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The Final Debate: A Presidential Presence

So finally we know what has been missing for the McCain campaign during this debate season: a chair!

John McCain looked so much more comfortable tonight in his snug little seat at Hofstra University than he did in the first two debates, when he stood awkwardly at a lectern in Mississippi or lurched around the town hall meeting in Tennessee. His performance tonight wasn’t radically better, but this time at least you did not worry that McCain’s inner voice was crying: Help! Get me out of here!

Despite McCain’s improved comfort level, the GOP nominee seemed once more to be outmaneuvered by Mr. Cool. Barack Obama again showed an ability to explain clearly and calmly to the American people what’s going on in the U.S. economy, and why his policies may help to fix what’s wrong. He conveys in an almost subliminal way the sense that rational people -- people like him, specifically -- can solve these problems. And that’s the kind of reassurance the American people are looking for.

Obama finally seemed to connect tonight with the reality that the country is really hurting, and really scared. Still no FDR moment, still too many repetitions of three-point plans we’ve heard before. But at least there was more urgency tonight when Obama spoke of the economic crisis. For McCain, inexplicably, the economic issue remained a disconnect.

McCain seemed unable to decide tonight whether he wanted to take the high road or the low road, and so he tried a little of both. Which is to say, he wasn’t sure where he was going. He brought up the issue of Bill Ayers and Obama’s supposed links to this “terrorist,” but he didn’t explain the issue or drive it home. Obama delivered a cogent rebuttal. McCain took a similar roundhouse swing on ACORN’s voter registration drive, using heavy-duty rhetoric about fraud without explaining what he was talking about. Unless you’re an already-convinced listener of right-wing talk radio, your reaction to these not-quite-attacks was probably: Say what????

What I liked best about Obama’s performance tonight was that he said one of the unspeakables in American politics -- which is that ordinary people are going to have to make sacrifices to fix problems. That’s the thing you never hear in the usual debates -- the idea that Mom and Pop are going to have to cut back their spending, or save more, or be more careful in their financial decisions. This taboo is part of the we-can-have-it-all illusion in American politics. But Obama challenged it head-on.

“There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments,” Obama said at one point. “We're not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways,” he continued -- specifying that by that, he meant government, business and ordinary folks, too. Mirabile dictu! Wonderful to relate.

What these debates have shown America is that Barack Obama, the skinny guy with the funny name, is a calm and coherent voice in a frightening time. He has been leaderly, reassuring, respectful of his opponent but tough in making his case. Let’s just say it: In the three debates, he has sounded presidential.

By David Ignatius  | October 16, 2008; 12:06 AM ET
Categories:  Ignatius  | Tags:  David Ignatius  
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Comments

McCain , who has ran 100% negative adds was whining to Obama on how poorly he had been treated. Obama said he could take it for 3 more weeks. What's McCain gonna do when he has 90% of the citizenry who thinks he's wrong? Will he cry to Bob Schieffer then?

Posted by: majorteddy | October 16, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

What people saw tonight, I believe, is the next president of the united states, Barack Obama.

Posted by: tydicea | October 16, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I am so happy that Barack Obama reiterated that we the people will need to sacrifice to save this country. He stated this in the previous debate also. This is true leadership. And are we really listening? I am currently unemployed and the bill collectors are knocking at the door but I am ready to sacrifice because the real crisis is that our country is in deep trouble. Will there be businesses small or large around to even hire me. I certainly can not get a loan to start my own business. The Republican Party just doesn't get it. They have sold illusions for far too long that they have become delusional. The country left the Republicans behind a long time ago.

Posted by: MLHthinking | October 16, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

I watched all three debates, and I'm surprised that hardly anyone noticed how awkwardly nervous and desperate McCain appeared tonight. True, some of his incessant blinking could be attributed to the bright stage lights, but it was so constant -- and only when he was talking -- that it was obviously a nervous tick of sorts, which is a good indicator that the speaker isn't being candid or honest.

At least he managed to look at Obama a few times this go-around -- it helped that their chairs were angled toward each other -- but even so, each quick glance was patronizing and scoffing -- a marked difference to Obama's nods and sincere demeanor. Even though McCain avoided refering to Obama as "that one", he couldn't manage the cordiality to refer to Obama by name in his closing statement. On the one hand, McCain almost was in tears telling his story about allegedly being labeled intolerant by one of his Senate colleagues, yet his actions and his words belie some disturbing traits and an ugly attitude.

I'm really tired of all the deference (excuses) McCain has been accorded because of his POW past, especially by the press. If the tables were turned and Obama exhibited half of "that one's" queer mannerisms and offensive quirks, the media would be having a field day.

Posted by: honest_news | October 16, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I thought the POW angle was markedly absent this time (thank goodness).

Yup, McCain just proved that having his twitchy little finger next to any red buttons would indeed be a scary thing.

I hope folks are thinking about how McCain would interact and negotiate with global leaders, given the disdain and disrespect he shows for his opponent.

