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Dan Balz's Take

McCain's Tough Task as 18 Months of Debates End Tonight


Stand-ins for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain rehearse during final preparations at the presidential debate site at Hofstra University Oct. 15, 2008 in Hempstead, N.Y. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By Dan Balz
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Eighteen months ago, the first debate of Campaign 2008 was held in Orangeburg, S.C. It was the first of more than 20 debates and forums among the Democrats. The Republicans chipped more than a dozen of their own, and now there have been three general election debates. The end comes tonight at Hofstra University.

Only one of these debates really changed the dynamics of the campaign. That was when Hillary Clinton stumbled in Philadelphia last October over a question about issuing drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, putting a dent in her inevitability armor and emboldening her opponents.

There were other debates with memorable moments -- the snarling between Clinton and Barack Obama in advance of the South Carolina primary in January, for example -- but none that featured major meltdowns by a candidate or exchanges of such resonance that the political world awoke the next morning to a dramatically altered race.

That's the history that John McCain faces tonight when he takes the stage for the last of his three debates with Obama. Down in the polls and under criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for the way he's run his campaign the past few weeks, he is said to need an overpowering performance to get his candidacy back on track. But nothing about the past 18 months of debates suggests that's likely -- unless Obama suffers through a moment like Clinton did in Philadelphia.

McCain has received more advice than a candidate can stuff into the belly of a chartered airplane. Hit hard. Bring up Bill Ayers. Bring up Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Be positive. Offer a bold economic plan. Show your true character. Fire your staff. Change your ads. Go here. Go there. It is good that McCain doesn't particularly like debate prep.

The expectations for the debate have been set at impossibly high levels. What got McCain the Republican nomination was not his dominance on stage in the debates, although he had several very good nights. It was that Republican voters found his opponents, one by one, to be wanting. So far the debates have not left voters with that same impression of Obama. He has worn well in these important tests.

McCain has delivered two solid performances in the first debates, and his running mate, Sarah Palin, held her own through 90 minutes against Joe Biden -- although she has been judged more harshly in the debate's aftermath. The debates have gotten the Republican ticket nothing politically. Instead, the polls show a clear Obama advantage. Pick your number: 10 points, 7 points, 4 points, 14 points.

Obama's strength in the polls probably has much to do with the dominance of the economy and his (and the Democrats') natural advantage with voters on economic issues. But he has used the debates effectively to diminish some of the doubts about his candidacy that dogged him through the summer.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that by a margin of 54 percent to 40 percent, voters see Obama as the stronger leader. In June, as the general election was beginning, it was McCain by a margin of 47 percent to 44 percent.

In June, the public was evenly divided -- 48 percent to 48 percent -- on whether Obama had the experience to be president. Today it's 54 percent yes, 45 percent no. That's not an overwhelming vote of confidence, but in a divided country at the height of what has turned into an intensely partisan contest, it is a sign that Obama has made progress with some of the doubters.

More remarkably, in that latest poll, McCain is seen as a riskier candidate than Obama. On that question, 50 percent of voters said the Republican nominee would be a risky choice, 50 percent said he wouldn't. For Obama, it was 55 percent saying he was a safe choice, 45 percent saying he would be a risky pick. In June, McCain was 16 points positive on that question, Obama just 2 points positive. How things have changed.

For all those reasons, the final debate presents McCain with what might be an insurmountable challenge: impossible expectations and instant judgments as to whether he met them.

That doesn't mean the campaign is over or that the polls won't tighten or that an external event won't, again, reshape perceptions of these two candidates. But that's less likely to come from a debate -- absent the kind of performance by either man that hasn't happened yet -- than from what happens in the next couple of weeks.

Obama has used the past month to consolidate his support. He has been aided by the economic crisis but also by his own actions. McCain is now running against many opponents: the economy, public dissatisfaction with President Bush, the clock and a skillful rival. That's a lot to overcome in one, final, debate.

Posted at 1:09 PM ET on Oct 15, 2008  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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BUT WAS JOE THE PLUMBER A GOP SET-UP JOB??

McNASTY LOSES SKIRMISH, BUT WAR ON THE COOL ONE SLOGS ON

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/mcnasty-loses-debate-skirmish-war-cool-one-slogs

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 16, 2008 4:14 AM

If Obama wins this election, it will not be the people of the United States who elect him, but the liberal media and the foreign money contributions (don't laugh, it is true, it's easy to hid money just as the drug lords do). This is democracy? The United States has sunk so low that we will never recover our freedoms that our forefathers so worked for and our men and women of the armed forces have so gallantly given their lives for.

Posted by: love234america | October 15, 2008 11:46 PM

McCain -

How can a chap who cannot even control his own face expect to run a nation?

Posted by: T-Prop | October 15, 2008 11:44 PM

OBAMA BIDEN 08!!!

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 15, 2008 11:30 PM

It is over and time to move on to the 21st century. John is a great Senator and a good man but he is just too stuck in the past and still champions the same old energy, economic and defense policies that got us where we are today. He is just not presidential material and is better as a Maverick in the Senate.

Not to mention his VP choice. There is no one on the Republican or Democratic side that thinks she is remotely qualified. Nothing against the person but can you imagine Sarah attempting to lead us through the existing financial crisis? Lets get real folks.

Posted by: sean14 | October 15, 2008 10:48 PM

Somebody puts McCain out of his misery. That's not fun at all. The man deserves a break, and his own private island under the sun. Please, let him go. He served the nation well. For the first time the U.S. President will be younger than me. That will take some getting-used-to.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | October 15, 2008 10:05 PM

Too old

Old ideas

Dummy veep

Confused about the economy during the worst crisis of century.

Forgot he was keynote speaker at an acorn event

McCain step aside please.

Posted by: r4147824 | October 15, 2008 9:00 PM

Hey IVBOHEMIAN, you can still get in the army and hang from a rope on the side of a chopper and machine gun barbarians into fruit stands for Jesus, the American Way, Exxon and the new Fallujah KFC. I am a veteran and their is no victory in murder, BUBBA!! stop lying moron!

Posted by: rhyer | October 15, 2008 8:55 PM

De Bait's in the boat for Republicans cause dey're goin fishin where dey cain't slaughter no mo coloreds to steal their oil for Jesus and Ray Hunt after nineteen Saudis attacked us. Republicans had one mission: to capture or kill Bin Laden. Instead, Republicans used America's unity and momentary vulnerability to rape 9-11 into an international oil heist overthrowing a former ally from 80 to 88 against the Iranians to privatize their oil for bundles of tax free cash. Big Oil Pirates in B-52's and they're not paying for a cent of it. Ask them? They want more tax breaks like the ones they hid in a war appropriations bill and the Homeland Security Act so they could bank their bloody tax free war profits in the Caymans! Republicans torture, create the largest debt in history, let Bin Laden get away, slit the throat of Habeas Corpus, tax you for secret prisons, spy on everybody, set children on fire from 40,000 feet for oil contracts and kill your sons to retrieve them for the glory of God. And still some of you will vote for these murdering, oil stealing mutants. Pigs!

Posted by: rhyer | October 15, 2008 8:50 PM

rmattocks wrote ( with a little added help ): . . Please John, for the life of you, not the POW speech again tonight [ We’ve heard it all before, and it doesn’t make you Presidential timber. ]. . . . . We beg of you, not the “I Know How To Win Wars” stump speech. We all know, “apron-strings”, you don't know anything about winning wars or strategizing wars [ You did not win the Viet Nam War. ].

No more of your, “I routinely reach across the aisles,” because we all know you do that only . . . [ when it serves your own interest ].

No more of that, “I have a record you can look at it” – because your record, especially on Veterans issues, is as deplorable as they come. Any veteran should be ashamed to vote for you.

At least tonight, you are sitting down so we don't have to see you laboring about . . . [ We all sympathize for what you’ve been through, but it makes us even more fearful of Sarah Palin. ].

And please no more "Maverick" talk. You are not a Maverick and never have been one. [ You’re a TENDERFOOT, always shooting from the hip. Just look at your selection of Sarah Palin. ]. You've sold your soul to the Republican Empire for a mess of potage, which is a Presidency without honor or decency.

Posted by: coldcomfort | October 15, 2008 8:23 PM

Folks, as mentioned on Olbermann tonight. The debate tonight has really already taken place. You can see the tape here, ha!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l63SRpGXBHE

Posted by: orrg1 | October 15, 2008 8:19 PM

The door is finally going to close on the McCain / Palin campaign and Sarah Palin can go and crawl back under her rock. She is clearly out of her league. By the way, here is a website I found that shares all the Sarah Palin dirt to support Barack Obama!

