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Readers' Town Hall Letdown

Our Readers Who Comment were not thrilled by last night's presidential candidate debate. Much of what they had to say is reflected in a sentence from TV critic Tom Shales:

"Neither [Republican John] McCain nor his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, gave a particularly electrifying performance and neither seemed truly responsive to the current frightening headlines about the potential collapse of the U.S. economy."

Comments about both Shales's review and financial columnist Steven Pearlstein's analysis reflect that. A number of readers also agreed with Shales when he called moderator Tom Brokaw "The biggest wet blanket on the debate stage."

Readers cheered for their candidates and claimed victory; some complained about McCain referring to Obama as "that one."

We'll start with the comments on the Shales column.

Frigistan said, "...looks like voters have already decided pretty much. Now it's just a question of how much and what loses republicans take in congress. I could care less about "that one" statement. Don't think he meant racial slur..."

But PhDiva wrote, ""That One" was unprofessional, disrespectful, and had racist implications. Even if McCain does not like Obama, he owes him respect as a fellow senator and a candidate. This was the equivalent of Ross Perot saying "You, People."... I was shocked and very disappointed by McCain."

kunino said, "The really startliong thing about this meeting was the clear evidence in the first ten minutes that neither candidate understood the questions the audience members put before them -- or else, neither cared much to answer them.
The audience put specific issues. They got back campaign generalities."

thebobbob wrote, "What a crotchety old man he is. McCain cut a very unsympathetic figure. He kept saying he knew how to do it, how to fix it.. well, he's had 30 years to to it and he didn't. Goodbye my friend..."

Sutter asked, "If McCain knows how to get Osama bin Ladn, why hasn't he shared this information with the CIA, Pentagon, etc. so they can get him now? He wants to wait to he gets the credit????"

nana4 was one of many who wrote about Tom Brokaw, saying, "The moderator was not so good, either. The last few times I have seen him on TV he has let his partisan friendship with McCain color his comments. I believe he, too, may be too old for prime time effectiveness anymore..."

concerned_citizen_2008 said, "Sorry Tom, but you were a horrible moderator. I don't care about your commentary on how hard things are, let the candidates talk, that's who we've tuned in to see."

And in the some-people-never-give-up category, KJS1956 said, "I keep asking myself during these debates, "How would Hillary answer this question?" And the answer I keep getting is, "She would answer it so much better than these two guys.""

Now for some comments on Pearlstein's analysis:

morningglory51 wrote, "Nowhere to be found is the mentality of "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".
This is a country of gimme, gimme, gimme."

cathy810 said, "Neither of these men inspire confidence."

krutkow75 seconded the motion, writing, "I agree with the person who wrote that neither man inspires great confidence... I have the sinking feeling that no matter who wins, America loses. Forget about campaign reform, we need major party reform and above all we need a genuine leader in Washington."

djmolter said, "...the sad part is that no candidate will talk about Americans making sacrifices because so few Americans are willing to do so... Our overwhelming sense of entitlement and our profligate ways over the last 40 years got us here, and they will keep us here until a major catastrophe forces us to change the way we live and our expectations."

But Lappel1 wrote, "Mr. Pearlstein, many of us have been making sacrifices for the past thirty years, working under an economy and a tax policy that has favored the few at the expense of the many. We are NOT going to make sacrifices anymore. The rich -- the business columnists of the world included -- are going to have to pay for this, not the already embattled poor"

popeye353 said, "These guys are so phony and out of their league with their "how to fix the economy" rhetoric. None of them has clear idea what to do to make things right. It's all just political ranting. USA is in for a very rough ride with no hope in sight from either party."

nicekid wrote, "In the current political climate, no candidate is going to talk about sacrifice. We all know it's going to have come, but it would be political suicide for a candidate to talk about it--particularly Obama. We all KNOW sacrifices are going to have to be made but that discussion will come after the election."

We'll close with this exchange:
Cowabunga1 said, "...Obama confronted McCain with same things he's been saying about him in commercials and campaign ads. McCain did not use his arguements against Obama directly to his face. Why is that? If he's not man enough to say it to Obama's face then he's a coward and not fit to be president."

Dash13-Fore replied, "Cowabunga1: that's because McCain's parents taught him; "If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all". In other words all of those "mud-slinging" adds from the McCain camp are lies!"

All comments on the Shales column are here.

All comments on the Pearlstein analysis are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  October 8, 2008; 6:38 AM ET
Categories:  McCain , Obama , Presidential Politics  | Tags: McCain, Obama, debate  
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Testing comment registration.