Posted by: pasc1 | October 16, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse


Acts 13 V. 25:

And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

McCain or Obama in the current context?

We don't even need a fact checker here. The expression that appeared again and again on McCain's face during this final debate said only one thing. And we choose to quote from Obama's mother here, namely, 'look buster, this is no picnic for me either!'

ONLY MCCAIN HAS SO SERVED HIS MASTER THRUOUT HIS LIFE, HEREIN, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -- ONE COUNTRY, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

MCCAIN FOR OUR GREAT NATION'S NEXT PRESIDENT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | October 16, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

McCain could not control his own face even.

How can he run a nation?

Posted by: T-Prop | October 16, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brucerealtor
"ONLY MCCAIN HAS SO SERVED HIS MASTER THRUOUT HIS LIFE..."
==================================
Oh, come now, Bruce.

I'm a career military vet, served this nation all my life.

Doesn't qualify me to be president.
.

Posted by: T-Prop | October 16, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

"The country left the Republicans behind a long time ago."

actually, the politicians - republican and democrat - left the country behind a long time ago.

Posted by: panchenlama | October 16, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

What I would like to know is why on every one of these "postpartisan posts" is there a McCain/Palin pd for ad on the sidebar of the story?

Posted by: gjkbear | October 16, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

T-Prop; gee, I thought Bruce was referring to Jesus or God ... But you are right, could have been military. Whatever Bruce was referring to - he just doesn't get it! Thanks for your insight.

Posted by: gjkbear | October 16, 2008 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Today it became obvious that the big gain in the stock market earlier this week was a dead cat bounce.

Well, I think John McCain is the dead cat.

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 16, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Obama was smooth; his mentor, the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, taught him well. Obama wrote about Frank in glowing terms in his first book.

Posted by: love234america | October 16, 2008 3:26 AM | Report abuse

I can't say I'm entirely excited that people finally figured out what I could read across McCain's face months ago.

I'm actually a little scared that it took this long for America to get it and that, even now, people are making excuses for him.

Well, we're not out of the woods yet. We've still got the ugly business of VOTING.

Florida has already "accidentally" sent out mails telling people they weren't eligible to vote. And now they're saying they're following that up with a retraction (also mailed!) explaining the 'screw-up'.

Posted by: zer0lin | October 16, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA PROVED SUPERIOR STRESS TOLERANCE - THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY FOR A PRESIDENT

Stress destroys judgment, intelligence and creativity and calls forth mental imbalance and aggressiveness. Even worse, it activates defense mechanisms - "psychological blinders", that distort the perception of reality.

Therefore, high stress tolerance is by far the most important quality of a president.

The stressful presidential debate is a good "stress tolerance test". Once again Sen. Obama proved his high stress tolerance "in battle".

It is evident that with Obama, we will have a president capable of making intelligent, wise, realistic and balanced judgments, keeping his mind cool under the very stressful conditions of presidency that will be worse than ever due to the severe economic crisis.

Regarding McCain, judge for yourself..

J.Grandville, M.D.
Expert on stress- and developmental psychology

Posted by: drgrandville | October 16, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth any American would want anything to do with the repugnicons is beyond my imagination.

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | October 16, 2008 3:40 AM | Report abuse

McSame came off as one loopy SOB whining and interupting both the moderator and Senator Obama with his rants about Rep.Lewis (who accurately detailed the Klan rallies that Angry Old Man and Caribou Barbie have been running)and the tale of poor, poor Joe the Plumber. The dude is seriously unhinged and will have a tough time doing ANYTHING in the Senate once he loses this election by a landslide!

Posted by: braultrl | October 16, 2008 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Game, set, match. Congratulations, President Obama.

Posted by: pjwhite530 | October 16, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama was calm and respectful while John McCain was an angry, condescending jerk AGAIN.

McCain stated that he wasn't President George Bush but hasn't he voted with Bush 90% of the time during the past two Administrations?

How can McCain talk about being the Candidate of Change when he's been in Washington longer than the Lincoln Memorial?

Add to that, the fact that McCain's pick as his running mate is the most inexperienced, uneducated and corrupt dimwit V.P. candidate ever seen.

Let's hope that Obama and Biden win this Election because if not, our country's doomed.

Posted by: scout_march16 | October 16, 2008 3:59 AM | Report abuse

The VP debate made me ashamed to be a female, John McCain makes me ashamed to be a human being, I want to be a whole different species from this angry old man.

Posted by: logicaldog1 | October 16, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

love234 wrote "Obama was smooth; his mentor, the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, taught him well. Obama wrote about Frank in glowing terms in his first book."

You are spreading lies, but then again, haven't you been for a while now? Frank Marshall Davis was one of many great, influential citizens in this country that were slandered by Joe McCarthy in the '50s, along with the newspaper he published, the Honolulu Record. I think mentioning Joe McCarthy says enough--how many great Americans were torn down by that creep?
Your source is apparently "The Obama Nation," certainly an inflammatory book, by a pretty shady author. I am sure you would disagree, but I ask you--if you can believe that crap, then can I reserve the right to enjoy Michael Moore and Oliver Stone as reality too...??
Now please stop spreading lies, you are starting to look like a brown-shirt.

