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Sleuth's Presidential Debate Watch Game

Tonight's debate watch games probably won't be as much fun as last week's Palin Bingo. But don't fret, there are still games to be played during this second presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. You betcha there are!

We spotted an old fashioned drinking game at this blog, DavetheNovelist, whose resident novelist blogger suggests doing shots each time McCain or Obama utters certain phrases or buzzwords. Though we don't advocate binge drinking, we've amended Dave's game and come up with a list of words and phrases we think are likely to be invoked tonight.

Each time a candidate says one of the following, shout out the word/phrase loudly and, if you must, take a drink of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage. (Insert Sarah Palin wink here.) To keep score, circle ahead of time the buzzwords and phrases you think the candidates will employ tonight, worth five points each time they are uttered by either candidate.

- Maverick

- Experience

- Change

- My friend/my friends

- Hold on there/wait a minute

- Great Depression

- Wall Street/Main Street

- Subprime

- Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae

- Celebrity

- Ahmadinejad

- Lipstick (on a pig)

- Darn right

- Bill Ayers

- Jeremiah Wright

- Keating Five

- Erratic

- Lies

- Middle class

- Ohio

- Will all due respect

- Failed Bush policies

- Affordable health care

- Osama bin Laden

- Exit strategy

Here are four bonus prediction questions, each worth 10 points:

1) Will McCain flash his temper and, if so, how far into the 90-minute debate?

2) How many times will moderator Tom Brokaw say, "Senator, your time is up"?

3) Will either candidate get choked up or teary?

4) Will anyone in the audience at the town-hall style debate dare ask: boxers or briefs?

EXTRA bonus point round:

1) Predict the number of times Obama will say "you know."

2) Predict the number of times McCain will say "my friends."

Write to us before 9 pm ET with your EXTRA bonus point predictions and qualify to win a special prize from the Sleuth.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  October 7, 2008; 4:05 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Palin Saves Herself from Herself
Next: My Friends, McCain's Tic Is Back


See the (Obama look a like) McCain uses to practice for the debate.

Watch The Out takes from the practice debates, see clips of mistakes made during practice. http://www.watchdebate.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The Time Has Come”
With my opologies to Lewis Carroll

While all of the Worlds’ financial markets burn, it has set me thinking. Long ago as a child I was asked to memorize “The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll”, the words of the famous rhyme keep running through my head.” The Time has come, the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes..And ships and sealing wax—And why the sea is boiling hot—And weather pigs have wings.”
Rather a trite comment on the state of affairs we as the United States, and most of the rest of the world find ourselves in. It is time indeed to speak of many things, who will starve, who will commit suicide, who will have the money to feed their children, who won’t—who will still see a silver lining to an otherwise dismal state of affairs and who will only see more clouds in an already stormy black sky.
The world teeters on the brink of financial disaster…a loaf of bread here in the US costs on average $4.00, in India it is more than one days wages. The credit markets have dried up and the unsecured debts of ordinary people are astronomical, we have set up an entire society who depends on credit and has not a single idea how to live on what they earn.
Granted, this is some what everyone’s problem, but most importantly it is the problem of the working man or woman, we are the ones that will feel the crunch of this false economy. Having once been a business person I can tell you that most small business run on lines of credit, now that the reality of this economic crisis reaches the rest of the world we can clearly see that the inflated prices of physical property, homes and business has come home to roost and we see that nothings will ever be the same again. A house I once purchased for a mere $32,000 in the early 70’s sold last year again for half a million…any business person can tell you that that is an outrageous amount of money for a home that was originally built in the late 1930’s.
Any ordinary businessman would also tell you that while you may think that your grandmothers gold watch should be worth $1500 in reality it is only worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay.
How did we get to such a place, if you take the time to read Lewis Carroll’s Walrus piece you will see that we got here because we are a nation of followers. If person A pays $500,000 for a home that was built for $125,000 and person B follows that lead, soon we have an economy which is built on sand, lots and lots of sand. Unlike the Walrus, we can’t fathom a way to get seven maids with seven brooms to mop the sand away. What we got instead is a “Bailout” that really won’t do the job. We were as common Joe Six Pack American’s snookered! The trillion dollars of bailout cash won’t help, because the problem is systemic! Like a disease the United States became egregious the more we tried to keep up with the Jones the worse the problem became.
Now we are faced with grave concerns, we have come to the point where we must face the inevitable; we are going to be gobbled up like the oysters in the poem. Oh perhaps, not literally boiled in oil and eaten, but we will be gobbled up by the system that we created as each of us followed along believing the dream that things were ok, that property was indeed worth such outrageous prices, that every one could have a part of the American Dream Pie. We dear family, Joe Six Pack, are dinner just like the oysters in the Walrus, soon they…The powers that be will order up a loaf of bread, some vinegar and pepper and begin to feed on the bones of our financial fantasy!
Sadly just like the oysters we will have been ignorant of the facts! In the end of the poem the Walrus pretends sadness for the oysters, but when the Carpenter decides the walk is done and asks the oysters what they think…”the answer came there none—and this was scarcely odd because they’d eaten everyone!”
We dear public have been lied too, over and over again until we actually believed the lie, we took the bait right up to the last minute, we believed that the “Bailout” was good for everyone but especially for main street…alas now the tip of the truth begins to appear, the truth is that once again those who have the most win! Our economy and that of much of the world is in a serious decline and still the powers that be continue with the lie…”This is NOT a depression” one analyst said this morning, and “We are facing hard times ahead, but don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six Pack, we are rushing that order for rose colored glasses, you should be receiving yours shortly in the mail for a small shipping fee of 700 Trillion dollars!

