shake hands.
posted by drezdn at 7:47 PM on October 7, 2008


Wow. Rumsfeld looks like some kind of zen god when set that way.
posted by rokusan at 7:48 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, I missed it -- what was the "that one" reference?
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:48 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain refusing a handshake is fucked up and playing to the racists. Or he just lost his mind. He loses, either way.
posted by topynate at 7:48 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, the thing I really like about Obama is that I have incredible trust in his judgment. I see all these people discussing what Obama should say, how he should run his campaign, if he's attacking enough or maybe too much, etc. And in almost every situation, Obama gets it right. He's like Prozac for anxious democrats.
posted by pitseleh at 7:50 PM on October 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


shu mai baby, at one point in the debate McCain referred to Oabama as "that one".
posted by orange swan at 7:51 PM on October 7, 2008


If he could lift his arms he'd whip his hand away and do a nee-naw motion by his nose.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2008


Wow. Yeah. I thought he dodged the hand too.

Man, that is messed up. It's great watching Obama with the crowd - he seems to really be sitting down with them, listening, connecting, etc.
posted by fuzzbean at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2008


Argh! Can't believe I missed this, stupid time zones.
posted by liquorice at 7:53 PM on October 7, 2008


Count all the comments and see if you can match up the number to the sequence of the comments in this thread. You might also want to Google GreaseMonkey (and that's not a racial epithet)
You might also want to just link to the comment instead of using some convoluted scheme that only works in a certain browser and requires an addon for anyone to make sense of it. Or is using HTML some crazy Liberal thing?
posted by cj_ at 7:53 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Well, some candidates will go into a handshake without preconditions, whereas others like to say no to the basic norms of civilised interaction.
posted by Abiezer at 7:54 PM on October 7, 2008 [16 favorites]


Seriously? At what point, do you remember? And how in the world did I miss that?
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:54 PM on October 7, 2008


Is it just me, or is CNN really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel with their Ohio uncommitted voter group?
posted by pitseleh at 7:55 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, I missed it -- what was the "that one" reference?
After McCain spoke about some Senate vote for a bill that he implied was bad, he said something like "You know who voted for it? That one. You know who voted against it? Me."
posted by Flunkie at 7:56 PM on October 7, 2008


CNN's focus group goes for Obama 12-10, which is pretty close.

As for the CNN Analyst scorecard, in the format of plusses for McCain, minuses for mcCain; plusses for Obama, minuses for Obama:

Begala: +8,-7;+18,-2
Borger: +5,14;+8,-2
Castellanos: +28,-13;+32,-4
Gergen: +5,-3;+6,-1
King: +12,-3;+13,-5
Toobin: +7,-5; +11, -4
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:56 PM on October 7, 2008


Shiu mai baby, it looks to have been about 48-49 minutes in, and about energy. Link.
posted by topynate at 7:57 PM on October 7, 2008


McCain refusing a handshake is fucked up and playing to the racists. Or he just lost his mind.

That's just the way McCain is; when he doesn't like someone it's practically impossible for him to hide it. Like when he blatantly snubs this reporter here (bonus points: watch Lindsey Graham's face).
posted by the other side at 7:58 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Thanks for that, Flunkie. And wow, what a dumb thing for McCain to say.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:58 PM on October 7, 2008


According to Joan Walsh, "Asking if the audience knew who voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill (an Obama mistake, by the way), he pointed at Obama: "That one.""
posted by orange swan at 7:59 PM on October 7, 2008




video of the handshake.
posted by stavrogin at 8:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"That one." God, he's such a snide, nasty, small man. That's what people are seeing, and how far it really is from the big maverick-y myth that's been perpetuated for so long.
posted by scody at 8:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Keith Olbermann is all over the "that one" comment at the top of his show.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:00 PM on October 7, 2008


"Asking if the audience knew who voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill (an Obama mistake, by the way), he pointed at Obama: "That one.""

Does the GOP simply not want the AA vote?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Slam. Dunk. I sense acceptance coming from the rational right. The crazies are going to make an ugly last stand and wave the bloody flag of hate, however.

I think we should co-opt "that one." As in "who do you want as president?"

THAT ONE, mothafucka.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:00 PM on October 7, 2008 [16 favorites]


Watch the handshake exchange here. That's not going to play well for McCain.
posted by EarBucket at 8:01 PM on October 7, 2008


bonus points: watch Lindsey Graham's face

Wow. That's awesome.
posted by ryoshu at 8:02 PM on October 7, 2008


"Good job, Senator McCain."
"You too, Senator... psyche!"

posted by topynate at 8:04 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"That one." God, he's such a snide, nasty, small man. That's what people are seeing, and how far it really is from the big maverick-y myth that's been perpetuated for so long.
Huh? It's easy to be a maverick about Senate votes. But being a maverick about basic human decency? Now that's some serious maverickosity!
posted by Flunkie at 8:05 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


What is it that McCain says to the reporter in that clip with Lindsey Graham?
posted by Flunkie at 8:06 PM on October 7, 2008


CNN phone poll:

Who did the best:
Obama: 54%, McCain 30%

Obama pre-debate: 60% favorable, 38% unfavorable
Obama post-debate: 64% favorable, 34% unfavorable

McCain pre-debate: 51% favorable, 46% unfavorable
McCain post-debate: 51% favorable, 46% unfavorable
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:08 PM on October 7, 2008


You know, I don't see McCain shaking anybody's hand, and it looks like maybe he gave some kind of excuse to Obama on it. Bonus for Obama if he's generous enough to tell people it wasn't a big deal, or that there was some reason. I'm guessing McCain's hand has pretty much had it with all the handshaking he has to do. (I vaguely remember a story about how Clinton in 92 had real hand pain and swelling from all the handshaking he was doing, but that might not be accurate.) I'd say there's nothing particularly nefarious about it, though I'm still catty enough to suggest that his 'rheumatiz' is acting up and he needs to see granny for a poultice.
posted by troybob at 8:08 PM on October 7, 2008


It's really surprising to me that he wouldn't shake Obama's hand. After their exchange last week on the Senate floor, after the last debate where he wouldn't look Obama in the eyes, his handlers really should have said to him "Look, you need to be the big man here. You need to shake his hand and be gracious to him." Of course, maybe they did and he just couldn't bring himself to do it.
posted by EarBucket at 8:09 PM on October 7, 2008


I thought they already shook hands when they were blocking Brokaw's teleprompter. I interpreted the bit on the video as McCain bringing Cindy over to say howdy. Which is interesting, you know, after she'd just after she'd said today that Obama was waging the dirtiest campaign in history.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, I don't see McCain shaking anybody's hand
He shook an audience member's hand tonight.
posted by Flunkie at 8:10 PM on October 7, 2008


Hey neat! The Daily Show just made a "punch him in the dick" joke. I know the meme predated the song, but I still think mediocre and MeFi should feel a little pride there.
posted by penduluum at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2008


his 'rheumatiz' is acting up and he needs to see granny for a poultice.

Fuck hold must she be?!?!?!
posted by nudar at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2008


how old
shit
posted by nudar at 8:13 PM on October 7, 2008


I just watched the handshake clip, and it looks very choreographed. I don't know who came up with it or who it plays well to.

BTW, is Carville looking more and more like the Cryptkeeper?
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:13 PM on October 7, 2008


Not his granny...THE granny!
posted by troybob at 8:14 PM on October 7, 2008


That One/Biden '08
posted by yeti at 8:14 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


What some might not understand is that a white man refusing to shake a black man's hand is a venerable trope for racism in the south (a variant is not touching a customer's hand when you make change). It's an everyday under-the-radar way to signal to a black person that you think s/he's inferior. He might well have been telegraphing a little dog whistle to his rabid dead enders.

Although he fucked up the symbolism by passing the job of shaking the black guy's hand to his blonde wife.

What. A. Fuckhead.

We must bury him.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:14 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing McCain's hand has pretty much had it with all the handshaking he has to do.

Yeah, I'm betting there's something going on with his hand - hand cramp or something. If you go back to the video, it looks like says something to Obama - maybe by way of explanation - while Obama is shaking Cindy's hand at about 0:18.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:14 PM on October 7, 2008


More CNN Poll:

Who would better handle Iraq:
Obama: 51% , McCain 47%

Who would better handle terrorism:
Obama: 46% , McCain 51%

Who would better handle the economy:
Obama: 59% , McCain 37%

Who would better handle the financial crisis:
Obama: 57% , McCain 36%
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:16 PM on October 7, 2008


You know what, if I was Republican candidate for president, running against a black guy, and I had a cramp in my hand - I'd shake his hand anyway. Because of what happens if you don't.
posted by topynate at 8:17 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Don't blame me - I voted for That One
posted by Flunkie at 8:18 PM on October 7, 2008


Sorry, not buying it. I don't care if every finger you've got is broken from the terrible pressure of holding babies and shaking hands from coast to coast, you shake the hand of your opponent when you're done. Especially after he chased down that army guy in the middle of the debate to shake his hand.

Unless, of course, you want to look even more like an old racist.
posted by sugarfish at 8:19 PM on October 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


I suspect he shook his hand during the script-blocking moment, i really do.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:22 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I am going to reform the American landscape by crashing a sixth plane into the ground.
posted by clearly at 8:23 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because of what happens if you don't.

I kinda think it's better to err on the side of generosity here and not push it. The Republicans would love a chance to defend McCain on this kind of charge by talking about POW injuries and such, and Obama loses nothing by putting a rest to it. Obama has a tight rope to walk in not letting the opposition charge him with claiming racism, because many Republicans would love nothing more than to use that in their own cynical way.
posted by troybob at 8:25 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


According to Olbermann, the GOP is already lodging an official complaint that "this was not a REAL town hall meeting." Presumably because none of the questions included "Senator McCain, can you tell us where you spent five years of your life? And, as a follow-up, can you explain why your opponent is actually the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky?"
posted by scody at 8:25 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Something that struck me (two instances of the same essential thing):

Early on, McCain directly said to one of the audience members something like "I'm sure you never heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before last week".

Then, towards the end, on the question of "what don't you know", he said something like "I'm sure we'll be talking about countries that we've never even heard of", and then in an interjectory voice added something like "some Americans at least".

What a condescending ass.
posted by Flunkie at 8:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


CNN Poll:

Who expressed his views more clearly?
Obama: 60% , McCain: 30%

Who spent more time attacking his opponent?
Obama: 17% , McCain: 63%

Who seemed to be the strongest leader?
Obama: 54% , McCain: 43%


Who was more likable?
Obama: 65% , McCain: 28%

Notice after this debate, our resident troll seems a lot quieter?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


CBS Poll results show Obama as the winner

Thirty-nine percent of the 400 uncommitted voters surveyed identified Barack Obama as tonight's winner; 27 percent said John McCain won, while 35 percent saw the debate as a draw.

(one note: why does cbs always mix writing numbers in words and using numbers, in the same sentence? It seems to be not only improper grammar, but also makes it difficult to skim the text and extract the percentages")
posted by Merik at 8:27 PM on October 7, 2008


At the beginning of a sentence, you're supposed to write out the number in words, because it is difficult for most people to capitalize numbers.
posted by troybob at 8:29 PM on October 7, 2008


Someone on TPM says they shook hands immediately after the debate:

Hey, i watched the video of the debate. The moment right before Tom Brokaw told them they were in his way, they clearly shook hands vigorously. Then they took a moment to stand side by side for the audience and Brokaw was like, hey move it.

The moment you showed on video was when McCain was obviously presenting his wife to shake Obama's hand.
posted by rq at 8:30 PM on October 7, 2008


why does cbs always mix writing numbers in words and using numbers, in the same sentence?
A lot of people believe you should not begin a sentence with a numeral.
posted by Flunkie at 8:30 PM on October 7, 2008


oh, nice. CNN is declining to go into the spin room, as it's "not worth it"

"if you want to see the spin room, you'll need to go to another network"
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


So early on, McCain brought up, twice, Obama's vote for "3 million dollars for an overhead projector for a planetarium in Chicago" as an example of Obama's support for "earmarks." Probably he was trying to depict Obama as supporting his home state.

But I'm guessing this was the Adler Planetarium, one of the top planetariums in the country. The candidates are probably coached not to speak off the cuff very much, for fear it will turn out badly, but I would have loved to hear something like this in response from Obama:

"Yes, I voted for a new projector for the Adler Planetarium. It projects huge, high-resolution images of the heavens on an overhead dome. You know, thousands of schoolchildren come every year from Wisconsin and Indiana and Illinois and Michigan to the Adler Planetarium, and it makes science real to them in a way that's hard to achieve in the classroom. And there are thousands of great science museums and history museums and planetariums throughout the country, which are an important part of our children's education. There would be spending cuts in my administration, but funding for our children's education is one area I absolutely will not cut."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:32 PM on October 7, 2008 [25 favorites]


I just got home from work. Anyplace I can actually watch the debate online now that it's over?
posted by Manhasset at 8:36 PM on October 7, 2008


is Carville looking more and more like the Cryptkeeper?

Jiminey Cricket of the Undead, actually, but it's cute that you're trying to keep up.
posted by scody at 8:37 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, over at the National Review, "We have a disaster here".
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:38 PM on October 7, 2008


Oh please oh please oh please oh please in the third debate please let McCain say "you people."
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:39 PM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


McCain didn't snub Obama's handshake. He tapped him on the shoulder so that Cindy could shake his hand. There didn't seem to be an intentional snub, especially since they had already shaken hands before it would have been odd to shake again.

That said, McCain looked old, old, old hobbling around therefore he lost.
posted by dydecker at 8:40 PM on October 7, 2008


over at the National Review, "We have a disaster here".

I'll drink to that!
posted by scody at 8:40 PM on October 7, 2008


CNN keeps pushing this thing about how the knob viewers were disappointed that they didn't give enough specifics. It drives me crazy that people think a two-minute-or-so response offers enough time to present a specific solution. Ask one of these people to give specifics on their grocery budget in two minutes or less.
posted by troybob at 8:41 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Combustible Edison Lighthouse's link:

Now, as the night went along, did you get the impression that Obama comes from the radical Left? Did you sense that he funded Leftist causes to the tune of tens of millions of dollars? Would you have guessed that he's pals with a guy who brags about bombing the Pentagon? Would you have guessed that he helped underwrite raging anti-Semites? Would you come away thinking, "Gee, he's proposing to transfer nearly a trillion dollars of wealth to third-world dictators through the UN"?

Somebody's been reading Conservapedia!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, over at the National Review, "We have a disaster here".
From that link:
With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I'm dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?
You're missing your talking points, you filthy hippie! Now get in line before I say you hate America!
posted by Flunkie at 8:43 PM on October 7, 2008


CNN Poll

"who won" breakdown

Dems: Obama 85%, McCain 5%
Reps: Obama 16%, McCain 64%

But the one that matters:

Ind: Obama 54%, McCain 28%
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:45 PM on October 7, 2008


Meanwhile, over at the National Review, "We have a disaster here".

Do you guys realise how close you are to this thing actually becoming a reality right now?!?

President Obama.
An Obama administration.
The Bush people finally out of the White House.

The rest of us here on planet Earth are very proud of you all right now.
posted by nudar at 8:46 PM on October 7, 2008


That one video.
posted by Manhasset at 8:54 PM on October 7, 2008


Don't jinx it, nudar.
posted by jtron at 8:55 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


The rest of us here on planet Earth are very proud of you all right now.

Well, the economy's still fucked. So don't start parades just yet.
posted by graventy at 8:55 PM on October 7, 2008


I love Obama, but part of me desperately wishes he was as leftist and radical as the far right wants to convince everybody he is.
posted by penduluum at 8:56 PM on October 7, 2008 [15 favorites]


I would explain ti to you, but you would probably blame it on Bush. Try this:

Count all the comments and see if you can match up the number to the sequence of the comments in this thread. You might also want to Google GreaseMonkey (and that's not a racial epithet)


Hey, how about just explaining it and not being a dick. He wasn't attacking you in any way with the question.

Also, and I realize you don't care because the site is all liberals anyway, all it would take is a couple of backspaces to make your comments look a little nicer.
posted by graventy at 8:57 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


wrt the earlier discussion on Paglia: she just put up a new article on Palin and stands by her assessment: Liberals underestimate Sarah Palin's vitality and -- yes -- smarts at their own peril.

So what I'm getting here is that Paglia's counting on riding Palin's wave the way she did Madonna's--speaking circuit, probably a book in there somewhere. She's all about self-promotion, that one.
posted by troybob at 8:58 PM on October 7, 2008


Whatever Salon pays Paglia, it's too much.
posted by orange swan at 9:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the economy's still fucked. So don't start parades just yet.

You vote out the idiots in charge of the economy for the last eight years, I'll get to work on the streamers and marching band.
posted by nudar at 9:09 PM on October 7, 2008


Yeah, I'm betting there's something going on with his hand - hand cramp or something.

I don't want to make too much of a minor point. But what was going on when McCain took his followup response off-mike? He held the mike at waist level in his hand, and talked straight into the room mike. The gain on the room mike was obviously cranked way, way up so that his voice could be heard. Then, when the next person spoke, it blasted, and it had to be turned down again. Was something wrong with his mike for a minute? Or his arm?

Did anybody else see that? We watched on PBS.
posted by Miko at 9:11 PM on October 7, 2008


Paglia wouldn't recognize a real feminist if one bit her on the twat.

Sorry, but it needed to be said.
posted by amyms at 9:12 PM on October 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Ask one of these people to give specifics on their grocery budget in two minutes or less.

I go to the store with the money the boss man gave me and I fill up my cart with cans of chili without them faggy beans. Then I hand my money to the lady, and she gives me cans of chili 'til she can't no more 'cuz my money run out.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:13 PM on October 7, 2008


What kind of idiotic question is "Is Russia an Evil Empire? Yes or no?" What's the follow up? "I'm going to say some country names and I want you respond with either 'Good' or 'Evil'"

Shade of Bruno.
posted by dydecker at 9:13 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


It seemed to me that Brokaw only addressed Obama when he was admonishing the candidates about time limits.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:15 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do you guys realise how close you are to this thing actually becoming a reality right now?!?

President Obama.


The Cubs thought they had a good shot at the World Series too.

So let's just wait until all the votes are "counted."
posted by drezdn at 9:16 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin gives her expert assessment (scroll down):

After the debate, Palin praised McCain's performance, saying the night went "great."

"It was a great night for America. [McCain is] proposing real plans that will work for economic recovery and energy independence," she said. "I think Barack was even less candid than usual, which I was kinda surprised. But McCain has fought on and sounded very energized, and it was a good night for him, for all of us, for all of America."


They report that Palin was there with Elizabeth Dole. I'd love to have been a fly on that wall.
posted by troybob at 9:16 PM on October 7, 2008




McCain's used to fishing from a stocked pond in his Republicans-only town halls, and didn't adopt his game to this format. As he did in the first debate, he mugged and joked when the audience has been told not to react, not that his lame jokes would provoke laughs anyway. He looks a little crazy to a TV audience.

Also, McCain needs to share his incredible secrets for victory more. He says he knows how to win wars, but wouldn't tell us how to win Vietnam. He says he knows how to get bin Laden, but seems fine letting bin Laden relax while McCain's not telling Bush how to get him.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


That One '08
posted by nudar at 9:26 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stop with the handshake bullcrap, already. They shook hands, obviously and vigorously, right before Brokaw told them to get out of his way. If McCain wanted to make some kind of cheap racist crazy-ass point, he would have avoided that center-stage handshake, not some followup scrum.

The second exchange that is getting so much play at the moment (mainly because Wolf Blitzer is a putz who wasn't paying attention) was specifically Cindy wanting to say something/shake hands with Obama, and McCain just connected them like a host would.

It was harmless. Non-issue.
posted by rokusan at 9:41 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


After the debate, Palin praised McCain's performance, saying the night went "great."
Oh, you betcha!
posted by Flunkie at 9:43 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And since I'm in McCain apology mode, I guess, I don't see "that one" as particularly offensive or racist or anything, just a little bit of old-mannish speak.

That's how my old-man father talks about anyone, not just the negruhs, including his own children. To him, at least, and probably to anyone of McCain's age/background, it's just cutesy-talk, sort of like saying "Mr Man, over here..." or "And look at this fella" or "you whippersnappers these days."
posted by rokusan at 9:45 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin answers some questions:

On why Barack Obama’s links to William Ayers are relevant in the campaign:

PALIN: It is pertinent, it's important because when you consider Barack Obama's reaction to and explanation to his association there, and without him being clear at all on what he knew and when he knew it, that I think kinda peeks into his ability to tell us the truth on, not only on association but perhaps other things also. So, it's relevant, I believe, and I brought it up in response to the New York Times article having been printed recently, and I think it just makes us ask the question that, if there's not forthrightness there, with that association and what was known and when it was known, does that lead us to ask, is there forthrightness with the plans Barack Obama has or say tax cuts, or spending increases, makes us question judgment. And I think it's fair and relevant.

On whether Barack Obama is dishonest:

PALIN: I'm not saying that he is dishonest, but in terms of judgment and in terms of being able to answer a question forthrightly it has — it has two different parts to itL that judgment and that truthfulness and just being able to answer very candidly a simple question about ‘When did you know him, how did you know him? Is there still — has there been an association with him since ‘02 and ’05?’ We've heard a couple of different stories. I think it is relevant.


****My favorite comment on the site in response: "Hey Sarah, I can see the end of your career from my house."****
posted by troybob at 9:48 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obamas lucky he didn;t get a sound buggy-whip beating for being on McCains lawn.

(but yes, I'm getting doddery old man not reading hand location properly, not deliberate snub)
posted by Artw at 9:48 PM on October 7, 2008



It was harmless. Non-issue.