Posted by: steveinohio | October 16, 2008 4:44 AM | Report abuse

Not to press too much, but if you want to help refute lies being spread by the right, it doesn't take much to look up the facts:
This is taken from :
Frank Marshall Davis: Black Labor Activist and Outsider Journalist:
Social Movements in Hawai`i
by: Kathryn Waddell Takara, Ph.D.
"He espoused freedom, radicalism, solidarity, labor unions, due process, peace, affirmative action, civil rights, Negro History week, and true Democracy to fight imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy. He urged coalition politics. He called for people to investigate the real threats to democracy, such as big business interests, repression, censorship, thought control, the war machine, anti-communist hysteria, unemployment, reactionaries and fascism, segregation and racism."
Now can you see why the right may not have liked him? Social justice doesn't mean communism.
My point is that Obama will continue to have to fight the smears sent his way, over and over again and tonight, I think he showed he has the temperament to take it. Anybody else think that McCain was about to launch himself over the table at Obama at least once tonight?

Posted by: steveinohio | October 16, 2008 5:03 AM | Report abuse

From reading all the slimy blogs on the right, left, and everything in between, the obvious strategy was for McCain to sow the sseds of doubt about Obama's readiness to serve as president.

Yet, on a day in which those same strategists virtually ignored a 733! tumble in the stock market, all they accomplished was removing every last shred of a reasonable doubt that McCain is fit for the presidency.

Who gives a flying fig about Bill Ayers? What the pathetic GOP handlers don't realize is that while the Weather Underground makes them apoplectically spastic (domestic terrorist!) anyone who remembers, remembers that the Weather Underground essentially sparked the anti-Vietnam War movement. A war that even if won might have left us in worse shape.

Would China be such a willing trading partner today if there had been American hegemony at its borders?

That McCain bristles at references to Wallace while tagging Obama with Ayers is the high water mark of hypocrasy. While the GOP rhetoric sounds suspiciously reminiscent of Wallace's tactics, Obama knew Ayers as a fellow board member. I have served on MANY boards, and the one common fact among them is YOU DON'T GET TO CHOOSE WHO SITS IN THE SEAT NEXT TO YOU. Something that the angry old man knows more than quite well.

Yup, McCain is describable by only one word, and that word is PATHETIC.

Posted by: ethanquern | October 16, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama certainly looks Presidential, but I'd prefer that he actually be Presidential. He's won the audition, now let's see how he'll do in the role.

Posted by: rmpatera | October 16, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

My wife wanted to know what oak trees had to do with the election. I explained squirrels collect acorns for the winter and she agreed that McCain was squirrely enough to collect nuts.

Posted by: haymarketbill | October 16, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

What we have found out over the years is that the better liar, the least reflective and conscience stricken B.S.-er, can win a debate. We saw it with Reagan, we saw it with Bush 1, we saw it with Bush 2. Because if you don't know or care about the truth, you can lie with a straight face, look more comfortable, and win any debate.

And so Obama came off better in these debates. Watch all hell break loose when he sneaks into office and tries to do what he REALLY wants.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies1 | October 16, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Dear David:
In addition to the positive assessment your article so graciously bestows upon Senator Barack Obama, one characteristic -- or value, if you will -- that is as timeless and applicable across all human-cum-cultural norms is WISDOM. Yes, wisdom of proverbial proportions. As President of the United States and leader of the free world, he will need a lot of it to govern the affairs of men and women.
Thank you,
David Wafula Nerubucha

Posted by: david_wafula | October 16, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

McCAIN'S BEHAVIOR FURTHER CONFIRMED HIS UNSUITABILITY

In this debate, as well formerly, he has shown clear signs of a high level of stress.

Stress destroys judgment, intelligence and creativity and calls forth mental imbalance and aggressiveness. Even worse, it activates defense mechanisms - "psychological blinders", that distort the perception of reality.

Obama, on the other hand, has shown a superior stress tolerance in demanding stressful situations, like the presidential debate and in unprepared TV-interviews.

In him, we will have a president capable of making intelligent, wise, realistic and balanced judgments, keeping his mind cool under the very stressful conditions of presidency that will be worse than ever due to the severe economic crisis.

For more, see my blog at: http://drgrandville.blogspot.com/2008/10/suitability-of-president-should-be.html

J.Grandville, M.D.
Expert on stress and developmental psychology

Posted by: drgrandville | October 16, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

drgrandville, your position that stress destroys judgment-making ability is utter nonsense, and our current totally unstressed President, also totally lacking in judgment or wisdom, proves it beyond rational argument.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies1 | October 16, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

John McCain stars in SON OF BUSH, THE SEQUEL. give us a break, Senator and go back to mooseville with your hatchet.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | October 16, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

In 2000, the pundits told us that George W Bush was "cool", "unflappable", "presidential" and declared that Gore "sighed" and was "emotional" and "got in Bush's space".

