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Debate Watch '08 - Thrilla in St. Louis Fundraiser

What better place to watch the Thrilla in St. Louis than at a huge sports bar?

About 300 to 400 Republicans are expected to watch tonight's showdown between vice presidential contenders Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at the ESPN Zone in downtown Washington. The debate watch party is actually - surprise, surprise - a fundraiser to benefit the McCain-Palin campaign.

Suggested contributions begin at $250. But to be considered "VIP level," you'll need to pony up $1,000. Or, if Palin really knocks your socks off, you can give the maximum contribution allowed to McCain-Palin Victory 2008, the joint fundraising committee that benefits the Republican National Committee, the Michigan Republican Party, the Missouri Republican State Committee, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania and, lastly, the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund.

But at any price, all can watch the highly anticipated debate broadcast live from Washington University in St. Louis on the huge screens that adorn the ESPN Zone.

Co-hosts of the fundraising bash include: former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman; former Senate GOP aide-turned-lobbyist Missy Edwards; Cathy Gillespie, wife of GOP Party honcho Ed Gillespie; and GOP fundraiser Mike Gula.

One of the hosts, who asked to remain anonymous (since fundraising is such an unpopular sport?) tells us, "We wanted to do one last event for Washington GOPers who have not had an opportunity to give to the McCain-Palin ticket before everyone heads off to work on campaigns."

We also hear "senior McCain campaign officials" plan to attend the sporty debate watch party. (McCain's campaign headquarters are just across the river in Virginia.)

By Mary Ann Akers  |  October 2, 2008; 6:13 AM ET
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Head of State

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
McCain and Couric Spar on Gotcha Journalism

COURIC: Over the weekend, Gov. Palin, you said the U.S. should absolutely launch cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan to, quote, "stop the terrorists from coming any further in." Now, that's almost the exact position that Barack Obama has taken and that you, Sen. McCain, have criticized as something you do not say out loud. So, Gov. Palin, are you two on the same page on this?

MCCAIN: Now, just a minute, Katie. I have to step in here. That's another example of the media's "gotcha journalism"...

COURIC: But, it was a question from a citizen. How is a citizen asking a candidate a question an example of what you call "gotcha journalism?"

MCCAIN: Because it was hard, Katie.

We don't want Gov. Palin to be asked questions, unless she is prepared for them. When she is prepared, as she will be before the debate, she sounds intelligent, knowledgeable and feisty. But when she has not been prepared, she sounds lost and incoherent.

We can't have people asking her questions when she has not had time to be prepared with an answer.

COURIC: But, Sen. McCain, I have to say, you are 72-years old. Actuarial preditions show that if you were to be elected, Gov. Palin would have a 1 in 5 chance of actually becoming President. These are perilous times--unprecedented crises in financial markets, tensions across a wide range of critical foreign policy arenas. Shouldn't we have a Vice President, and a potential President, who actually understands these issues, beyond the preparation necessary for a debate?

Here is her response to a question on the economy, a critical issue, you would agree, Sen. McCain:

COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the—it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

COURIC: That answer, Sen. McCain, as noted by Fareed Zakaria, is incoherent.

MCCAIN: Yes. (nodding his head).

COURIC: Well, isn't it actually important that a potential President actually comprehend issues? That is, beyond debate preparation?

MCCAIN: No, Katie. That's what I mean by "gotcha journalism". It's obvious from these prior interviews that Palin has little to no comprehension of fiscal policy and economics. For heaven's sake, she received a "D" in macroeconomics in college! And, as I've said in the past, I have little understanding of economic issues myself.

No, what's important, Katie, is that she sound like she understands the issues. In the debate. If she is sufficiently prepared, she can give an illusion of understanding the issues--even if she is only giving answers with the prepared and practiced spontaneity and content necessary to give that illusion force.

Given that the bar is set at the lowest standard imaginable, Katie, if she accompanies that performance with sufficient charm, we believe that media will follow, into focusing on the change from that low standard, and on those superficial entertainment values--you know, Katie, (McCain smiles through tight lips and squinting eyes and moves his hands up and down)--"She certainly appears to be more confident tonight; she appears more poised, coherent, humorous"--rather than her readiness to be President from an objective standard. After all, using the more important standard of Presdidential capability, she has already demonstrated that she is unprepared to be President.