Thanks, rokusan. There are too many important differences on *issues* between these two -- we need to guard against getting distracted by trivial things. (and ... to be fair, McCain even smiled at Obama when he motioned that his wife wanted to shake his hand -- it seemed like his first real smile of the night.)
posted by Surfurrus at 9:49 PM on October 7, 2008


[wildlife narrator : here we see quin woefully behind the curve regarding live TV vs. Blogging]

1hr 26min into the debate (how I heard it)

McCain: Pop quiz hotshot, what would you do if you were were the Israelis and the president of a country says that they are determined to wipe you off the map... calls your country a stinking corpse?.. What would you do?

Obama: Negotiate with their leaders, come up with a reasonable solution while prepping an infiltration team of elite Rangers and SEALs to eliminate the problem the moment it became something beyond an official national talking point...

McCain: Ha! No, once again we have a fundamental disagreement... you are supposed to shoot the hostage. Everyone know that.

Obama: Yeah.... this is awkward, because, while I like movies from the last decade or so, I'm going to suggest that Speed isn't the best way to catalog where we need to be in terms of decision making.
posted by quin at 9:50 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh snap! Mccain tried to be funny with obama, and obama looked at him, and said im not complimenting you, and brought up the irresponsible things mccain said. McCain averted his eyes and looked beaten!

Don't suppose there's any YouTube of this yet?
posted by harriet vane at 9:54 PM on October 7, 2008


it's just cutesy-talk, sort of like saying "Mr Man, over here..." or "And look at this fella" or "you whippersnappers these days."

Ok, I see your point, but "That one" does not imply that he is talking about a human being like every one of your examples do. "That one" is not the same as "That guy" because "That guy" implies that he is talking about a real live person and not some candy bar on the shelf.

If you really want to plate of beans this one, lets look into the dehumanization of the Vietnamese pounded into the head of every American who fought in "That war." We are talking about people here and Barack Obama as much as every other person deserves to be referred to as such.
posted by clearly at 9:58 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too bad McCain didn't come up with that whole 'saving houses by buying mortgages directly' thing like, I don't know, two weeks ago...
posted by troybob at 10:01 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you guys realise how close you are to this thing actually becoming a reality right now?!?

President Obama.
An Obama administration.
The Bush people finally out of the White House.


There's just under 30 days left. A lifetime in political time. I'm hopeful, but I'm prepared for something BIG changing the game.
posted by zardoz at 10:20 PM on October 7, 2008


THAT WON!
posted by sourwookie at 10:23 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Mr Man, over here..." or "And look at this fella" or "you whippersnappers these days."

The problem with this comparison is that every single example you have there recognizes the person as a person. Whereas 'that one' completely dehumanizes and others Obama. 'That one' is what you'd say about a car or a pen or a bracelet, not a human being.
posted by winna at 10:24 PM on October 7, 2008


"That guy" implies that he is talking about a real live person and not some candy bar on the shelf.

Plus, you can follow up with, "And who has two thumbs and didn't vote for that bill? This guy!"
posted by dirigibleman at 10:25 PM on October 7, 2008 [7 favorites]




And now we see what happens when you don't preview after plowing through the thread - clearly addressed the point I wanted to make.

I very much enjoyed how well Senator Obama addressed the issue of health care. Clear, concise, and with sufficient examples for people who have not read his plan on his website.
posted by winna at 10:26 PM on October 7, 2008


Whereas 'that one' completely dehumanizes and others Obama. 'That one' is what you'd say about a car or a pen or a bracelet, not a human being.

It's something old people say; I heard it quite a bit growing up, among older relatives from Pennsylvania; I'm not sure it's necessarily regional, but I associate it with a certain style of speaking. It is condescending--the way one would speak about a child, or critically about a spouse. For me, it pretty much just serves a reminder that McCain is freaking old.
posted by troybob at 10:31 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you guys realise how close you are to this thing actually becoming a reality right now?!?

It's not the people who vote that count, it's the Diebolds that count the votes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:34 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nudar,that button reads like Thatone '08. As in Thatony! Thatoni! Thatone!
posted by maryh at 10:46 PM on October 7, 2008


oh snap! Mccain tried to be funny with obama, and obama looked at him, and said im not complimenting you, and brought up the irresponsible things mccain said. McCain averted his eyes and looked beaten!

Don't suppose there's any YouTube of this yet?
posted by harriet vane at 9:54 PM on October 7


Here a youtube clip of that exchange.
posted by Merik at 10:49 PM on October 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thanks, Merik, that Splicd is really useful. That's a great smackdown from Obama there.
posted by harriet vane at 10:58 PM on October 7, 2008


I very much enjoyed how well Senator Obama addressed the issue of health care.

He seems to be one of the few politicians who has taken the time to understand how frustrating and expense the health care industry is for regular people, and who can speak convincingly about how to fix it.
posted by amyms at 10:59 PM on October 7, 2008


What really struck me post-debate was all the great air time Obama got by staying on stage, engaging people, shaking hands and posing for pictures. Even Fox was showed Obama meeting people while their talking heads ranted on. Obama definitely won this simply by sticking around. I kept thinking, "Where is McCain?" Then I realized he probably was headed to bed.
posted by pointilist at 11:04 PM on October 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


was
posted by pointilist at 11:09 PM on October 7, 2008


For the people way upthread who mentioned McCain's shambling, the thought just crossed my mind that he might be wearing shoes with some significant lifts built in to make him appear taller, as he's several inches shorter than Obama (6'1 or 6'2" vs. 5'6" or 5'7" -- I've seen those heights floated around the most).

Anyway, just a thought.
posted by empyrean at 11:25 PM on October 7, 2008


Ok, I see your point, but "That one" does not imply that he is talking about a human being like every one of your examples do.

One might disagree with this, should one take a step back and view him in the context of his generation.

You see those two senators over there? That one's gonna be President. Not this one. That one.

There's a million stupid things McCain has said that deserve more attention. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here and bet that it was just a slightly awkward and stodgy old turn of phrase. He wasn't pulling some crazy States Rights / Dred Scott nonsense here: he's just a slightly-crazy old codger and sometimes it shows through in the language.
posted by rokusan at 11:47 PM on October 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's kinda like when Montgomery Burns walked into a post office and asked that his letter be sent by autogyro to the Prussian consulate in Siam.
posted by troybob at 12:02 AM on October 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dang, short people never win.
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 12:09 AM on October 8, 2008


For the record, they DID shake hands at the end.
posted by dw at 12:23 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


The whole handshake hoo-ha reminded me that from a certain point of view, Biden, Obama and McCain are co-workers. It would be much more entertaining if these debates devolved into a discussion of that one time McCain ate Biden's candy bar that he was saving in the breakroom fridge, and maybe if you don't put your name on it, it's fair game,and anyway Obama always cancels sub-commitee meetings but doesn't take them off of the Outlook calendar, so the conference room is all tied up when they could have been using it to solve the economic crisis.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:59 AM on October 8, 2008 [12 favorites]


I feel this is a good time to repurpose a Billy Connoly joke about Reagan -

"That man, [could be sitting] at that desk in the White House and the button is there that can end the world, BOOM! My father's younger than him and we don't give him the controls for the television!"
posted by Happy Dave at 2:54 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


For what little it's worth, I thought that debate the first didn't point up all that clearly the differences between the two.

But this one did. McCain's delivery occasionally desperately dogpaddled over the waves, but all told, he was a little pathetic. I don't think that the mythical joesixpackeri, even, could have gotten much of a political chub off his scenery-chewing bullshit.

Obama disappointed me a bit here and there by playing it safe through much of the proceedings, to be honest, but that's good strategy, and he is a goddamn master at playing the game without compromising his principles, and for that, I love the skinny bastard.

As I always qualify, though, I hope he doesn't drop the goddamn ball once he gets his dick stuck into the Power Socket.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 AM on October 8, 2008


The Economist's Global Electoral College.

Let's hope America follows suit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:06 AM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


1) "That one" -- yeah, standard issue putdown from an old coot. The problem is that it is a standard issue putdown from and old coot. The correct term of address is "Senator Obama," or if you wish to dehumanize him, "my opponent," or, being respectful but familiar, "Barack." "That one" hasn't got overt racist connotations, just obnoxious depersonalizing ones. But it was said with such condescension and such a dismissive tone that it marked McCain's real contempt not only for Obama but for those of us who support him. That one, asshole, is about to kick your ass.

2) Handshake -- oh, so it's OK, because Cindy McOpiates wanted to shake Barack's hand? The same day after accusing him of running "one of the dirtiest campaigns ever" while speaking at a fucking *children's hospital?* If she wanted to shake his hand, it was only because she realized over the course of the preceding 90 minutes that he was going to be president anyway and she'd better start mending fences if she wants to avoid looking like the trash she is.

A disgusting, mean, churlish performance by McCain and co. about what they've been doing. And I could not for a second get the following words out of my ears when I was watching last night:

"traitor"
"kill him"
"treason"

Dollars to donuts Old Spice and Churchy Spice wake up to decide it's another beautiful day for race-baiting in America.

So, no, I don't give McCain much benefit of the doubt. He's proved himself to be a dishonorable, nasty piece of work and there was no redemption available last night from me.

Crush them, Barack.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:07 AM on October 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


Translation: "That One"= "Mr. President."
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:21 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I have become too damned cynical for my own good, at least when it comes to the McCain campaign. Last night when the Treasury Secretary question came up and McCain name-dropped Meg Whitman, all I could think of was that it was just one more painfully transparent and awkward attempt to lure female voters.

We Vagina Americans are not fooled, Senator!
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:43 AM on October 8, 2008


ThatOne08.com.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:44 AM on October 8, 2008


You know, once Obama becomes president, I'd really like to see him (and I think he would, given the kind of man he has shown himself to be) offer a position in his administration to McCain that would be at least a gesture to his experience and history, unironically, for McCain to have the opportunity to regain a little of the honour he's squandered so dismayingly during this campaign, before he dies.

That would be a good thing and respect-worthy thing to do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, once Obama becomes president, I'd really like to see him (and I think he would, given the kind of man he has shown himself to be) offer a position in his administration to McCain that would be at least a gesture to his experience and history, unironically, for McCain to have the opportunity to regain a little of the honour he's squandered so dismayingly during this campaign, before he dies.
What position should John McCain be entrusted with?
posted by Flunkie at 5:01 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain name-dropped Meg Whitman, all I could think of

. . . was that eBay laid off 1600 people earlier in the same day, and McCain seemed not to know that.

I wish Obama had nailed him on that. It would have been a real "moment." But I'm greedy. We have "that one," and it's sticking as a trope for McCain's diffident, distracted, disrespectful, dishonorable, and decompensated performance to date.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:04 AM on October 8, 2008


What position should John McCain be entrusted with?

Department of Crazy Old Men.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:09 AM on October 8, 2008


Oh no. You know where McCain should be put?

Veteran's Affairs.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:28 AM on October 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


What position should John McCain be entrusted with?

See, much as I think he would be a bad choice to be president of the United States, I'm just this guy who hasn't spent decades in the senate, or, yeah much as we lefty douchebags like to make fun of it, been tortured as a war prisoner, or anything else, and much as I think that he has sacrificed his principles because he's greedy for power, I'm willing to admit that he might have at one time been a man who did engage in politics from a principled position (recent Rolling Stone bio notwithstanding), and he might, if he were willing to wind back the clock, contribute something useful to the next administration.

In what capacity, I'm spectacularly internet-opinion unqualified to speculate. As, I assume, are you.

But I am very much of the opinion that effective governance is all about finding the best people to promote in the appropriate roles, regardless of party affiliations, and the only real way forward is to truly break the two party deadlock blacknwhite bullshit.

John McCain seems to me to be a doddering old fool. But I am unconvinced that I am a good judge of whether that is actually the case or not. He might be a horrible chief exec, but a useful [fill in position here]. I'm not qualified to judge.

I want him to be crushed and humiliated in the upcoming election, along with his moron wingwoman, but America is either going to thread a narrow path in the next few years, or end up a third world country. Promotion based on competence rather than afffiliation seems like a good thing to do. I hope Obama does it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:30 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


What position should John McCain be entrusted with?

Assistant to the Head of the National Institutes of Get Off My Lawn.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:35 AM on October 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


What position should John McCain be entrusted with?

Something to do with veterans affairs, perhaps.
posted by orange swan at 5:36 AM on October 8, 2008


COPYCAT
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:41 AM on October 8, 2008


I'm with those who say that the non-handshake was a non-issue. McCain got Obama's attention by touching him on the back, then when Obama turned around with his hand outstretched McCain redirected the handshake to his wife. It's absurd to suppose McCain would have got Obama's attention just to insult him. And the two of them already had shaken hands before and after the debate.

McCain is a poor candidate for the presidency, yes, But let's try to keep some perspective and not start sounding like some rabid Republican blog.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Great minds think alike, dirtynumbangelboy!
posted by orange swan at 5:48 AM on October 8, 2008


I would never have made fun of a man's terrible experience as a victim of torture and a detainee of a hostile nation, until that man himself refused to allow that the very methods used on him were torture when it was politically expedient to redefine torture. I would not have laughed at an experience so horrific that I cannot imagine undergoing it myself if the man had not trivialized it beyond belief by using that experience as political fodder to such an extent that the invocation of said experience becomes a frequent and wholly irrelevant part of his self-justification for fitness for the highest office in the land. I particularly would not make fun of a man who suffered irreparable physical harm as a member of the armed forces, if that man had not repeatedly demonstrated that he has no regard for the people who shared that experience with him by consistently voting against adequate funding for the VA.

Since he went there, and did that, I feel no shame whatsoever in disrespecting that experience. I think that it's clear in context that no one is disregarding the very real pain and trauma of being a prisoner of war. What we're making fun of is John McCain's offensive attempts to capitalize on that experience.
posted by winna at 5:56 AM on October 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Am I the only paranoid out here that saw the "Obama's Secret [plan]" characterization as attempted code for "Obama's Secret" [religion]? The remark was either visavis healthcare? or maybe taxing small business (in a way the reference doesn't matter because the point is to get the code in there).
posted by nax at 5:59 AM on October 8, 2008


Charitably, the handshake was just awkward in the flesh, the way McCain is generally awkward and shuffling -- Obama extended his hand, and regardless of whether he shook it before or not, McCain should have taken his hand and shaken it again. I put myself in that situation, on national TV no less, and that's what I do. Then I redirect with a smile to my wife who originally sought the handshake (I repeat, after earlier calling the Obama campaign "the dirtiest in history").

So, benefit of the doubt: McCain is not being racist in that instant, just a graceless dick.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:07 AM on October 8, 2008


Number of times McCain said "my friends" last night: 19
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:07 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am noting that a large consensus of opinion is developing among middle of the road conservatives in respected forums warning McCain off the race-baiting shit. This is interesting -- Chuck Todd pithily says the character assassination shit is a way for McCain to keep it close, but not to win. Smart people are saying his only hope is to pull back on the dark side shit and compete on issues, though I think the subtext is "lose like a man, already."

I don't think McCain's people will hear it, or take the advice. But it will further divide the right if they keep pushing the Palin as Grand Wizard strategy. And I am amazed at the media pushing back at it, really neutralizing the strategy and making it much harder to change the narrative that McCain is losing and has gotten "desperate" and "erratic" and that Palin is "unpresidential."

What worries me: cornered bastards are the biggest bastards. Their last hail mary passes are a terrorist incident or a military incident of some sort. At this point, I think a large number of people would smell a dead rat, but I am not sure.

Finally, I must say that the use of instant polling to decide debates has really changed the dynamic from 4 years ago. The pundits don't get to decide who "won" any more. By last night, after having sucked ass on the first pres. debate and the VP debate, they were wary and cautious and basically deferred to the verdict of the polls soon to come. What a relief not to be told what to think or that what I've just seen was not what happened.

I think it shows that members of the media are almost as scared of the current financial crisis as the voters are, too. You can hear the uncertainty in their voices, like hey, this isn't the kind of disaster we're used to covering, where we're going to be among the victims.

I consider the money I've lost in my retirement account one big donation to Obama for President. Totally worth it and I'd happily give it all to make this happen.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


I think that it's clear in context that no one is disregarding the very real pain and trauma of being a prisoner of war. What we're making fun of is John McCain's offensive attempts to capitalize on that experience.

McCain's experience means I would shake his hand, buy him a beer, and sincerely honor what he went through.

It doesn't mean he gets my vote.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:23 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Notice McCain toned back the Maverick shtick, but really dialed up the "my friends" to the point where it became noticeably annoying. Also, I think Obama was consciously trying to stop saying "Look" before every response.

I think Obama really hit it out the park last night. I was a little disappointed in Obama's performance in the 1st debate, but last night he just seemed so sensible in all his responses....cool, collected, knowledgeable and trustworthy.

McCain just seemed tired and incoherent. He seemed much more together in the 1st debate, even winning a few there points I though. But last night....just....really.....tired.
posted by Otis at 6:27 AM on October 8, 2008


You know, I'm a Brit, but married to an American, so this election is pretty important to me - our kids will be dual citizens, so it makes a real difference who gets elected. I read a bunch of different sites, compulsively refresh Electicker and wake up every morning to the soothing tones of BBC Radio 4 telling me the latest wackiness from this two year long, vicious meat grinder that you call an election. It makes me almost glad of the once every four or five years, lasts six weeks, a few signs on lampposts-type British election. With TV political advertising illegal.

At this point, with 28 days to go, I really, really want to just skip to the end and find out what happens. It's emotionally exhausting. I can't imagine what it's like for you poor bunch being drenched in 24 hour news cycle blather and hateful attack ads.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:30 AM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was thinking the same about Obama. Kind of pale
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:58 PM on October 7


fukken lol
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:50 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great minds think alike, dirtynumbangelboy!

Veterans' Affairs was my snap answer too. Must be a Canadian impulse: what do you do with an old military man? Put him in charge of taking care of other vets. Politically neutral, yet meaningful work.
posted by bonehead at 6:54 AM on October 8, 2008


Dang, short people never win.

Sometimes, they do. Heights and weights of presidential candidates over the years.James Madison was only 5'4".
posted by inigo2 at 6:58 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Veterans' Affairs? The same John McCain who voted against expanding the GI Bill? The same John McCain who voted against increasing funding for veterans' health care? The same John McCain who voted to allow the Bush administration to farm veterans' health care out to private contractors? Thanks, but I think President Obama will be able to do better than that.
posted by EarBucket at 7:02 AM on October 8, 2008 [9 favorites]


(As a side note, I've talked to a number of older, conservative vets here in North Carolina who say they're voting for Obama because they're disgusted with McCain's record on veterans' care issues. They're also impressed with Obama, particularly his support of Jim Webb's GI package and his leadership on the Walter Reed issue.)
posted by EarBucket at 7:05 AM on October 8, 2008


I can't imagine what it's like for you poor bunch being drenched in 24 hour news cycle blather and hateful attack ads.

I fully expect to be popping Xanax on election day.
posted by kimdog at 7:13 AM on October 8, 2008


Video Analyzer: Dissect debate topic-by-topic.
posted by ericb at 7:16 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


New Obama ad utilizing video footage from last night's debate-- John McCain: "Instead of fixing health care, he wants to tax it."
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on October 8, 2008


AP: Body language: confident Obama, combative McCain
"The McCains and the Obamas moved about the stage separately for a little while after their debate, greeting people on the stage, but not each other. Then John McCain tapped Barack Obama's back briefly and Obama turned and reached his hand out. Rather than shaking it, McCain directed him to his wife, Cindy.

If it wasn't clear on TV, photos showed that the two men did shake hands after Tuesday's contest. But that awkward physical moment highlighted a reality that viewers were reminded of repeatedly Tuesday evening: There's no love lost between these two men.

And it was McCain, slipping in the polls and increasingly on the attack in recent days, who appeared to have far more trouble concealing his apparent distaste for his opponent. He even began the evening with a dig.

'Sen. Obama, it's good to be with you at a town hall meeting,' McCain said. Obama declined to participate in town hall settings with McCain earlier in the race.

And then there was the comment, likely to be much remarked upon, about Obama's vote on an energy bill. 'You know who voted for it?' McCain asked, thrusting his finger in Obama's direction but not looking at him. 'That one.'

It was a comment that could be interpreted several ways — harmless, offensive, merely annoying — but it bothered Tim Groeger, an undecided voter from Morristown, N.J.

'I didn't feel that was very professional,' said Groeger, 28, an accountant. 'I felt McCain was very aggressive. Obama seemed to stay cool and collected.'

...More than in the previous presidential debate, body language proved telling on Tuesday night, and it reflected the status of the race: a contest transformed by the economic crisis, with Obama ahead in the polls and McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, stepping up the attacks in a vigorous effort to shift the momentum.

With no lecterns, just chairs upon which to perch while the other was speaking, the candidates showed a lot more of themselves. Obama strolled the stage while speaking, while McCain seemed to pace it. And Obama sat generally still when McCain was talking, while his opponent scribbled notes more frequently, his notebook spilling over the small table.

With the physical contrast — and their obvious age difference — more pronounced in this setting, it seemed apt that one of the only humorous bits touched upon that gap between the 47-year-old Obama and the 72-year-old McCain: a quip by McCain that he might need hair transplants."
posted by ericb at 7:27 AM on October 8, 2008


The day after, I think there was one moment in this debate of immense importance. Transformative importance. And that's the moment when Obama said that health care s a human right. Because it has been creeping toward being a privilege, and an expensive one at that, because it is a business, and businesses are in it for the profit. But to have a presidential candidate stand up in a presidential debate and declare health care a human right?