Will the pundits please stop thinking and judging character on the basis of silly superficial things like they think someone is "cool"? Since when does "cool" = "presidential"?

BTW, narcissists do tend to appear "cool". What is missing from narcissists and is missing from Obama is any evidence of HUMILITY, HUMOR, WIT, EMPATHY.

Posted by: ophelia3 | October 16, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Senator McCain really stretched things last night, including the truth...and I don't blame him, he HAD to. I think it was not enough, and his attitude and approach will hurt his campaign again. By a large margin, polling on the debate found Obama to be the winner in American's eyes.

Senator Obama did not bite on the bait from McCain and used every opportunity to express his views and his plans to the American people. He is right, this is not about him...it is about us.

I commend both of these men for stepping up to the presidential plate, because the Bush/Cheney administration is leaving the next President a large stinking mess! Anyone willing to take on such a dirty job in the worst of times should be both commended and supported - whomever wins on Nov 4th.

Posted by: free-donny | October 16, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

McCain's answer of veterans can be teachers without certification is preposterous and disrespectful to individuals who have spent all the time invested it takes to become a teacher - my veteran father included.

I respect our military and veterans, but the notion that they can come out and be teachers without any type of certification is completely insane. I thought we wanted good teachers! That is one of the things that schools of education weed out, people who realize before its too late that they don't want to be teachers!

Posted by: corridorg4 | October 16, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Did you hear McCain whining about the negative ads?

What a whiner and a sore loser.

Take it like a man. Loser.

Posted by: FivePlaneMcCain | October 16, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

John McCain is the nominee of the Republican party because they needed a name the American people would recognize...certainly not qualifications. And he scares me. If the way he runs his campaign is a preview of his White House, we should all be afraid. Be very afraid.

Posted by: MsPenny | October 16, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, I can't wait for Obama to get elected. Since there will have to be an increase in payroll taxes to fund Social Security, Medicare, universal healthcare, those who are employed won’t have much left to spend. I won't have to pay a dime since I will be retired in a few years. I'll be living in a house that I own outright, while the rest of you pay $8 or more for gas, pay your high rent, and ever increasing payroll taxes. Also, since I will make under $150,000 a year, I’ll get a tax break under Obama. My 401k has been safe since I moved it out of equities. I wonder if any of you did the same.

Obama will have to tax us. He has no choice. 700 billion to bail out Wall Street. 700 billion in deficits. All of it is coming out of your pockets. Obama wants to tax corporations. Countries , like Ireland , are trying to lure corporations to their country. Obama wants to tax corporations 40%. Ireland taxes corporations 12%. Guess where all your job will go once corporations are taxed 40%? Obama wants to tax small businesses. Small businesses employ most of the workers in the US. If small businesses are taxed more, they won’t employ as many workers. This is not rocket science. If you think 6.1% unemployment is bad, wait until you see double digit unemployment, just like the Jimmy Carter years.

To all you young, employed Obama supporters who will be working until you're at least 70 or more, I want to thank you, in advance, for paying exorbitant payroll taxes to fund my early retirement. Go Obama!

Posted by: Dodgers1 | October 16, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The best part was when McCain went on the rant about those guys with the hats that say Korea on them, and Vietnam, and Iraq...

And how he's not gonna stand for anybody saying anything to insult his supporters, blah, blah, blah...

And I swear Obama had pity in his eyes as he calmly said, "John, I never said anything about them."

A number of times, McCain went on rants about things that were never said...

Maybe he's got voices in his head, much like Bush has voices in his gut that tell him to bomb civilians.

McCain did almost everything his idiotic, out-of-touch handlers told him to do: Attack, Ayers, Tax Increases, Penalties for Health Care...

And it didn't help. Obama is Smarter than he is and all the Ranting in the World is not going to change that.

"That's not Change we can Believe In"

Poor McCain. It's Over.

At least he is still a millionaire with a bright career ahead as a Lobbyist.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | October 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

dodgers1:

Next time you cut and past the same response into every blog on WaPo, at least change your name. How about dodgers2, dodgers3, or dodgersLOST.

Posted by: dgloo | October 16, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

When John McCain said "nobody wants to share the wealth", he pinpointed America at this time. On CNN this morning, a family who had been evicted out of a very modest home in Michigan, said that the mortagage company had sold their house to the bank for $20,000- they were wondering why it wasn't offered to them for that amount. OH NO, that would have been compassionate and somehow they deserved to be punished, and we know after 8 years with this administration, compassion is the last thing that defines this group. Compassionate Conservatism my foot - John McCain is so oblivious regarding those people who are giving away their wealth by force that he will never understand and be able to relate to us. Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, a McCain supporter, also questioned why the rich should be penalized - they deserve to keep their money - why should they have to "share the wealth". This makes me ill - this is the thing that has broken our back and so many are looking the other way.