Posted by: beingajoe | October 15, 2008 8:18 PM

grax - great minds think alike :)

Posted by: erikpdumont | October 15, 2008 8:09 PM

lvbohemian, it is unbelievable - and it shouldn't be believed since it's demonstrably false; that email has been making the rounds since last year - read this:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/stance.asp

If you have a political difference with Obama's positions, so be it, but don't pass on false info about a man's character just because your man is going to lose

Posted by: erikpdumont | October 15, 2008 8:07 PM

lvbohemian: This is an old internet hoax you are circulating.

See http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/stance.asp for the details.

Posted by: grax | October 15, 2008 7:47 PM

John McCain's Nemesis and the nail in his coffin:-

Sarah Palin

Posted by: rhda | October 15, 2008 7:29 PM

Glen Beck on ObamaNomics

Barack Obama's Hidden Agenda, More Taxes, Socialism...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ9Io6Qe-k0

Posted by: lvbohemian | October 15, 2008 7:11 PM

This is unbelievable!

A must read From Sunday's Televised 'Meet the Press' Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag. Obama Explains National Anthem Stance

Sun, 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, General Bill Ginn' USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain why he doesn't follow protocol when the
National Anthem is played. The General also stated to the Senator that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171...During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. At the very least, 'Stand and Face It'

Senator Obama Live on Sunday states, 'As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides, Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I MIGHT salute it.'We should consider to reinvent our National Anthem as well as to redesign our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love.

My wife disrespects the Flag for many personal reasons. Together she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past, many years ago. She has her views and I have mine'.
WHAAAAAAAT??? !!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it right. This could possibly be our next President. I, for one, am speechless.

Dale Lindsborg, Washington Post
WAKE UP AMERICANS,
I THINK OBAMA IS NOT A REAL BELIEVER IN AMERICA

Posted by: lvbohemian | October 15, 2008 7:05 PM

rmattocks wrote ( with a little added help ): . . Please John, for the life of you, not the POW speech again tonight [ We’ve heard it all before, and it doesn’t make you Presidential timber. ]. . . . . We beg of you, not the “I Know How To Win Wars” stump speech. We all know, “apron-strings”, you don't know anything about winning wars or strategizing wars [ You did not win the Viet Nam War. ].

No more of your, “I routinely reach across the aisles,” because we all know you do that only . . . [ when it serves your own interest ].

No more of that, “I have a record you can look at it” – because your record, especially on Veterans issues, is as deplorable as they come. Any veteran should be ashamed to vote for you.

At least tonight, you are sitting down so we don't have to see you laboring about . . . [ We all sympathize for what you’ve been through, but it makes us even more fearful of Sarah Palin. ].

And please no more "Maverick" talk. You are not a Maverick and never have been one. [ You’re a tenderfoot, always shooting from the hip. Just look at your selection of Sarah Palin. ]. You've sold your soul to the Republican Empire for a mess of potage, which is a Presidency without honor or decency.

Posted by: coldcomfort | October 15, 2008 6:55 PM

Slow down Dems, we can't convert all the Republicans.

Who would take out our trash?

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 6:44 PM

we're living in a country where voters twice elected george w bush, a jesus freak who's as dumb as a doorknob -- palin has a similar outlook & mccain's a miracle: each day the sun comes up & finds him still alive is a miracle -- how can his ticket lose?

Posted by: herbert-de-turbot | October 15, 2008 6:38 PM

How many times will McCain call you a friend? How many times will he sneer, be sarcastic or not answer the question? How many times will he be demeaning or talk about his "life in Congress" as experience? But the real question-does he have any New ideas, suggestions, or answers to YOUR problems?

Posted by: solsenz | October 15, 2008 6:34 PM

Obama has had to do versus McCain what Reagan had to do versus Carter, show the voters that he's not some fire-breathing monster. Obama has had to show steadiness, even if McCain had shown similar steadiness since EM (Economic Meltdown), Obama would still be ahead in the polls.

McCain's biggest albatross in this cycle is that his party is in power (even in the Congress the GOP wields considerable power). Obama's biggest albatross is that he doesn't look like the other guys on our money.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | October 15, 2008 5:24 PM

When it's not pathetic, it's almost funny to watch McCain go on about how good he is at "working across the aisle" when he can't even bring himself to look across the stage at Obama or carry on any semblance of a dialogue with him. Since he'll be seated at the same table with him tonight, it'll be interesting to see how he manages that.

Posted by: DHughs | October 15, 2008 5:18 PM

Whenever I listen to the snarky gibberish coming out of Governor Palin's mouth, I am reminded of this rhyme from The Walrus and the Carpenter in Lewis Carroll's masterpiece "Alice in Wonderland."

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”

or whether pigs and pitbulls wear lipstick.

Not this time Alice.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 5:11 PM

First debate: Intellectual command of the issues and facts of foreign policy. Advantage: Obama

Second debate: Physical command of the debate floor through grace, composure, health, fitness, and confidence speech. Advantage: Obama

Third debate: Character issues predominate with economic meltdown as a backdrop.
Advantage: Obama

Posted by: dee5 | October 15, 2008 4:48 PM

All McCain has to do tonight is to turn back the clock at least eight years and undo the disastrous results, at home and abroad, of Republican rule.

Posted by: dbh1 | October 15, 2008 4:44 PM

"Christopher Buckley's announcement that he's supporting Barack Obama for the presidency comes as no surprise to me. Years ago Buckley, who worked as a speechwriter for George H.W. Bush and reveres him, expressed his consternation to me about George W. Bush's dismal performance. He seemed to watch the self-destruction of the Bush presidency with a kind of fascinated horror. Now, in the wake of the Sarah Palin debacle, Buckley deserves a place on the conservative intellectual honor roll for breaking with John McCain.

He won't get it, of course. Instead, the National Review has apparently terminated Buckley's column -- high comedy when you consider that his father merely founded the magazine and fought to make conservatism intellectually respectable, banishing the anti-Semites and other riff-raff who tainted the movement. Now conservatism is regressing, turning into a Frankenstein. Other members of the old guard at National Review such as Jeffrey Hart have also denounced the mendacity of the Bush administration. Their voices were not heeded.

Today, as the McCain campaign lurches to its dolorous conclusion, conservatives are beginning to blame each other for the collapse of their movement. Instead of excommunicating Buckley and others, conservatives should be debating with them. But intolerance is winning out over intellectual inquisitiveness. As an intellectual movement, conservatism is suffering its death throes. And with the Buckley affair, the purge has begun." Huffington Post

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 4:25 PM

For the last several months I have read the thougts or thoughtlessness of dozens of people. It seems most have embodied the idea of a contry for the people, by the government. What happened to a country for the people, by the people? Has everybody become so foolish in their thinking? Its as if we are all blaming the seller of the hot coffee for getting burned when we spill the the hot coffee we asked for in our laps. Oh thats right, we have done that, have'nt we. The truth that no one wants to hear is that we have all lived irresponsably and the ones that say they have'nt are the most irresponsable of all. To think any presidential candidate will solve your problems is foolish at best and if that is where you put your hope then at best, your hopeless. If one is ignorrant enough to believe the news media, stem cell research, having the right to kill babies, and making America the land of the free and the home of the sodomite is the way to go, then it seems your time has come. bonapetite. In your wisdom you all have become fools of the worst kind and you drown in the mire of your own filth. There is no doubt what your end will be, for they will throw dirt in all our faces sooner or later. Then where will be all your liberal wisdom and your cute contriversial coments? I hope for you all something better and pray for this nation, as our forefathers did. Of course I realize this goes out to many who have been already turned over to their own reprobate minds and because of this you will see this only as the babbling of a fool. So be it. Your thoughts will not change the truth and you will die in your hopeless state. This is not a blog for or against any candidate, ony a desire that at least one thinking individual might gain some insight into another possiblilty. Good luck?

Posted by: tas3 | October 15, 2008 4:24 PM

swamyl wrote:
"..This guy with no experience..."

----

I suppose you value bushies experience?
And Palins?
And that of a presidential candidate who thinks we must be ‘victorious’ in Iraq so that our service personnel who died there ‘won’t die in vain’?

McCain should know, from experience, that it is not possible to die in vain in service to the United States, and that our military action, regardless of outcome, sends a clear message to all who would challenge our freedom. His doctrine of ‘staying the course until ‘victory’ is achieved’ so that our war casualties are somehow avenged is misguided and a recipe for future and more protracted conflicts.

Despite his ‘experience’, McCain still does not have the slightest clue even on a subject upon which he should be an authority.

McCain just doesn't get it.

Posted by: bushieisa | October 15, 2008 4:22 PM

Charles Keating's relationship with John McCain makes Tony Rezko look like the tooth fairy.