Well, if Obama wins, that's a hell of a promise to keep.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:31 AM on October 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, um, Veterans' Affairs would be at best a questionable choice. McCain talks a lot about his support for veterans, but many veterans who actually pay attention to how he votes on veterans' issues are... unimpressed, to put it charitably.
posted by Flunkie at 7:34 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I vaguely remember a story about how Clinton in 92 had real hand pain and swelling from all the handshaking he was doing, but that might not be accurate.

I shook Clinton's hand several times along the campaign in '92 as I was working for him in the deep south. I remember how remarkably smooth it was. I do not recall him not shaking any and all hands extended.

It's something old people say; I heard it quite a bit growing up, among older relatives from Pennsylvania

I heard a lot of things old people just said growing up in Alabama, particularly about black people, I don't generally repeat those things. I've also heard, "that one" used to point out a person that was being singled out as an object of anger. I don't recall it being used in a light, joking manner.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:44 AM on October 8, 2008


a quip by McCain that he might need hair transplants.

Was I the only one who thought this was a clear dig at Senator Biden, who is famously rumoured to have plugs, and that the McCain camp would love to paint as wealthy, vain and out-of-touch?
posted by dirtdirt at 7:47 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


That One/O'Biden '08!
posted by EarBucket at 7:56 AM on October 8, 2008


I've also heard, "that one" used to point out a person that was being singled out as an object of anger.

That's how my father uses it. He's 88.
posted by Manhasset at 8:01 AM on October 8, 2008


I've also heard, "that one" used to point out a person that was being singled out as an object of anger. I don't recall it being used in a light, joking manner.

Recalling my encounters with it, it was used in a joking, but dismissive manner. Kind of a way to keep someone outside of a group, or really more to isolate them as the object of joking ridicule. I think it was annoying, but my personal experiences didn't lead me to find it that offensive.

For me, McCain just seems bewildered more than anything. He may have race issues or just simply be pissed at America having disdain for him and liking Obama based on merit. But more than all that, I just keep seeing McCain bewildered and befuddled at Barack Obama.

Barack is Indiana Jones coming into where the Grail is kept, and McCain is the last knight - he raises his sword to attack, and falls on his back at the sheer weight of it. He stares up in amazement at Obama's stature and abilities, almost unable to even take in how Obama and his campaign have appeared here. Rictus.

McCain's campaign also reminds me of the T-1000 in Terminator 2 after it gets doused with liquid nitrogen. As McCain's own words are used against him and his campaign is doused with the dropping poll numbers, he stares in horror as the extremities of his campaign fall off in states like Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania. He'll reform, no doubt - the polls will tighten in the coming weeks if history is any predictor, but ultimately he will lose. The more I see McCain, the more it just seems like he can't keep up. He's going to launch every attack he can in the next few weeks - go for broke. But I think he's going to lose in the end. Or at least I hope so.
posted by cashman at 8:04 AM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


So what I don't know is what the unexpected will be. But I have spent my whole life serving this country. I grew up in a family where my father was gone most of the time because he was at sea and doing our country's business. My mother basically raised our family.

I woke up this morning thinking about this part of his speech. Was this a sympathy ploy? Was he trying to equate his background with Obama's? There is a world of difference between having a father who is a 4 star Admiral and one who is not in the picture at all. There is a world of difference between attending private boarding school and attending public school. McCain had his life handed to him on a silver platter. All he had to do was make the most minimal effort in school and then in the Navy and he barely managed to do that. Meanwhile, Obama was given very little except the brains and the character to rise above his humble beginnings. Obama is the true American success story.

But what really got my goat is the line about "I have spent my whole life serving this country." The life of a US Senator is one of the greatest creampuff jobs on the planet. It's comparable to being a Fortune 500 CEO crossed with a Movie Star--except with better health care, a fraction of the daily responsibility and very little actual work. The hardest part of the job is getting elected. Then you spend the next 6 years raising money to get yourself re-elected. Most of the onerous fund raising occurs while attending parties, playing golf, and chatting on the phone. When blowhard Senators start spouting off about their many years of service to the people, it just underlines their inability to relate to the lives of their constituents-- most of whom have to work pretty damn hard to bring home a modest wage.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:10 AM on October 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


Ugh. John McCain has revealed himself to be a petty, vindictive, bratty, husk of a man. The republicans are getting everything they deserve in this election.

The thing to note about the "that one" video is Obama's reaction. He has a pleasant smile on his face that doesn't waver for a moment. It's as if he's expected McCain to be patronizing and racist at some point, and it's probably comforting in a way to have the campaign play out to that script. You see his expression and you realize he's probably heard variations of "that one" his whole life.

Another interesting thing to do is to read a transcript of the debate, and notice how everything McCain says is a quip, a soundbite, or scripted sanctimonoius patriotic dreck. He uses "American blood" and "our veterans" like Bush used God and Christianity in 2000. McCain's every utterance was content-free, and it really shows in print.

By contrast, Obama's statements were thoughtful. When he talks, you realize the issue is more complex than you realized, but that he'd be willing to discuss it with you at length.

The other thing I noticed about Obama is that he isn't running a Clinton-style news cycle campaign. He's actually making arguments and articulating a vision. Obama is downright Reaganesque in that regard. McCain invents $300B mortgage buyout plans on the spot as a debating tactic.

That said, if Obama loses, it will be because of a huge underestimated undercurrent of racism in this country. There is no other explanation. It isn't that people can reasonably choose McCain's platform over Obama's because McCain doesn't have one. He has no ideas, no vision. there isn't any long term change in the country he wants to make. He's convinced himself that the parliamentary back room quid pro quo tactics that motivated many of his "maverick" votes count as a substantive contribution. McCain has been hacking around Washington for thirty years and by his own admission all he has to show for it are the few times he undermined his political enemies' attempts to secure some pork. What a miserable failure. Despite a lifetime in the Senate, McCain's campaign for the presidency now hinges on whether there are enough racists out there to vote against the black guy. His only selling point is that he isn't black.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:23 AM on October 8, 2008 [13 favorites]


"That One" doesn't bother me so much on its own - it's just another notch in the McCain Acted Like a Condescending Asshole Ticker from last night.

In the opening fifteen minutes of the debate, John McCain told a voter who asked about the bailout that "This is all the result of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You've probably never even head of them before now."

Asked to define the McCain Doctrine, he referred to having to deal with countries that "Americans won't even know how to find on a map, some of them."

What a condescending, patronizing performance - to his opponent, to the people, to everyone. It's just so...casually, unthinkingly, offensively arrogant.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:23 AM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know, once Obama becomes president, I'd really like to see him (and I think he would, given the kind of man he has shown himself to be) offer a position in his administration to McCain that would be at least a gesture to his experience and history, unironically, for McCain to have the opportunity to regain a little of the honour he's squandered so dismayingly during this campaign, before he dies.

Will not happen. First of all, Arizona law requires a Senate seat to be replaced by a member of the same party, so even with a Democratic governor, McCain taking a cabinet position provides no net gain for Democrats in the Senate.

On top of that, giving McCain a position would be pretty much an insult to several Democrats (primarily John Kerry, Max Cleland, and Phillip Carter, the Obama campaign's Veterans Affairs Advisor) who are all eying the position.

Furthermore, Obama and McCain hate each other. The feint of civility is one thing on the campaign trail but McCain is currently paying people to say on national television that Obama supports terrorists. With all due respect to McCain's legacy, fuck him. On the other side, McCain would very likely see Obama offering him anything a condescending insult. McCain, as has been noted for at least six months now, simply does not consider Obama his political or intellectual equal.

My honest prediction at this point? If Obama wins the election, McCain resigns before the end of the year. The idea that he would want to serve what would likely be his last term under a man he viscerally hates and will hate even more after losing to him will simply be unbearable. He'll be returning to a Senate with almost no power with a large minority disadvantage, and with very few allies, many of whom endorsed his opponents in the primary. There will be no more George Bush around for him to hug and hold on to. He will have no one. It's not like he needs the salary at this point. I honestly was surprised he didn't resign his seat a few months ago to make Obama look bad. It's clear that he has no interest in going back to the Senate at this point, and I really wouldn't blame him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:24 AM on October 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


What was with McCain's breathing last night? He seemed to be almost hyperventilating at times. I was inclined to attribute it to nervousness but this was supposed to be his strong forum. Got me thinking of health issues again.
posted by pointilist at 8:29 AM on October 8, 2008


"'Intemperate' is an adjective often applied to him, and again McCain demonstrated why."
"During the debate, McCain made another of his seemingly demeaning, nasty references to Obama. Describing legislation that had been backed by President Bush, McCain rhetorically asked, 'Guess who voted for it?' and then answered his own question: 'That one,' he said, gesturing toward Obama. On CBS, commentator Jeff Greenfield thought 'that one' would be 'the major headline sound bite' of the debate, which goes to show, in part, how insubstantial the debate was.

But the snarled 'that one' also contributed to McCain's image as a kind of mean old Scrooge, not so much a battle-scarred warrior as an embittered one. 'Intemperate' is an adjective often applied to him, and again McCain demonstrated why."
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on October 8, 2008


The republicans are getting everything they deserve in this election.

The problem is they can take the rest of us down with them, just like they did 14 years ago and again 8 and 4 years back. They certainly got what they deserved, but what about those of us that tried to keep those asshats out of office?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:33 AM on October 8, 2008


Was I the only one who thought this was a clear dig at Senator Biden, who is famously rumoured to have plugs, and that the McCain camp would love to paint as wealthy, vain and out-of-touch?

This is the second reference I have read in the last two days to Biden's supposed "wealth." (I believe the other reference was that Palin was worth less money then the other three men in the race) Biden makes $169,300 a year as a U.S. Senator but owns only one home.

From the NY Times:
Mr. Biden’s tax returns show why he consistently ranks as one of the least wealthy members of the Senate. He has virtually no outside or investment income and pays a substantial amount in interest on his home mortgage.
From wikipedia:
With a net worth between $59,000 and $366,000, and almost no outside income or investment income, he is consistently ranked as one of the least wealthy members of the Senate.[61][62][63] Biden states that he has been listed as the second poorest member in Congress, a distinction that he is not proud of, but attributes it to being elected early in his career.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Campaign shifts back to economic crisis:
After days of attempts to persuade voters that Obama’s ties to ‘60s radical Bill Ayers are a crucial character issue, McCain didn’t mention Ayers’ name during the 90 minutes of Tuesday’s forum. His top aides suggested afterward that, going forward, the candidate wouldn’t focus on the former domestic terrorist nor invoke the name of Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Another day, another change in strategy from the McCain campaign. Maybe now they can try "a respectful campaign based on the issues."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:43 AM on October 8, 2008


If Biden had married into money like Mr. McCain did, he'd be able to afford better hair.
posted by birdherder at 8:44 AM on October 8, 2008


he referred to having to deal with countries that "Americans my running mate won't even know how to find on a map."

Fixed that for him
posted by nax at 8:44 AM on October 8, 2008


I just want to go on the record that I think "joesixpackeri" is a FANTASTIC new word.
posted by lysdexic at 8:45 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was I the only one who thought this was a clear dig at Senator Biden

The same day Biden attended his mother-in-law's funeral.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:48 AM on October 8, 2008


I watch these debates not expected any real fireworks, but just hoping that Obama doesn't give fuel to the opposition and can maintain his momentum (he did well, I'm relieved…). All this talk of the "that guy" comment being racist, and the excitement over the non-handshake that turned out to be nothing at all seems desperate. I heard the "that guy" thing as McCain just trying hard to sound casual and down to earth and charismatic. He just comes across as stiff and lame in my eyes, but not racist. I know these are desperate times, but we don't have to try so hard to find something worthy of discussion or critique.
posted by JBennett at 9:01 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe now they can try "a respectful campaign based on the issues."

Nah. TPM and Politico are buying the walkback. What happened -- I bet - is that their internal polling is showing the Ayres thing not only wasn't working, but that it was turning off independents faster than it solidified the base already voting their racist hearts.

But I suspect Palin will keep it up. McCain will distance himself from it -- he's been wounded badly by the "grumpy" meme -- and the surrogates will keep pounding it. In fact, that despicable surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer (sp?) was on MSNBC this morning adding layers to the Ayres smear.

And in the last week or two, if Bush hasn't cooked up a nice big distraction, we'll see them go back to it hard if they're still behind. It's all they have. Scary.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:09 AM on October 8, 2008


McCain's campaign for the presidency now hinges on whether there are enough racists out there to vote against the black guy. His only selling point is that he isn't black.

When Hillary lost the nomination, I groaned a little, thinking to myself, "Now is not the time to discover if a Black Man is electable to the office of the Presidency." But I have come to see that now is the perfect time. It is balls to the walls time. Either we as a Nation overcome our racist tendencies or we suffer mightily. I truly believe that if Barack Obama is not elected we will reap the whirlwind-- not only will we suffer through a McCain Palin administration, we will lose even more respect worldwide, and most importantly we will lose respect for ourselves. It just doesn't bear thinking about.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:12 AM on October 8, 2008


Lee County (FL) Sheriff under federal investigation for stumping in uniform.

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the OSC, said, “We are launching a formal investigation into Sheriff Scott today on the basis of possible violation of Hatch Act.”

This is the guy who kept repeating "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" on Monday at the Palin rally.
posted by contessa at 9:21 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Excellent news, contessa. I found that one of the more appalling performances of the last few days.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:23 AM on October 8, 2008


Rush is all over "little Barry Obama" thinking along with "all the Left" that "America is in decline. That's why they're asking you and me to make sacrifices."

"American Exceptionalism is in decline with these people"

Well, duh. We're trying to bring the exceptional back, unless you mean. "Most of the world is civilized, except America...

Hussein? He's sayin'! Yes we can!
posted by lysdexic at 9:25 AM on October 8, 2008


Barack about to speak in Indianapolis, Evan Bayh introducing him now. Live stream here.

Bet it's one for the ages. Crowd chanting "no more Bush!" Beats "kill him!"
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:30 AM on October 8, 2008


All this talk of the "that guy" comment being racist, and the excitement over the non-handshake that turned out to be nothing at all seems desperate. I heard the "that guy" thing as McCain just trying hard to sound casual and down to earth and charismatic.

JBennett, not to nitpick or anything, but McCain didn't say "that guy." He said "that one," which strips the phrase of any human connection. I don't think it was intentional, necessarily, but as has been said upthread it was a petty, condescending word choice all the same.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:38 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somebody in there is having church. You can hear them like "Yes!", "Make the CEO's pay!", "It's time for Change!". And Obama brings in the "You're going to have to ask whether you were better off 4 weeks ago at the rate we're going". If he wins Indiana, wow.
posted by cashman at 9:45 AM on October 8, 2008


The same day Biden attended his mother-in-law's funeral.

Well it's not like he's a POW.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on October 8, 2008


Ha. Barack turns McCain's "lose an election/win a war" bs around: "He's more worried about losing the election than you losing your job." (Approximate)

Nice!
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:55 AM on October 8, 2008


Obama just said "How many of you make less than a quarter million dollars a year"

*whole crowd puts hands up*

"Well, that seems to be most of you. You aren't going to see one dime of tax cuts under John McCain".

Oh, SNAP.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:59 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


He did? Ah well, typo.

What did the person say in the crowd that led him to say no, i'm superstitious. I'm sure it was equivalent to "you will be! (president)"
posted by cashman at 10:02 AM on October 8, 2008


Yeah, he said 'If I become president and someone off to his right shouted what sounded like 'WHEN YOU BECOME PRESIDENT', and he went 'Woah, no, no, don't do that - I'm superstitious'

Dude knows how to talk to a crowd.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:04 AM on October 8, 2008


On CNN post-debate, Gergen mentioned something about how the lead Obama has in the polls might not be genuine if there is a hidden racial bias that will keep people from voting for Obama in the actual election, which I've heard before, but it's not talked about a whole lot. But then Carville says, "But you stop and contemplate this country if Obama goes in and he has a consistent five point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very dramatic out there."

I do wonder what what happen if Obama entered with a decent lead and came out loser. The thing is, I pulled that quote via google off one of the several conservative sites that are interpreting this line as 'Carville predicts massive riots if Obama loses.'

Of course, I love that that site's polls show that 81% thought McCain won this debate.
posted by troybob at 10:05 AM on October 8, 2008


My favorite line from this awesome Indiana rally, about McCain's campaign wanting to "turn the page" on the financial crisis and tear down Obama instead for the next month: Obama said something like, "I can take four more weeks of John McCain -- but we can't take four more years of his party's failed policies."
posted by mothershock at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2008


Thomas L. Friedman: I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Paul Abrahams: McCain could not look at Obama because the emotions stimulated by hate are frightening to the person harboring them. They are afraid of their own anger. Some of Freud's earliest cases were those of "conversion reactions", in which people who found certain situations so hateful that they actually had physical manifestations that prevented them from acting out their rage.

Had McCain looked at Obama during that first debate, his rage may have become uncontrollable.[...]McCain's hatred is so ingrained, his self-congratulatory moralism so necessary for his self-esteem, that the emotions overwhelm whatever teaching he might receive.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


troybob, Rush is all over this: "you people are saying there will be riots if Obama loses, but you're up in arms over 'That One'!..

"You're not upset over racist preacher Wright? ...And his close freindship with terrorist Meyers?"

He just finished a 5 minute rant on this.
posted by lysdexic at 10:19 AM on October 8, 2008


The idea that polls don't reflect racism that will only show up in the final vote tally is called the Bradley Effect. According to Fivethirtyeight though, the fact that Obama tended to do better against Hillary than than the polls suggested is a good indicator that it won't be in force on election day.
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on October 8, 2008


Gallup Poll out - Barack Obama with a 52% to 41% lead over John McCain.
posted by cashman at 10:21 AM on October 8, 2008


Rush is all over "little Barry Obama" thinking along with "all the Left" that "America is in decline. That's why they're asking you and me to make sacrifices."

Does Rush really want to go there? My perception was that the questioner was referring back to the sacrifices that Americans proudly made during WWII, for example, like victory gardens and food shortages and no silk stockings (remember the eyeliner "seams" down the back of the leg? My grandma sure does) and rationing and all the other things Americans proudly put up with to support the war effort. Is he saying that those Americans were not patriotic?
posted by tractorfeed at 10:23 AM on October 8, 2008


I guess this is the appropriate place to share this experience of mine from twenty minutes ago.

I am a criminal defense attorney in a southern state. I grabbed a fellow attorney to ask him some questions, and then another joined in.

Me: Hey, I want to ask you a question, but it is based on an assumption: you are supporting McCain, right?
L1: What choice do I have?
Me: Okay. So, in light of how this economic meltdown seems to be related to deregulation, can you just make the case to me to vote for McCain?
L1: Well, Obama's not going to fix it.
Me: You might be right. But wouldn't a different approach probably do better than the approach that got us here?
L1: How is he going to fix it? Because he's black?
Me: I don't think that would be his strategy. It seems to me that if you are a passenger in a car that the driver drove off the road, you might want to get a different driver.
L1: Well, maybe there was something wrong with the car.
Me: Maybe.
L2: Whoever wins this election is going to have a tough time.
L1: No doubt about that.
L2: I sort of hope Obama wins and gets blamed for everything that goes wrong. Then we won't have to worry about a black president again.
L2: Is it bad that I just said that?
Me: It's not good.
L1: It's not anything I haven't thought.
L2: If Obama wins, he's just going to give hundred dollar checks to poor people. He's going to tax and spend.

Then the conversation dissolved and we went our separate ways.

Sure, you can make jokes about lawyers or whatever you want. But the fact is that these two men are smarter than the average person, and they are far more educated than the average person. They are not some sort of anomaly. Most of the lawyers I know are Republicans around here. I feel confident that their opinions would match those of these two lawyers. I didn't choose these two (I really only chose the first one) because I thought they were racists. I consider both of them to be fairly reasonable people who might share with me.

No one dares to say anything like that on television. But make no mistake: that is how an enormous amount of people think. This election is very much about race. The biggest argument people have against Obama is one that he can't defend because no one will say it out loud.

I would also note that both of these lawyers represent a high percentage of black defendants. That makes me rather sick on both a personal and professional level.
posted by flarbuse at 10:24 AM on October 8, 2008 [17 favorites]


I think flarbuse just gave you your answer, tractorfeed.

Hundred dollar checks? Shit, even Bush gave us more than that!
posted by lysdexic at 10:26 AM on October 8, 2008


Speaking of body armor, VoteVets has a new ad out against Liddy Dole, here. Actually, it's an old ad (from 2006) but it still packs a hell of a punch. (YouTube)

Oh, and Obama is up 11 in Gallup today, 52/41.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


flarbuse - well that's some scary shit.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on October 8, 2008


This election is very much about race.

No it's not. It's a factor, but the election is about who is going to be the best president. Obama himself has said it many times and I'll repeat it because it makes sense - he wouldn't even be where he's at if he didn't have tons of white support. He considers it a wash - that some people will support him because of his race and some will not support him because of it. But all the polls aren't wrong. These people wouldn't say on the phone that they are voting for him while separately planning not to. They'd just say they aren't voting for him. I know all about overt and covert racism and discrimination and I understand the point you're making and how you're relating your personal experience. But you can only extrapolate so far. Your assumption that other lawyers agree could be completely incorrect.

Somebody noted way back in like March, Obama addressing this issue. Maybe somebody (was it you fcm?) can dig up the proper remembrance of it. Obama basically said something like - you're not racist right - but you're assuming other people are - you're reasonable, and if you talk to someone else...ah damn, I can't remember it precisely but someone here on metafilter had attended a rally and discussed how Obama expertly addressed this situation.