Posted by: goddessreturns | October 16, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

One of David Ignatius's weaknesses as a political columnist is his readiness to see the things he wants to see. I've noticed that he does not indulge that weakness to anything like the same degree when he writes about foreign affairs, his real specialty.

To me, Sen. Obama looked like a guy winning a race for a Senate seat and holding his own against an underdog opponent. That's not a bad thing, but it isn't Presidential. Saying that Americans will need to sacrifice while offering a campaign platform that offers tax cuts to 95% of taxpayers isn't Presidential, either. The ability to turn the answer to any question back to a calm, cogent repetition of one's rehearsed talking points -- well, let's just say that most Presidential historians have not ranked that particular skill among those that our greatest Presidents have had, and many otherwise ordinary car salesmen have it in spades.

In an age when the business of the permanent campaign has come to dominate the business of government, Barack Obama has shown his mastery of the campaign. This campaign ends in about three weeks, and we'll begin to find out then how Presidential this guy is.

Posted by: jbritt3 | October 16, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

When John McCain said "nobody wants to share the wealth", he pinpointed America at this time. On CNN this morning, a family who had been evicted out of a very modest home in Michigan, said that the mortagage company had sold their house to the bank for $20,000- they were wondering why it wasn't offered to them for that amount. OH NO, that would have been compassionate and somehow they deserved to be punished, and we know after 8 years with this administration, compassion is the last thing that defines this group. Compassionate Conservatism my foot - John McCain is so oblivious regarding those people who are giving away their wealth by force that he will never understand and be able to relate to us. Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, a McCain supporter, also questioned why the rich should be penalized - they deserve to keep their money - why should they have to "share the wealth". This makes me ill - this is the thing that has broken our back and so many are looking the other way.

Posted by: goddessreturns | October 16, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"Let’s just say it: In the three debates, he has sounded presidential".

Alleluia and Amen.

Posted by: sabrina1 | October 16, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's a look at what you guys want:

Body count. In the last six months
Chicago - 292 killed (murdered)
Iraq - 221
Chicago is a combat zone.
Who is in charge?
(The leadership in Illinois)
Senator Barack Obama (Democrat)
Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat)
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (Democrat)
Governor. Rod Blogojevich (Democrat)
House leader Mike Madigan (Democrat)
Attorney General. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike), (Democrat)
Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of former Mayor Richard J. Daley) (Democrat)
Of course they're all blaming each other.
Why?
They can't blame Republicans, there aren't any!
State pension fund $44 Billion in debt, worst in country. Cook County (Chicago)
Sales tax 10.25% highest in country. (Look it up up if you want).
Chicago school system one of the worst in country.
This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois.
and he says he is going to 'fix' Washington politics?

Posted by: jonah2 | October 16, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Steveinohio:
Thank you! I like your insight. There is thisquickness of labeling and pointing fingers, throwing around stereotypes, like communist, socialist, sexist, terrorist, much of this bred from fear mongering for political gain, in my opinion.

On another note: Who would you rather have across the table communicating with leaders from across the world? McCain, with his nervousness, rolling of the eyes, interruptions, sarcasm, scoffing, indirectness, and looking like he is mad enough to start a fist fight? Or Obama, who remains so cool under pressure?

One last thing. I feel like McCain is being very misleading with his heath care plan. He keeps saying that each of us will receive a $5000 credit for health insurance. What he selctively mentions is that is for families. Individuals will receive $2500 which is great is you are in great health but if you aren't?
Also the average health care coverage for a family cost about $12,000 a year.
What about families with special needs children? Case in point, McCain brought up how him and Palin will work hard for children with Autism and that they really understand the hardships for the family and the child. If this is true how does a $5000 health insurance plan cover the extra cost for raising an autistic child?
I'm just wondering...

Posted by: kikgirl | October 16, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama, the Great Communicator--a worthy successor to earnest, sincere President Reagan.

Posted by: commonsense101 | October 16, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

“There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments,”

i was also one of those people who welcome that comment, because for far too long people in our country don't want to face the reality which is we have a share to bear in what happened to our economy crisis. those who are financially responsible continues to bailed out people that are not. it's not about rich bailing the poor, it's about equal-earning responsible vs. irresponsible people. but we, as a society has become spoiled to admit our own wrongdoings and blame everything on govt. the wall st. planted the traps but it's our choice to be fall for it as we do enjoy living beyond our means...
if we don't face the grilling reality now when will our country stand up again and lead the world (if that's what we want). people kept saying they don't want politicians to sugar coat anything yet we refused to swallow and accept with humbleness about truth that hurts but will make us stronger & better.
and i also love when Obama asked the parents to participate in our education system by turning off the t.v. when it's needed. i'm single but i've seen how discipline children (from good & bad environment) achieve their dreams while the undiscipline ones fade away and it's truly sad, as an American story. i've travelled the world for work, heard and seen enough to know we are truly behind academically, not because we don't have money, because we don't shoulder our rightful responsibilities. education is fundamental to build a solid, strong and innovative nation (what we used to be) and i still believe we can gain grounds again after this hard fall, a wake-up call to everyone in America. Like Thomas Friedman said, America still have the best of the bests to lead but we don't have time to waste anymore. i've witnessed how fast China is moving, even on green industries... we all need to give our effort for this country we love so much.