Posted by: Bob Greiner | October 15, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

We reap what we sow. People elected a GOP Congress and President that dominated the legislative agenda for the past eight years. Democrats are not immune, either, however, we, the people, are paying the price for their greed and willingness to plunder middle and working-class America for the corporate good. Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Posted by: Frankel | October 9, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The American media has become an oligopoly with obvious political afilliations. It's time for the independent journalists who report the facts without political favoritism to start again. Where are the small newspapers and small independent television news? Where are the reporters who "chased down" a story and reported the facts to the viewers? To all frustated journalists out there: These are entrepreneurial times. Please rise.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The American media has become an oligopoly with obvious political afilliations. It's time for the independent journalists who report the facts without political favoritism to start again. Where are the small newspapers and small independent television news? Where are the reporters who "chased down" a story and reported the facts to the viewers? For all frustated journalist out there: This are entrepreneurial times. Please rise.

Posted by: Voice2 | October 9, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

It appears both of them have no clue to how to fix our economic problems.

The most telling point in the debate was when McCain said health insurance is a responsibility and Obama said it is a right

There is the difference between the two. Per the more recent generations they believe they have a right to everything and no responsibility to pay for it or earn it

Where is it written in constitution that being born here gives you a right to health insurance? It is one of your responsibilities to work and pay for it, it is not a god given right.

Work, earn, save etc, words foreign to children of the Boomers who apparently gave their kids everything.

Well they are about to learn what their great grandparents did by way of a depression.

Posted by: dem52 | October 9, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Why the dress code for a town hall meeting? The audience wasn't running for president! The voters and independents want someone they can relate with...take off those jackets and stop being so formal! The war..both the Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the US being in Iraq. Someone be a man and stand up and say it! Tell the voters what they want to will you pay for your new programs? Spell it out! The election is so close and many people will still stay at home since they are not hearing the answers! Mr. McCain stop walking in circles, you made me dizzy!Let's hope the next debate will tell us what we need to hear!

Posted by: Hazel | October 8, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

All the grumpiness on the Post today... all the snide attacks on McCain.. it just confirms for me that McCain won the debate !! : )

Proof ? The CNN Independent room had a near split 12 - 10 win for Obama.. Last time it was overwhelmingly Obama… this time Solidad O'Brien actually had to carefully count the Obama votes... fearing perhaps a narrow McCain victory : )

Proof ? Only Campbell Brown dissented from all the other grumpy CNN liberal commentators. She thought that the debate was engaging and informative. I know I did.

Obama was on the defensive most of the night.. spouting his normal rhetoric and empty promises: no sacrifices except for more energy conservation ? huh ? Tax cuts for ALL ! health care for ALL ! but hey No program cuts ! I really didn't know Bill Ayers those six years ! I really didn't handout money to Friends of Freddie ! I'm just a normal guy on Freddies payroll (pointed out by McCain).. heck Chris Dodd took more pork than I did ! I mean read my biographies will ya ?

McCain offered substance. Freeze ALL spending with exceptions. A 2 –year commission of entitlements with an UP or DOWN Congressional vote. Real oversight behavior for Freddie (Obama claims he wrote letters... who needs to vote anyways? ) McCain reminded viewers of his Bipartisanship history. His opposition to Bush. A realistic vision of energy ALL options development. An order to Treasury to buy and re-negotiate bad mortgages. When asked he mentioned Buffett or Meg eBay as Treasury Secrectaries. Obama drew a blank.

Certainly more substance than rhetoric from McCain. More action than hope. McCain invited listeners to review his record. Obama did not do the same..why ? .Obama has NO record. Instead Obamas campaign and the liberal media are hiding or downplaying his past associations and record.

Obama was certainly smart to agree to only one Townhall debate. This was McCains night ! : )

Posted by: Petras Vilson | October 8, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"I supported Senator McCain during the primaries, but I've begun to realize I was supporting the John McCain of eight years ago. (I truly believe if he had been elected rather than George Bush, we wouldn't be in Iraq today.) I don't recognize this John McCain." amaikovich

John McCain was drumming for the invasion of Iraq as far back as 1994. Immediately after 9/11 when we had lauched the assault on Al Queda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, McCain went on the David Letterman show ( Oct 18, 2001) and said, "Next stop, Baghdad."

I believe that's why he supported Bush/Cheney after they smeared him in the 2000 primary. He was promised he would get his invasion. It's in his genes. He wants to redeem himself for our terrible nightmare we suffered in Viet-Nam. He still unnecessarily blames himsef- so as a modern day Don Quixote, he will find new wars to "win."

Watch the Letterman video here and witness his attempt to tie Iraq to the Anthrax that we now know came from the Baltimore Army Lab.

"He knows how to win wars." not, but he probably knows how to start them.

Not this time. The Mad Hatter and the Moose killer are just beyond belief.

Posted by: Lesley Morgan | October 8, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Young and Poor people voting... what a world ....what a world.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

citizenwells, I googled Philip J Berg to see what you are talking about. I don't know if it will work. If it does, it will indeed be a history-making event. I think Americans will be highly upset if they have one choice on the ballot though. Might not be good for McCain if people start a write-in campaign, but the electoral college will have no other good alternatives. And McCain might not ever gain the support of Americans.

Posted by: dcp | October 8, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Does McSame live in gated community?...

He sure acts weird in public....