Make no mistake - Rush will flail and racism is about to go for one last gasp. Your coworkers may be the least of your worries. After years of finding out things about people I've worked with after the fact, and hearing non-black friends and coworkers tell me things about people who were friendly with me, I fully expect for people who are close to me who I thought were okay, to out themselves around the election as full on haters. A lot of people will say a lot of messed up things - and you're seeing the start of that in the McCain Palin rallies. Know that it was there all along, but that doesn't mean it's everybody. Some of these people will change and finally just give it up. I don't know how Obama does it, but he is an incredible person, and just again and again proves to be thoughtful, intelligent, approachable and friendly. A lot of these people are going to break down and vote for him, even as they say they won't, and even as some people still hold on to the hate. But this election is about the economy, the wars and the future versus the past. I vote future.
posted by cashman at 10:40 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


flarbuse - well that's some scary shit.

Only if you think the lawyers would have voted for any other Democrat.
posted by drezdn at 10:40 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Only if you think the lawyers would have voted for any other Democrat.

I find it more scary in the sense that it shows the readiness with which some people will return to that ol' racist well.
posted by troybob at 10:43 AM on October 8, 2008


I find it more scary in the sense that it shows the readiness with which some people will return to that ol' racist well.

True. I was too focused on the influence on the election.
posted by drezdn at 10:46 AM on October 8, 2008


If you have the time, check out this blog by an 82 year old woman. She is fiesty and she is unapologetic about calling Sarah Palin a bitch.
Last time I checked we were a country striving to educate our children to be intelligent and honest. I think I would die if my daughter came home from school and said something like “I gotta tell ya. Change is a comin’.” At the very least I would remove the Beverly Hillbillies from her approved TV viewing list.[...]

Oh and my favorite - my husband Todd (the first dude) and I sit around the kitchen table wondering about the cost of college like many of you… oh really. Your oldest son went from high school into the military. Your next oldest is pregnant with plans to be married to some hockey jock at age 17. Seems to me you’ve got lots of time before you have to worry about college tuition especially being college doesn’t seem to be a priority in your family.[...]

One more thing. The only comments that really made me mad were the fools that came here preaching the bible and all that pro-life crap. Most pro-life nut cases need to actually get a life and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.


Man, I wish I could meet this lady in real life.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Another thing - if you're in the South, perhaps you'll see more of it - in the polls that I've looked at and through previous discussions on here, parts of the South are the places that haven't moved with the rest of the country's polling. But you look at places like Virginia, Florida and so on, and you see things are beginning to change.

I used to spend the summers in Indiana. I had a couple of teenaged white girls as friends one summer, and toward the end of the summer they told me that their grandparents were in the Klan. So if I'd have been with them at the wrong place and time, I might not even be typing this today. Contrast that with today's rally 20 years later, as polling suggests a Black man could win the state. People have issues, but sometimes change just has to come. Perhaps your lawyer friends will realize it's time to finally let it go. They know Obama is a better candidate. Keep talking with them about these issues. Sometimes the tiniest idea you give out - planting the tiniest seed, will come back in their minds later on, and they'll get it. It's an aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy. So keep talking to them (not pressing, talking) and share your own views on things. While that's actual clinical practice stuff, I like to take it back to Rakim - "I guess somebody told you a little knowledge is dangerous". Give 'em a little knowledge.

I'm getting further and further along the path Barack Obama is at the end of, which is believing in the best of people, and not in a naive way. Some people will continue to hate. But for those people who are talking, discussing and listening - take that opportunity to share your ideas and give them the room to change. They might surprise you.
posted by cashman at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2008 [11 favorites]


Good video: John McCain's Rage: A National Security Issue (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:52 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/what-is-obamas-ceiling.html

The other daily tracking polls are showing a little movement toward McCain, despite Gallup's results. Obama probably doesn't have a lot more ground to gain without some truly remarkable changes in the crimson states. The next few days of polling will be interesting.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:52 AM on October 8, 2008


Prost!

Or "Prosit!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:54 AM on October 8, 2008


But the fact is that these two men are smarter than the average person

I object, speculative! You have failed to establish any evidence to back up this statement.

Simply being a lawyer does not make one smart or even educated. It means you graduated from a law school and passed a bar exam, period.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:55 AM on October 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


I guess it's not where most people are at, but I would find it refreshing to hear a candidate tell us that we need to start learning to make sacrifices. You can't look at the world and see that we won't have to, and our inability to do so--or how threatened people seem to be by that possibility--is making is really weak as a country. One of the worst aspects of the war in Iraq is that, other than a smattering of depressing news stories, we as a country have been insulted from its effects. If five years ago we had given 10% of the sense of sacrifice and seriousness the U.S. demonstrated in WWII, we would probably be well past it by now. We are being comforted and coddled into our own decline.

It's silly to me how much mileage Republicans get out of patriotism, and how unpatriotic they are; or how much they say they believe in the strength of Americans and yet assume we can't handle the truth.
posted by troybob at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Actually, laying that on all Republicans is unfair; I should have said 'right-wingers' in the mold of Limbaugh and such.
posted by troybob at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2008


And a vote for Obama means a quick slide down a steep slope to a quick death for the American economy. I'll take President Palin.

Near as I can tell, the only person who would say this is someone who believes the President is really just a figure head for all the backroom Republican string-pullers. I suppose there's a lot of support for that over the last 8 years, as GWB demonstrated his clear lack of mastery of even the most simple elements of his purported policy initiatives. But it strikes me as ultimately the most cynical of stances. Those that look at the game of life as basically acquiring material goods and to hell with the rest of you have done fine over the last two terms, but the rest of us really should be looking for better government.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:09 AM on October 8, 2008


Cashman, if you are white and from Indiana or your family is from Indiana, chances are someone, a grandparent, a great uncle, someone was in the Klan. It was like the Rotary club in Indiana in the 20's (with a white supremacist creed, but then again what white men's organization didn't back then?). For my Indiana ancestors, one uncle was in the Klan and his brother married a black woman, it was never an issue between them. Later, the uncle that joined the klan terribly regretted it, but said that it was very hard to make business or political connections in those days without being a member. My great grandfather, their brother, a politician, prided himself on not having joined the klan, not because he was necessarily against them but because he was a self-made man who didn't need some damn club to get votes.

Today's klan in Indiana is quite different. It's the bigoted supremacy group you see elsewhere. Having grown up in the deep south, but with Indiana family, I've encountered far more overt racism up there than I did in Alabama.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:11 AM on October 8, 2008


I think its important to understand that the election that coined the "Bradley Effect" was 26 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Even seven years later in Virginia, The Bradley effect, while still somewhat in play, wasn't enough to keep Douglas Wilder from winning the Virginia governors race. Which is to say the final results were closer than the polls showed,but he still won.

A lot has happened since then. Like I told a friend the other day. Racism has had hundreds of years of practice at keeping folks down, and this country is still 4 weeks away from making a Black guy president.

Maybe racism needs to try harder. Back in the old days racism wasn't content to make snarky comments from the sidelines. Racism got out there and tossed bricks. Who knows, maybe racist snark will get it done this time. I'm actually kind of disappointed, I was at least hoping for a hound or two to get released. My grandparents had firehoses turned on them. What am I going to tell my grandkids about the great election of '08...

"Yeah, those were desperate days of turmoil and strife. We didn't get a decent iPhone app until LATE SEPTEMBER!"
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:17 AM on October 8, 2008


McCain talks a lot about his support for veterans, but many veterans who actually pay attention to how he votes on veterans' issues are... unimpressed, to put it charitably.

New VoteVets ad says McCain isn't putting country first.
posted by ericb at 11:19 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]




Veterans' Affairs? The same John McCain who voted against expanding the GI Bill? The same John McCain who voted against increasing funding for veterans' health care? The same John McCain who voted to allow the Bush administration to farm veterans' health care out to private contractors? Thanks, but I think President Obama will be able to do better than that.

But that's the thing.. were Obama to place him in that position, he would be forced to actually do something. "I trust Mr. McCain, and I trust that he will take the extra $1B in funding I have allocated to the VA and support our troops etc etc etc"

McCain could only look bad if he didn't play ball. I mean really bad, monumentally bad.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:28 AM on October 8, 2008


I think Obama's base is the states Kerry won in 2004, plus Iowa and New Mexico, which put him at 264 electoral votes. He's got 5%+ leads in all of those states.

The swing states are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. (Links to Pollster's charts of poll trends.) McCain has to win every single one of these swing states to win; Obama only needs to win one of them. According to Pollster, Obama's leading in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, with strong trends in Obama's favor. North Carolina's tied and Indiana's getting close, again with trends in Obama's favor.

Look at the national polls. Obama has consistently led McCain for almost the entire election, since Obama clinched the nomination in early June. The only time McCain has led is the time between announcing Sarah Palin and people figuring out she's a liar and a fraud, which has driven both McCain's and Palin's favorability ratings down.

We've now had three of the four debates. McCain's strategy of demonizing Obama has failed since people have seen for themselves he's not a crazy bomb-throwing terrorist or an empty suit. McCain doesn't have any way to reverse the momentum. Barring a domestic terrorist attack, catching Osama bin Lade, or a fight with Iran, I don't see how McCain can win. (And at this point I'm not convinced that any of those possibilities would automatically swing the election to McCain.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:39 AM on October 8, 2008


Oh, awesome! Obama's a front man for a gigantic Socialist revolution!

Thanks Rush!
posted by lysdexic at 11:39 AM on October 8, 2008


Dang, short people never win.

Sometimes, they do. Heights and weights of presidential candidates over the years.James Madison was only 5'4".
posted by inigo2 at 6:58 AM on October 8


Ooo, thanks!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2008


McCain just referred to his audience as "my fellow prisoners."
posted by EarBucket at 11:54 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain just referred to his audience as "my fellow prisoners."

Yeah, that was...weird.
posted by ryoshu at 11:56 AM on October 8, 2008


Video of "my fellow prisoners". Apologies about the quality.
posted by Remy at 12:02 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


A silly venture inside the mind of McCain:

John is Number 6. Palin is Number 58. Obama is Number 2. The episode is Free For All.
posted by cortex at 12:03 PM on October 8, 2008


I know I'm a day late, but I'm drinking an entire bottle of Burgundy wine (hooray for living in France!) for all of the catchphrases, buzzwords, and dogwhistles McCain used.

Later, I may look for some scotch to observe McCain's use of "that one."
posted by LMGM at 12:13 PM on October 8, 2008


Flarbuse, I suggest getting your retard colleagues horrifically drunk on the night of November 3rd. Pretend to be a hideous human being and talk about how "exotic" and "scary" Obama is. Then take them out and just pour liquor down their throats and talk about how the world will end when a smart black guy is President and how we miss our rich white dynastic silver-spoon motherfuckers like Bush. If you can actually get them drunk enough to have alcohol poisoning or to make out with each other that would be for the best. At the end of the night, dump them in a motel room, and take away their keys, wallets, and clothes. You may return them on the 5th.

Your country thanks you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:16 PM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, over at the National Review, "We have a disaster here".

God, I love National Review. When I went away to college, my father, a Reagan delegate in '76, before it was cool to be one, gave me a subscription because he rightly feared the godless communists of academe would transform his carefully crafted talking-point spouter into one of them. It made me immensely popular, because as I parsed the real issues in the heat of my arguments with equally intelligent and better informed classmates, we could have a great time laughing at the articles and the pomposity with which the writers pronounced on the way we had been manipulated by commies, outside agitators, and - get this - the Beatles. Yes, the best article EVAH was one by some right-wing nut who happened to be a music professor and he explained how the Beatles' music had to have been written by some very sophisticated Communist Svengali, because not only were the harmonies and chord changes too sophisticated for a bunch of long-haired boys from Liverpool, but the rhythms had been cleverly designed to reduce our inhibitions and lower our guards toward the insidious messages contained with the lyrics. I really, really wish I had kept that issue.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:22 PM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]




Noooo! Let the lawyers vote--it makes their post-election humiliation complete.

My idealistic side hopes that this will get the Republicans to start rejecting the whole neocon thing. (At this point, I think Palin is just out there giving them comfort to go on beyond this.)

Hmm...fellow prisoners...I wonder if it was because (1) he was telling himself to hit the POW thing in the speech (did he?), or (2) he feels like he is cornered, or (3) his handlers want him to think like he is cornered.
posted by troybob at 12:25 PM on October 8, 2008




I think the subtext is 'lose like a man, already.'
Combat had its own infinite series of tests, and one of the greatest sins was "chattering" or "jabbering" on the radio. The combat frequency was to be kept clear of all but strategically essential messages, and all unenlightening comments were regarded as evidence of funk, or the wrong stuff. A Navy pilot (in legend, at any rate) began shouting, "I've got a MiG at zero! A MiG at zero!" -- meaning that it had maneuvered in behind him and was locked in on his tail. An irritated voice cut in and said, "Shut up and die like an aviator." One had to be a Navy pilot to appreciate the final nuance. A good Navy pilot was a real aviator; in the Air Force they merely had pilots and not precisely the proper stuff.
-- Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff

The Persistent Myth of the Bradley Effect

McCain said, "The situation today cries out for bipartisanship. Senator Obama has never taken on his leaders of his party on a single issue." I don't understand this criticism. Opposing the leaders of your own party is evidence of maverickiness, not bipartisanship.

'Naked aggression into Georgia.' So that would make Russia General Sherman.

Maybe that's why Palin kept referring to General McLellan in the VP debate.

Or is using HTML some crazy Liberal thing?

Harvard Terrorist Muslim Liberal, to be exact.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:38 PM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Video of "my fellow prisoners". Apologies about the quality.

Another take on the video.

His synpases are fried from last night and he's jumping around to his "buzzwords" erratically now. "My friends," "my time as a P.O.W.," "earmarks," etc.
posted by ericb at 12:50 PM on October 8, 2008


Flarbuse's story is a chiller, but I think its the tip of a very scary iceberg.

I want to believe this isn't an election about race, and it's really just about the best candidate. But wishing doesn't make it so.

So sadly or not, I definitely believe that this election is a referendum on race in America. Either American racism is essentially over, and we're just kicking through the remaining ashes, or it's alive and well, if a little better-hidden than in previous days.

Because really, if a black candidate this good can't win against an incumbent party this bad... well, then a black candidate can never win in America. The stars will never be this well-aligned again.

And that makes this whole thing really, really scary.
posted by rokusan at 12:54 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Very nice compression of the various polls on the debate here. The conclusion? BO-RING. No one flipped out, no one looked at this watch as someone asked a question, and no one delivered a soul-shattering retort. Both candidates held their ground. In other words, Obama won.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:59 PM on October 8, 2008


The Economist's Global Electoral College.

Fucking Republicans with their Southern Strategy in Georgia.
posted by rokusan at 1:04 PM on October 8, 2008


"My fellow earmarks.... we must eliminate congressional POWs... for five years I was... your friend.... my prisoners are public reacord..."
posted by bonehead at 1:10 PM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Conservatives Call Obama’s Correct Pronounciation Of Pakistan ‘Exotic’ And ‘Annoying’.

These guys take pride in their own ignorance. "Eye-rack" and "Eye-ran" are code for "I hate those brown people."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:10 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, regarding undecideds. Just thought I'd share this.

I spoke with an undecided from a rural area last night who said she was watching the debate in order to make up her mind. So I asked her what she thought of the candidates thus far, what she did and didn't like about them. Here's the basic breakdown of what she said, pre-debate (direct quotes are in quotations):

Obama: "I don't trust him. Like when McCain said he was going to Congress to fix the economy, Obama said the president can handle that on his own, and then he accepts $1 million from Oprah. Plus that whole Muslim thing bothers me." He's going to raise my taxes.

McCain: "I don't want another four years of Bush."

Either/Neither: Health care is my biggest concern. "We need to kill all those jihad fuckers."

After clarifying the "Muslim thing" (her reaction; "Oh. OK then."), we talked for a while about taxes, what each candidate has said about their tax plans, and she agreed that Obama's plan would be fairer towards her income bracket. On fighting terror, when she learned the Taliban is centered in Afghanistan, not Iraq, she agreed that we needed to shift our focus there (even though, in her opinion, we should "bomb them all"). With regards to health care, the word "privatized" scared her as much as "subsidized", for their respective connotations, but agreed that in the event of another financial crisis, it was better to have the latter than the former. I encouraged her to read the platforms of both candidates, something she hadn't yet done.

She has said she will let me know what her thoughts are, post-debate.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:18 PM on October 8, 2008


FiveThirtyEight.com today projects a greater-than-90% chance of Obama winning the presidency -- and that victory is a landslide one in three times.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:22 PM on October 8, 2008


"My fellow earmarks.... we must eliminate congressional POWs... for five years I was... your friend.... my prisoners are public record..."

Fish! Plankton! Sea greens and protein from the sea!
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:25 PM on October 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


The Economist's Global Electoral College.

Looking at that map, I have to wonder if Senator McCain is distantly related to Alexander the Great.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:29 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I don't know if this has been posted yet, but I'm a big fan of Foreign Affairs, personally. And in the same September-October issue that featured an article arguing that Republicans have always been better loved by east Asia than Democrats, there's this fantastic article from Richard Holbrooke. It's actually the feature story. It's a great piece that runs the gammut of everything from energy to diplomacy (as would be expected), and this passage on climate change is a personaly favorite of mine:
The two major presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), both say that they take climate change seriously. But an examination of their positions on the issue shows important differences. Obama has a far more comprehensive plan, with an ambitious goal for emissions reduction, a market-based mechanism that has broad support among economists on the left and the right, and substantially greater investments than McCain's plan in technologies that will help achieve these goals. McCain stresses removing environmental restraints on domestic and offshore drilling. This is hardly a serious long-term solution to anything; even if major new fields were found, they would have no effect on supply for at least a decade, and they would do nothing for climate change or conservation.
But then comes this:
As a cautionary tale, it is worth recalling President Jimmy Carter's fervent but unsuccessful attempt to rally the nation in a prime-time televised speech in April 1977. Wearing a much-mocked cardigan sweater, he said that his energy-independence project would be the "moral equivalent of war." When someone pointed out that the initials of that phrase spelled "meow," the press had a field day, ignoring the substance of Carter's proposals. A true national debate was deferred for 30 years. One of Ronald Reagan's first acts as president was to remove from the White House roof the solar panels Carter had had installed. [Emphasis added]
WTF Reagan? What was that all about? Did he think solar panels were witchcraft or something? That they emitted commie rays? Here you have a source of power for the White House that would actually, however modestly, reduce what taxpayers would pay to keep it juiced. And Reagan removes it, probably because solar power is hippy-dippy tree-hugging librul stuff. Man, every time you trace the roots of the utter pig ignorance of today's Republican party, you will always come to the vapid, empty, grinning, wrinkled visage of Ronald Reagan staring back at you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:33 PM on October 8, 2008 [10 favorites]


"Shut up and die like an aviator."

I was going to use that phrase but decided it was needlessly harsh. Because what McCain is doing now is cowardly, no two ways about it.

(It's also my favorite Steve Earle album title.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:35 PM on October 8, 2008


Conservatives Call Obama’s Correct Pronounciation Of Pakistan ‘Exotic’ And ‘Annoying’.

Fascinating, and telling. I noted that myself last night. My thinking was a mild and pleasant surprise that a US politician has actually learned to correctly pronounce the country's name. Such a little thing - and yet, I will bet you anuthing that just having President Obama say that one little word correctly will improve Pakistani opinion of the US by 10%. Because it isn't really such a little thing - it shows respect and concern and the curiosity to find out about other people.

I don't really give a shit whether McCain went to Waziristan (although I kind of doubt he did), because whether he did or not, McCain knows fuck all about the people there other than as bombing targets.

And for the right to pick this up as something to mock? Fuck me. No, we wouldn't want to know anything about those brown Muslim people over there - they're the enemy. Wallow in ignorance, it keeps us strong when the time comes to make the sacrifice.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:49 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just heard Obama's sending Paul Tewes to Tampa to run GOTV operations in Florida. Their internals must look really good there. I'm feeling pretty good about our chances to flip it.
posted by EarBucket at 2:05 PM on October 8, 2008




Oh, awesome! Obama's a front man for a gigantic Socialist revolution!

Awesome! As a socialized medicine-hugging, tree-loving, commie Canadian, I welcome my new comrades south of the border! The fruit of the Secret Five Year Plan is soon to be served smoking hot to the running dogs of the ruling classes! Get the wall ready, there's a-going to be some bankers and politicians to put right up against it!

Where's Rafaello, the little scamp? He seems to be pretty quite lately.

Forgive me, the prospect of a sane President is making me a little giddy.
posted by jokeefe at 3:21 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]




Gallup Poll out - Barack Obama with a 52% to 41% lead over John McCain.
"On Wednesday, Barack Obama surged to his biggest lead yet in the Gallup Poll, 52-41 percent over John McCain. And that gap could grow even larger in the next few days.

That's when Americans will make it clear they think Obama won Tuesday's debate with McCain.

Obama has been at or above the magical 50 percent victory margin the past five days.

Why? Because people recognize McCain has no answer on the nation's economic problems -- and McCain has been in Washington all these years as the crisis approached."*
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on October 8, 2008




I fully expect to be popping Xanax on election day.

I have a neurologist's appointment coincidentally scheduled on Election Day and I'm gonna tell her in no uncertain terms that if McCain wins, I'm going to need a follow up appointment to discuss the viability of a medically induced coma.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:55 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]




Iraq and Afghanistan vet Brandon Friedman of VoteVets on McCain's "My Fellow Prisoners" comment.
posted by ericb at 4:13 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just want to go on the record that I think "joesixpackeri" is a FANTASTIC new word.