Watch the video on youtube to learn the facts. McCain has not disputed the facts presented in the presentation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDofbll86dY&feature=related

Not this time

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 4:21 PM

As a native Arizonan, I feel compelled to respond to the comments from those who think McCain has changed, that somehow he has, over time and/or due to strain, morphed into this caricature of a statesman we see before us.

This is not new. This is not a metamorphosis. This is the man he has ALWAYS been: an opportunist who is more interested in power than country. He is not a man who "reaches across the aisle" as a way to work together; this is a man who reaches across the aisle when he sees that his side is no longer favored. I met the man in a social-business setting more than 20 years ago, when his political career was burgeoning, pre-Keating Five, and when I had no real opinion of him. That this married man felt I was a sexual object, his for the taking (not asking), was one of the nicer traits he exhibited that day; but it was his bullying and opportunistic political ambitions that were far more disturbing, especially in that he was able to turn the nastiness off and on depending on which one would please his audience more.

McCain hasn't changed; it's the scrutiny under pressure that has forced his true colors to the surface. For this Arizonan, all I've seen is Same McCain, Different Day.

Posted by: sprice205 | October 15, 2008 4:18 PM

The Republicans are saving the best dirt for last, and we shall see how it goes. My money is on the personal corruption angle with the Rezko land deal."

My money is on the John McCain personal and financial relationship with the bank crook Charles Keating. They defrauded the American taxpayer of over 2 billion dollars and robbed thousands of their life's savings at Keating's Lincoln Savings and loan. The largest government bail out in history until the present one.

Charles Keating went to jail for five years. John McCain should have joined him. He got away with it only because a Republican Congress was in power.

He is no maverick- never has been, never will be. He surrounds himself with corporate lobbyists who do not have America's best interests in mind.

Stop the lies. John McCain offers no solutions- only hate filled character attacks.

We are a better country than that.

Viet-Nam Veteran
Khe Sanh 1968

KHE.. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE..BUT..WERE THE HECK IS ALL THE PRESS ON THE KEATING 5..I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING..MCCAIN SCREWED PEOPLE OUT OF BILLIONS..MCCAIN HAS SKATED HIS WHOLE LIFE,FROM NOT BEING THROWN OUT OF NAVEL ACADEMY,TO HIS BROADCASTS ON HANOI RADIO ( AND REPORTS HE GAVE PLANE ROUTES TO THE VIETCHONG )TO THE KEATING 5

Posted by: thailandjames1 | October 15, 2008 4:08 PM

"'Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's no thing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."
Barack Obama

The ugly character attacks being carried out by Sarah Palin against a fine, intelligent man, Barack Obama, has made him the object of hatred by the lunatic fringe. I believe she has put his life in danger. He knows this and asked for people to offer up a prayer for him- not to get him elected as the witch doctor Pastor Muthee did for Sarah Palin.

Here's the request of a humble man, to his audience in Wisconsin.

“Please cover me with your prayers...cover me, Michelle, and my family with your prayers”. Then he stretched out his arms before the group, “A blanket of prayer to cover us all, that is what I am asking of you. Pray for me.”

Stop the hate, fear and lies. They are only tearing our country apart.

Not this time.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 4:06 PM

MarcMyWords wrote:
“...It doesnt get any more hostile to Democrats than FOX, yet they had the courage to stand up and defend themselves..”
------

The British newspaper “The Economist” this past summer reported on an investigation as to why so many Americans were misled into war and other disastrous foreign policy escapades. Their finding were that it depended on where people got the majority of their news from. Those Americans who had the greatest misconceptions regarding world events received the majority of their news from FOX. The most informed: NPR.

FOX is toilet water with a big turdie floating in it.

MarcMyWords: please pardon my previous misquote error. Its been one of those days.

Posted by: bushieisa | October 15, 2008 4:06 PM

The GOP Rats are Deserting the USS McCain in Titanic Proportions


The Republican rats are all jumping the ship. The USS McCain/Titanic is in full sink mode and all the traditional Republicans, strategists and party faithful are running away as fast as they can.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbjg9Hh17lI
.


All of these Republican water-carriers who faithfully parroted every lunacy and vicious Bush/Cheney lie of the last eight years are seeing their Propaganda Factory shut down and put out of business. They can't control the national conversation anymore, so they're all angling to be considered "one of the good ones" in the post-conservative era. I also look for a lot of these guys to start avoiding Fixed News Channel like the plague the next few years as they seek to rehab their reputations.
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 15, 2008 4:05 PM

MarcMyWords wrote:
“...It is no wonder republican leaders with any sense at all are jumping ship.
It doesnt get any more hostile to Democrats than FOX, yet they had the courage to stand up and defend themselves.”
------
The British newspaper “The Economist” this past summer reported on an investigation as to why so many Americans were misled into war and other disastrous foreign policy escapades. Their finding were that it depended on where people got the majority of their news from. Those Americans who had the greatest misconceptions regarding world events received the majority of their news from FOX. The most informed: NPR.

FOX is toilet water with a big turdie floating in it.

Posted by: bushieisa | October 15, 2008 4:03 PM

McCain is ridiculous. Palin is an incompetent sociopath.

McCain’s bushie idea of cutting taxes for the wealthiest 5%, on top of bushie’s own cuts (which McCain opposed, then flopped on), is of the same medicine, along with irresponsible deregulation, that landed this country in the soup. Here is the same man that voted right along with bushie doctrines that doubled government and our national debt in only 8 years, embroiled this nation in conflicts, ushered in the doctrine of pre-emptive war, and set the nation on its present downward trajectory. Here is a nut case that thinks its possible to die in vain in service to your country, when in reality such sacrifice sends clear messages to any who would threaten our freedom. A fool that believes only the top 5% on the economic scale can help the ‘unwashed’ masses.

And do you really want a VP, and likely president, who can look at the results of a bipartisan investigation finding them guilty and declare they are happy it cleared them of all possible wrongdoing? Its like shes looking in a mirror and saying “Im so happy to be a capable, intelligent BLACK FEMALE like Condi!” One that seriously defends the notion that to see an uninhabited Russian island somehow bestows foreign policy expertise?

One cannot be intelligent and vote McCain-Palin.
Their base is that of racist underachievers who believe Obama to be some kind of Arab.
That votes of such imbeciles count the same as those of informed voters speaks to the root of whats wrong with American democracy: all may be created equal, but all certainly do not remain so. Individual votes should be weighed, much as credit scores are, or else the sub-prime tail will continue to wag the national dog, across all elected positions.

McCain-Palin.
It is no wonder republican leaders with any sense at all are jumping ship.

Posted by: bushieisa | October 15, 2008 3:52 PM

I am sick of McCain v16.256545 or what ever version he is today.

Posted by: hockeypuxx | October 15, 2008 3:43 PM

Democrats like to talk about how they understand things better and are smarter than most Republicans...and for the most part I found this to be true.

But this election is so simple, so easy to understand, that Republicans are confused as to why the Democrats are making it so simple. This is what I mean...

Bush is bad, McCain will keep the same policies as Bush, therefore McCain would be bad.

It is so simple! The Republicans screwed everything up, so we need to get them out! Usually, it takes a while to explain the Democrats position on anything, which is why the real Right wingers are having such a hard time with this. It's OK. It's simple this time...get the ones who screwed up our country out.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 3:42 PM

No matter who you choose, please be sure to vote.....

http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=46832&altf=MjlfTpvq4dpn&altl=

Posted by: jc2728 | October 15, 2008 3:30 PM

All this whining about the media by McCain/Palin is pretty funny considering they refuse to do any independent interviews. If they were out there interviewing their hearts out, appearing on the talk shows, and making their points and THEN got a raw deal I would listen. But the reality is they wont. They arent interested in answering any real questions, they just want to push their talking points.

Compare that to Obama/Biden who have not only done friendly interviews but have gone on FOX news and O'Reilly for heavens sake. It doesnt get any more hostile to Democrats than FOX, yet they had the courage to stand up and defend themselves.

Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 15, 2008 3:30 PM

It would be helpful if there was mandatory drug testing before the debate starts tonight.

At the last one, I thought for sure that John McCain was under the influence of amphetamines. I have a medical background and as a former paramedic can tell you he looked agitated, impatient, angry, and delusional- all symptoms of someone who has taken amphetamines. He always says how "full of energy," he is. Maybe that is why. No wonder they have to let him wind down for at least two days every week.

Take a close look at his eyes tonight. If you see constant blinking and the twitchcing of either eye, you will know that he is on medication.

Not this time.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 3:27 PM

Posted by Wiggin:
What I want to see McCain do in this debate is

(1) Idealogically show why Obama's socialist solutions will in the long run ruin this country.
- WIGGIN, Idealogical means there is no rational thought given and this is based on beliefs. McCain has a limited base of believers, those of the rabid sort, and can't get the rest of us thinking folk to set aside our rational brains. Lord knows he had tried.