Posted by: scott not for- dipstick-lipstick-rove 08 | October 8, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I know that the Washington Post is watching the Philip J Berg lawsuit. I helped break the story and follow it closely.
When is the Washington Post going to cover this important story.
This could end up being the story of the century.

Posted by: Citizenwells | October 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I missed the debate. But for good reason. Here's why.

Posted by: Writing Frontier | October 8, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

For months now we've been hearing how great McCain is in Town-Hall-Style meetings. He wanted Obama to join him in some. In this Town-Hall-Style Debate McCain looked like a tired, angry old man with a chip on his shoulder spouting the same old stuff. So much for his great Town-Hall style!

The worst part of the debate was Tom Brokaw! I kept checking to see if he was wearing MSgt. stripes on his sleave. He got in the way of what could have been a better debate. He acted like a petulant grade school teacher trying to keep order among an unruly class. There were times it was more about Brokaw and his silly rules than the two guys debating.

This debate gets a B-minus. Brokaw got a C.

Posted by: Dave Michaels | October 8, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

An idea! Each person's vote is weighted by the amount of taxes that they pay. Democrats will like this, they don't think the rich pay any taxes! The Republicans will like this, the bottom 40% of the population that doesn't pay any income tax won't get to vote! So everyone will be happy, and those of us that actually do pay will at least get to choose how the money, which was earned by us, is spent.

Posted by: RS | October 8, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain's condescending behavior towards Obama is doing him no good. He looked like a frail old man who has reached the end of the rope. McCain, the Vietnam was lost, really, get over it. America has moved on, you should too.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Actually Doug, I never said I was "letdown" by the debate. To the contrary, I thought it was incredibly obvious that Barack Obama not only won the debate but that he consistently shows the qualities we need in the President of the United States.

Here's my comment in full ------------------------------------

There shouldn't be any doubt that Barack Obama is the clear winner of the debate.

While John McCain threw around the same tired lies and smears his campaign has been spouting off the last few weeks, Obama talked about the issues, he explained what was going on behind the scenes and what he was going to do about it. You see, that's what Obama is all about, he's actually spent a good amount of time thinking about these issues. He realizes that we have to prioritize – some things have to come first, some things have to take a back seat – but he tells you why. He wants to share what he sees going on in Washington with us to give us a clearer picture of what's going on in our country. He wants to empower us. He shows the intelligence, the courage, the patience and the empathy that we should demand of the president of the United States of America.

And I don't know if any of you caught it, but after the debate was over, McCain only shook a few hands in the crowd and rushed out the door. Meanwhile Obama stayed there, to talk to the audience – determined to stay in touch with the views and concerns of the people.

We have been constantly lied to the last eight years, and the McCain campaign is putting all it's chips on the hope that we, the American people, are mindless sheep that will believe anything the government tells us. Well, more and more, it's clear that we're waking up. They keep trying to control us with fear, so they can continue to focus on only the things that serve their own interests. But we've been paying attention to this election... we've done our homework and it has never been more clear how misleading the Republican party is, and how little value they place on the hearts, the minds and the current plight of the American people.

There's really only one choice this year for president, and I hope that you will join me, a concerned citizen who cares about things beyond himself, in voting for our next president of the United States of America: BARACK OBAMA!

America is our country, and we CAN make it better. It really is up to us.

Posted by: Concerned_Citizen_2008 | October 8, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Who ever is media darling wins... it has been happening since 1980 at least I know of. It is always who is more likable than substance... I can understand the democrats/republican voting for their pary candidate, but the 'so called' independent. That is a joke. They will vote to who ever they are told is more likable. BTW folks stop blamming every one specially the rich, look first how every one has contributed to this economic mess. Everyone of us was party to this False sense and feel good spending life style based on borrowed money. And yes I am not a rich person, I work for a living and just make thru. Only thing which gives me hope and that is what John McCain I believe said... we are still the most hard working people, we are resilient and we can accept our mistake and make every possible effort to correct things. One thing we as people are capable of and will do is lift ourselfs of any trouble and do not need help. I believe in America.

Posted by: MVP | October 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I sat there shaking my head when Senator McCain started the debate with, "Let's make America the biggest mortgage company in America!" Isn't he supposed to be the small government guy?

Then he talks about his experience...after selecting the least experienced nominee ever to run for VP of the United States.

I supported Senator McCain during the primaries, but I've begun to realize I was supporting the John McCain of eight years ago. (I truly believe if he had been elected rather than George Bush, we wouldn't be in Iraq today.) I don't recognize this John McCain.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 8, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Are there no arguments left for COMMON SENSE? These fool politicians are in essence doing nothing more than proposing never ending band-aids (i.e., tax cuts, tax increases) on top of the previous 50 years of band-aids without ever addressing the overall, intertwined picture of the sum of private & govt SPENDING. None have the balls to say enough...NO MORE spending bills that aren't offset by a corresponding reduction in some other appropriation. Need they be constantly reminded???...IT'S NOT THEIR MONEY!!! Why does the govt even have a so-called budget?'s meaningless.