Posted by: Leah PettePiece | October 7, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

A boring and not funny article.

Posted by: Ian | October 7, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to get demolished by McCain now that he has "taken the gloves off".

Posted by: wow | October 7, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

More Extra Point Options

1. Number of times that Mccain will refer to his POW experience.

2. Number of times that Obama will say "That's not true." while McCain is talking.

Posted by: Diana Hudson | October 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

You're funnier than stick up his butt, Ian!!!

Posted by: Louis Yun | October 7, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

You forgot "fundamental" as one of the likely words. They use this word WAY too much!

Posted by: Cat | October 7, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I expect both candidates to use the word "fundamental(s)" frequently, either as a noun or as an adjective. "Across the aisle" will be uttered a few times as well. Obama will say "you know" 37 times, whereas McCain will say "my friends" only 18 times--unless you want to include the number of times he refers to "my good friend (so-and-so)." This brings his "my friends" total to 24 times. Looking forward to my special prize!

Posted by: CDolejs | October 7, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is used to force the election of Barack Obama.
Barack Obama forced you to pay for Wall Street's bailout.

Stop the extortion, blackmail, bribery, and division;
Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, and Cynthia McKinney.

"The two parties should be
almost identical, so that
the American people can
'throw the rascals out'
at any election without
leading to any profound or
extensive shifts in policy."
- Carol Quigley

Posted by: sham debate | October 7, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

O'bama reached 100% today while McKain droped to zero.

Palin leaved the US soil and returned to Alaska.

Posted by: O'bama | October 7, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

after reading the first comment, I came to the second one: "A boring and not funny article."

what was that about oysters again? i think everyone needs to re-read "Animal Farm", as quickly as they possibly can...

Posted by: astonished | October 7, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

jhon mccain ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuules

Posted by: chrissy | October 7, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Obama's fave punctuation word when cornered -- "understand" used as an imperative verb. He has a penchant for the word "notion", i.e., he has ideas, others just have notions.

Posted by: IndependenceDave | October 7, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'll be playing McLiar Bingo by Pinocchio Politics... Download your Bingo Card now and play tonight!!!!

I wish Mary Ann Akers would have mentioned this clever site in this blog! :(

Posted by: Rico | October 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

i think that jhon Mccain rules he should be elested president.

Posted by: maggy | October 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You can say whatever you want about McCain's advisors. They did NOT belong to the Senate like Biden and Obama. They did not get money from Fannie and Freddie in order to vote against regulation of these companies or to discourage the government into looking to closely into Freddie and Fannie's accounting practices. Many people made money off Freddie and Fannie, but Biden and Obama are the only two people IN THIS RACE that were given the public trust and put in office specifically to protect the public from such abuses. They did not do their job, but somehow they say they are going to protect our economy now. How, when they so obviously couldn't before.

Posted by: minime | October 7, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News: Obama will return all camp contributions upon his election.

Posted by: Campground | October 7, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

cnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn jhon Mccain rules

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

without a doubt most of this is true but as in the poem is it weather or is it wheather. most of us will continue to live

Posted by: roger hale | October 7, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

vote for Mr. HASSAN!

Posted by: Ahmed Awsat | October 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Expect one candidate to say he was a prisoner of war.

Anyone taking bets on that one?

Thought not.

Posted by: Arye Michael Bender | October 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Are some of these comments spoofs? Like that last one: "i think that jhon Mccain rules he should be elested president."

Posted by: spoof comments | October 7, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we can't say Obama was a POW.

He was on the right side - hangin with the terrorists, therefore in better position by far.

He deserves all of our attention, respect and money.

Posted by: Chewbacka | October 7, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a POW, Obama is a BOW-WOW-WOW

Posted by: Maniana | October 7, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

All i have to say is Obama kick Mcains butt, because we sure dont need another greedy conservative in office and again, like bush ...Obama will be our new president so ALL you conservatives need to suck it up and deal with it , its our time!!!!!