(2) Quantify how much Obama's proposals will run up the debt, and show what the implications of astronomical debt are for our economy. Each time Obama panders with more spending solutions go right at him to find out how much that will cost and what needs to be cut to finance it.
- WIGGIN, This assumes that Obama doesn't have a plan that actually grows the economy through increased jobs and that his plans won't be beneficial. Obama's message is that he will do what is needed to benefit the middle class and not the fat cats. The problem with McCain's message is that it all revolves around Trickle Down Reagonomics, a failed policy. Every proposal he has is to benefit the wealthy. He didn't even refer to middle class once in the debates. Like BUSH, they must be invisible to him. Just peons and peasants to further enrich the affluent.

(3) Show Obama's personal level of corruption from Rezko and lobbyist contributions and link that kind of corruption to the systematic problems with congressional porkbarrel spending and lack of oversight (EG Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac)
-Whoa there, McCain has huge problems with going there as it opens him up to attacks. Keating 5 is his Achilles heel. He goes there and he loses big time. And now we hear that he has campaign staff that lobbied for Saddam? Really? And you want that coming up?

(4) McCain needs to get off the pander bus and quit trying to out pander Obama. Be a fiscal conservative John. The country really needs it.
- You are right, McCain is no longer a fiscal conservative. He is now a neo-con just like BUSH. And just like Bush is planning to cut taxes and increase spending. Driving out national debt even higher. He is not a fiscal conservative. And no we don't need a conservative who will keep giving no bid contracts to Haliburton and other cronies. Conservatives have trashed our economy with their de-regulation.

Time to take back America from the Corporate hacks in the Republican Party!!

Go Obama/Biden!!!!


Posted by: mbshults | October 15, 2008 3:25 PM

I want to thank Luke2 for his service in Vietnam and at Khe Sanh. I recommend googling that name if you are not familiar with the battle he refers to. It seems to me one danger of a McCain victory is that he would take the US into more such military blunders.
I too was taken in by McCain 2000. I believe he is showing his true colors now. His pick of Palin for VP is a terrifying choice and I believe it puts the country in grave danger were she to become president. Palin represents the worst threat to our future I can imagine.

Posted by: robopp777 | October 15, 2008 3:25 PM

I have noticed that whenever given the opportunity, John McCain engages in obsequious flattery of General Petraeus, as if he thinks some of the respect most Americans have for Petraeus will rub off on him. If I had to bet my right arm on who General Petraeus (and most of our citizen soldiers in uniform for that matter) intend to vote for, it would not be John McCain. Part if it has to do with McCain's propensity to invoke the word 'Victory' in connection with the war in Iraq, as if that were the thing most important to the people of this country. Here's what the man McCain admires so much had to say about it (from the BBC):

Overall he (Petraeus) summed up the situation as "still hard but hopeful", saying that progress in Iraq was "a bit more durable" but that the situation there remained fragile.

He said he did not know that he would ever use the word "victory": "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan."

He said al-Qaeda's efforts to portray its jihad in Iraq as going well were "disingenuous". It was, in fact "going poorly", he said.

Of his strategy of establishing joint security stations in key locations, Gen Petraeus said that "you can't secure the people if you don't live with them".

He said it was now fair to say that the Iraqis were standing up as US forces stood down. The confidence and capability of Iraqi forces had increased substantially, he said.

That's why I'm so proud of those who are standing for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so ashamed of the leaders who sent them there.

Posted by: thomas777 | October 15, 2008 3:25 PM

I have soured on all the network news and now even the comedy shows like Jon Stewart, Colbert and Leno in the last 2 weeks. It has become so impossible to get an unbiased and balanced news cycle or shows. All the hosts and anchors are so busy trying to look evolved over race, they are forgetting to hold the same mirror to Obama. This guy with no experience has been elevated so high by a media feeding on its own ideas of who should win and of course, machine of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid kind of politicians who want a puppet like Obama...American society celebrates youth and charisma more than experience and expertise or character. So, we are doomed again! Too bad that these trends have taken out some great and capable candidates.

Posted by: swamyl | October 15, 2008 3:24 PM

Mark Penn is much more responsible for Hillary's loss than them media. Sounds like Joe Gibbs blaming the officials for every close loss last year.

Posted by: sollazo | October 15, 2008 3:21 PM

The truth is the media has failed the American people in this election cycle.

Mark Penn, who was a senior Hillary Clinton advisor, stated recently "the biggest loser in this election will be the media". He was commenting on how the media supported Barack Obama and therefore went out of their way to portray Senator Clinton in a negative fashion.

The media should report the facts and leave their views for the editorial pages.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 15, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse
___
Wow what a whiner you are! The media was the way it was before the election began, and McCain was either too incompetent to use it correctly or, and brace yourself for this one, McCain DID get his message out and the majority of us don't like it.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 3:20 PM

Dear white-eagle,

Ordinarily I hate to parse, but there's just so much whack-job nutcase fiction in your post that I can't resist.

"the tv and radio media is backed by funds from the democratic party making them partial so they will not produce, or say anything detrimental to the party"

Um, you mean the talk radio that's 90% dominated by right-wing pundits? You mean that they've been bought off so that none of them will say anything detrimental about the democratic party? Oh yes, I forgot, FOX News is famous for not saying anything to challenge the democratic party, too! You are delusional.

"there are many findings by the public at large that would kill off the democratic candidates and leave only the republicans, but these will never be aired, what will probably happen is the supremists will take over"

Usually, if you send a tip to a news desk, whether at a radio station or a TV station or at a newspaper, they look at the source, first. Is the source legitimate? Can the information be confirmed? If these "findings by the public" were truly earth-shattering and game-changing in nature, no news desk would avoid them. In fact, every news person would want a piece of them, and you'd hear the information trumpeted from every rooftop. I'm not sure what you mean about information "kill(ing) off the democratic candidates", please share this with us. Who will do the killing? If you have information about a crime that is about to be committed, it is immoral to withhold that. I imagine that your IP address is already on its way to the FBI by now.

"I think that Sen. McCain will be our next president just because the majority is not ready for a radical black muslim as president."

All of the polls in Bizarro-land report exactly what you say. Here in the real world, the majority thinks differently, and there is no radical black muslim running for the presidency.

Get help. Get an attorney. It sounds like you'll need both.

Posted by: ninjagin | October 15, 2008 3:18 PM

Wht blame media on McCain's failures and vice presidential pick. Even the biggest republican media 'FOX NEWS" turned against him and they don't want to support him (which doesn't mean they don't want him as president) and they crticized him every day of this campaign.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | October 15, 2008 3:17 PM

"The Republicans are saving the best dirt for last, and we shall see how it goes. My money is on the personal corruption angle with the Rezko land deal."

My money is on the John McCain personal and financial relationship with the bank crook Charles Keating. They defrauded the American taxpayer of over 2 billion dollars and robbed thousands of their life's savings at Keating's Lincoln Savings and loan. The largest government bail out in history until the present one.

Charles Keating went to jail for five years. John McCain should have joined him. He got away with it only because a Republican Congress was in power.

He is no maverick- never has been, never will be. He surrounds himself with corporate lobbyists who do not have America's best interests in mind.

Stop the lies. John McCain offers no solutions- only hate filled character attacks.

We are a better country than that.

Viet-Nam Veteran
Khe Sanh 1968

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 3:15 PM

mwhoke is on the smoke

He said the media failed us because it's not balling up to the plate because it's letting crap like "Palin broke the Law" going unanswered.

I MEAN THE VP CANDIDATE BROKE THE LAW(don't get me started) AND THE MEDIA IS APATHETIC yet they are all over the Ayers cockee-poo-poo.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 3:14 PM

The truth is the media has failed the American people in this election cycle.

Mark Penn, who was a senior Hillary Clinton advisor, stated recently "the biggest loser in this election will be the media". He was commenting on how the media supported Barack Obama and therefore went out of their way to portray Senator Clinton in a negative fashion.

The media should report the facts and leave their views for the editorial pages.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 15, 2008 3:11 PM

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | October 15, 2008 3:10 PM

Wiggan spewed: "[some spew about Fannie and Freddie]"

Dude, the vast majority of economist out there say Fan/Fred had very little to do with what has happend with Wall St; they are fallout of Wall St's lack of regulation.

Grow a brain and start thinking for yourself you Limbaugh Lemming

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 3:10 PM

Dan Balz's Take: "McCain is now running against many opponents: the economy, public dissatisfaction with President Bush, the clock and a skillful rival."

Dan,

John McCain two biggest opponents are not listed in the above. His biggest and most hurtful opponent has been himself and his campaign.

His continued contradiction of his own messages and even his basic personality are the problem. He has lacked a singular message or theme for his campaign.