Posted by: nawlinsron | October 8, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I found events after the debate to be more interesting than the debate itself. Why did McCain leave so soon, while Obama continued to work the room for another 15-20 minutes? That was a bad choice on McCain's part. It made him look as if he did not care about this group of independent voters, or was afraid to speak with them, or was too exhausted after the debate to continue.

It was also interesting to watch Cindy McCain follow her husband around the room, always a respectful two paces behind him, while Michelle and Barack Obama worked the room both separately and together, clearly equal partners.

You can disregard a lot of what any politician says, but you can tell a lot by how he/she behaves.

Posted by: CitizenB | October 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes . . . and as we know, AN ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCE is the ONLY thing that counts, right? TV audiences DESERVE electrification. Why, if it isn't ELECTRIFYING, why watch at all? Who watches television that isn't ELECTRIFYING?

Go huff your flatscreen. Smush yourself up against and remind it how much you love it, how much you need it, how EMPTY your world would be without television to high-define it. Without ELECTRIFYING performances to make you feel.

Electrifying PERFORMANCES, that's what we want. PERFORMANCES. It's a show, remember?

This is television--that's why it exists: to provide us with ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCES, whether it's a debate or Dancing With The Stars. Drama can be war, or it can be a catfight on The View. All same, all time. ELECTRIFYING--or nothing.

What a bankrupt argument. It wasn't "electrifying."


Posted by: JMarra | October 8, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed at you Obama people continually.Obama could spend two hours of just saying duh, duh! da duh! and the communist left media would be struck in awe, and claim Obama the winner.
Frankly, that is all he ever does, he is good at saying a lot of nothing, but who cares what he says because after all he is black, I would interject here, on the out side only.

Posted by: Michael L. Tucker | October 8, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Zyskandar A. Jaimot | October 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Why do people even believe what candidates say during debates? Press conferences? In their ads?

It's all BS.

Wait until the election is over and the winner determined. The next President to be will then start to back pedal from EVERYTHING he said or promised during the campaign.

Obama? He will back pedal away from raising taxes ONLY on the "rich" and say everyone's taxes need to be raised. He will back pedal away from his comments on offshore drilling and clean coal. He will back pedal away from doing anything about health care. He will back pedal away from his promises on Iraq.

McCain? He will back pedal away from his proposed tax cuts. He will back pedal away from that nonsense mortgage bailout mentioned last night. He will back pedal away from his own suggested reforms to health care.

Nothing will change.

Posted by: Whatever | October 8, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The Dude abides.

Posted by: Harumph | October 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

For any of you dems that would like to blame the current economic crisis on Bush I urge to read the two articles below.
I'm not trying to defend Bush or McCain, just trying to be clear about how we got here. It is easy and simple to place the blame on the guy at the wheel when the problem finally escalates, but if continue to point the finger wrongly then we are doomed to repeat the failures. The current economic crisis is the result of liberal lending and underwriting policy driven by ex-President Bill Clinton and supported by people like Barney Frank and Harry Reid. Then Frank has the gall to blame the private sector - thats chutzpah.

If Clinton didn't meddle back in 1999 we would not be talking about it right now. Vote the way you want for the various issues that are important to you. But laying the blame of the current crisis on the Republicans is foolish simple thinking.

Posted by: vexed | October 8, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

For "hmmm": Excellent analogy with the skyscraper! Kudos! Have you contacted the government with this? I think they believe we live in a huge castle with the serfs working in the basement and waiting hand and foot on the king and queen. Personally, I need a new potato sack to wear :)

Posted by: Fooish | October 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If this was 2000, I would most likely vote for McCain. I've always respected him and think he's a good man. However, it's eight years later and John just doesn't seem like the same person. He seems tired, frail, and easily lead. I think he has people giving him bad advice and he's just agreeing instead of telling them that all this nastiness isn't his style. I fear that if he wins, those same people will push him to make dangerous decisions and he'll just be too worn out to put up a fight. Case in point: did you see him shuffling around last night? I mean, I just felt bad for him and wanted to sit him down in a comfy recliner. Obama, whom I will probably vote for because he inspires me and gets me excited about change and what we can all do together, fell a little flat last night. He doesn't seem comfortable working with small groups and didn't answer many of the questions. McCain's style is town hall, Obama's is stadium. Let's just pray, hope, wish, cross our fingers that common sense will prevail with whomever wins the election. And, either way, let's remember that we're more than our favored parties...we're Americans. Do something nice for another human being.

Posted by: Fooish | October 8, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Sylvia Browne | October 8, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh and then there was his refusal to shake his hand.

It all tells the same story.

Posted by: Mike in Sac | October 8, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain refuses to look at Obama in the first debate, calls him "That One" last night, and was really rude to the black guy in the audience. Basically said the guy was ignorant and did not own a home.