So, Katie, we want them to focus on that difference, on her debate preparation, rather than on her actual well-demonstrated Presidential unreadiness. And that's what I mean by "gotcha journalism."

KATIE: But if I understand you correctly, Sen. McCain, you actually believe that it's not important that she understand the issues actually facing the nation...

MCCAIN: Right.

COURIC: On which many people's very jobs, health and life will rely at this critical time...


COURIC: And that all that really matters is creating a standard so low that she actually is rewarded for her widely seen and repeatedly demonstrated lack of knowledge and understanding. That we would be using what is essentially a remedial standard for Presidential capability--rather than one of actual capability.

Sen. McCain, you seem to be actually suggesting that we should decide that she is ready for the Presidency, simply because, after preparation, she has improved. Even though just days earlier, time after time, she was unable to give coherent answers on these subjects.

No one can gain Presidential-level understanding in days. And in the office of the Presidency, with its intense crises and unforseeable events, she will not be prepared for each unpredictable day, as she was for the debate.

Yet you expect media to focus on these values, rather than actual readiness to be President. That's what you mean by "gotcha journalism"?

MCCAIN: Exactly. And they will. Once again, Katie, I would say to the media: Once again--we "gotcha" to lower the bar. We "gotcha" to set expectations far below those actually required for a President. We "gotcha" to focus on characteristics unrelated to Presidential capability, and to ignore her statements on these issues made only days earlier--as if a few days of debate preparation can erase a glaring and dangerous actual lack of knowledge and preparedness. Yes, indeed--we "gotcha" (smiles).

COURIC: How can you expect the media to fall for that?

MCCAIN: It worked for Bush.

Head of State

Posted by: Marie Stewart | October 2, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey man, did you see the polls this
morning? Missouri is turning blue,from
red thank you Big Mo!HELLO BIG BAG RUSH


Posted by: NATURAL BRIDGE | October 2, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

We gonna listen to the debait on the radio - we dont like those new televisions. ..........

Posted by: Ohg Rea Tone | October 2, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Typical republican answers!!!

When they don't have the answers they do it with smoke and mirrors.

If you can't dazzle them with briliance you just have to baffle them with meaningless, unintelligible words.

Posted by: PensFan | October 2, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Lets hope that missouri drop,Sen kit Bond
from office,it's time to retire that jerk
you can bet he will be at the board of
elections in KC and ST.L trying to get
them with threats to throw out Black votes
but not this time Kit! and thank you Claire
mccaskill,were so grateful that you are
on our side.


Posted by: skippy | October 2, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama is just another politician that will do or say whatever it takes to fulfill his political ambitions. Barack is calculated and methodical about hiding his true convictions and intentions, and uses deception to get elected.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama had a 20 year association with his religious leader and priest Jeremiah Wright, who became Barack's idol and role model. Jeremiah married Barack and Michelle and baptized both their daughters. AND, we all remember the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright’s congregation which included the Obamas, damning America with bombastic joy, after the Muslim’s criminal attack on America on 9/11.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack's religious leader Jeremiah Wright used his tax-exempt church to exercise a radical political agenda, and he refers to Israel, as well as America, as a "racist" State. Theologically Barack's religious leader Jeremiah Wright believes that the true 'Chosen People' are the blacks; He believes that black values are superior to middle-class American values, and that blacks should isolate themselves from the wider American society.
 Indeed Barack's religious leader Jeremiah Wright is a black supremacist.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama wants to be president to implement Jeremiah Wright’s dream of a black supremacist society in America.

The time is now!
For Americans of all political parties to come together to preserve the future of the country we love by voting for John McCain for President of the United States of America.

Country First!
Americans for John McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | October 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

RE: Manolete
The time is right for you to go to hell!
mccain first,sarah is just a Hillary
want to be!Just retire grandpappy! and
let our country move forward!

Posted by: sick of neo cons | October 2, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Manolete says the following:

"To remind Americans that Barack's religious leader Jeremiah Wright used his tax-exempt church to exercise a radical political agenda"

"Barack is calculated and methodical"

"The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama wants to be president"

Lets take them one at a time and slightly out of context.