The Republicans are known for pounding the pundits and press with a solitary message, but that has escaped him.

Republicans are known for forming one media-driven personality of a candidate and never varying, unlike Gore and Hillary, but that has escaped him.

Republicans are known for running outstanding campaigns and winning Presidential elections, but that has also escaped him.

Obama has out-classed and out-campaigned every opponent. He is winning based on those facts.

Posted by: mbshults | October 15, 2008 3:08 PM

Wiggan,

You don't have it straight. Try again.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 3:06 PM

i_be_fire spewed:"now i dont know very much about sen. obama...

where the hell have you been? Certainly not planet Earth.

Who the hell is Palin. From what I've seen and heard, she's a power abusing parrot.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 3:05 PM

"McCain World View: America is a powerful force for GOOD in the world and the people can accomplish great things if they are UNCHAINED."

I guess that's why we unleashed the largest aerial bombing attack in history against the tiny asian country of Viet-Nam killing over 2,000,000 people and totally devastating their villages and towns- while spending billions of taxpayer money and losing 57,000 of our own loyal troops. The "motive?"- Profits for the armaments industry.

I guess that's why we invaded a country that was no threat to us, killed over 100,000 people, created over 1,000,000 refugees and destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq. "Motive?"- The price and control of oil production.

America needs to get its own house in order before blundering into the role of "world policeman." Senators Obama and Biden understand this.

The Madhatter and the Moose Killer from Wasilla are the modern day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza of American politics. They are not "mavericks" in any way. They are dangerous, erratic people who have no solutions other than " I know how to win wars," and "Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran."

Not this time.

Viet-Nam Veteran
Khe Sanh 1968

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 3:05 PM

DrainYou put up this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4egXbhSOhk

I suggest everyone watch it and pass it on.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 3:04 PM

Let me see if I have this straight. A left-leaning paper goes out and polls 100 welfare people and asks them who they will vote for in 08, and Obama leads that poll. From there the conclusion is drawn that McCain needs a knockout blow in the debate to stay in the race. This elevates expectation levels. If he doesn't reach that elevated expectation level, then the left-leaning papers pronounce his campaign as dead and call the election for Obama.

The problem here is historically elections can swing a lot in the last week or two. Reagan was trailing in the polls until the last week when Americans got comfortable with him, then he got elected. As much as you want to call this election for Obama, it isn't over yet.

The Republicans are saving the best dirt for last, and we shall see how it goes. My money is on the personal corruption angle with the Rezko land deal.

What I want to see McCain do in this debate is

(1) Idealogically show why Obama's socialist solutions will in the long run ruin this country.

(2) Quantify how much Obama's proposals will run up the debt, and show what the implications of astronomical debt are for our economy. Each time Obama panders with more spending solutions go right at him to find out how much that will cost and what needs to be cut to finance it.

(3) Show Obama's personal level of corruption from Rezko and lobbyist contributions and link that kind of corruption to the systematic problems with congressional porkbarrel spending and lack of oversight (EG Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac)

(4) McCain needs to get off the pander bus and quit trying to out pander Obama. Be a fiscal conservative John. The country really needs it.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 15, 2008 3:04 PM

How can McCain run the country if he cant' even run his own campaign?

We need a leader the can lead, not be lead. McCain's brother says that "others" are in control of his campaign.

Palin? Well she may be a quick study, but we need a VP not a parrot.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 3:03 PM

hhhmmmm
now i dont know very much about sen. obama, but i know there's a lawsuit against him because it's not PROVED THAT HE WAS EVEN BORN IN THE U.S.!!!!
of course it doesn't help his pastor, or 'mentor' that the government should tax 100% and take care of everyone. i don't know about all you blind supporters of this man, but to me that's starting to sound like communism.

Posted by: i_be_fire | October 15, 2008 3:01 PM

See a McCain rally go bad, Booing and People leaving. A song Hank Williams sang was vulgar and offended some. Heres the clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOpP89oMik

Who won the Best Palin Impersonator Contest? Not Tina Fey. See Clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMebGbcC2Sg

Posted by: pastor123 | October 15, 2008 3:00 PM

So let me get this straight, there's a concern that Mickey Mouse is going to show up at the polls on November 4th and cast a fraudulent vote for Obama?

Posted by: rollo1 | October 15, 2008 3:00 PM

McCain and the "VICTORY" shame

McCain and the Republicans brings dishonor to our troops by applying the "Victory/Defeat" label to Iraq.

Our troops have followed their orders and have served with honor and dignity in Iraq. To add this polarizing label is to add the burden of shame to the backs of troops that already have suffered enough.

General Patraeus himself said so

McCain is wrong and just doesn't get it.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:59 PM

I saw Dan Balz on last night's Frontline broadcast on PBS. Good stuff. Thanks, Dan.

Posted by: ninjagin | October 15, 2008 2:58 PM

Godhimself1,

Thanks for posting that. Great stuff...really sums up my beliefs as well.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 2:57 PM

The Wingnuts are seeing their 90's power grap being yanked away from them because of their own incompetence and they're throwing a tantrum. After controlling the white house for the last eight years and controlling congress for ten of the last twelve years they've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that conservatism is a failed ideology and now they're panicking.


Here's some straight-talk, my friends:
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4egXbhSOhk
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 15, 2008 2:56 PM

McCain has brought his own despair and disgrace upon himself.

The best he can do now is try to restore his own decency and honor, and loose with them on.

If he votes secretly for Obama, he redeems himself.

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 15, 2008 2:55 PM

Senator Obama should ask Senator McCain directly if he believes the rumors and innuendo being used against him:

"Do you believe my Christian faith is a lie, and that I am secretly a Muslim?
"Do you believe I have a secret anti-American agenda?
"Do you believe that I do or would EVER support any kind of terrorist activity?

Posted by: David75 | October 15, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse
___
I AGREE!! This is what needs to be done...THIS WOULD WORK! McCain would have no choice but to answer, or dodge the question which would be proof of the fact that he doesn't believe these things. Of course, he could just say yes I do, which would leave Obama in the same position.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 2:54 PM

first of all the tv and radio media is backed by funds from the democratic party making them partial so they will not produce, or say anything detrimental to the party......that being said there are many findings by the public at large that would kill off the democratic candidates and leave only the republicans, but these will never be aired, what will probably happen is the supremists will take over...
I in no way condone this behavior but it is out there somewhere and could very well happen..there have been , I believe 4 attempts sofar on Sen. Obama's life which is very scary..I think that Sen. McCain will be our next president just because the majority is not ready for a radical black muslim as president..............

Posted by: white-eagle | October 15, 2008 2:53 PM

thenotoriousflavio:

I couldn't agree more!

Posted by: Godhimself1 | October 15, 2008 2:52 PM

David75,

I'd love to see that, but as far as debating goes, it's a bad strategy-- politicians are REALY good at "pivoting" a question. That way, they could start talking about whatever they want at infinitum.

That's what Palin did in the VP debate...regurgitate what she was told to say.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:51 PM

rtfanning wrote: "Now we're all supposed to look the other way while ACORN stuffs the ballot box and imposes America's first dictator in the name of 'harmony and acceptance'?"
___
Hey buddy, this was registration fraud, not voter fraud. No ballot boxes can be stuffed with a false registration. No votes will be altered. Get a clue and read what this story is about!
___

rtfanning also wrote: "I have searched my heart for months to consider the consequences of compromise.
After careful consideration,I will not recognize Obama as legitimate nor will I submit to this coup d'etat .
I make the above statements as an American first and not as a partisan in the name of the 85,000 Americans who died fighting Communism.

No American with honor will accept this Communist leader."
___

No buddy, you are making these statements as a Republican first and only. Wow. Not going to support our commander in chief huh? I think GWB was the WORST President in US history bar none, and I still recognize him as legitimate...even after it was shown that he got 500,000 less votes in the 2000 election, a fact that for many proved he was illegitimate.

You sir, are not a Patriot, and definitely not an "American first." You are a whiny spoiled brat who must have just crawled out of the Bomb shelter you built for yourself in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. Here's a newsflash for you...COMMUNISM IS NOT A THREAT ANYMORE! WE WON! Now, all we have to worry about are the fearmongers who would tell us that communism and socialism are still viable threats to our country's existence and would want to take our rights away because of that (Patriot Act anyone?).

If you don't want to recognize the government that you are going to watch the rest of us elect then please leave the US, because you are not a true American at all.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 2:50 PM

Just wait until John McCain reveals his economic plan, a tax giveaway to the super-rich and corporations.

The theory that lowering taxes on the rich will help everyone has been tried the last 8 years and DIDN'T WORK. Clinton raised taxes and created jobs. Bush lowered taxes and made the rich richer, CEO pay exploded, and didn't create jobs, and hardly increased middle class income at all.