McCain's contempt and dismissive attitude towards Obama is clear. He clearly is offended by Obama as if he is uppity or something...

McCain may not even realize it himself, but he is a bigot.

Posted by: Mike in Sac | October 8, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Was it just me who noticed this. michelle Obama was so rude to cindy.. she didn't even turn around to acknowledge her.. what's up with that..

Posted by: hms | October 8, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The "That One" comment sounded just like my grandpa, who can't tell me and my brothers from each other. A matter of fact, John McCain looked like my grandpa walking around that stage like he was a resident in the same retirement home.

Posted by: latinovoter | October 8, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It all comes down to jobs:
1)The blue collar jobs went overseas to China.
2)The white collar IT jobs were outsourced to India or went to imported H1B workers.
3)The unskilled/semi-skilled labor jobs went to illegals.
4)The real estate and mortgage broker jobs dried up with the real estate market due to #1 and #2.
We are getting slapped by the invisible hand of the marketplace and neither candidate knows how to stop that dynamic.

Posted by: Dude | October 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

He have an interesting psychological dynamic happening in the electorate and it's apparent in some of the Republican Campaign events. 8 years of tripartite Republican rule and this nation and world are obviously falling apart. It's is so blatantly apparent to everyone. Most people in the country have realized that the emperor has no clothes and are fleeing to the counterpoint in droves. However, those folks that have owned a viewpoint of being Republican as part of their personal identity...are getting angry and desperate. They are in an identity crisis. Undeniably people don't want to be wrong, especially if that error is held deeply in their faith and belief system. They want the emperor to be clothed even if he is not.

So instead of admitting...even personally to themselves...that they might have been mislead by the GOP over so many years, they build up a dire amount of anger and angst and attack those that differ. Like cornered Mountain Lions...all will pay. The simple fact is that Obama only has a differing VIEWPOINT on what to do in our world crisis. That's it, nothing else. He's NOT the devil, he's NOT a terrorist, he's NOT going to destroy the world, he's NOT going to tax you into poverty, and when he is elected the world WILL keep turning and the rapture WON'T come.

People need to not vindicate their utter existence simply by the views they hold. Many times views can be wrong. It's OK to have a differing opinion on how to do really is. Voice your opinion...listen to other opinions...change your mind when the facts outweigh the rhetoric...but don't stake your entire self-worth on an ideal.

Fostering this ridiculous belief of righteous infallibility is the greatest mistake the GOP has made over the last 20+ years. It's exactly how the Nazi's persuaded regular folk to exterminate a race. It's exactly how the Islamic Extremists foster the hatred and fuel their terrorist agenda. Do American's with our great history really want to go down this path?

Posted by: SWMissouri | October 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

We need more funding for schools, as well as Health care, so the delusional can get their meds! like this dummy....
Yes, it does seem that voters have decided. Decided to help destroy this country and turn it into the largest socialist country on earth.

I am continually amazed that so many people can be completely mesmerized by someone who is so totally unqualified to do much more than stand and read from a script.

BHO is no more able to be President of the USA than I am and that makes me, and it should also make all of you, very frightened at the potential.

A dem congress and a dem White House is a receipe for disaster.

Remember this in 4 years, it may just well make you shutter.

God help America.

Posted by: R | October 8, 2008 11:28 AM

Posted by: Tom | October 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

LOOK FORWARD Senator McCain. Too much effort attempting to discredit your opponents (with sometimes half truths). Remember, we're listening to help ourselves decide who's going to be our next President. Think LEADERSHIP!!!!!!

Posted by: Jim Campbell | October 8, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Republicans, The party is over! Tell your new found love to skip her folksy self back to Alaska

Posted by: Tom | October 8, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I came away from the debate not seeing a clear winner. McCain's reiteration of "I have done it!" and "I can do it!" made me shout at the TV, "Then where are the positive results of your doing it?" and "Why haven't you done it already?" He's had over two decades of time to get things done, but the results are rather pitiful. It is apparent to me, he's been part of the problem, and not the solution.

Obama tried hard to look candid and forceful, but, IMO, was merely spackling over the fact that his great changes will not happen with the US economy in the shape it is presently in. Tax cuts? No, I don't think so. Money for alternative energy sources? Nope, we can't do that one either.

The debate left me depressed. I don't want to vote for either of these men.

Posted by: mgkonyx | October 8, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Sure it would have been a change of pace if McCain stood up at the end and asked the American people:

"Do you want to live in a socialist fascist state controlled by a dictator whose political career began in the living room of a domestic terrorist."

People were looking for blood last night and I can understand that. But in reality as the media did their number to set up Palin to fail in her debate the media was attempting to set up McCain as well. Obama did not say anything different. In fact Obama was more boring than McCain. You can only stretch "style" so far.

Posted by: Campbell | October 8, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

See Out Takes From Last Nights Debate, Obama and McCain practicing for the debate and the mistakes they made.