Posted by: abc2008 | October 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, dyinglikeflies1, voting for the person who LOSES the debates works real well, like W's second term.

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 16, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen much commentary about McCain going on and on and ON about Colombia.

What's with THAT???

Our great ally and trading partner, Colombia? Cocaine exporting capital of the world COLOMBIA?

Do they have a right wing dictator or something?

Help me out here, please.

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 16, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ol' Tounge- Poppin' McJerk had his sorry A$$ whooooped; he proved that he can get a job at FOX News when he retires !!!!

''Joe-the-Plumber'' is the new Repugnant ''Joe Six-Pack'' !!!!!

Hey Joe, I have a job for you - - the Repugnant Party Machinery and the McJerk Campaign, is 'CLOGGED-UP' with ALL THE CRAP BUILD-UP OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS and THE STENCH IS UNBEARABLE - - - you know what to do !!!!!!!

Posted by: mewindows | October 16, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

btw, Joe-The-Plumber is a Republican. this piece of news was broadcasted over the weekend. he's one of the people from the households Obama knocked on the door in Ohio to win his vote. he greeted Obama by telling him he's a Republican and supports McCain but Obama still gave his best to win his vote.

Posted by: abc2008 | October 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"McCain looked so much more comfortable tonight . . ."

What? He looked like the Michelin man with servere gas! I worried he was going to burst at any moment. Not a good impression.

Posted by: gjhinnova | October 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Colombia has in Alvaro Uribe one of the best and most influential presidents in the western hemisphere. He single handedly turned that country around after 30 years of civil war. One can only hope Obama gets elected and has the same success here at home. Young energetic leadership with fresh ideas and an eye towards the future is what we need instead of perpetuating the past failings of an inept and corrupt government.

Posted by: CHICO13 | October 16, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

If Obama still wants the job, I say we give it to him. Who in their right mind would want it saddled with the last 8 yrs of malicious deterioration and now who knows whats ahead for us? If McCain is elected, buckle up people, we're headed straight for Depression II.

Posted by: goheidigo | October 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why did McCain try to act like Barack and Michelle Obama were in the same circumstance concerning access to education? Cindy is an heiress. Do you think she had to work her way through school or get scholarships? McCain is a Navy heir -- meaning he had access to the Naval Academy because of his name. He barely made it through the academy, despite his name. It just shows that he is out of touch with the middle class and low income circumstances. Neither he nor Cindy need to apologize for their access, but they can't empathize with people who struggle to gain access. The Obamas have been there and, I believe, have a passion for seeing everyone receive a good foundational primary education and an opportunity to go further if they desire. You notice McCain has no real plan for education. I'll bet when he swings that hatchet to solve the economic issues, the educational system will be lopped off and we'll have worsening school systems if he's elected.

Posted by: bkhoward | October 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama remained calm in the face of a 2 year old's tantrum. For David Ignatius to admit Sen. Obama has been the one acting presidential continues the march of the conservitive elite away from Sen. McCain. John McCain in these debates has shown that, unlike his patently ridiculous attacks on Sen. Obama's character, it's Sen. McCain's TEMPERAMENT that is the real loose cannon. People are getting a close look at the 72 year old former POW's anger problem: a guy called "McNasty" and "Punk" in his 20's rarely becomes beatific in his 70's. McCain turned off not just Mr. Ignatius but any undecided independent voters as well. Let's see if Sen. McCain tries to generate a final "October surprise" to turn back the tide. Right now, it doesn't look good for him. Good for us~

Posted by: Omyobama | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Regarding McCain, judge for yourself..
J.Grandville, M.D.
Expert on stress- and developmental psychology
…………………………………….

Why does this obnoxious charlatan repeatedly post the same message touting his ability to diagnose over the airwaves?

Maybe this guy thinks that ObamaCare will provide higher reimbursements for quacks.
Judge for yourself!

Posted by: dcn1 | October 16, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Jonah2. The best post I've seen so far. If you want to know a person, see where they come from and who they keep company with. The Acorn never falls far from the tree. But you forgot to add how many of Illinois's governors have gone to prison--three, and Blagojevich is, I hope, next, after what he's done to the state. Obama could have proven himself by taking on the corrupt politics of Illinois, but instead he took off to Washington. When he got there, he immediately started running for president. What happened to serving the people of Illinois who elected him? My jaw dropped when he proudly stated in the second debate that he had stopped asking for anything for his home state, even senior centers. I guess trying to help the state would have gotten in the way of his campaigning.