1. Rev Wright's sermon you refer to is taken out of context by you. I doubt you watched the entire sermon, or you would already understand the way he fashioned his statements. What about the Holy Rollers that have hung around the current administration like Falwell or Dobson or Bush's favorite western preacher who was outed for drug abuse and using a gay prostitute? That just about evens that out.

Next, Obama is calculating (I corrected your syntax)and methodical. Yes, I quite agree. If you analyze his campaign he has calculated every equation and methodically pursued his goals. Only a foolish person would not want a president to have these qualities.

Lastly, I am glad you finally figured out, that having spent the last 18 months or so campaigning, Mr. Obama is running for POTUS. The rest of the country with more than a third grade education knows this. I am glad you now know it too.

Please go tell your Aryan brotherhood buddies and make sure they register to vote. You idiot....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think the GOPers should have their debate watch party at Hooters.

Posted by: :-) | October 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised at all these non-answers and outright lies spewing from the McCain camp???

Posted by: Jill | October 2, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

skippy -- I live in the LOU.

The city (Dem controlled) filed a brief last election to keep the polls open for 2-3 more hours than originally scheduled.

I'm sure it was for "honest" reasons.

Like making sure those dead get their votes in.

Posted by: jeff | October 2, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Repubs know that the more people that show up to vote, the more likely Democrats are to win. That's why they always try to derail the voting process any way they can. Further, if they don't win the popular vote, they turn to their appointees in the judicial system to help them steal the election. That's why we have the AG firings scandal right now. Wake up America! Surely you don't actually believe the party that caused our economic disater with their failed "trickle down" economic policies are really going to be able to clean the mess up to anybody's advantage other than the wealthy. Who do you think the CEO's on Wall Street are going to vote for? The same bed buddies they have always voted for - Republicans!

Posted by: Mark Bohannon | October 2, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Is Mary Ann Akers available for a date?

Posted by: Jack | October 2, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

There is new evidence and a video about Palin's witchy ways.


Posted by: Mellissa C. | October 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | October 2, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I don’t believe any politician especially one running for the presidency would say anything as stupid as this. I have not seen or read this anywhere else, so I can only conclude this is made up in an attempt to get the foolish people that believe everything on the internet is true to believe this BS. Anyone with any brains knows it is the same on the internet as it is with computers in general, garbage in, garbage out.

Case in point. I remember watching President Reagan one night on TV giving a speech or talk about something, I do not remember what it was about. However, I do remember reading about it the next day in the Oklahoma City times, on the forth page. What the Oklahoma Times printed as to what Reagan said was totally opposite of what he had said. I cannot believe what the news media gets away way. They should be sued for the lies and half truths they put out, better yet put them in jail!

Posted by: Rick | October 2, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | October 2, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | October 2, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Staged "debate" dance now ready for 24/7 consumption.
Bailout Barack Obama w/partner Bailout John McCain.

Full-spectrum media suppression/distortion
target Ralph Nader and Ron Paul.

Your vote is your power,
they fear it, use it.

Posted by: Paul & Nader v Bailout! | October 2, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Will Charlie Keating be there?

Posted by: Hugh Briss | October 2, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

the news media is no longer news its a lesson on how the media are the ones deciding who will win the election every story and i use that term because its not news its propaganda crap

Posted by: wtobias | October 2, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

they have a lot of cows in ohio maybe the dems can pin a fake ssi number on them and get a vote

Posted by: getsix1 | October 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Hello jeff: Why do the Repub's every election cycle try to disenfrancise the
black voters by using the sames lame azz
excuses like we are using dead people,so
win an election! well this cycle it will not work,thats why we have a voter registeration !

Posted by: skippy | October 3, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

How qualified is the Palin addition on the McCain ticket? Today I ran across this (1 min) link that really puts 'caribou barbie’ in her place. Ron Allen ferrets out the TRUTH about her REAL qualifications. ENJOY this GEM!

Posted by: Shamika | October 4, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain clearly won last night's debate.

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008.

Posted by: Megan | October 8, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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