Watch a video of McCain dropping the F-Bomb
in a video

I just saw a new poll come out....Dream tickets for the president. Huckabee/Palin comes out 5 to 1 over McCain/Palin. Perhaps the RNC should switch out McCain for Huckabee, they might have a better chance at the white house this year cause I just can't see Obama loosing at this point. The problem is news stations are already calling the race for Obama.....switch it up and have a chance, or should we all stay home and just let Obama take the white house? see poll at

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what answers either candidate give to any question, as it will be seen as either to invloved, therefore boring and the viewers tune out, or, to general and the candidate is seen as being unresponsive. If you need a better example of what is wrong with this country, you need look no further than the 32 half-wit "undecided" voters who spent 90 minutes dialing up and down on meter registering their reactions to the candidates responses. This brain dead group spent a good amount of time with their dials turned all the way up, meaning they agreed with the candidate, women more with Obama, men more with McCain. After the debate they discussed their reactions and almost to a person, they felt that the candidates either didn't say anything, or they didn't hear what they wanted to hear....DUH.

Posted by: pj451 | October 8, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

To R:

You are accussing that Democrats will "ruin" this country and make it a Socialist nation.



Posted by: TruAmerican | October 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the debate was disappointing for both parties, as both candidates reiterated talking points and arguments that we have heard repeatedly. In that regard, it's like they used the exact same material from the first debate and applied it to much more specific questions, which lead to a lot of generalities and answers that barely skimmed the questions. Obama still was able to answer the questions more directly than McCain, i.e. when a young man asked how the bailout plan will effect us as individuals, and Barack had a very commonsense way of explaining those effects. In the end though, Barack mentioned the middle class over and over again. McCain did not once in the entire 90 mins say "the middle class." I think this says a lot about who has our best interests at heart, even if both candidates failed in discussing the actual policies we will need to "fix" Washington.

Posted by: Erin | October 8, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey R-
So did you graduate in the top of your class at Harvard? Have you served as a Senator for the past four years? or a community organizer? Professor of law? Please. I'm pretty sure that Obama has more qualifications for presidency than yourself.

Posted by: HAHA | October 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Response to hmmmmm!


You're an idiot! You vote along philosophy is idiots like you that will ruin America.

The rest of us are truly trying to find a candidate who will change America and you are worried about who will keep abortion legal....I'm sorry but I need to say this again! You are an IDIOT!

Abortion is so founded in America it will not go away and you still think you have to vote for a candidate that approves it....Bush had 8 years and 4 years of a Republican Congress and could not change it!

Stop voting on issues and start voting for who will lead our Country.

It is you and those like you that will be our demise...because it's all about issues that do not matter!

The only smart things you mentioned was the CEO/Bankers...and that is because we all know that is a problem....that we can change! (hopefully)

Abortion, militia, gun control are all things that are such small potatoes...

Please grow up!! Before you ruin "Our Country"

I agree with another poster somewhere that said we need a New Party becuase bboth of these are to busy with their lobbist friends and terrorist friends to help America!

Posted by: Roger Rabbit | October 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it does seem that voters have decided. Decided to help destroy this country and turn it into the largest socialist country on earth.

I am continually amazed that so many people can be completely mesmerized by someone who is so totally unqualified to do much more than stand and read from a script.

BHO is no more able to be President of the USA than I am and that makes me, and it should also make all of you, very frightened at the potential.

A dem congress and a dem White House is a receipe for disaster.

Remember this in 4 years, it may just well make you shutter.

God help America.

Posted by: R | October 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Some fundamental reasons I vote the way I do:

1. Who will the terrorists vote for?

2. Who will the free loaders vote for?

3. Who will the people that want the government to fund child killing vote for?

4. Who will the people that replaced God with government vote for?

5. Who will the people that always believe lack of money is the problem with our education system (when studys have determined there is no correlation) vote for?

6. Who will the people that believe government is there to serve them because they are the victims vote for?

7. Who will the people that believe if we just love the terrorists and everyone else then we can just get along vote for?

8. Who will the people that believe we need the government to regulate and have laws for every possible conceivable issue because they need to be protected from their neighbor (and everyone else) vote for?

Folks we're screwed! Neither candidate is fit to serve. I know most of you will groan when you read this, but when you abandon a moral compass, when you decide anything/everything is good as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, when everyone determines their own right and wrong, when you forsake personal accountability and hand over responsibility to the government - then you've lost. You cannot legislate these things.

The only hope is for Obama to win so we can hit rock bottom over the next four years and we can finally wake up to the fact that the big socialist experiment is a failure. Then maybe the pendulum can start to swing the other way...

Posted by: vexed | October 8, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"one more thing we need a national voting card to stop Obama and the ilks of the people like him from registering illegal people."

What about the military men and women who have been deployed overseas? Many of them change addresses frequently. What about the people who have had their homes foreclosed on and are looking for a place to live?

Karl Rove developed a caging list to disenfranchise nearly 3,000,000 votes in the last election. He is doing it again. It is not a problem of a few "illegals," voting for Senator Obama. The Republicans have never been able to come up with even one example. No names, no proof.