Heh, well, I thank you, but it was actually a typo. I meant to type sixpackerati.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:25 PM on October 8, 2008


Wow... the footage of that "my fellow prisoners" remark is interesting. He said it loud and clear and his next "applause" line seemed to fall flat, as the audience tried to figure it out... The VoteVets armchair PTSD diagnosis is a little disturbing.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 4:46 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was goddamn creepy. It's not like he started caught it, he just kept thunderin' on without even noticing. Weirder still is Palin as he says it: totally oblivious.
posted by Shepherd at 4:59 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


...you will always come to the vapid, empty, grinning, wrinkled visage of Ronald Reagan staring back at you.

Yeah, Reagan the shining hero. Talk about rewriting history.

I remember reading some poll taken in the UK during the '80s that asked people to name the person they feared or hated the most. The only name that scored higher than Thatcher or Reagan was Dracula.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 5:01 PM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama supporters don't seem to have much of a vocabulary. But they sure have words they like to use a lot.

We're not the ones yelling "nigger" at cameramen at Palin rallies. MY FRIEND.


22 favorites. Jesus.

Whoops.

Guess this comment gets deleted as offensive/racist.


Sorry in advance, My friends.
posted by Rafaelloello at 5:25 PM on October 8, 2008




Raf, the threshold for deleting stuff just for being obnoxious noise is a lot different in the blue than in the green, so your comment there is probably safe.

But in the long run, it'd be great if you could just choose between (a) actually saying something substantial in a clear fashion or (b) not bothering to comment, because your pattern of behavior here is looking more and more like careless abuse rather than any attempt at good faith participation.
posted by cortex at 6:00 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


ARE YOU BEING SUPERCENSORED AGAIN!?!?
posted by inigo2 at 6:09 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


During the debate, did Obama say that Michelle was in New Hampshire? That's how I interpreted it, and I was really surprised when she popped out from backstage in Nashville afterwards.
Brokaw: All right, gentlemen, we've come to the last question.

And you'll both be interested to know this comes from the Internet and it's from a state that you're strongly contesting, both of you. It's from Peggy in Amherst, New Hampshire. And it has a certain Zen-like quality, I'll give you a fair warning.

She says, "What don't you know and how will you learn it?"

Sen. Obama, you get first crack at that.

Obama: My wife, Michelle, is there and she could give you a much longer list than I do.
Can anyone explain that non-sequitur? If McCain said that, would we be calling it the product of an aging mind?
posted by lostburner at 6:10 PM on October 8, 2008


During the debate, did Obama say that Michelle was in New Hampshire?

He gestured to where Michelle was sitting in the audience. On the Hulu feed, at least, the camera cut to a shot of her.
posted by EarBucket at 6:13 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It sounded to me like he was saying "she's there behind you," not "there in New Hampshire."
posted by lekvar at 6:15 PM on October 8, 2008


Raf, the threshold for deleting stuff just for being obnoxious noise is a lot different in the blue than in the green, so your comment there is probably safe.

But in the long run, it'd be great if you could just choose between (a) actually saying something substantial in a clear fashion or (b) not bothering to comment, because your pattern of behavior here is looking more and more like careless abuse rather than any attempt at good faith participation.


Funny you mention that. Last night I merely quoted the comment with the objectionable n word and added one word

"Hmmm"

And it was deleted. But the original post with the n word is favorited 22 times.
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:21 PM on October 8, 2008


Yes, if McCain said that his wife Michelle was in the audience, we would be calling it the product of an aging mind.
posted by Flunkie at 6:21 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


As seen at recent McCain events, this afternoon's crowd was vocal in their support for McCain and their anger with Senator Obama. At one point one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head," when McCain spoke about Obama's tax plan.
posted by EarBucket at 6:21 PM on October 8, 2008


I just want to go on the record that I think "joesixpackeri" is a FANTASTIC new word.

Heh, well, I thank you, but it was actually a typo. I meant to type sixpackerati.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:25 PM on October 8 [+] [!]


Heh, even better - what about sixpackarazzi?

And that's Sicks-pahk-ah-rah-zee, y'all. There's an "ah" in sixpackerati, too.
posted by lysdexic at 6:21 PM on October 8, 2008


Ah, thanks. That was bugging me.
posted by lostburner at 6:24 PM on October 8, 2008


And it was deleted.

And the way you've been behaving, rightly so. Don't be mistaken, your comment upthread this afternoon is more of the tedious no-content stuff you've been slinging around; I'm just feeling weirdly down with the clemency, or at least was for a minute there. Something I usually end up regretting.

If you want to continue this discussion, take it to metatalk. For now: quit crapping in threads, this one included, and see options (a) and (b) above, pick one, and run with it.
posted by cortex at 6:31 PM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Michelle was in New Hampshire today, speaking at some colleges. But I agree with lekvar that he meant "Michelle is there [in the audience]," because on the channel I watched, they cut to her face when she said it, and she smiled. She was sitting somewhere in the back of the audience tiers.
posted by Miko at 6:33 PM on October 8, 2008


Yeah, Reagan the shining hero. Talk about rewriting history.

I know someone who researches the Cold War; you mention Reagan and he just starts to go all red in anger at how often that man nearly caused the end of the world.

Reagan did not end the Cold War - in fact, we are all damn lucky he didn't, or that end would not have been with a whimper.
posted by jb at 6:36 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


[I think "take it to metatalk" was pretty clear.]
posted by cortex at 6:40 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]



Conservatives Call Obama’s Correct Pronounciation Of Pakistan ‘Exotic’ And ‘Annoying’.
You talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.
posted by Flunkie at 6:52 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Watch these morons. Palin's mob. (Youtube, not suitable for civilized people)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:34 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Watch these morons. Palin's mob. (Youtube, not suitable for civilized people)
"What do you know about ACORN?"

"I know that it, uh, propagated low-income housing to people that couldn't afford it in the Chicago area."

She seemed to be saying that as if it were a bad thing, in and of itself.
posted by Flunkie at 7:49 PM on October 8, 2008


If I may, I would like to share a tactic that I employed today with respect to John McCain's fundraising machine.* I share it that so others of you can do the same, if the opportunity presents itself. Please pardon my wordiness.

My father committed the sin of voting for George W. Bush in the 2000 Election. In Florida, no less (let the record reflect that he has been duly chastised [repeatedly, by me] for his transgression, and has since mended the error in his ways). At the time he was registered Republican. He has since changed his party affiliation to Democrat.

He has absolutely no plan whatsoever to vote for John McCain, or Sarah Palin, or anybody calling themselves a "Maverick." He's 100% in the Obama camp.

This week he received an "URGENT" mailing from the McCain campaign. He saved it for me to read because he knew I would enjoy it. It came in a big (slightly larger than 9x11) mailer, with a two-page begging letter that smelled like desperation and flop-sweat. Apparently the McCain campaign needs my dad to immediately donate -- starting at $200, but going up exponentially from there -- to stop the spectre that is Barack Obama and his liberal commie ways.

Enclosed was a donation slip. And FedEx envelope.

Pre-addressed to McCain HQ in Arlington VA. Pre-paid by the campaign.

I think I did what I did next is what any other thinking, voting American would do, presented with the same opportunity.

I quickly located, and printed off, a full-page image of this "Republicans for Obama" button in patriotic red, white and blue. Nice and big. Many times actual size. Big enough, even, for old dudes to read it without bifocals.

On the paper I wrote: "Good luck with that election! *wink!*"

Tore up the flop-sweat campaign panic propaganda, threw it in the recycle bin, and popped my special individualized greeting alone into the FedEx mailer.

FedEx will be picking it up tomorrrow.

* For the sake of drawing a mental picture, envision this machine as being slightly rusty, running off filthy crude oil, and improperly maintained by one lone hillbilly.
posted by brain cloud at 8:04 PM on October 8, 2008 [22 favorites]


That is a pretty weak video, fourcheesemac. Sure, they come across badly, but the questions he's asking are ridiculous. How long have you known Barack Obama? Well, how long have you known John McCain? How is that even a relevant question? If Palin had been in the public eye for so much longer would that make her any better able to lead?

There are so many better things you can point to in support of Obama. Ad hominem attacks on her 'moronic' supporters doesn't help.
posted by twirlypen at 8:06 PM on October 8, 2008


One is a woman; it's ad feminam as well. Just to be clear.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:24 PM on October 8, 2008


I'm not sure I completely agree twirlypen, Metafilter tends to attract and encourage like minded people (a nice way of saying that we have characteristics similar to an echo-chamber). Sure, we have a few vocal examples of people who disagree, but in many ways they are the exception which helps to prove the rule.

While I find the people's behavior in that video pretty awful, I think it's a valuable reminder to contributors here that wildly differing opinions exist, and that not everyone getting ready to vote has done the kind of due diligence that we sort of expect here.

And I think the 'how long have you known...' question is valid; these advocates are making demonstrably false statements about a man who has been in the very public view for well over a year, in defense of a woman that most of them first found out about just a few weeks ago.
posted by quin at 8:26 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


1) I am not being classist; they could be three lawyers in a boardroom for all I care and they would still be "morons," and I am sure such morons exist.

2) I think it is always appropriate to call out racism, and I don't excuse it because calling it what it is is somehow mean.

3) I'm not making a case for Barack Obama by posting that video. Barack is irrelevant to the point, which is about McCain and Palin. Those morons are spouting the talking points and the hate emails verbatim. They are on their way in to a McCain/Palin rally seething with racial hatred, or coming out, I'm not sure which.

This shit is not the usual political theater. It's dangerous rabble rousing, the enlisting of a small but deadly group of -- yes-- morons with incitements to violence, which is what is going on at those rallies.

Calling those people morons, it is true, writes off the possibility that they could be convinced they are spouting lies and calumnies with a simple presentation of the truth. But they cannot be so convinced, they and their ilk will never vote for Obama, and the point is to shame those beliefs and that ignorance so that the much larger number of people who wrestle with racialist (if not racist) attitudes (in reality, that is all of us) can confront the demon in its pure form and experience a communal revulsion that will help clarify our own thinking.

You cannot say you think Barack Obama is or might be a terrorist and get a pass from me. And the people filling your head with such ideas in made-to-order fascist rallies not only don't a pass. They are dead to me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:36 PM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain is looking old, frail, and to many of his fellow prisoners, perhaps a bit senile. Palin was a big boost of energy to the ticket, but that's been fading fast, and it seems not even her good looks are enough to keep people believing in her. I think we all know what has to happen next, but the mainstream media is afraid to say it: McCain/Palin sex tape. He proves his virility, she's exciting again and they dominate at least a couple news cycles. Drill, baby, drill, indeed.
posted by snofoam at 8:42 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


MSNBC FirstRead on the McCain/Palin rally at Lehigh U today:

As seen at recent McCain events, this afternoon's crowd was vocal in their support for McCain and their anger with Senator Obama. At one point one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head," when McCain spoke about Obama's tax plan. That enthusiasm was even more present during Palin's remarks, and as other observers have reported in the past, today there was a sizeable number of people making their way towards the exit after McCain's running mate left the podium.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:45 PM on October 8, 2008


Oh, and the code name for this plan is: October Delight.
posted by snofoam at 8:47 PM on October 8, 2008


>FedEx will be picking it up tomorrrow.

Hopefully, other recipients did something similar so that when they open up all these envelopes it'll be like a scene from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

posted by blueberry at 8:47 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


4cm: I think you do have a point there. The interesting part is not that there are a bunch of ill-informed morons, because surely we knew all along that there are plenty of people like that and that's who Palin targets. I think the racism/xenophobia does make it extra deplorable and worth pointing out. It isn't entirely new, I feel like these people also considered John Kerry a traitor for speaking out against the war, but it's extra bad and the campaign does seem to be encouraging it. Terrorist? Secret Muslim? The tinfoil hat people will always have these theories, but it's unacceptable for a campaign to propagate and support these ideas, however subtly they do so. And it ain't even that subtle.
posted by snofoam at 8:54 PM on October 8, 2008


My favorite part of that McMob video fourcheesemac linked to is how bewildered/frightened/offended they are when challenged to defend their answers. They seem to think that being asked for follow-up support for their arguments is some sort of Jedi mind trick. At one point, some dude interrupts an interviewee, telling her not to speak, to only answer the dude's question's in writing; another, when prompted for follow-up says something like "oh, this guy's good."
Were election mobs like this in Thomas Jefferson's day as well?
Oh, wait. Never mind.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:58 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


The exact point is the mob mentality. You have to incite that. It doesn't just happen.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:05 PM on October 8, 2008




not sure if anyone linked this disturbing video "I Voted for Hilary" I don't know what to think, I mean, apparently she is a democrat.....
posted by Rumple at 9:07 PM on October 8, 2008


snofoam : I think we all know what has to happen next, but the mainstream media is afraid to say it: McCain/Palin sex tape.

This is wrong on so many levels. I almost want to give you a gold star for introducing me to my nightmare material for the next month or so, just because, while it was obvious that he was scoping her out at her introduction, the idea of a sex tape had honestly not occurred to me.

So yeah, I'm gonna be bleaching my brain tonight, if anyone else needs it, I've got some space next to me at the tub. The Ultra Strength Clorox is on me.
posted by quin at 9:08 PM on October 8, 2008


I just want to go on the record that I think "joesixpackeri" is a FANTASTIC new word.

Heh, well, I thank you, but it was actually a typo. I meant to type sixpackerati.


My humble offering in kind: Hockymommerae
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:29 PM on October 8, 2008


Tore up the flop-sweat campaign panic propaganda, threw it in the recycle bin, ...

That right there, that was the biggest insult you gave them and I applaud it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:40 PM on October 8, 2008


Hockymommerae

er, um, too much like Hockeymammary for my taste.

Hokeyenamorae?
posted by lysdexic at 10:06 PM on October 8, 2008


How about Hockeymommalians?
posted by amyms at 10:10 PM on October 8, 2008


"My fellow earmarks.... we must eliminate congressional POWs... for five years I was... your friend.... my prisoners are public record..."

"Daisy Daisy...give me your answer...do. I'm half...cra-zy. all for the love of you...It wont be. a styl-ish marriage. I can't...afford a carri...age..."
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:23 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow's scandal today! Obama hung with SOCIALISTS! PAGE SARAH PALIN LET'S GO RILE UP THE LYNCH MOB!

Oh wait, we knew that NINE MONTHS AGO.

Never mind.
posted by dw at 10:29 PM on October 8, 2008


Tomorrow's scandal today! Obama hung with SOCIALISTS! PAGE SARAH PALIN LET'S GO RILE UP THE LYNCH MOB!


On behalf of my fellow New Zealanders, I apologise, sorry apologize, for this cretan.
posted by vac2003 at 12:43 AM on October 9, 2008


How about Hockeymommalians?

How about Hockeymomeranians, in honor of Palin's tizzies of Pomeranian defensiveness?
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:36 AM on October 9, 2008


If you have the time, check out this blog by an 82 year old woman.

That is the best blog I've read for a good long while. She's just getting into the swing of it too: here's her take on the debate on Tuesday.

Post title - Maverick My Ass!

Juicy quote:
You can comment all you want on who won and who didn’t. I haven’t got a clue. But here is what my heart is telling me. I am 82 years old (83 in December). It’s time to hand the reigns over to the next generation and hope that we did a good job raising them. To Senator McCain I say, with love in my heart, sit down and shut up. You’re beginning to look like an ass and your answers sound like a cross between Barnie Fife and Floyd the Barber. And no matter how many times you start a sentence with “My friends” if you end it with a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t make sense… well eventually someone like me is going to call “bullshit”.

Actually, let me state that a little differently. ALL OF US have to call “bullshit” right now. There is too much at stake. You can’t agree with George Bush all of the time and then say you are about change. You can’t say the economy is strong in the morning and then say it’s a crisis that afternoon. You can’t be about deregulation for 25 years and then suddenly be against it. And for God’s sakes war can’t be the answer to everything.
We need to get this woman a Mefi membership.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:20 AM on October 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


I myself would be in favor of Hockeymommaliens.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:20 AM on October 9, 2008


Zack Exley, who writes the usually excellent Revolution in Jesusland blog, has written a really great analysis of the Obama campaign's now-legendary grassroots movement, and why it was so much more effective than anything else we've ever seen.

The New Organizers, Part 1
It is impossible to overstate how counter intuitive this slow-build approach was for Democrats. Even Regional Field Director for Southwest Ohio, Christen Linke Young—who I witnessed in 2004 pushing independently for just this strategy as an Ohio FO [Field Organizer] in Franklin County—said it was scary to take this patient approach:

"We had a whole month where, on our nightly calls with headquarters, we did not report our voter contact numbers. We only reported our leadership building. I definitely stayed on top of what our voter contact numbers looked like. But headquarters wasn't paying attention to how many voters we registered or how many doors we knocked that day—they were paying attention to how many one-on-one meetings we had, house meetings, neighborhood team leaders recruited, how many people we had convinced to come to this wonderful training in Columbus that we had. Yes, it was definitely scary to see how big our persuasion universe was and know that our first priority was not to just be tearing through that."

But Christen said the meticulous building has paid off: "And then last weekend we [teams in Christen's area] had 100 volunteers on Saturday canvassing—which is not something I ever would have thought was possible. And they knocked on 2,500 doors. And so you go: 'OK, it paid off, it worked.' We spent a month focusing on getting the pieces in place and now we can knock on 2,500 doors on the first Saturday in September. I'd love to count up how many canvasses we actually staged that day but I think most organizers had at least two canvasses—they were able to be in two places at once because they had recruited and trained leaders who could run their own canvasses and who could train other volunteers in persuasion."
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:39 AM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


And when they all get together they share in hockeymommaraderie
posted by yeti at 5:44 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


HockeyMotherFucker.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:58 AM on October 9, 2008


On behalf of my fellow New Zealanders, I apologise, sorry apologize, for this cretan.

You do know they're all liars, right?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:01 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Zack Exley, who writes the usually excellent Revolution in Jesusland blog, has written a really great analysis of the Obama campaign's now-legendary grassroots movement, and why it was so much more effective than anything else we've ever seen.

That article is both fascinating and really, really exciting.

I'd love to see an equivalent analysis of the McCain ground effort, mainly for the schadenfreude and the lulz.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:13 AM on October 9, 2008


FCM - ha! Zeno!
posted by notsnot at 6:16 AM on October 9, 2008


I'd love to see an equivalent analysis of the McCain ground effort
Here you go
posted by Flunkie at 6:31 AM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I used to have three landing slips, but I lost one in a hurricane and now I've only got a pair o' docks.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:32 AM on October 9, 2008


Obama also said he was surprised some of those attacks weren't brought up by his opponent at the debate Tuesday night at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

"I am surprised that, you know, we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face. But I guess we've got one last debate. So presumably, if he ends up feeling that he needs to, he will raise it during the debate."


That's a bitch slap. Obama's questioning McCain's honor and courage, all at once, and daring him to come to the last debate and throw the slime he's been peddling at his rallies. It's a brilliant move: if McCain takes the bait it'll finish him, and if he doesn't, he looks and feels like a wimp. Obama's far inside McCain's OODA loop here.
posted by EarBucket at 7:00 AM on October 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


I agree. Obama should bait McCain every day from now until the debate with "say it to my face." He should actually question McCain's honor publicly and directly.

Get under his skin. He's a known hothead. And this is the way to break his cool.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:08 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's far inside McCain's OODA loop here.

Considering McCain's record as a pilot, it can't be that hard to get in his loop.
posted by drezdn at 7:13 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]




Dana Milbank, WashPo, is really carrying the lynch mob story. Today "Rage in the Town of Bethlehem" (Pennsylvania)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:27 AM on October 9, 2008


I assume Fox wanted Newsweek to do this.
posted by snofoam at 7:29 AM on October 9, 2008


FoxNews: "This cover is a clear slap in the face to Sarah Palin. Why? Because it's un-retouched."

The story really is as stupid as this pull quote. I couldn't believe it until I clicked on the link.
posted by winna at 7:32 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


finite, I am dumber for having watched that.

My god, they went on for 5 minutes about that crap?!?
posted by JaredSeth at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama, McCain Transition Efforts Are Worlds Apart:

As the 2008 campaign nears its conclusion, the presidential transition efforts of the two major candidates have become a study in contrasts: Sen. Barack Obama has organized an elaborate well-staffed network to prepare for his possible ascension to the White House, while Sen. John McCain has all but put off such work until after the election.
posted by EarBucket at 7:39 AM on October 9, 2008


The most surreal part of the "Rage in the Town of Bethlehem" story was this:
Only the polka band, which entertained the crowd before the speeches, seemed unaffected by the pervasive anger in the arena. "Ha, ha, ha, come join my happy song," sang the man with the accordion. "Clap along!" The crowd clapped. "We're going to party tonight," he crooned, "with joy and laughter, that's what we're after."
Christ Almighty. It's like a scene out of a Stephen King novel, one of the ones where civilization has been all but annihilated and the insane mob of survivors is getting ready to execute one of the central characters for fun.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:45 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sad news from the publishing world:
One campaign book that has already bitten the dust is right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt's How Sarah Palin Won the Election ... and Saved America, which the literary agent Curtis Yates sent to publishers in New York last week.

When Media Mob reached Mr. Yates by phone on Monday, he'd already given up on trying to sell the book.

[...]

The title of the book, Mr. Yates said, "went through a couple of different iterations."

At one point it was How Sarah Palin Won the Election. At another point it was How Sarah Palin Won the Election ... and Saved America.

"If they were to lose the election it would have just been How Sarah Palin Saved America," Mr. Yates said. "We were trying to cover our bases depending on what may happen."
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:55 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


My god, they went on for 5 minutes about that crap?!?