Posted by: jay | October 7, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen Barack's latest TV ad about McCain saying he's "out of time" ?

I find this is disrespectful for the older and in general.

Yes, McCain is older but what if we told anybody older than ourselves they are "out of time" ? Outrageous and provocative comment.

Posted by: B.O. | October 7, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

obama vs mcain is no match its saying ..The bengals vs the Giants...not even close my friends....So all u conservatives watch out tonight cause obama is going to come out swinging!!!!!!

Posted by: Jay | October 7, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

to minime:

McCain's advisors don't belong to the senate, but the last time I checked, McCain himself did. So therefore there are THREE, not two, "people IN THIS RACE that were given the public trust and put in office specifically to protect the public from such abuses [that] did not do their job, but somehow they say they are going to protect our economy now". The only one free of any blame in that issue is Palin, but I won't get started on her shortcomings.

Just remember, when you start to point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you.

As for me, I am taking a "Brewster's Millions" approach and sending Washington a message that I will accept "NONE OF THE ABOVE".

Posted by: brewster | October 7, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm 65 years old, fighting with cancer for 12 years now.

Am I out of time, Mr. Obama ?

Posted by: Joel Yann | October 7, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

i hope obama wins so all u racist hypocrites can get all pissed off..

Posted by: jay | October 7, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a puppet. If he's coming out swinging, I hope he has facts memorized or he's going to be a blubbering idiot like normal.

Posted by: wow | October 7, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama: "ninety percent"
"I agree" (with McCain)
McCain: "POW"
"raise taxes"

Posted by: Tom | October 7, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

What he means by your out of time u moron , is that mcain has no game, he dont talk the talk nor does he walk the walk..obama is the man for the job....I cant wait for the election....GO Obama

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

obama has all the facts, lets change america for once were falling apart, we have no medical insurance inelse u want to pay 280 a month like i do just to have it, not to mention just going to the dentist cost a fortune, who has the money for that 85% of america cant afford that, we need a program and fast....cause were all falling apart , inelse you make more then 200 G a year..

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

what gets me is the student loan problem, u have all this kids going to college when they get out they owe 100,000 or more u'll be paying that off for the rest of ur life...whats the sense of going to school ur better off working two jobs, and get ahead then fall behind....

Posted by: BOB | October 7, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

America deserves the truth watch the video below:

Posted by: AlaskaIndependenceparty | October 7, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama spent the most on TV ads, to convince people like you.

This is just like the AT&T versus Verizon commercials. The more advertisement the more voters. You are all victims of a sad demographic paygame and can't see the forest from the trees.

Sad, sad, sad America.

Posted by: Arne | October 7, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama's wealth redistribution plan (ie. tax proposal)will be exposed for what it really is. Already the bottom 50% of Americans only pay 3% of the total taxes collected while earning 13% of the dollars made. The top 10% of American earners pay 71% of all taxes collected. Obama wants to kick that up a notch.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Elderly people, veterans - Obama call for your vote.

You have nothing to lose. He also says youre "out of time".

Posted by: Joel Yann | October 7, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, McCain is older but what if we told anybody older than ourselves they are "out of time" ?"

McCain is 72 years old. The average life expectancy for a man in the U.S. is currently 75. McCain is *not* "older", he is old, period. It is just silly to act like it is offensive to say he has a very good chance of dieing while in office if elected, its the truth. And that does mean he is rather out of time. Your reaction is just knee-jerk and I bet its because you are rather old yourself. People in the US like to pretend we are going to live forever - for goodness sakes, people in their 60's try to call themselves "middle aged"! Its ridiculous. I am 68 years old and let me tell you, I am old. And I am fine with that. And McCain is old. And that's just fine too, but its not offensive to say he may be out of time soon, its true, and it worries me enough that I am not voting for him. With the current crisis, the last thing we need is a president dieing in office and leaving Ms. Palin in charge. I shudder to think of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Fox News showed McCain getting off the plane for tonight's debate. "SAD" For the man who won the War in Vietnam single handed & such a great victory it was, to look so old and feeble, It brought back fond memories of a younger John McCain, especially when he was helping Neil Bush & John Keating carry all those heavy bags of money out of Silver Auto Saving & Loan ... I always get tears in my eyes when an other sleazy Republican gets sent to the "Tom Delay" retirement center in Crawford Texas. Maybe old John will take nurse Palin with him, someone needs to wipe the slobber off the old guys face.

Posted by: SadAmerican | October 7, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

You don't talk like a 68 y.o.

You talk like an average undereducated individual. It worries me you are not alone out there. But that's ok.