It's been tried. It's failed. Everyone who can see the reality of the last 8 years knows this.

To edeldoug: I truly hope McCain does not take your advice. I would like the man I once respected to get his soul back at some point. Standing by tax cuts he called unconscionable, allowing the despicable Schmidt and odious Bounds to lie in his name, opposing his own bills, the list goes on and on.

I feel sorry for John McCain. He sold his soul to the social conservatives, neocons and voodoo economists to become President. And now, it looks like he won't even come close. An American trajedy.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 15, 2008 2:50 PM

Dan Balz fails to mention in his article the most significant opponent John McCain faces other than Senator Obama, the main stream media."mwhoke

Ah, the old "main stream media" boogie man that Spiro Agnew railed against.

Give us a break. John McCain was the media darling until he hired former Bush hit man Steve Schmidt and his slime ball corporate lobbyist Rick Davis who has made millions representing foreign governments against American interests.

Once the McCain campaign went negative with its lying attacks against a basically good man, the media ( except for Fox Noise and their right wingnut commentators, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly) started questioning this old man and his barbie doll running mate on the issues and on their loss of character.

Surprise- Mccain/Palin did not want to address the issues because they have nothing to offer other than cheap personal attacks, smoke and mirrors and lies.

The "mainstream media" understands that this mad duo is dangerous to the American democratic system because it seeks to use fear, ignorance and lies to subvert the process.

I used to like the John McCain of 2000. But now my old military colleague has sold out his principles and lost his reason.

Viet-Nam Veteran
Khe Sanh 1968

Not this time.


Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 2:48 PM

Live blog of tonight's 3rd Presidential debate can be found here: http://www.leehernly.com/blog/?p=327

Posted by: leeh11281 | October 15, 2008 2:48 PM

rtfanning concludes: "The Democratic party put up a candidate who has dedicated his entire adult life to polarization, creating a sense of grievance , envy and resentment in order to mobilize political action to get more taxpayer money, which has ultimately resulted in the destruction of Americas banking system."

Have you actually read what you typed there? Your "logic" is so very fun! I might suggest setting the crack pipe down, and take yourself a breather.

How about a refreshing dash of facts in your arguments? Here is one: In 1999, our buddy McCain's top financial advisor senator Phil Gramm introduced the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act which repealed gov't regulation of the banking/investment house business (Glass-Steagall act). This act of legislation was the beginning of the end that we are witnessing today on Wall Street.

With the introduction of this act authored by Gramm and his buddy McCain, major banks were now able to get ultra fat on mortgage-backed securities, CDO's/SIV's, and as a result, leverage an enormous amount of risk with virtually no government oversight.

Of course, Limbaugh toadies like yourself say "but Bill Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliely act into law...its the dem's fault!!" Hardly. The Republican house and senate gave Clinton a VETO PROOF legislation.

Now, tell me again how it is Obama's fault for the economic meltdown?

Posted by: wordbucket | October 15, 2008 2:48 PM

Godhimself1:

No need for the big ol' diatribe. Right wingers aren't instrested in the truth.

They are the biggest bunch of scaredy-cats in the world. That's why they need their guns and don't like government-- really bad boundaries. That's why the FEAR argument works so well with them!

Support stem cell research. So all these right wing, Limbaugh Lemmings can grow a brain and stop sinking our beloved country.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:47 PM

Truderic: Do you REALLY want to play the name game??? What other world figure has the name of 'Obama'. Lets mention that in the debate!

Posted by: dirk1965 | October 15, 2008 2:47 PM

Senator Obama should ask Senator McCain directly if he believes the rumors and innuendo being used against him:

"Do you believe my Christian faith is a lie, and that I am secretly a Muslim?
"Do you believe I have a secret anti-American agenda?
"Do you believe that I do or would EVER support any kind of terrorist activity?

Posted by: David75 | October 15, 2008 2:45 PM

These cut and paste posters are boring.

Can't someone come up with something original and funny? Here's some fuel:

Question: Why does the "Bradley Effect" only apply to Democratic candidates?

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:42 PM

"Point out that corporations don't pay taxes... they pass the costs on to their customers or they cut costs by laying off workers. Either way, taxing corporations hurts FAMILIES."

edeldoug, dude. Bush cuts corporate taxes. Americans are still loosing jobs and the consumers are still getting f****d in the drive-through. More tax cuts are only make rich people richer. The tinkle down theory just doesn't work.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 15, 2008 2:41 PM

Here's a post I came across afew weeks ago:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sorry, but the truth isn't "liberal." It's pretty funny to hear you right-wingers screech when things don't go your way, just like infants in the sandbox. And I don't need to be lectured on "loving America" by the same self-loving conservatives who opposed every advance in human rights in this country for the last 70 years. You have destroyed this economy every time you've gotten your hands on it, though Democrats always clean up your messes. You have killed thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocents around the world. You have beaten, dragged, lynched, and defamed everyone who looks different from you or disagrees with you.

I don't need your moral judgments on liberalism, because you have no ground from which to make them. You are morally, intellectually, and now financially bankrupt. It is you who hate the idea that America means dialogue and compromise--you want it all, all to yourselves.

I love my home and my country too much to cede it to the likes of you. It's not America I hate--it's your philosophy. America is more generous, decent, and kind than you have ever let it be, or would ever let it be.

That said, it's an American tradition to honor our fellow Americans' hatefulness as their "right." So I honor your right to continue hating everyone to the left of Hitler. But you will never, never, get my vote, and I will work as hard as I can to undermine your every effort, in every way I can, as long as I live.

Enjoy watching history move past you. It will whether you want it to or not.

Posted by: Mike A | September 3, 2008 1:50 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Great comment from a truly enlightened American Patriot! Thank you, Mike.

Posted by: Godhimself1 | October 15, 2008 2:41 PM

My compliments to the columnist. This the very first article I have read since the beginning of the Presidential race that was totally unbiased! Hats off to you!

Posted by: dirk1965 | October 15, 2008 2:38 PM

McCain can still win!

The Republicans will just steal the election....again.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:38 PM

The role of newscasters is to report the news, not their opionion of the news. I think most of us know the difference between a newsperson and an analyst person. Newscasters and journalists should only report the news. Commentary such as the editorial pages give their opionion. When television news broadcasters and newspaper jounalists start giving their opionion, this is where those of us who have a problem with the media see the biggest issue.

Posted by: gwiener | October 15, 2008 2:37 PM

Isn't everybody getting weary of all this by now? I know I am. I have been glued to C-Span and Google Election News for months and months and I cannot imagine the fatigue the campaigners must harbor. Because they have to repeat all this stuff over and over and continually try to balance who they want to be as leaders and who they want to be to win. I cannot remember a more vital engaging involving presidential campaign and it seems the dialog ranges from the very thoughtful to the very visceral and this, I can see, has been a pattern throughout our history. So now that these two have run the gauntlett of citizens longer than all the others, all we can really do now is watch and vote and watch and listen to informed or not so informed interpretations. After the seige of Google Election News it will be the economy for a year or two. I think.

Posted by: GaiasChild | October 15, 2008 2:37 PM

I think it is funny how Palin has clearly been campaigning for 2012 by going against McCain's wishes and shilling for the extreme right wing of her party. I'd be surprised if she is still Governor of Alaska in 2012.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 2:37 PM

In 2001 a Space Odyssey, the Monolith (which really a symbol for Neitzche's ubermensch) was the outside force that changed things.

In the media's accounts of this campaign we keep hearing about how an "external event" (code for terrorism) could change things. That claim / assumption, which keeps being repeated in articles like this one, is about as observable and factual as that Monolth was.

Posted by: fairandbalanced2 | October 15, 2008 2:35 PM

rftanning spewed: "[a lot of spew]"

Take everything this dude says and replace "Democrat[ic]" with "Republican" along with the names of the Democratic counter parts and he's got it right.

rftanning, if you used your heart when coming to your conclusions, YOU NEED A CARDIAC TRANSPLANT"

OPEN YOUR EYES AND GROW YOUR OWN BRAIN, YOU CONSERVADRONE!

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:35 PM

Mccain Future of America, Go Mccain crush Obama in debate today.America needs you, you are man of the hour and need

Posted by: mrn744 | October 15, 2008 2:35 PM

Let's say this was a Basketball game, and the score was Republicans 80, Democrats 96, and there was 45 seconds left. Sure, the Republicans can heave up a three pointer, get fouled, make the free throw, steal the ball on the inbound, make another three, get fouled, make the free throw, steal the ball on the inbound, make another three, get fouled, make the free throw, steal the ball on the inbound, make another three, get fouled, make the free throw, sending the game into overtime...but no writer or sports commentator would ever actually say this. They would say, this one's over then start telling you that the game was brought to you by Pepsi, Miller Lite, their producer was so and so, etc.