Posted by: lashadow | October 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

There is one thing that no one has mentioned so far in this competition. It is the thinkers, the smart, educated folks who support Obama. It is the "Joe six-pack" beer drinkers who support McCain. I think that makes my choice pretty easy! Go Obama.

Posted by: theoreys | October 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

There is one thing that no one has mentioned so far in this competition. It is the thinkers, the smart, educated folks who support Obama. It is the "Joe six-pack" beer drinkers who support McCain. I think that makes my choice pretty easy! Go Obama.
Posted by: theoreys | October 16, 2008 2:28 PM
…………………………………………….

And this self-serving theory is based on what evidence?

It has been my experience that those who are in a state of perennial government dependency (public employment, welfare, government grants, community activism etc.) tend to lean left while those of us engaged in more productive and substantive endeavors lean to the right.

It’s called the politics of self-interest; perhaps this concept may be beyond the comprehension of professional “thinkers.”


A proud and educated Joe six-pack

Posted by: dcn1 | October 16, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I like the post about "...can't wait for Obama to get elected." How can there not be an increase in payroll taxes to fund Social Security, Medicare, universal healthcare, and all the rest. There is no free lunch. Its simple; government staff, programs and special projects are funded by taxes. As someone that is looking at early retirment, I am looking forward to getting a tax break under Obama.

I also say to all the young, employed Obama supporters who will be working until they at least 70 or more, thank you for wanting to pay more payroll taxes to fund my early retirement and everything else. Obama will finish GW Bush's work of expanding government in order to provide hope and security for all Americans.

Posted by: Lindleylopez | October 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama looked like the teenager slumped in his chair at the back of the class, laughing and smirking at what the teacher says. UH UM UH LOOK Not very presidential.

On defense all night, caught lying, pushing spending, he didn't even answer what he would cut. At least McCain can say plainly what he plans to do, not disguise it behind "eloquence."

Posted by: motownlivs | October 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET FRAUD AND BLIND GREED HAS KILLED SUPER-CAPITALISM

Thanks to GOP Republican Wall Street fraud, the International Banking System will no longer use capitalism.

Asia and Latin America will stay far away from American super-capitalism.

Europe will demand transparency and strict enforcement of International Banking Laws for ALL NATIONS, especially the United States.

Europe views Wall Street CEOs and investors as criminals unworthy of trust who must be closely monitored commensurate with their dishonest nature.


DEMOCRACY RISING RALLIES TO EDUCATE AND EMPOWER AMERICAN CITIZENS


COMMERCIAL ALERT AND CITIZEN RIGHTS
(PROTECT AMERICAN FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES, U.S. DEMOCRACY FROM WALL STREET FRAUD AND CORPORATE CORRUPTION)


THE RICH ARE STEALING AND SELLING AMERICA: STOP THEM!!!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SUPER RICH GOP REPUBLICAN MILLIONAIRES / BILLIONAIRES ARE HIDING $3TRILLION STOLEN FROM THE TREASURY (AMERICAN PEOPLE) IN FOREIGN BANKS, PROPERTIES AND SWEATSHOPS.

CONFISCATE ALL PROPERTIES (DOMESTIC / FOREIGN) BELONGING TO RICH REPUBLICANS INVOLVED WITH ROBBING THE TREASURY AND RETURN THE $3TRILLION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

IT IS RIGHT TO PROSECUTE ACTS OF TREASON AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for the American pocketbook? If you invested $10,000 exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations, this is how you would you have fared:

From 1929 to 2008, $10,000 invested in S & P under the GOP Republican Presidency would have grown to $11,733. ($51,211 if you exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression)

From 1929 to 2008, $10,000 invested in S & P under the Democratic Presidency would have grown to $300,671.

Democrats have always been better for the American People, than GOP Republicans.

GOP Republican high propensity for Greed and Fraud has finally destroyed their Wall Street Golden Goose.

Give the GOP Republican criminals handcuffs and property confiscation.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


AMERICA, EUROPE AND THE WORLD NEED HEALING THROUGH FORWARD THINKING IRISH-AMERICAN HARVARD LAW SCHOLAR BARACK OBAMA


When Obama ends the illegal GOP Republican Iraq War, $1Trillion will flow back into the United States and create a million American jobs through the multiplier effect.

Obama loves America, while GOP Republican McCain loves tax loopholes for the rich.

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Posted by: dwashington1 | October 16, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

THE DEBATE WAS A GOOD TEST OF SUITABILITY

Good stress tolerance is the most important quality of a president.

This is because stress blocks intelligence and judgment. Even worse, it activates defense mechanisms - "psychological blinders", that distort the perception of reality, making the judgment even worse.

Therefore it is of vital importance that the president has a high level of stress tolerance.

The presidential debates have been good tests of stress tolerance, because in an unprepared TV appearance, the candidates are exposed to a highly stressful situation that reveals their true nature.