Great success! They:
1. Took another 5 minutes' major network time to talk about Sarah Palin, time which makes her seem more important as well as reducing time for coverage of issues or other candidates
2. Positioned Palin as victim of targeting by the biased, liberal mainstream media, increasing basis for skepticism about future critical reporting
3. Drew the shield of feminism around Palin by suggesting that the media attacks her power by attacking her on appearance.

Well done, right out of the playbook. I looked for an analysis or statement by the Newsweek cover editor, but can't find it - yet.
posted by Miko at 7:56 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


FoxNews: "This cover is a clear slap in the face to Sarah Palin. Why? Because it's un-retouched."

Summary: she seems like a beautiful person until you get up close and examine the reality of what she is, and some feel that the main stream media should be ashamed for not glossing over her flaws.

Which is probably an accurate assessment of more than just her photo on a magazine.
posted by quin at 8:10 AM on October 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


One thing that's struck me when watching clips of Obama and McCain's rallies is how empty McCain's sound compared to Obama's. They never show crowd shots but the camera always seems to be focused a lot tighter on the stage during McCain clips. I remember the same thing happening during the twilight days of Clinton's campaign as well.
posted by minifigs at 8:14 AM on October 9, 2008


LOLhockeymomz.
posted by lunit at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2008


I just watched that video. Wow. We have finally reached the point where air-brushing is so acceptable that it is now an insult not to airbrush.

My daughter and I trade links all the time showing how actresses and models have their faces and bodies transformed to impossibly perfect standards, which increases the pressure on women to spend more time, effort and money on their outer selves rather than their inner selves. However, actresses and models depend on their appearance to make their living. The Fox talking heads unwittingly make the point that real, un-photoshopped human females are no longer considered attractive enough no matter what their job or sphere in life. Of course on Fox news you can't be a female news person unless you are a total babe, so I can see how they would assume that a female politician's electability is tied into her looks. Maybe they should spend a little less time on their hair and a little more time on their brains.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:28 AM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


My god, they went on for 5 minutes about that crap?!?

That's all they (FauxNews, the Republican Party, McCain campaign) have left. All this minute shit. Attack the character of the opposing candidate, attack "the media," etc. Silly, silly, silly stuff.
posted by ericb at 8:32 AM on October 9, 2008


If They Were Trains.
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're gonna be the kind of person adamant about drawing lines, you gotta pick a side. So Sarah, are you one of (folksy) "us" or one of (elite) "them"?

Because after November 4th, if she gets her way, she'll be considered one of them. So she shouldn't be surprised if others put her on a side how they see fit until then. Then again, her take, if she'd give it, would make all the difference here. If she publicly took a stand that said, "Hey, guess what everybody, I read Newsweek today, and I saw somebody familiar on there. You know what, that's me, and I'm proud of it. That's exactly what I look like, and that's exactly what you're getting!" she would make strides in her public image. If she rails against the unfair treatment, she'll come off looking petty and vain. If she makes no comment, some people will continue to assume she doesn't read, some will give her (too much) credit in believing she's above all that and doesn't care.

Either way, my guess is that its going to be sexism vs. racism for the next three weeks.

Personally, I feel Newsweek's move is going to backfire on them (if they are pro-Obama). They just united people from both sides (the other type of 'sides'–D/R) in either feeling sorry for her, or feeling like she's just been made real.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:34 AM on October 9, 2008


LOLhockeymomz.

"The GOP vice presidential nominee will drop the ceremonial first puck when the Philadelphia Flyers open the regular season against the New York Rangers on Saturday."

That's a clear indication that she'll be in New York and on SNL. SNL has been tight-lipped as to whether she'll appear. That seals it.
posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on October 9, 2008


"Clap along!" The crowd clapped. "We're going to party tonight," he crooned, "with joy and laughter, that's what we're after."

...at which point, the crowd joined in for a stirring rendition of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."
posted by scody at 8:35 AM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Rereading that, I realize it comes off very "she asked for it" and that's not what I'm intending here.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:36 AM on October 9, 2008


That's a clear indication that she'll be in New York...

Err, actually the match will be in Philadelphia with a hockey drop likely around 7:00 p.m. But, being a "hop-skip-and-a-jump" from New York she'll be able to private jet it to Manhattan for a show that starts at 11:35 p.m. on Saturday evening.
posted by ericb at 8:38 AM on October 9, 2008


Heh, a shoe obsessed co-worker just revealed his next intended purchase to me.

Obama Force Ones.
posted by quin at 8:41 AM on October 9, 2008


I love the shoes, but won't the text in the footprints be backwards on the sidewalk? Just sayin'
posted by lysdexic at 8:47 AM on October 9, 2008


I'd love to see an equivalent analysis of the McCain ground effort, mainly for the schadenfreude and the lulz.

Enjoy.
posted by designbot at 8:50 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a clear indication that she'll be in New York and on SNL. SNL has been tight-lipped as to whether she'll appear. That seals it.

Well, all we need to do now is get John Cusack to stomp angrily across the set and we will have officially breached the Reality Barrier and be living in Bob Roberts.
posted by Shepherd at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


secret life of gravy, I agree. Someone needs to spend some time air-brushing Sarah Palin's brain.
posted by snofoam at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2008


I saw those a few weeks ago and the sole is too big. But they're better than those original ones that were painted on (cool, but not functional really). The awesome thing about the page is the Obama as Jordan in the 84 (86?) dunk contest. I used to have a poster of that same dunk with the background blacked out and the ball was the moon. I'd love to see this poster's artist/designer's cutting room floor images, because you know she or he tried to work in the change logo as the ball.

Oddly enough, I'm fine with Palin going on SNL. She'll probably help McCain in the polls by doing it, but I hope Barack goes on it (with his stiff self) the weekend before the election, or perhaps the week before that. Of course if he hosted it I would lose my mind, but that wouldn't go over well anyway. So hopefully another cameo, since he hasn't been on there in a while and his most recent appearance had to be canceled because of Ike. Hopefully that would help him surge in the polls and regain any points Palin had gotten.
posted by cashman at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2008


More sneakers we can believe in (except for the fact that they are Nike).
posted by snofoam at 8:52 AM on October 9, 2008


Sen. Barack Obama has organized an elaborate well-staffed network to prepare for his possible ascension to the White House, while Sen. John McCain has all but put off such work until after the election.

Even McCain knows he's not going to win.
posted by orange swan at 8:55 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, I'm fine with Palin going on SNL.

I will be too if she gets booed.
posted by orange swan at 8:56 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


A Question For Sarah Palin
"Should public school students be taught that contraception and condoms can prevent unintended pregnancy and disease?"

Palin has referred to her teenage daughter's pregnancy as a normal "up and down" of family life.
This article got me thinking. The press and Palin's supporters have really given her a pass on this situation. We are all just supposed to say, "Isn't it lovely that Bristol is going to get married," and accept that this is "a normal up and down of family life." Aren't we all wondering, "Did you allow Bristol too much freedom? Did adoption ever come up? What about college? How will Levi and Bristol support themselves? What advice would you give to the parents of teenagers?" These are the kind of questions that ordinarily would be asked by someone in the MSM-- the human interest side of the story-- but because the candidate has severely curtailed her media interactions, they are questions that will remain unasked. The GOP message is "Sarah Palin is a great mom," and they won't allow that message to be challenged.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:01 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Had McCain looked at Obama during that first debate, his rage may have become uncontrollable.[...]McCain's hatred is so ingrained, his self-congratulatory moralism so necessary for his self-esteem, that the emotions overwhelm whatever teaching he might receive.

I agree. Obama should bait McCain every day from now until the debate with "say it to my face." He should actually question McCain's honor publicly and directly.


Be still my heart. McCain getting hauled off the platform by security would be too good to be true. I'd laugh myself to sleep that night and every night for at least a month.
posted by orange swan at 9:08 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


SNL could bring back Rob Schneider for the night.

Sarah! Sarah Palin! Palindrome! The Palinator! Makin' babies!

Or maybe a skit where VP Palin climbs into a limo to be whisked away somewhere, and then the camera pulls back to show Toonces at the wheel.
posted by emelenjr at 9:14 AM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


The GOP message is "Sarah Palin is a great mom," and they won't allow that message to be challenged.

I don't know, Secret Life of Gravy. It seems to be we're suffering from Palin critique overload. We're all so busy criticizing her as a ludicrously ignorant, unqualified hustler of a candidate that we just don't get to her parenting choices. And then, too, unlike Palin, many of us don't think being a Mom is relevant to her fitness as a vice presidential candidate, regardless of whether she's a good or bad one.
posted by orange swan at 9:15 AM on October 9, 2008


Designbot - my god, the contrast between those two articles is gobsmacking. This line stood out for me:
Let’s be clear. We've observed no comparison between these ground campaigns. To begin with, there’s a 4-1 ratio of offices in most states. We walk into McCain offices to find them closed, empty, one person, two people, sometimes three people making calls. Many times one person is calling while the other small clutch of volunteers are chatting amongst themselves. In one state, McCain’s state field director sat in one of these offices and, sotto voce, complained to us that only one man was making calls while the others were talking to each other about how much they didn't like Obama, which was true. But the field director made no effort to change this. This was the state field director.
One campaign runs on genuine enthusiasm, hope and excitement about the future. The other runs (barely) on grousing. Guess which one is going to win.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:18 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Real Clear Politics just moved Virginia from tossup to Lean Obama, Georgia from Solid McCain to Lean McCain.
posted by EarBucket at 9:29 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]




One campaign runs on genuine enthusiasm, hope and excitement about the future. The other runs (barely) on grousing. Guess which one is going to win.

Just to cte another example, my mother worked on the Kennedy campaign and hasn't worked on a campaign since even though she personally knew some of the candidates. Sure she'd wear a button or work a voter registration drive for the League of Women Voters. Recently she told us that she couldn't help us as back up baby sitter as she was having to drive 50 miles the next day to some podunk town to canvas door-to-door because the folks down at Obama HQ where she's been working say there is an underserved, low income minority community down there that needs to be recognised! This is a retiree who's had a couple of strokes we're talking here, not some perky college kid.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:34 AM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


I love the "EPIC FAIL" sign, from Obama supporters, about McCain. (EarBucket's video link, above)
posted by iamkimiam at 9:42 AM on October 9, 2008


And then, too, unlike Palin, many of us don't think being a Mom is relevant to her fitness as a vice presidential candidate, regardless of whether she's a good or bad one

I understand your point, and it is a valid one, orange swan. However, the "Sarah Palin--Mom" resonates with women voters in a big way. Over and over I keep hearing/reading "She is just like me, she has 5 kids." But I don't think she is "just like" most moms. When she is not using them as props in her campaign, Sarah Palin ignores her kids and farms them out to friends and relatives. Perhaps that is why her two eldest are not exactly shining examples of good parenting. She reminds me a lot of Michelle Duggar who is expecting her 18th child and has won praises and awards for being a great mom. But once you start reading about Michelle, you realize that her parenting is actually pretty awful by most standards.

You also have a point about there being too much ground to cover when criticizing her. However, if she is running on her momness, then the American people should be asking, "What kind of mom is she?"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:44 AM on October 9, 2008


Oh Noes! If Obama gets elected, scientists will suffer!
Sarah] Palin is the most libertarian candidate to run since the Reagan administration … we’re fighting to hold territory, not to take it. We just need to hold off the left till genomics can come through. We’re going to be knocking off sacred cow after sacred cow in the next decade or so …

The Democrats do not want the genetic discoveries to lead to widespread knowledge about the truth about human differences. The Democrats are really more anti-Darwinian than the fundamentalist Christians who deny the origin of species [...]Thus if human-sciences research is shut down in the U.S.A., our understanding will cease to advance, or will advance much more slowly. A mass exodus of researchers to some more hospitable nation, in the manner of Jewish scientists fleeing the Nazis, is not likely.
Flee, young scientists! Save yourselves!

(PS, don't miss the sexist joke at the end of the article.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:04 AM on October 9, 2008




short film on McCain's temper
posted by Rumple at 10:21 AM on October 9, 2008


It's American Research Group, so take it with a large grain of salt and wait for more polling, but the first poll of West Virginia in two and a half weeks just came out, and they've got Obama up 50-42.
posted by EarBucket at 10:22 AM on October 9, 2008


Sarah Palin is not the only mother in politics. The way that she's being portrayed, sometimes you might think so. Also, what's wrong with the photograph on the cover of Newsweek? Palin is a woman in her mid-forties. I haven't seen the cover up close, but has it really come to the point that a realistic photograph of a woman's face, one which hasn't been altered to make her look like she's under thirty, is so anomalous, such a scandal? Jesus.
posted by jokeefe at 10:41 AM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Add to the West Virginia shocker: Gallup continues to show an 11 point Obama margin, 52/41.

And RCP, which leans right, has Obama at 277 EVs *without* Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Indiana, or Missouri (or WV) -- they've painted Virginia light blue.

Meanwhile, McCain was damn near incoherent at this morning's Wisconsin town hall.

Snowball, meet hell.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:54 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, here's something interesting:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) made an overnight change in the homeowner bailout he proposed at Tuesday’s presidential debate, making it more generous to financial institutions and more costly for taxpayers. McCain's staff says it was always meant that way.

The [American Homeownership Resurgence Plan] posted and e-mailed by the McCain campaign on Tuesday night says at the end of its first full paragraph: “Lenders in these cases must recognize the loss that they’ve already suffered.” But when McCain reissued the document on Wednesday, that sentence was missing, to the dismay of many conservatives. That would mean the U.S. would pay face value for the troubled documents, which was the main reason Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gave for opposing the plan.

McCain told reporters, "I have no intention of winning this election, so I'm basically doing what I can to sabotage even my marginally good ideas. And I'm not stopping there. Watch this." McCain then reached into his jacket, pulled out a revolver, and fired it into the air, shouting, "Wagons, ho! Wagons, ho! Yee-haw!"
OK so I made that last part up. But come on, it feels true, doesn't it?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:10 AM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


It has started to cross my mind that McCain's campaign is acting like one that isn't very interested in winning. Campaigning in Wisconsin and Iowa is bad enough, but to unveil a plan that purposefully shifts focus onto the economic crisis is political suicide for McCain. I don't understand why they'd do that.
posted by EarBucket at 11:24 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Picking up on the "just like me" meme. I actually don't think it's sexist to wonder how the children will be raised and educated. It's just pointless.

She's a governor, and might (in some other universe, plsthxkbai) be VP. She's got a job to do, so of course whatever resources she needs will be made available without question. I don't begrudge her this. I don't begrudge this of anybody holding high office.

My problem starts where people in high positions forget what it's like for everyone else. All parents need flexibility, not just a privileged few, and not just women.

Pols can say "you'll have a friend in the White House", but actions toward the rest of us speak louder than words.

Re: genomic research - I'll compromise. Make its funding contingent on funding for all stem cell research. Have a non-denominational ethics board oversee it.
posted by lysdexic at 11:29 AM on October 9, 2008


From the 538 article: They won't be asking themselves, "what more could we have done?"

This reminds me of LBJ's incredible organization skills and driving work ethic. He had something like fifty different form letters to send to supporters to make them feel like they were getting a personal message. Files of index cards with details about everyone they could gather.

I'm really glad of the personal difference though - LBJ's complete domination of his troops versus "Respect. Empower. Include."
posted by lysdexic at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2008


Interesting development in the un-retouched photo discussion: Sarah Palin's glasses appear to be non-prescription.
What is interesting is that it seems that she actually does not have any prescription in there. How can I tell? Well, if you look at the photo or photos of her wearing these glasses, the lens doesn't seem to alter the underlying facial features (behind the lens) even one bit. Typically, a photo of someone wearing prescription eyeglasses will show distortion of facial features seen immediately behind that photographed lens. So why is she wearing glasses at all? Perhaps she has a very, very slight perscription. But I bet that this is her way of expressing her sense of fashion. Plus eyeglasses make you look more mature and a lot of business professionals and politicians employ this tactic of wearing eyeglasses to look more intelligent and more executive.
It doesn't make her any more or any less of a phony, but it would be funny if the sudden popularity of her signature look is based on prop glasses.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2008


Michael Kinsley, a fairly believable person, has an interesting story up about witnessing McCain losing his temper on a gambling trip to Puerto Rico: "At the Craps Table with John McCain."
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:42 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]




And now Biden's calling on McCain to "say it to his face." No doubt about it, this is a deliberate strategy. They're going to keep jabbing at McCain with this until he snaps.
posted by EarBucket at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]



"I am surprised that, you know, we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face. But I guess we've got one last debate. So presumably, if he ends up feeling that he needs to, he will raise it during the debate."

That's a bitch slap.


Being echoed by surrogates today too -- Biden, Vilsack

I wish they would take it one step further, though it's risky: accuse McCain of being a real chicken shit, and of sending women (Palin and Cindy McCain) out to do his dirty work. That will push him right over the top at the next debate, I bet.

I guy can dream, anyway.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:59 AM on October 9, 2008


Perhaps she has a very, very slight perscription.

I'd say that's utterly plausible. You could probably drop the 'very's, really. This is me in prescription lenses; shit starts getting fuzzy for me five or six feet out; I can't clearly read a sign in nice 1-inch letters that's 20 feet from where I'm sitting, and I definitely wouldn't drive without my glasses ever. But it's a mild prescription; you can see, or rather not see, the lack of distortion behind my lenses in that photo.

Fashion is a reasonable thing to talk about, and clearly it's a big part of the presentation of Palin, but this has again the feeling of using armchair diagnosis to make a distracting nothing into a distracting (and utterly ridiculous if disproved) something.
posted by cortex at 12:10 PM on October 9, 2008


“In my neighborhood, when you’ve got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him.”

Way to go, Joe. This is not only great strategy; it's the right thing to do. Bait that craven man into unleashing his rage, or shame him into shutting the fuck up. I'd avoid the "hiding behind the womenfolk" approach, though -- although they could certainly go with the "fight your own battles" line.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Goodness, Secret Life of Gravy, is there no end to the garbage that can be dug up on Palin? Did the Republicans not vett her at ALL? This is just bizarre.
posted by orange swan at 12:15 PM on October 9, 2008


Fashion is a reasonable thing to talk about, and clearly it's a big part of the presentation of Palin, but this has again the feeling of using armchair diagnosis to make a distracting nothing into a distracting (and utterly ridiculous if disproved) something.

I'm not even sure I'd say fashion is a reasonable part of a discussion on the merits of a candidate. If they launder their clothes, that's enough for me. McCain could give a speech in platform shoes, MC Hammer pants, a Pittsburgh Pirates jacket and a stovepipe hat and it wouldn't change how I'm voting. OK, it might make think twice.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:16 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Those angry mob videos are rather disturbing. When I commented in that big ass Palin thread (wait, is that sexist?) that choosing Palin was going to push the Republican base further down the path of radicalization, I was thinking more along the lines of years, not weeks.

And I'm getting sick of these pundits continually claiming that the only reason Obama is pulling ahead in the polls is because of the economy. Obviously it's a part of the gains but the trends started before the crisis made all the headlines. McCain is running a crazy campaign; only the polite and the stupid say otherwise. Palin was starting to drag on the ticket before the crisis; the crisis just made how unqualified she is much more apparent. As far as I'm concerned, not even a terrorist attack is going to help the McCain/Palin ticket now.

The projected poll trends that I've been getting had Obama consistently winning 273-265 throughout September. The Palin bounce didn't change it at all. And that was without winning Florida, Ohio, Nevada, or Virginia. October started out with Florida and Virginia flipping to Obama. Just yesterday, Nevada flipped, too. Before election day, I expect to see Ohio flip, and there's a great chance that North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri will also. I don't expect Georgia to flip in the polls but I wouldn't be surprised if Obama wins it anyway.

None of this is any reason for complacency, of course. I'm still heading down to the local office this weekend and I'll be sending more cash to the campaign next week, but everything is looking pretty solid for Obama.

My remaining concerns are all about voter suppression and mandatory recounts. I wouldn't be surprised if Ohio has to do a recount. Nevada too unless it trends more toward Obama in the next couple of weeks. But if Obama wins Virginia and Florida, then it really won't matter.
posted by effwerd at 12:16 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is me in prescription lenses

You can totally see the distortion in this photo. Like, the part of you behind the glasses is all dropletty.
posted by snofoam at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2008


I'm not even sure I'd say fashion is a reasonable part of a discussion on the merits of a candidate.

Eh, I wouldn't argue that it's a worthwhile part of the discussion, but it is to a degree unavoidable and has been since Nixon v. Kennedy at the (very, very) least. And what I'm saying is that insofar as that's true, there's no need to muddy up a discussion of tactical frames selection with armchair optometrics.
posted by cortex at 12:32 PM on October 9, 2008


I was thinking at just how partisan political discourse has accelerated its degradation in the last 4 years, even after all we've been through together: 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Mortgage crisis, financial meltdown, etc.

In 2004, the stock response to an article or missive critiquing Bush was:

"Why do you hate America?" or "Do you want the terrorists to win?"

These days, the pat answer to every critique of McCain is:

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA REV WRIGHT AYERS REZKO MUSLIM!

I mean, at least the hate America stuff was sort of addressing the charges. Sort of. Cons don't even bother with that anymore. Now it's just two syllable accusations, innuendo, etc tossed on you or your candidate. As comical as it sometimes get, it's trending to a very dark and scary place. I am compelled to ask, what's next, just grunting noises, punching and kicking?
posted by psmealey at 12:36 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's glasses appear to be non-prescription.
I'm confident that this is not the case.