It is a problem of massive voter disenfranchisement that the Republicans are trying to do in this election. They are scum and criminals to are trying to subvert out Democracy in order to elect a war mongering old man and his totally ignorant and unqualified running mate.

Not this time.

"Three million americans did NOT have their vote counted in the 2004 presidential election. Any questions on who really won?

Watch the video and see why.

Karl Rove needs to be locked away for good.

Posted by: Lucas Phillips | October 8, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Mccain is strikingly similar to the current president - rhetoric and no substance, doesnt care what the question was and keeps saying things like "I know how to fix it","Ive done it for years" etc. We needed to know how he is going to 'fix it'. Obama was much better in this regard but still I expected him to do much better.

Posted by: DJMadMan | October 8, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Much focus this morning on McCain's "That one" contemptuous dismissal of his opponent.

To understand John McCain's hatred of Barack Obama, one needs to understand the event that shaped him: the war in Vietnam.

I submit that, to McCain, Obama represents all those peaceniks who protested the war and eventually ended it. He can't forgive them for that, and so, cannot tolerate Obama.

McCain's view - shared my many veterans of the way (but not me) is that the US would have won the conflict, if our government had just not lost the will to fight.

My view - probably shared by Obama - is that we shouldn't have been there in the first place, that it was a civil war between opposing ideologies, and it was wrong for us to insert ourselves into it, especially since we backed the wrong side - a corrupt regime that had lost the support of its own citizens.

We lost the war in Vietnam because we deserved to lose the war in Vietnam.

Posted by: Dennis Berry | October 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

financial markets are not open and free like the theories, they can and are controlled.

what i see coming is this - the economy is being crushed for a reason - the currency is being devalued inorder to usher in the new currency that has been in the works since 2005 when Bush officially signed us into the North American Union.

This new currency is called the Amero.

These guys talk of oil dependence on foreign countries, we get most of our foreign OIL from CANADA, then Saudi Arabia, then - you got it - MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you really think things are sooooo out of control?
These people have billions at stake individually, they can easily sacrifice our collective billions to put us on a new currency, erase our foreign debt and let the govt own a huge chunk of our economy and eventually collect money on OUR investments.

The govt has no business BUYING OUT not bailing out our debt for pennies on the dollar, only to make money in the end and own us.



Posted by: cowboy23 | October 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

lasts night debate was a big farse for both sides. I am sick and tired of the democrats always being the moderator. What happed to the league of women voters. We are hearing the same ole retoric over and over again and I for one am tired. We did not hear anything that we have not heard before. It time for term limits in Washington for both houses the same as we have our President. 8 years and out and its about time we clean out the loopholes for these corporate execs and companies and get the money back to the american. You both McCain and Obama say you want to help the middle class well do it. Put your money where your mouth is. Help the middle class and that is anyone making under 100,000 a year and let them have free taxes and especially the senior citizens you dont have to pay anymore taxes afterall you already paid your share. If you can give away free social security to the illegals you can give free away to the senior citizens. How about free health care. I said my piece and one more thing we need a national voting card to stop Obama and the ilks of the people like him from registering illegal people. You want to vote then get a card and show proof that you are an american citizen, a proper social security number and your married name and legal address that is all checked out thru the post office for a legitimate address and not a post office box number, just like you have to do when you get a drivers license in New Jersey or any other state and you have to have your photo on the card and it take 90 days to get approval. You want to vote you will take time to get your proper card. The card is then inserted into the computer database and on the day you vote your number is typed into the data base and therefore you cant vote but only once whereever you are in the usa. That way you can do away with absentee ballots.

Posted by: asleep | October 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

....and here we go again....

actually, that's been McCain's focus since before 2000, when he ran against Bush. It was his main talking point then, as it is now. But I assume you knew that.

So what's it like being in a campaign?

Posted by: drJaz | October 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

To hmmm:

EXCELLENT comment.

Could I copy what you have written and post it on other blogs?

McCain is OLD with OLD ideas and Obama is NEW with (Really Good) NEW ideas.

Posted by: TruAmerican | October 8, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The negative comments about Senator Obama are just slimers carrying out their marching orders to try and spin the results.

I watched the debate with my friends, many of whom are Republicans, ( I'm an Independent) and all of us clearly thought that Barack was the much more articulate, calm, and intelligent speaker.

John McCain seemed agitated, distracted, and almost unable to sit still. I believe they had him on drugs.

There was no no way that this was a close debate. Senator Obama won by a mile.

He spoke about issues effecting the middle class and asked us all to take part in the revival of our economy, to get our country moving again, and restore our good standing and respect in the rest of the world.

Anything else is spin.

Posted by: Elizabeth Gilmore | October 8, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

1.) Which candidate are the people that believe they're entitled to more of my paycheck than I am going to vote for?

2.) Which candidate are the people who want to subvert personal liberty and responsibility for "the good of society" going to vote for?