This article is like the scenario I presented for the Basketball game...just impossible for the Republicans to overcome.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 15, 2008 2:34 PM

How can McCain run the country when he can't even run his campaign?

At least Obama has steady, consistent message.

I don't wan't an erratic finger on the "Red Button"

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:29 PM

McCain got a 'blip upward' in the polls when he introduced Sarah at the convention. She was definitely a novelty. However, as the country has become familiar with her, McCain has proportionally fallen down in the polls. It drives home the point that McCain lacked good judgement when he selected Palin as his VP. He says, "Country first," but really, his choice of VP was just a political tactic that didn't pan out. I doubt that McCain did a lot of research about Palin. Her lack of knowledge, low credibility, and lack of dignity will definitely sway many to vote Democrat.

Governor or not, Palin is obviously not prepared to be VP; G-D forbid, President, if something should happen to McCain.

Palin has brought John McCain down with her. McCain ought to have been able to bring her up to his level! John McCain used to be a highly respected man, with ethics and valor. Now he seems 'broken, old and passe.' Besides, how can McCain be expected to run a nation, if he can't even keep control on his campaign?

Posted by: jlo2 | October 15, 2008 2:29 PM

If lower taxes for the rich and less regulation for corporations are the answer to creating a good economy, why are we in so much trouble? The Republican party has been in power for 8 years, and these policies have all but wrecked our country's economy. Now McCain proposes to lower the taxes for the rich yet more, and to pay for a huge givaway to fat cats in Wall Street, paid for with your tax dollars.

Think back, when was the last time you felt secure and prosperous? I'll bet Clinton was President. This is not a coincidence. Vote Obama, if you don't want another Great Depression.

Posted by: steelsil2 | October 15, 2008 2:27 PM

rtfanning

Lighten up a little. You are way to stressed out.
Vote and take a break.

Posted by: elbuzz07 | October 15, 2008 2:26 PM

"The Democratic party put up a candidate who has dedicated his entire adult life to polarization, creating a sense of grievance , envy and resentment in order to mobilize political action to get more taxpayer money, which has ultimately resulted in the destruction of Americas banking system."

Rtfanning: Yikes! A polarizing figure? I guess that would be true if you believe it's not fair to try and build the middle class which helps everyone, jobs, business (more people to shop), and a good education system that is available to a wider group of people so that we have a more competitive workforce.

Obama part of a conspiracy which has contributed to the destruction of the banking system? I'm assuming you're referring to Fanny and Freddie? Are you aware that this group was set up to help low income buyers purchase homes? The problem started when that group as well as others had no oversight. Obama warned of this and he was ignored. Do you really think that an unchecked banking system is a good thing for Americans? Because, so far it's worked like a charm, huh?

I suggest you get the facts. Maybe a walk and nice fresh air might help get your mind right.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 15, 2008 2:25 PM

McCain isn't going to "debate" his way out of being a loser.

Here is why he is losing-

Bad judgment in voting 90% with Bush
Bad judgment in picking Sarah Palin
Bad judgment on economic crisis
Bad judgment in fostering division and hatred
Bad judgment on Afghanistan
Bad judgment in all aspects of his campaign

Obama is winning because he deserves to. He has run the better campaign, is more in touch with the needs of the average American, and has demonstrated that his good judgment would extend into his presidency.

The debate is already over.

Posted by: fishingriver | October 15, 2008 2:25 PM

FINALLY! The REAL TRUTH about Obama!

He ain't perfect
But he ain't Republican
And that's all that counts


Palin=Bush in a Skirt(no pun intended)

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:25 PM

Barack Obama is the future not a look back and certainly no Jimmy Carter vs Reagan. Obama has Warren Buffet, Robert Reich, Paul Volker and a host of other notable economic advisers. John Mc Same has what Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina? He is distancing himself from both of his former economic advisers so who exactly would he make Secretary of the Treasury Meg Whitman? Really John your knee must be killing you from how many times you have jerked it of late. Pick your retirement home from the twleve(12) you own and live long and prosper but leave the governing to President Obama and his superb team. OBAMANOS! WE WILL BRING THE CHANGE WE NEED NOW! VOTE HOPE WITH PRIDE AMERICA.

Posted by: pedraza1 | October 15, 2008 2:24 PM

It will be interesting and fun to watch the GOP shrink to a few nativists haters, a couple of religious nuts, and the Kathryn Jean-Lopez's of the world in the next few years.


As long as the Rethuglican party continues to offer huge outsized tax breaks for the filthy rich and nothing for everyone else, the rightwing extremist nuts will be the only one's left carrying the GOPer banner after 2008.


I think it is going to be a while before we hear about the big tent Republican party.


Ladies and Germs...I give you your 2009 Republican party:


All hail the GOPer "pup tent party"!
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5mdIPNB8t8
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 15, 2008 2:22 PM

"The Democratic party put up a candidate who has dedicated his entire adult life to polarization, creating a sense of grievance , envy and resentment in order to mobilize political action to get more taxpayer money, which has ultimately resulted in the destruction of Americas banking system."

Pure fiction, no evidence, no facts, no basis, not founded in reality. A more likely explanation is that some people will always hate some other people and they will see the actions of the person they hate in this light regardless of what those actions are.

"The Democratic party has carefully and deliberately chosen the path of class warfare in order to secure absolute power."

The war is over. The victors are dividing the spoils. I think it was around 700 billion. Oddly it was the democrats that gave it away to wall street.

"The Democratic party ignored the fact that Sen.Clinton & Obama were equal in popular votes @ 17 million in the Democratic primaries but instead made a conscious decision to exploit the race card and secure absolute power for themselves."

You mean they decided to honor the already established rules instead of bend them for one of the candidates. If you think not cheating or break rules as favoritism, you might be letting your bias rules your attempt to have rational thought.

"Now we're all supposed to look the other way while ACORN stuffs the ballot box and imposes America's first dictator in the name of 'harmony and acceptance'?"

ACORN registers voters. They have an excellent record of doing so. They are required by law to turn in all voter registrations. They do their best to flag ones which are possibly fraudulent. Some of their members are bad people, like any large organization. They do their best to remove such bad people.

"I have searched my heart for months to consider the consequences of compromise."

The tradition of law making upon which our government was founded?

"After careful consideration,I will not recognize Obama as legitimate nor will I submit to this coup d'etat ."

Like when the supreme court effectively appointed Bush president?

"I make the above statements as an American first and not as a partisan in the name of the 85,000 Americans who died fighting Communism."

Wow, that's a leap. The Red Menace, huh? I guess when you're fear mongering anyways, might as well throw that crap in there and see if it sticks. Have you noticed the 10 point gap on McCain's part? (that means the fear monger ISN'T WORKING). Maybe you need another pony with a few more tricks.

"No American with honor will accept this Communist leader."

Except for the majority of Americans that are starting to get really disturbed by right wing conspiracy theory, hysteria, anti-intellectualism, and hate speech.

Posted by: tweldy | October 15, 2008 2:22 PM

McSame needs a miracle to gain enough mainstream voter support to beat Obama and it won't happen.

Obama will be the next POTUS. I just hope he chooses his cabinet wisely and gets us out of this economic mess. I trust him more than McSame.

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | October 15, 2008 2:19 PM

It really doesn’t matter who wins the election at this point…there will be civil unrest no matter who wins…and it could get bad!

Posted by: dlennis | October 15, 2008 2:18 PM

If McCain is going to BUDGE the polls, he's going to have to learn that dropping ONE glove (Palin) isn't going to cut it - the good cop/bad cop routine doesn't work in a political campaign! You can't be a "nice guy" in a knife fight!

Free advice to John:

1) Learn to use "THAT MEANS…" Don't just say "I tried to prevent the Fannie/Freddie debacle", tell HOW the whistle was blown and the red flag raised... and name names of those who resisted! Respond to Obama's charges with facts, like "Tax cuts don't reduce revenues... they INCREASE them every time they're tried". Point out that corporations don't pay taxes... they pass the costs on to their customers or they cut costs by laying off workers. Either way, taxing corporations hurts FAMILIES. Talk about removing tax barriers to REPATRIATING offshore operations.

2) Mudslinging may be distasteful, but it WORKS. TALK about why Obama's economic policy is a disaster. Talk about ALL his associations* and the PATTERN they depict. (Don't get bogged down in the specifics of Ayers or Wright... give the totality of associations and let the CLOUD swirl around him!) Talk about ACORN. Talk about his WORLD VIEW. When asked about your own policies - give a CONCISE answer and end on a CONTRAST with "that one". Never let an answer end without a hit on Obama... keep him on the defensive!