I read this same claim sometime a week or two ago. After that, I happened to be watching one of the few Palin interviews - I think one with Couric, in which the camera was to the front and left of Palin's face. Behind Palin (from the camera's point of view) was a poster (or something) which included text. That text was clearly, unambiguously distorted whenever Palin's head moved.
posted by Flunkie at 12:37 PM on October 9, 2008


Errr, to the front and right of Palin's face, I mean.
posted by Flunkie at 12:44 PM on October 9, 2008


So in your meticulous analysis of the tape, you observed after repeated viewings that the anomaly occurred back and to the left? Back and to the left? Back and to the left?
posted by Shepherd at 12:49 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Debunked! In case you're wondering about the veracity of the childhood pictures, there are dead animals involved.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:12 PM on October 9, 2008


Nthing those who are loving "Say it to my face."

If the Obama camp keeps it up, the moderator at the final debate might even have to address it. "Senator Obama, you have been asking Senator McCain to...."

Even this late in the election, that could still end up being the "read my lips", "its the economy, stupid"-style memory of 2008. Powerful stuff.
posted by rokusan at 1:24 PM on October 9, 2008


As people used to say back in the day, lately McCain is looking like who did it and what for. I don't know if they are trying to get McCain to blow his top, but I wonder if they'll use it as a way to confront it head on. Caught up in the angry mob video with the ninnies who will believe it no matter what, you know there are some people who probably think it is true but when they find out it isn't, will reverse course.
posted by cashman at 1:26 PM on October 9, 2008


In an email about Ike evacuees (who still number in the tens of thousands, and are spread out across Texas and other states) that I just received from the Texas Democrats, is this line:
It is the voter's right to cast a ballot in the jurisdiction of their permanent residence, even if that residence doesn't exist anymore. No one, not even an Election Judge, can question a voter's residency.
Not that Texas is probably in play (oh, if only), but what a raw, ripe goddamn deal it is that these people who are being actively ignored and ill-served by the Feds, and are already being disenfranchised by circumstance, are likely going to be so susceptible to these sort of Turn Back The Vote initiatives. Yuck.

If you were living out of your car or a converted Wal-Mart in the worst part of a town hundreds of miles away from where your home used to be, do you think you'd have the presence of mind to track down an absentee ballot?
posted by dirtdirt at 1:43 PM on October 9, 2008


The lenses are not for seeing. They are special lenses that hold back the lazer beams that come out of her eyes. Duh.
posted by JBennett at 2:03 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack Obama has purchased a half-hour of airtime on CBS, sources confirm. The Obama campaign will air a half-hour primetime special on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. Sources say the Obama camp is also in talks with NBC and Fox. NBC is said to be very near a deal.

He means to end them.
posted by EarBucket at 2:17 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her goose moose is cooked? Supreme Court won't block Troopergate inquiry.
posted by scody at 2:20 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Obama campaign will air a half-hour primetime special on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.

What a dynamite campaign. Makes me proud to be a supporter.
posted by lostburner at 2:28 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Obama campaign will air a half-hour primetime special on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.

Please oh please oh please let him have charts and a pointer. It worked for Perot!
posted by cimbrog at 2:31 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


NBC is said to be very near a deal.

They updated the page - NBC is confirmed. Fox has game 6 baseball issues. Wonder what's up with ABC. Not to be the skeptotron, but is this site reliable? I didn't see it anywhere else yet.
posted by cashman at 2:33 PM on October 9, 2008


Supreme Court won't block Troopergate inquiry.

The report will come out tomorrow then, right? I don't expect much damning information, but it'll be interesting to see what it says.
posted by cashman at 2:38 PM on October 9, 2008


Uh yeah, nevermind - that news about the ad buy is all over the place - I suck at searching.
posted by cashman at 2:39 PM on October 9, 2008


Things I don't understand about McCain's campaign:
  • His Dr. Evil-like idea that a million dollars is a lot of money in the context of the federal budget. "You know, we spent three million dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana." I realize he's trying to convey the idea that we spend what is actually a lot of money to regular people on silly things, but it makes him look like a penny-pincher who doesn't understand the big picture.
  • His Captain Ahab-like obsession with the surge and victory in Iraq. Obama opposed the war in the first place, McCain's wrong to attribute improved conditions in Iraq solely to the surge, and Americans are done with the whole Iraq mess. Yay, we won, whatever, let's go home.
  • Why he's dicking around in Iowa, which has seven electoral votes and where he's 11 points behind, instead of competing in states that are closer and have more votes.
McCain getting hauled off the platform by security would be too good to be true.

I keep hoping for a "You can't handle the truth!"-style meltdown.

Obama: Why Won't McCain Bring Up Ayers To My Face?

Obama: "Buk-buk-buk-buk!"

lately McCain is looking like who did it and what for

What is it with Palin (and Cindy McCain) and the Star Wars costumes?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I suppose everyone's assuming he'll go on TV and talk to America for a half hour or something right? What if he just broadcasts Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land?
posted by snofoam at 2:51 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


from feministe: As long as we’re talking about the presidential contenders’ ties to terrorists . . . There’s no evidence that Obama ever tried to make life easier for domestic terrorists like Ayers by opposing legislation that would have brought him to justice. McCain, on the other hand, opposed domestic anti-terrorism measures — twice — in order to protect the “rights” of pro-lifers to bomb clinics, stalk clinic employees and kill doctors.

Let’s say that again: John McCain opposed a clinic bombings ban. Even staunchly anti-choice senators supported the ban, because it’s good common sense that anti-choice violence wasn’t stopping at state lines, and state law was inadequate in prosecuting it. John McCain opposed a Federal law prohibiting acts of violence against abortion clinics and doctors. Where’s the news story on that?

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:57 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


Obama: "Buk-buk-buk-buk!"

Brooklyyyyn!
posted by cashman at 2:59 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


What with this revolting 90-second McCain Ayers ad, it's only a matter of days before Obama will have to [gasp] triple-dog-dare him. Then if that doesn't work, at the debate, he should whap McCain in the puss with a glove.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:02 PM on October 9, 2008


What if he just broadcasts Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land?

If Obama does that, he's quite likely to win the election.
posted by lostburner at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA REV WRIGHT AYERS REZKO MUSLIM!

psmealey: Now you forgot Poland ACORN! You've totally outed yourself as a latte-swilling NPR-listening planetarium-loving librul and Lou Dobbs is totally wagging his finger at you.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:10 PM on October 9, 2008


Self-promotingly, y'all might get a kick out of the latest Man-Man storyline. The world's averagest man is tapped to be the running mate for a law-and-order candidate, but he is woefully underqualified. Will that stop him?

The storyline starts here
if you want to catch up. The series is over seven years old so if you want to really catch up, take a sick day.
posted by Shepherd at 3:11 PM on October 9, 2008


Big Media Websites Can't Admit Obama Is Over 270:
The key point is that all small media election projection websites, including the Republican Election Projection and Real Clear Politics, have Obama over 270 electoral votes. This is because polls now objectively show that Obama is well over 270 electoral votes. However, none of the big, and so-called liberal, media websites show Obama over 270 right now.
...
None of these websites can admit what is patently obvious to even Republican poll watchers right now: Obama is over 270 outside the margin of error. The inability of these big media sites to simply admit reality--reality that is evident in their own reporting about McCain playing from well behind right now--is pathetic.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:59 PM on October 9, 2008


I'm personally hoping for the last half hour of the Shawshank Redemption, myself.

"I hope I'll be allowed to vote. I hope to not see a Diebold machine in the booth. I hope the vote is as blue as it is in my dreams. I hope."
posted by maxwelton at 4:05 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


>And here's some more McCain supporters.
Man, that video's disturbing—I could barely stomach a minute and a half of it. So much hate.

posted by blueberry at 4:07 PM on October 9, 2008


McCain Supporter Rants About "Hooligan" Obama And "Socialist" Takeover -- and McCain Agrees.

Nice. And just as we near the 85th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch!
posted by scody at 4:24 PM on October 9, 2008


Man, that video's disturbing—I could barely stomach a minute and a half of it. So much hate.

Christ, almighty. That's shameful. Those people are only a couple of beers away from running down to his house and burning a cross on his lawn.

It's funny those idiots still rant about "commies" and "socialists", as if somehow, those ideas were their enemy, their oppressor. Their biggest enemy looks them in the mirror each morning. That they support the greedy, amoral leeches who distract them with misty eyed stories about patriotism, while doing everything they can to ensure that they'll die in squalor and humiliation.

I suppose I'll eventually see those fuckers again in hell, but for now, I can at least be thankful for my own upbringing and education that my life is more joyful and less tainted by spite, fear and hatred.
posted by psmealey at 4:42 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hope he get's Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates and the three of them leave Americans scratching their heads in WTF? befuddlement. I know of at least TEN! podcasts that could analyze that shit for days.
posted by yeti at 5:04 PM on October 9, 2008


"Topco Sales introduces an inflatable sex doll dubbed 'This is Not Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll' just in time for the hot and heavy presidential election. The sexy 'This is Not Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll' won't debate you—and that's a good thing. Her wide-open mouth doesn't spew political bipartisanism because she's just waiting for you to 'drill baby, drill.'"


The Frisky
has a picture of the box with suggested uses: “Cross party lines with your own inflatable running mate!” “Blow her up and show her how you’re going to vote,” “Let her pound your gavel over and over,”

The Obama campaign is rolling in the dough, so here's a suggestion: on election day fly over some of the most closely contended areas and drop a few hundred dolls. Maybe some of her more avid supporters, the ones who have a hard-on for her, will get so distracted they'll take their dolls home and be too busy to vote.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:07 PM on October 9, 2008


I had to laugh last summer when there were prayers at the pump to lower gas prices, but now the GOP have topped that. At the McCain-Palin rally in Bethlaham, PA yesterday, the opening prayer called upon God to "keep our taxes and spending low."

The Big Guy must be fielding all kinds of crazy shit right about now:


Dear Jesus, help the banks to heal and make Wall Street strong again.

Dear Father in Heaven, make my mother-in-law's voting hand wither up and leave her unable to cast her ballot.

Papa God, If you let Obama win this one, I promise to start coming to church.

Dear Lord God Almighty, please let McCain win in November and then take him home to your bosom soon. Our Sarah is a mighty Christian warrior and she will do much in your name.

Dear God, my mommy and daddy are fighting about this stupid 'lection. Could you just make my kindergarten teacher President. Because she would be really good at it. She likes frogs.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:24 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dammit, here I was hoping for the Sarah Palin nutcracker. I so want a complete set.
posted by lysdexic at 5:30 PM on October 9, 2008


Oliver Clark, 'I actually did' know Fannie:
How did I feel about Sen. McCain stating “You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this.”

Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:33 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


The "say it to my face" move by Obama might be a great little zugzwang on Obama's part as it speaks to one of McCain supporters complaints about him in the debates. They felt he should have confronted Obama about things like Ayres. If McCain does it though, he'll give Obama the chance to diffuse it easily. If McCain doesn't do it, he'll look weak to his supporters.
posted by drezdn at 5:54 PM on October 9, 2008


FoxNews: "This cover is a clear slap in the face to Sarah Palin. Why? Because it's un-retouched."

The Face That Launched A Thousand Shits!
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on October 9, 2008


McCain Camp's Anti-ACORN Campaign Goes Nationwide.

I believe we're now seeing the primary GOP strategy to reduce turnout and create delays and confusion on Election Day. As a bonus, it will also establish the basic narrative to question the legitimacy of an Obama victory.

Using the reliable "What My Mom Is Ranting About Now" metric, I'll be able to gauge this weekend how much traction the ACORN story is getting among the Fox News set.
posted by scody at 6:57 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


what is up with the hysteria about ACORN helping homeless people vote? if we are willing to still consider them people, they should be able to vote, right?
posted by snofoam at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2008


>... but now the GOP have topped that. At the McCain-Palin rally in Bethlaham, PA yesterday, the opening prayer called upon God to "keep our taxes and spending low."

Jesus v2.0
[Seattle P.I. comic]

posted by blueberry at 7:35 PM on October 9, 2008


The way McCain and Palin are playing on crowd anger, I'm more worried that there's going to be some kind of attempt on Obama. They're playing in really dangerous territory now, and I'm not quite sure what they get out of riling up a bunch who are going to vote for him anyway, and whose support isn't exactly a glowing endorsement.
posted by troybob at 7:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


what is up with the hysteria about ACORN helping homeless people vote? if we are willing to still consider them people, they should be able to vote, right?
Your faith that Republicans consider homeless people to be people is charmingly ingenuous.
posted by Flunkie at 7:58 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, can someone explain what it is about ACORN that forms the basis for the ranting? As far as I knew, this was an advocacy organization for community organizers to create some broad-based solutions to apply locally. So, what is it that's making this group into freeper fodder?

Amusingly, most of the people ranting about it in the few videos I've seen linked here clearly don't know what it is.

Also, this is a nakedly placeholding comment as well as a legitimate question.
posted by Miko at 8:02 PM on October 9, 2008


The way McCain and Palin are playing on crowd anger, I'm more worried that there's going to be some kind of attempt on Obama. They're playing in really dangerous territory now, and I'm not quite sure what they get out of riling up a bunch who are going to vote for him anyway, and whose support isn't exactly a glowing endorsement.

Will no one rid me of this troublesome candidate?
posted by homunculus at 8:03 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, can someone explain what it is about ACORN that forms the basis for the ranting?

It really is just more racism and carping about poor people who are looking for handouts. It's Black peeplz! without actually saying Black peeplz!!!1

I thought my dad had been a community organizer when he was younger. I asked him about it after Sarah Palin's awful speech at the convention. This was what he sent:


I was a case worker for the County General Assistance Agency. We
were charged with helping people with short term help while they
sought work or recovered from illness or injury. A typical case would
involve a family recently out of work and not able to buy food, pay
the rent, etc. Beyond the Food Stamps and rent money we would refer
the clients to various agencies that could provide longer term
solutions (public housing, medical care, psychiatric services, job
referrals and the like).
Among my clients were about 60 old women who had no family, no
pensions, no income. We paid their rent, gave them a $24 check (per
month), and had them pay 50 cents for a month's supply of Food Stamps.
The women were so grateful for our help that they would not ask for
anything more, though the could have. Home visits would reveal other
needs which we tried to fill --- new blankets, clothing. Sometimes the
needs were really basic but that could not be purchased with Food
Stamps.
In some instances the clients needed stuff that no one could provide
because of government rules about resident aliens, undocumented
persons and the like. For these cases we would solicit help from
NGO's, and charitable foundations. One agency that I was very
successful with was the Peyton Foundation because I could write very
persuasively (an art I lost long ago).
It was a job that was fulfilling and debilitating. There was far more
need than resources. I was great to be able to help but awful when I
had to turn people down by the power of the regulations. I will say I
bent the rules a lot and I was never faulted for my efforts or
results.

BTW -- community organizer in Republican world refers to poor black
people looking for handouts. Think about how the R's paint Jesse
Jackson and Sharpton.


posted by lysdexic at 8:25 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


So, what is it that's making this group into freeper fodder?

In a nutshell (haha, I make joke!), ACORN works with low-income and minority communities (you know, those people), and its PAC has endorsed Obama. It is being accused of filing fraudulent voter registrations forms in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (Notice... all swing states!) So it's an extremely handy boogeyman for the GOP.

Now, there are lots of problems with ACORN that are genuine and too extensive to go into here. They have been lax in the past, at different local levels, regarding voter registration, though frankly that's been driven more by the fact that its (very badly paid) organizers earn bonuses for big stacks of voter registration cards. Basically, ACORN creates incentives for its own people to submit phony or duplicate registrations.

Of course, registration fraud doesn't equate voter fraud -- you can submit 1000 fake voter registrations, but it doesn't mean 1000 fake VOTERS actually show up at the polls. But this sleight of hand -- registration fraud EQUALS voter fraud -- is precisely what the GOP is peddling. Because ACORN has a bad reputation to begin with on this score, and because they work with poor people with dark skin, they're an easy target for the GOP, an easy story for the lazy media to digest, and an easy rallying cry for the Right if a number of swing states happen to have very close margins of victory for Obama. It creates the justification for delays and intimidation at the polls and while simultaneously serving as an excellent way to distract from REAL voter fraud in the form of those goddamn Diebold machines.
posted by scody at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


The other ACORN complaint I heard was that they're "responsible" for the current economic crisis because they helped poor people get home loans.

Never explained is how the banks were forced by ACORN to give them loans.
posted by drezdn at 8:38 PM on October 9, 2008


ACORN, of course, didn't force any banks to give poor people loans; that's (supposedly) the fault of the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act). Of course, you can't blame the wingnuts for mixing the two up; all those people look the same, you know... especially when they share the same letters in their acronyms! (Handy article about the absurdity -- not to mention sheer racism -- of blaming poor minorities for the housing crisis here.)
posted by scody at 8:48 PM on October 9, 2008


Oh, and the whole flap also serves to further demonize the "community organizer" portion of Obama's biography, too. Very handy, really.
posted by scody at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2008


Scody, thanks for the Salon link, it collects a bunch of good useful info into a small article.
posted by drezdn at 9:05 PM on October 9, 2008


I hate to always fall back on baseball metaphors, but I think I finally understand the whole maverick thing.

In baseball, if a player is horrible with the bat, but the press loves them, they'll describe the player as gritty. It means that they might sometimes take a walk or get hit by a pitch, but don't drive in runs. They might run to first on the walk though. Otherwise, they have few redeeming qualities, and aren't really justified members of the team.

Maverick is the "gritty" of politics.
posted by drezdn at 9:30 PM on October 9, 2008


Adler Planetarium statement
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:40 PM on October 9, 2008


The whole ACORN thing seems to occupy some weird corner of wingnutism. I'm totally up to speed on the rest of the litany--Ayers, Rezko, Wright--but trying to get actual information about the Obama-ACORN connection led me to into the maze of Malkin-land. Is there a source for real background?
posted by neroli at 9:45 PM on October 9, 2008


Adler Planetarium statement
I think McCain should just go whole hog on this tactic. Start quoting the head mutant from "The Omega Man" about the evils of science and the purifying cleansing powers of fire.
posted by Flunkie at 10:21 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


If that statement is accurate, then WTF was McCain talking about?
posted by graventy at 10:36 PM on October 9, 2008


If that statement is accurate, then WTF was McCain talking about?
Um, he was talking about the stuff referred to in that statement. He was just doing so in as disingenuous a manner as he could, with the hope of scoring political gain by doing so.

You're surprised that John McCain would do that? Why?

Or I guess maybe I just don't understand your question.
posted by Flunkie at 10:43 PM on October 9, 2008


Maverick is the "gritty" of politics.

McCain is the Willie Bloomquist of politics?*

* Except that Bloomquist seems like a decent guy, if a little delusional at times about his abilities.
posted by maxwelton at 10:44 PM on October 9, 2008


So if he wins, will Ayers be Obama's Whitewater? That one thing the opposition can't let go of even when presented with newer more relevant criticisms.

I keep wondering what criticisms of Obama or McCain will turn out to be an actual factor should they win. Much like Clinton's womanizing, or Bush's history of epic failure, some of the stuff that comes up during campaigns do ends up as a factor in Office.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:11 PM on October 9, 2008


McCain just wants to protect kids from the terrible secret of space.
posted by casarkos at 11:15 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think McCain should just go whole hog on this tactic. Start quoting the head mutant from "The Omega Man" about the evils of science and the purifying cleansing powers of fire.

Oh man, it'd be like the start of Visionaries - KNIGHTS OF THE MAGICAL LIGHT!!.

We'd all get holograms on our chests!
posted by Happy Dave at 1:39 AM on October 10, 2008


This morning I heard that the Foo Fighters complained about McCain's campaign using "My Hero" (I would too, the nerve!) and their basic response was "We paid the license fee, nyeah". Is "Please don't use it" the most they can do?

To be fair, it seems both sides use music that might offend the artist, but what real tactics can the band have against the campaign? Is it feasible to even say that they will donate the license fees to the opponent's campaign fund? I read in another election post about an open letter from Heart (might have been a hoax) but omg if the Foo put out a one page ad in the NY Times to tell MCCain to f--- off that would rock so hard.
posted by like_neon at 1:50 AM on October 10, 2008


The R2K tracking poll has Obama up by a point today, with yesterday's single-day sample the highest he's ever gotten. With the Zogby tracker also up, we may be seeing another Obama surge, possibly because of the debate. Should be interesting to see what Rasmussen and Gallup have to say.
posted by EarBucket at 4:55 AM on October 10, 2008


The political question is whether this is a great idea. Since a conference call yesterday morning on his mortgage plan, McCain's campaign has stopped putting out statements and ads connected to the economy, and seems focused entirely on Ayers. As one GOP strategest said to me, "He's speaking angry Greek, when he needs to be speaking economic English."

Former McCain aide (now on the outs) John Weaver tells Martin:

“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”

posted by EarBucket at 4:57 AM on October 10, 2008


"We paid the license fee, nyeah". Is "Please don't use it" the most they can do?

As I explained in a recent thread that I can't be bothered looking up, the band and/or their record company voluntarily signed their music over to one of the industry's licensing bodies. If they hadn't, the campaign would have to license the song directly from the band (as would everyone else).
posted by cillit bang at 5:10 AM on October 10, 2008


And this morning's Not-From-The-Onion headline:

Palin Pre-Empts State Report, Clears Self In Probe
posted by EarBucket at 5:11 AM on October 10, 2008


we may be seeing another Obama surge, possibly because of the debate

Or, you know, it could be because the economy is swirling, swirling, swirling around the bowl before it drops out of sight. Obama got plenty of free advertising when everyone opened their end of fiscal year 401k reports this past week.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:18 AM on October 10, 2008


Palin gives opposing accounts.
posted by cashman at 5:20 AM on October 10, 2008


If that statement is accurate, then WTF was McCain talking about?