3.) Which candidate are the people who think it's perfectly fine for illegal aliens to come into this country and then apply for government services going to vote for?

4.) Which candidate are the people who want to ban public displays of Christianity, but are fine with Jewish/Islamic/Pagan symbols going to vote for?

5.) Who would Karl Marx vote for?

I vote the opposite of these people. The left believes that the solution to everything is government and regulation, but those who benefit most from the services don't pay a dime, while the middle class shoulders the burden.

Posted by: Hoq | October 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Hmmm........trickle down economics didn't work with regean. I don't think most people understand that our government gets revenue from taxes. In our current status taxes will have to be raised.
To my friends of this country:
we are broke. The chinese government is close to owning america. We as citizens have to suck it up and realize that yes, we have to pay taxes, and maybe a little more.
To the families who are struggling ie: middle class and working poor.
Why should we carry the entire tax burden? Why not close loopholes, hold companies accountable for shady practices, and make sure that the CEO who just raked in 5 million in a bonus has to pay a fair share.
In our country if you make over a certian amount, you automatically qualify for a 50,000 tax break. No reason, you just do. You are special. Meanwhile, my $50,000 a year pay is taxed beyond belief and I don't get that money back at the end of the year. I have chosen not to have kids so I am punished.

When are folks going to realize that politicians are just wolves in sheeps clothing. They bank on us being apathetic and ignorant.

Posted by: Brie | October 8, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I find find it funny when people post that they either liked McCain or would have voted for him but will not vote for him now because of something he said. They are "The second coming of Jesus" supporters and our LIARS!!!

Posted by: The superstar | October 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

obama is calm and collected with a sense of transparency, where Mccain is old and tired and programmed to hide his intentions like any washington veteran. McCain has had years to make a difference and I dont think his 'Maverick' attitude has made our country any safer.

And why is nobody commenting on when he responded to the young black man's question he said 'you probably dont know much about this!" and proceeded to give a half ass explantion of freddie and fannie. How does he know this is man wasnt an economics major or economist? That seemed super lame to me.

McCain is known for his temper - we saw a glimpse of it - he is irrational and old. He doesnt even have a computer!!! Seriously, do you want an out of touch old man representing Amerikkka in the 21st century?

He may not be the best but Obama is much more appealing!

Posted by: cowboy23 | October 8, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

morningglory51 wrote, "Nowhere to be found is the mentality of "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". This is a country of gimme, gimme, gimme."

nicekid wrote, "In the current political climate, no candidate is going to talk about sacrifice. We all know it's going to have come, but it would be political suicide for a candidate to talk about it--particularly Obama. We all KNOW sacrifices are going to have to be made but that discussion will come after the election."

What a shame that these commenters didn't pay close attention to the debate! Obama said clearly that as a nation we're going to have to stop buying so much junk in the story abotu 9/11 when G.W.'s suggestion to us getting back on our feet was "GO SHOPPING".

We are a very wasteful nation. I thought Obama very clearly stated that we will need to sacrifice need to BUY BUY BUY over the next four years and concentrate on what's important. McCant answered the question by saying we'd need to sacrifice wasteful governmental programs (which was a line he picked up from Obama). This was a really good debate. Too bad our country has the attention span of a green pea and can't recognize it.

Posted by: anonymouse | October 8, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

What an amazingly crappola article. I mean seriously folks, who cares what the blog commentators think? Most of them are stumping for their own parties and not making any real analysis. Party stumping = not relevant to the real national opinion.

Next time Doug Feaver....TAKE A POLL. Anything else is just too anecdotal.

Posted by: drJaz | October 8, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Excellent comment by "hmmm" above. I absolutely agree.

Also, with respect to the debate, wasn't it a letdown because Brokaw for the most part selected the same questions used in the first debate? His performance was a disaster from start to finish.

Posted by: Deborah | October 8, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Some fundamental reasons I vote the way I do:

1. Who are the members of the KKK going to vote for?

2. Who are the abortion clinic bombers going to vote for?

3. Who are the people that barely leave their home for fear of terrorists going to vote for?

4. Who are the multi-millionaire Wall Street / Insurance company CEO's / Fat cats going to vote for?

5. Who are the gun hording, tax evading, back-woods militia men going to vote for?

6. Who are the people who think immigrants are less than human being going to vote for?

7. Who are the people that want the government to have no control over anything but a woman's private parts going to vote for?

8. Who are the people that don't care what happens to America as long as their taxes don't increase going to vote for?

I'm not voting with them. This country is going to quickly fall apart if we don't start with reinforcing the foundation. It's like a skyscraper. Everything that keeps the building running is in the basement, a long stretch of tennants in the middle that keep the building funded with their rent, and the penthouse from which everything is supposed to "trickle down". The GOP wants to keep packing luxury into the penthouse without reinforcing the rest of the building. Soon it will topple over unless we do something about it.

Posted by: hmmm. | October 8, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

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