3) DISTILL the World View difference down to brass tacks:

Obama World View: America is a greedy evil which must be restrained. Government is the answer to the problems of the downtrodden. Taxation's purpose is to redistribute wealth and to manipulate behavior.

McCain World View: America is a powerful force for GOOD in the world and the people can accomplish great things if they are UNCHAINED. Americans are the most charitable people on the face of the earth and don't need Government to decide where to distribute their charity for them. Taxation is a necessary evil to generate revenues for the appropriate business of Government, which is constitutionally limited.

*http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.1445/pub_detail.asp

Posted by: edeldoug | October 15, 2008 2:17 PM

Hire Bill Clinton? LOL! Bill's still made because Obama beat him at his own game and won the primaries. Yet, it is nice that they are (sort of) out there in support. Not too many people who have lost primaries have been willing to do the same.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 15, 2008 2:15 PM

John McCain and other corrupt Republicans caused the savings and loan crash in the early 1990's and now McCain is part of the Republican Culture of Corruption responsible for the current crash. They are now running a disgustingly negative campaign throwing all the mud they can. This is dangerous for our country because it brings out the crazy extremists that we have seen at recent McCain-Palin rallies.

John McCain is confused, showing signs of dementia, is not looking healthy, likely to have his melanoma cancer return and is mindlessly spouting lies from his sleazy, dishonest campaign. John McCain has been in lockstep with George W Bush over 90% of the time. Another four years of Bush policies would totally destroy our country and that is what we would get with John McCain. If you believe John McCain's recent campaign lies that suddenly he would be different, then I have a Bridge to Nowhere to sell you.

Sarah Palin is clearly unqualified to be President, is a religious fundamentalist extremist who would take away a women's right to choose and would create an American Taliban reversing all the gains in civil rights. For the sake of our country, we must make sure that Barack Obama is elected President.

Having said that, Obama as President would be smart to have some moderate Republicans on his team because we are all Americans and need to work together in bipartisan fashion to solve our problems.

See http://www.Democracy-Now.us

Posted by: Fox7777 | October 15, 2008 2:13 PM

The Democratic party put up a candidate who has dedicated his entire adult life to polarization, creating a sense of grievance , envy and resentment in order to mobilize political action to get more taxpayer money, which has ultimately resulted in the destruction of Americas banking system.
The Democratic party has carefully and deliberately chosen the path of class warfare in order to secure absolute power.
The Democratic party ignored the fact that Sen.Clinton & Obama were equal in popular votes @ 17 million in the Democratic primaries but instead made a conscious decision to exploit the race card and secure absolute power for themselves.

Now we're all supposed to look the other way while ACORN stuffs the ballot box and imposes America's first dictator in the name of 'harmony and acceptance'?

I have searched my heart for months to consider the consequences of compromise.
After careful consideration,I will not recognize Obama as legitimate nor will I submit to this coup d'etat .
I make the above statements as an American first and not as a partisan in the name of the 85,000 Americans who died fighting Communism.

No American with honor will accept this Communist leader.

Posted by: rtfanning | October 15, 2008 2:09 PM

You just don't get it. McCain is out of here. McCain is not a leader. Obama is. It is a new day for America, thank goodness. Enough is enough.

Posted by: skolniks | October 15, 2008 2:07 PM

mwhoke spewed: "[a lot of 'liberal media' spew]"

Dude, when you are such a right-wing extremist nut job, everything looks liberal to you.

Support stem cell research so mwhoke can grow a brain and he so that he/she can break his/her addiction to Fox and Rush.

START THINKING FOR YOURSELF

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 2:06 PM

mwhoke...McCain will lose the same way Bush has lost public confidence over the past 4 to 5 years, unable to take personal responsibility.

I am sick and tired of McCain's campaign complaining about this and about that on why his campaign is underperforming in the polls. Last I checked, McCain is the LEADER of his campaign, like Obama is the LEADER of his campaign.

Does a poor and erratic campaign not show that the leader is poor and erratic?!

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 15, 2008 2:02 PM

I'm sure McCain will mention Ayers as a middle class terrorist.

That would be consistent with his style.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 15, 2008 1:59 PM

Dear mwoke,
Ah yes, the media! There is always the media. How dare they report the news the way they do! They seem to think that reporting things, like the facts about Obama's associations with Mr. Ayres, and Ms. Palin's ethics violations, should make us listen to them. How dare they!
When the game is in the fourth quarter and the score is 54 to 46. The only possible reason the old home team could be losing is the referee.
I'm sorry you feel put upon by the media, Mr mwoke. We've all had that frustration at one time or another. I feel the same way about that erzatz-news outlet FoxNews. But don't worry anymore. It will all be over in a few days. You can pass gas at all the ruffians in the media to your heart's content. And so will I.

Posted by: jocro | October 15, 2008 1:59 PM

mwhoke - Why didn't the incessant drumbeat from AM radio, the blogosphere and Fox News have a counterbalancing effect? We're moving to an era where people pick their news source to align with their opinions. A friend of mine occasionally forwards me the usual stuff (Obama is a secret Muslim, the CRA caused the financial crisis). If you're not getting your news from a source you trust, you're not trying.

Since we're commenting on the Post, take a look at its editorial columnists sometimes. I'd say about 1/3 the columns are clearly liberal. Dionne. King. Marcus. Around 1/3 are clearly conservative. Will. Novak (until recently). Krauthammer. Gerson. The remainder are tricky to classify. If you don't think Broder has something interesting to say to everyone, you're not paying attention. I assure you that the politicians and operatives are.

In contrast, head over to the Washington Times sometime. Twice as many columns and almost every one of them a clearly identifiable conserative. Usually, there's one, a, single, column from the left.

As far as I can tell, you think people are sheep. This is more a case of working the refs than trying to win the game.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 15, 2008 1:59 PM

Will McCain fail to mention the Middle Class again??

Posted by: FredArbogast | October 15, 2008 1:56 PM

"Dan Balz fails to mention in his article the most significant opponent John McCain faces other than Senator Obama, the main stream media."mwhoke

Ah, the old "main stream media" boogie man that Spiro Agnew railed against.

Give us a break. John McCain was the media darling until he hired former Bush hit man Steve Schmidt and his slime ball corporate lobbyist Rick Davis who has made millions representing foreign governments against American interests.

Once the McCain campaign went negative with its lying attacks against a basically good man, the media ( except for Fox Noise and their right wingnut commentators, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly) started questioning this old man and his barbie doll running mate on the issues and on their loss of character.

Surprise- Mccain/Palin did not want to address the issues because they have nothing to offer other than cheap personal attacks, smoke and mirrors and lies.

The "mainstream media" understands that this mad duo is dangerous to the American democratic system because it seeks to use fear, ignorance and lies to subvert the process.

I used to like the John McCain of 2000. But now my old military colleague has sold out his principles and lost his reason.

Viet-Nam Veteran
Khe Sanh 1968

Not this time.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 15, 2008 1:54 PM

Posted by: thejaner | October 15, 2008 1:45 PM

U R G E N T !!!! If I were Senator Barak Obama, I would offer the post of SECRETARY OF STATE to Hillary Clinton --- today, now, if possible during the debate.- Is there not a possibility to convey this suggestion to Senator Obama? Erico Stern (Montevideo, Uruguay)

Posted by: truderic | October 15, 2008 1:45 PM

John Dillinger---violent gangster.


John Ehrlichman and John Mitchell---corrupt convicted cronies in the Nixon Watergate scandal.


John Boy Walton---stole moonshine from the Baldwin Sisters' still.


John Hinckley---would-be assassin.


John Walker Lindh---American Taliban.


John---one who frequents prostitutes.


John---a toilet.


John McCain---Republican nominee for...president?


As John McCain runs for the highest office in the land, he still refuses to come clean and explain his association with this Who's Who of criminals, curs and commodes.


Who is the real John McCain? What kind of John is he really? And why won’t he tell us the truth?


Can we really trust..."John" McCain?


Shocking, isn't it? I hope Barack Obama brings this up at tonight's debate.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJThPjvscFs
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 15, 2008 1:41 PM

Dan Balz fails to mention in his article the most significant opponent John McCain faces other than Senator Obama, the main stream media.

The media decided early this year that Obama should be President and has failed the American people to further this desire.

The press has gone out of it's way to promote Obama and belittle first Hillary Clinton and then John McCain.

A potential example follows:

Tonight if John McCain would happen to pass gas during the debate the headlines tomorrow would read "McCain unleashes toxic gas attack on New York".

If Obama did the same it would be ignored as it should.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 15, 2008 1:29 PM

McCain will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat - or he can just hire Bill Clinton as his stand in for the last debate. This act will require perfect communication skills. Words do matter. ................
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/10/15/can-mccain-win-the-debate/

Posted by: glclark4750 | October 15, 2008 1:17 PM

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