To judge for yourself who is most suitable, see the "Voter's guide for assessing the suitability of a president" at http://drgrandville.blogspot.com/2008/10/voters-guide-for-assessing-suitability.html - based on the most recent knowledge in the field.

J.Grandville, M.D.
Expert on stress and developmental psychology

Posted by: drgrandville | October 16, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No meal can satisfy all eaters. Taste buds invariably tell us different stories about what touches the tongue. Similarly, when 50 million people watch a debate, some will like it, some will love it. Some will like parts of it, while others will hate it. Most people last night liked Obama and disliked McCain. That means that if the polls stand up until November 4th, Obama will win handily, and about 50 million people will vote for McCain. That's life.
Senator McCain needs to remember the saying that wisdom comes with age; but sometimes age travels alone.

Posted by: cy31b | October 16, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Joe Sixpack who thinks that those who are thinkers and doers tend to lean to the right and the others seek governmental jobs and lean to the left, must have forgotten Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the two richest men in America. They are certainly thinkers and doers and they lean left and also do good deeds with their money.

Posted by: cy31b | October 16, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe McCain had the audacity to rail against Obama last night. I was absolutely appalled at the temerity with which he kept demanding that Obama repudiate the supposed lies Obama’s campaign was spreading about him.

McCain has allowed his campaign to operate undercurrents of racism and outright hatred. How inflamed can a crowd get when members at rallies continually carry signs that read Obama bin Lyin? McCain himself has equally engaged in dubious and worrisome relationships, and had had many more years than Obama to do so.

He has allowed Sarah Palin, who he so proud of, to disgracefully mischaracterize Obama with hateful brushstrokes of prejudice and prodding innuendo. He failed to nip his campaign’s divisive and recalcitrant nature early on, only issuing a type of repentant-lite reprimand in the few days leading up to this last debate. And this is the behavior the world is witnessing from those who say they are truly believers in Christ. This exactly the type of religious posturing that gives those of us from any faith a bad name.

McCain did his immature best to provoke a younger man to anger in this final debate. He showed his hand and his weakness to those who would be his and America’s global enemies should he be elected to the office of the president of the United States. There also appeared the very highest possibility that he could easily succumb to own short fuse.

As an American expat I do not at all feel safe to have McCain or any of his collaborators anywhere near that feared red button of doom. Nor am I at all confident that he can, at this most august time of his life, act with immeasurable calm and wisdom when negotiating through times of crisis or peace with other world leaders who would be our allies or not.

The American Dream as fairy tale is disintegrating and no longer needs the curmudgeonly antics of a Rumpelstiltskin.

Posted by: Kibbelz7 | October 16, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama compared to Reagan? Thank you for giving me my laugh of the day. I really can't take any more critique of how McCain seems twitchy, shaky, stiff, etc. Perhaps if you had ever undergone TORTURE you would twitch as well. That doesn't disqualify the man from being the President. If the requirement for President was to be limber and have good posture, there would have been no President FDR. And democrats say John McCain doesn't stick to the issues...

Posted by: PennStater | October 16, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I usually go to the bathroom when advertising comes on during T.V. program. In case of the debates I turned to a channel that was not showing them. I don't like advertising and the debates are simply more advertising for someone running for President. I guess for people that believe advertising they are a good thing. But there is little truth in them.

There is no way you can add the benefits when the so-called benefit is simply more free lunch which got us into the economic trouble we are having. Get real not everyone is going to Harvard or get rich.

On the other hand alot of people are going to be worse off with the people who say they are for change. What they did not say is they cause the change for worse. I am for no change except for honesty, but I don't see that change. When people talk about change they mean dollars and more free lunch. Well we sure got change but no free lunch!

Posted by: artg | October 16, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The absolute beauty of this debate was that McCain walked squarely into the trap set for him. His very attackes led to Obama making his case and stealing the show. The guy is not only too old for the office. He's too stupid too...

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | October 16, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Well said! Sen. Obama has been the one that has displayed true leadership qualities during this campaign, while Sen. McCain has just displayed meanspiritedness and in the single most important decision any presidential candidate gets to make, the selection of a runningmate,

Mccain has also displayed incredibly poor judgement. McCain

- the Naval cadet who graduated 4th from the bottom of his class at Annapolis,
- the fighter pilot who managed to crash two jets without any apparent justification prior to being shot down,
- the husband who ditches his first wife because a terrible auto accident has rendered her less attractive than she was when he first met her,
- the Congressman who accepted some extravagent vacations from Charles Keating,
- the Sen. who got much of his economic advice from Sen. Phil Gramm, etc., etc., etc. - is not the most qualified candidate in the race.

We've lived through almost 8 years of one spoiled, entitled ignoramous in the White House, we don't need another.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | October 16, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

yeah, can you imagine mccain standing at the grandmasters post at the local lodge? i do not think he would look to good at that either!

Posted by: vicbennettnet | October 18, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

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