Well, the Wired article linked up above included a link to Obama's funding requests for Fiscal Year 2008 from Obama's own website. There's quite a few of them, but they're listed in alphabetical order, which means the Adler Planetarium is listed first. I suspect a lazy McCain staffer just took the first one off the list rather than trying to find one that people might actually object to.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:29 AM on October 10, 2008


Or, you know, it could be because the economy is swirling, swirling, swirling around the bowl before it drops out of sight.

Oh, yeah, that's definitely a factor. But we're seeing some signs that the polling from the last two days is better than the numbers from the two or three days before that, and it's not unreasonable to attribute at least some of that to his performance in the debate. He was quite good, both by an objective standard and compared to his past debate performances.
posted by EarBucket at 5:31 AM on October 10, 2008


I have looked into this matter and I assure you, I am not guilty of anything.

I don't see why more criminals don't try this tactic. It would save our courts oodles of money.
posted by like_neon at 5:32 AM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]




http://fightthesmears.com/articles/22/AyersSmear - with news citations of CNN, The Washington Post, Associated Press and NYTimes.
posted by cashman at 6:27 AM on October 10, 2008


From Palin Clears self in Probe:
For several years, dating before Sarah Palin became governor, Todd Palin was telling state officials and the couple's close circle of advisers emotional stories about Mike Wooten, their former brother-in-law, threatening and emotionally abusing his family.

Todd Palin said he talked to anyone who would listen. He gave them photos and documents, which they forwarded to others in the administration, and he questioned how Wooten kept his job.

From Sensitive Palin Ethics Report Kept Secret:
The report is also expected to focus on Palin's husband, Todd, who had extraordinary access to the governor's office and her top aides. Todd acknowledges calling and meeting over the course of many months with numerous senior government officials about Wooten, whom he described as a dangerous and unstable man who had threatened his family.

One of those meetings, Monegan said, occurred in the governor's office. Green said that raised questions of impropriety and that, ultimately, the governor is responsible."He shouldn't be sitting in the governor's office and making phone calls if he's going to be pushing his agenda," she said.

Steve Branchflower, a retired prosecutor hired by the Legislature, is also investigating whether anyone in the Palin administration pressured auditors to deny Wooten's disability claim. He had claimed he hurt his back moving a body bag, but Todd Palin later said he documented and took photos of Wooten riding a snowmobile that cast suspicion on his injury.
Todd holds grudges and Todd likes the power of the Governor's office. I imagine that Todd is positively salivating at the idea of having the power of the VP of America. And perhaps the Presidency? It must be maddening for him to see it slipping away.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:28 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Um, he was talking about the stuff referred to in that statement. He was just doing so in as disingenuous a manner as he could, with the hope of scoring political gain by doing so.

You're surprised that John McCain would do that? Why?

Or I guess maybe I just don't understand your question.


I'm just confused by the last paragraph in that statement: "However, the Adler has never received an earmark as a result of Senator Obama's efforts."

That Obama earmark link sure looks like he requested it. Did they not receive it?
posted by graventy at 7:14 AM on October 10, 2008


The requested funds have never been approved or disbursed up to now, or so said NPR the other day.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:16 AM on October 10, 2008


Thanks Fellini. I guess I shouldn't be surprised McCain didn't pick something that was actually funded.
posted by graventy at 7:23 AM on October 10, 2008


An AP survey of election officials nationwide found that as of Oct. 1, the number of registered Democrats had grown by nearly 5 percent since 2004 -- outpacing overall population growth in the 28 states where information on voter registration by party was available for 2004 and 2008. During the same time, the GOP lost more than 2 percent of its registered voters.
posted by EarBucket at 7:30 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama is psychic....or just very smart.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:32 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow. Check out McCain's reaction when he hears about the "say it to my face" line.
posted by EarBucket at 7:38 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Earbucket's video:

*nervous laugh/grimace*

"Hehe, I'd be happy to [say it to his face]. Two things I can never be accused of are a lack of courage or passion. You know, it didn't come up in the flow of conversation."

*cough*BULLSHIT*cough*
posted by Happy Dave at 7:57 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm a complete dunce when it comes to political strategy -- and tactics, and strategery -- but if I had 30 minutes of primetime network time on Oct. 29 and wanted to bring home the undecideds and independents, here's what I'd do:

1. Calmly and forthrightly present an overview of my priorities for the first year in office, emphasizing economic recovery efforts as part of an integrated plan.

2. Introduce the key members of my intended cabinet and economic team (not every one, but the biggies.) Provide a profile of each and describe the specific role (s)he will play in the plan. Better yet, let each one do it her/himself.

3. Make sure that at least two of them are a) Colin Powell and b) another prominent moderate Republican.

4. End by echoing the major themes, yata yata.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:02 AM on October 10, 2008


Garrison Keillor sees Palin's nomination as just the latest inside joke from those loveable scamps, the GOP:
Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself—one stink bomb after another, and now Gov. Sarah Palin.
And he answers the nagging question, "Which trivia question will she be the answer to?"
"What politician claimed foreign-policy expertise based on being able to see Russia from her house?"
Meanwhile the NY Times has more details than you ever thought you needed on Troopergate including:

An appearance by Wooten in costume as "Safety Bear" at the state fair was canceled because the Governor because Ms. Palin was also planning to attend and did not want him nearby.

Todd carried around pictures of a dead moose as "evidence" against Wooten.

Todd talked about Wooten so much that even Sarah told him to shut-up about it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2008


Isn't Wooten still a trooper?
posted by kirkaracha at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2008


2. Introduce the key members of my intended cabinet and economic team (not every one, but the biggies.) Provide a profile of each and describe the specific role (s)he will play in the plan. Better yet, let each one do it her/himself.

This is what I would suggest too. I would have every major player in the administration standing beside me - run it down like a Monday Night Football lineup, so it is clear that it's a big team ready to tackle problems and restore things. The best and the brightest. And I'd film it in Kansas. But I'm kind of like you - what do I know. I've said so many things on here that have been wrong - I thought for sure Palin was going to wear a brightly colored outfit and act differently.

I like how Obama's campaign keeps moving and comes out with new announcements and plans and it seems like the Republicans are disorganized and flailing. It'll get tough - these next few weeks will seem like an entire season - but I like waiting to see what he'll say. I expect the polls will start closing - today's Gallup poll will be 50-43 I think. And many members of the media are underreporting this stuff because the closer it is, the more money they make. It's annoying, but with the economy the way it is, at least that keeps the focus on the real issues somewhat.
posted by cashman at 8:39 AM on October 10, 2008


What I would love to see from Obama, perhaps in addition, is a 30-minute report explaining the ABCs of the current state of the economy, in a clear presentation laying out facts that are backed up by respected economists. He shouldn't even mention McCain's name. McCain's 'you've probabely never heard of Fannie Mae, etc.' and his lack of discussion on the topic seem to demonstrate that his attitude is that it's something people wouldn't understand and so it should be left to experts. If Obama could bring it to people in a way that they could understand and discuss (consistent with what I view as his best approach, which is to appeal to the best in people and not underestimating or talking down to them), I think it would further emphasize the huge gap between them, not to mention that it would show up the triviality of media coverage by doing something they haven't been able to do.

I think if he did that, absent even his own proposals and mention of McCain, and then followed it up with a separate program to discuss those things, it would be pretty neat.

Of course, Obama's campaign knows intimately what is best, as they have demonstrated. His campaign has been incredibly consistent and on-message, as compared to McCain's flailing around trying to get something to stick. And in their resistance to do what many of us have wanted them to--which is to get as nasty as McCain/Palin and put them in their place--he has elevated the discourse such that the Republicans pretty much look like a bunch of drunk yokels at this point.
posted by troybob at 8:48 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


The lead federal prosecutor in the case against the Weather Underground has written a letter to the NY Times:

I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers’s terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child.

posted by neroli at 8:50 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Todd talked about Wooten so much that even Sarah told him to shut-up about it.

Sounds like Todd had a little crush.
posted by scody at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Secret Life of Gravy: "Obama is psychic ....or just very smart."

He's not psychic, he just knows which way the wind is fucking blowing. And McCain is neither smart, psychic, or aware of the damn weather.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2008


Sounds like Todd had a little crush.

I haven't heard Todd speak at all, but in my head his voice alternates between Paul Lynde and Michael Jackson. Maybe it's that little goatee...
posted by troybob at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2008


(and, of course, now we know he has a thing for bears...)
posted by troybob at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's not psychic, he just knows which way the wind is fucking blowing.

I guess you do need a Weatherman.
posted by EarBucket at 9:09 AM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


*whispers* Hey, Rush says that his friend, who's like, in the know, says "watch the Asian markets on election night. If it looks like McCain is going to win, the markets will explode!"
/*whispers

The claim today is that Wall Street is afraid of an Obama presidency. And of Ayers, his Socialist puppetmaster.
posted by lysdexic at 9:13 AM on October 10, 2008


Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups.

This.
posted by lysdexic at 9:14 AM on October 10, 2008


Isn't Wooten still a trooper?

Yes, he is still a trooper. He was once suspended for 5 days before Palin became governor because of evidence produced by Todd (including the dead moose picture.) Then after Sarah became governor, Commissioner Monegan was told that Wooten hadn't been punished enough, but Monegan considered the case closed. Todd then produced pictures of Wooten riding a snowmobile as evidence that Wooten was faking a back injury, but Wooten's chiropractor wrote a letter that said he had given his permission, so Wooten was cleared of that charge. All in all there were 3 dozen calls made by the Palins to the commissioner's office putting pressure on Moneghan to get rid of the trooper, but there was no evidence to fire Wooten, so the Commissioner was fired instead . Before he could fire Wooten, Monegan's replacement had to quit because of previous charges of sexual harrassment (apparently Sarah isn't very good at vetting either)

And that, in a nutshell, is the Troopergate story.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


They must be worried about the report--Palin's lawyer is complaining that she wasn't interviewed for it. That's rich.
posted by EarBucket at 9:19 AM on October 10, 2008


I've skimmed Todd's deposition. (PDF)

Overall, it is a pretty clear picture of a guy with one thing on his mind, and that one thing was to ruin Wooten. Todd spoke to anyone and everyone about Wooten. For example, Todd warned John Glass, police chief of Wasilla-- whom he knew from the Sno Machine racing world-- not to hire Wooten. Glass later tells Todd "I'm telling you as a friend, I love the Governor, but I am telling you stay away from this Wooten situation," which Todd saw as another case of troopers sticking up for each other.

One detail that stands out is Todd telling Frank Bailey that Todd was concerned Wooten would pull one of Todd's kids over and throw a bag of dope in the back seat "in order to frame a Palin."

In May, 2008, the troopers issued a poster that featured Mike Wooten on it-- that must have really frosted Todd's cookies.

But what really caught my eye is what I have to call: BabyseatGate (stop your groaning!)

One complaint Todd has against Monegan is that Monegan sent an email to the Governor (which of course Todd read) saying he had heard a rumor that Sarah was driving the 9 week-old Trig around without a car seat and this could be "awkward." Instead of saying, "Thanks for the tip, Commissioner, but I am always careful to drive the baby in an approved car seat" Todd says Sarah responded to this "odd and offensive" email with "I've never driven Trig anywhere without a new, approved car seat. I want to know who said otherwise-- pls provide me that info now" but according to Todd, Monehan never "responded to the Governor's direct order."

Then Todd goes on to add that this rumor was about a tour on a farm in a big truck-- "Sarah was not driving, she was a passenger with others, and it was like taking a shuttle"

Unfortunately for Todd, Sarah, herself, admitted driving around while Todd held the baby. From the WSJ:
Ms. Palin said afterward that she had ducked down to keep state troopers from seeing her as the family negotiated roadwork on the 160-mile drive from Anchorage to Kenai. "I knew they would wave me through," said Ms. Palin, as her husband, a four-time winner of Alaska's Tesoro Iron Dog snow-machine race, held their baby, Trig.(my bold)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:38 AM on October 10, 2008


Gallup 51-41.
posted by cashman at 10:42 AM on October 10, 2008


Unfortunately for Todd, Sarah, herself, admitted driving around while Todd held the baby.

I think you're misreading a clause there--I'm pretty sure the story is saying Todd held the baby while Palin spoke at the ceremony, not while they drove there.
posted by EarBucket at 10:43 AM on October 10, 2008


Oh this is hilarious. Remember the guy in the debate this week who wanted to know how the bailout package was actually going to help your everyday American? And in McCain's response to the question, he said that "the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I'll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis."

Yeah. Well, it turns out that Oliver Clark, the man who asked the question, had this to say on his Facebook page:
How did I feel about Sen. McCain stating "You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this."

Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
All I can say is: daaaaamn. More here.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:04 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aw fuck, I see kirkaracha already covered this. Sorry for the double.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:06 AM on October 10, 2008


So, you remember when McCain suspended his campaign and flew to Washington to save the bailout, then blamed Obama when it fell through? His campaign manager just gave McCain the credit for stopping it.
posted by EarBucket at 11:22 AM on October 10, 2008


Christopher Buckley: "Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama"
posted by neroli at 11:59 AM on October 10, 2008


Christopher Buckley: "Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama"

Hmm, I wasn't as impressed with that article as I had hoped to be. He prefers Obama to McCain on the basis of Obama's character (temperament, intelligence, etc.), but doesn't really talk much about how Obama and McCain disagree on issues, or whether there's any issues with which he might agree with Obama over McCain. I think there's a libertarian case to be made for Obama on the issues (e.g., if we must have big government, tax-and-spend is less objectionable than borrow-and-spend) and I was hoping to see that here, but I didn't.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:31 PM on October 10, 2008




GOP strategist Ed Rollins who ran Reagan's campaign says "It's over...this is going to turn into a landslide [for Obama]."
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


In a sinking economy
posted by finite at 2:36 PM on October 10, 2008


OK, I would buy a "John McCain?! The fuck?!" bumper sticker.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:17 PM on October 10, 2008


Bush on McCain's campaign:

Asked whether President Bush had “voiced any concern about what appears to be happening to John McCain’s fortunes in the last week or two,” Ms. Perino said: “The president is convinced that John McCain still has time to close up this race. And remember — he remembers when he was running in 2000 and how far he was down before the election, and he came back to win.”

Ah yes, we all remember that big election day comeback Bush had in 2000, right folks?
posted by brain cloud at 4:13 PM on October 10, 2008


I think you're misreading a clause there--I'm pretty sure the story is saying Todd held the baby while Palin spoke at the ceremony, not while they drove there.
posted by EarBucket at 1:43 PM on October 10

Whoops, my apologies. In my rush to judgment I lost my ability to critically analyze what I was reading.

By the way, if anyone is breathlessly awaiting the report on Troopergate, Alaska Daily News has been keeping us posted as to how the meeting behind closed doors is going. A decision should be coming shortly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on October 10, 2008


About time John McCain started telling these crazed freaks to calm the hell down and quit acting like bozos and making threats.
But then something weird happens: He acknowledges the "energy" people have been showing at rallies, and how glad he is that people are excited. But, he says, "I respect Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." People booed at the mention of his name. McCain, visibly angry, stopped them: "I want EVERYONE to be respectful, and lets make sure we are."

UPDATE: Indeed, he just snatched the microphone out the hands of a woman who began her question with, "I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..."

"No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."

McCain told her there's a "difference between record and rhetoric, and I plan to talk about his record, respectfully... I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean it has to be respectful."

And then later, again, someone dangled a great big piece of low-hanging fruit in front of McCain: "I'm scared to bring up my child in a world where Barack Obama is president."

McCain replies, "Well, I don't want him to be president, either. I wouldn't be running if I did. But," and he pauses for emphasis, "you don't have to be scared to have him be President of the United States." A round of boos.
Read the full article (which isn't much longer than these excerpts.)
posted by cashman at 5:10 PM on October 10, 2008


Whoa. I can't watch the videos here at work, but that transcript implies... what? The audience is booing at McCain for advocating respect? Am I reading that correctly?
posted by lekvar at 5:20 PM on October 10, 2008


By the way, if anyone is breathlessly awaiting the report on Troopergate, Alaska Daily News has been keeping us posted as to how the meeting behind closed doors is going. A decision should be coming shortly.
"4:11 p.m.The Legislative Council just voted 12-0 to release the report, except for certain parts they consider confidential."

I'm going to guess:
In conclusion, the committee finds that Governor Palin has REDACTED acted ethically.
posted by Flunkie at 5:21 PM on October 10, 2008


Oh, and goddamned kudos to McCain for trying to raise the bar, if only a bit.
posted by lekvar at 5:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


The audience is booing at McCain for advocating respect? Am I reading that correctly?

Yup...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 5:23 PM on October 10, 2008


Shit, cashman. Looks like Senator McCain got control of the body today. I wonder if he can keep Candidate McCain down. This was the McCain I respected.
posted by lysdexic at 5:25 PM on October 10, 2008


goddamned kudos to McCain for trying to raise the bar, if only a bit.

Sorry, no. That shitbag knowingly chose to go over to the dark side, and now he's trying to frantically trying to back out because he's scared of the monsters he unleashed? That's not honor. That's not decency. That's not finding your moral center. That's absolute fucking cowardice.
posted by scody at 5:30 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


http://download1.legis.state.ak.us/DOWNLOAD.pdf (PDF)

Oh my... it's not good for Sarah. "...I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating..."
posted by Pantengliopoli at 5:31 PM on October 10, 2008


(hmm, sorry for the weirdness in that sentence. It's double the "trying" because it's double the maverick-y panic!)
posted by scody at 5:32 PM on October 10, 2008


Another copy of the 263-page pdf
posted by cortex at 5:32 PM on October 10, 2008


Finding Number One

For the reasons explained in Section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.
posted by Flunkie at 5:33 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute etc etc etc"
posted by cillit bang at 5:34 PM on October 10, 2008


"I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute etc etc etc"
Not just "etc etc etc".

In violation of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.
posted by Flunkie at 5:36 PM on October 10, 2008


What's the current over/under on Huck becoming the VP nominee?
posted by Flunkie at 5:37 PM on October 10, 2008


Here's a copy of the report (PDF)

Which says on page 48....(drumroll please...) "For reasons explained below, I find that Sarah Palin did abuse her power in violating Alaskan statute 39.52.110(a)[...]"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:39 PM on October 10, 2008


Oh man, you guys are quick on the draw. It took me 8 minutes to skim the report, find the important section, and post the findings. Well played, sirs, well played.

Me<---------not a fast typist
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:41 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another money quote. From page 66:
"She knowingly, as that term is defined in the above statutes, permitted Todd Palion to use the Governor's office and the resources of the Governor's office, including access to state employees, to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired"

"Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissable pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired."

Bonus points for the "to wit".
posted by cillit bang at 5:44 PM on October 10, 2008


Oh my.
The schadenfreude.
It's so delicious.
posted by lekvar at 5:49 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now we are left to speculate on the consequences. It does clarify that she broke no laws in the firing of Monegan but (page 65)
Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional. It is an individual responsibility imposed by law.
That sounds like she did break a law. Impeachment? Recall? Slap on the wrist? I am guessing that McCain's camp is going to emphasize the part about not breaking the law in regard to the firing of Monegan, and leave it at that. Plus they are likely to scream partisan politics. Also, that the report cannot possibly be fair since they never interviewed Palin herself.

McCain cannot possibly dump her now, it would most assuredly be the death knell of his candidacy.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:07 PM on October 10, 2008


McCain's candidacy was already dead.

My own personal schadenfreude is directed towards the man who apparently was most responsible for her selection: Bill Kristol. Can't imagine he's going to be getting much love from the Republican faithful. Ever again.
posted by neroli at 6:17 PM on October 10, 2008


That sounds like she did break a law.
It directly and explicitly states that she broke a specific law (in "Finding Number One").
posted by Flunkie at 6:43 PM on October 10, 2008


Goodbye thread...you almost made it to 1k.

New thread: You Betcha.
posted by cashman at 6:49 PM on October 10, 2008


So any guesses as to what was in the confidential part of the Report-- the part that was not released?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:01 PM on October 10, 2008


NY Times:
Ms. Palin has provided various reasons for terminating Mr. Monegan on July 11. Initially the governor said through a spokeswoman that Mr. Monegan’s firing had nothing to do with a “personality conflict.” Since then, her explanations have evolved, from saying that he was falling short on filling trooper vacancies and attacking alcohol-abuse problems in rural Alaska to showing an “intolerable pattern of insubordination” and a “rogue mentality” by resisting her authority and fiscal reforms.
Think of how dangerous this lady could be if only she had the brainpower of Dick Cheney-- All the evilness but now comes with perky breasts! Honestly she and Todd are not the sharpest pencils in the box; they couldn't even get their stories straight. You think if Cheney wanted someone fired it would take him 3 years and still end in failure? Because Wooten is still a state Trooper. Talk about incompetent.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:10 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oy. I'm off to the new thread. I may pop in to see if there is any longboating, but yeah, I'm stickin' a fork init.

This is one for the wiki pages, man. I can't wait to see the word clouds on this stitched-thread madness.

Sometime in December.
posted by lysdexic at 8:23 PM on October 10, 2008


Sounds like McCain is taking the bait:

Asked by his radio host if he'll bring up the former Weatherman, McCain says:

"Oh, yeah. Y'know, I was astonished to hear him say that he was surprised for me to have the guts to do that, because the fact is that the question didn't come up in that fashion. So, y'know, and I think he's probably ensured that it will come up this time. And, look Mark, it's not that I give a damn about some old washed-up terrorist..."


This is going to be the big moment of the debate tomorrow night, I suspect.
posted by EarBucket at 9:03 AM on October 14, 2008






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