Posted by: Joel Yann | October 7, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You sound like you don't give a s#$% on America's history, just about how many lives we lost there? Where were you back then? Very disrespectful this is for too many of us.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama was not referencing MyCane's age when he said he was out of time. He was talking about there being only 4 weeks left until the election and MyCane's losing in the polls.

But I am INDEED referencing MyCane's age when I say check any actuary table and see the life expectancy of a man in the US. Sarah Palin as President?

Are you kidding me???

Posted by: Dean | October 7, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

You betcha this is going to be a great country for our first priority is to get those people before they get us! And we're not going to wait for someone to make us do it, we're going to be more like "You know what, this is the right thing to do, so we're going to do it, dog-gone-it!" And that's just what Joe-six pack and us hockey mom's like... Lipstick! And I'll tell you, we are Mavericks, and because of that, you can tell we are the only ones who will change Washington, not those people who have been here for all those years, making and breaking those laws. No sir-ee, we are going to take this country back from the terrorists and put it back in the hands of the Mavericks! You betcha!

Posted by: Mrs. Palin | October 7, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, was a member the Alaskan Independence Party working for Alaska to secede from the United States. The director of Division of Elections in Alaska reported that Todd Palin registered in October 1995 to the Alaska Independence Party, a radical group that advocates for Alaskan secession from the United States, and remained a member until 2002, when he registered as undeclared while his wife ran for office.

She is more than sympathetic to the cause of secession; she sleeps with a man who is committed to the idea of destroying the unity of the United States.

Sarah Palin and 'first dudes' political alliance with a terrorist who was murdered in 1993 during “a plastic explosives sale gone bad.” Todd Palin joined the party two years later. Neither he nor she were 9 years old at the time.

“The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government… And I won’t be buried under their damn flag,” - Joe Vogler in 1991, Founder of the Alaska Independence Party.

Sarah congratulates the secession party only 6 months ago on their political gains.

Her pastor knows how evil America is and often preaches that America will be punished. A cause all evangelicals share. Listen below.

Now, with her elected as VP just we can realize the Republic of Confederate States, the Republic of Texas, the Republic of California and the Republic of Alaska.

The time has come elect a subversive that has pulled the eyes over the political system of the U. S. establishment.

Posted by: basementfrog | October 7, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Where are the real straight talking members
of our Republican party and why have they
chosen to let McCain and Sarah humiliate
both themselves,the party and the American
people in the name of power no matter what.
In this race they have made Obama an Angel
with all the negative and insulting attacks
on Obama as a person,an American,a U S Senator and a presidential candidate of a major party while he carries on talking about the problem facing the poor Americans.Folks we have got it wrong this time.They have tried to make it a race of
gender and it did not work.Let us be careful now that they are indirectly driving towards colour and invoking the
sixties with style.For some people it is a no fly zone especially when is all lies.Get
back to the main issues.Do not fool us again and talk about the real war which is the state of the American economy and good relationship with the rest of the world you supper rich politicians.

Posted by: Don C | October 7, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if McCain will drop the F work in the debate tonight, McCain is no stranger to the f word, see video at

You can watch McCain and Obama preparing for the debates, including out takes at

See who won the watchdebate debator of the year award.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse


OBAMA’S POLITICAL CAREER STARTED WITH HIS AFFILIATION WITH WILLIAM AYERS AND BERNARDINE DOHRN, THE UNREPENTANT TERRORISTS ... part of “The Weathermen” terrorist group which launched a campaign to bomb" the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. In the 90’s, both “Community Organizers” Ayers and Obama worked together for years, radicalizing the Chicago school system.

At a 1969 "War Council" in Flint, Michigan, Weatherman leaders Ayer and Bernardine Dohrn proclaimed that the time had come to launch a war against "Amerikkka". The Weather Underground went on to claim credit for some 25 bombings over the next several years, detonating explosives at the rebuilt Haymarket statue, a bathroom at the Pentagon, the Capitol barber shop, the New York City police headquarters, and a variety of other targets.

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH RADICAL EXTREMISTS PUTS AMERICA IN DANGER of being taken over by a group of radical terrorists that would “change” America as Obama has promised;…but the change would be to fulfill the dreams of the Weathermen of overthrowing capitalism and launching a race war against the “white” United States.

AMERICANS OF ALL PARTIES MUST COME TOGETHER AND DEFEND OUR COUNTRY against dangerous terrorists and vote for a True American Patriot, John McCain!


Posted by: Manolete | October 7, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling the game you suggest is going to create more than a few DUI's tonight. In any event, a good read of what I hope actually happens in the debate tonight before the drinking begins can be found right here, you betcha it can:


Posted by: Writing Frontier | October 7, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

In the last eight years the National Debt has doubled from $5.5 trillion to $11 trillion. That's a phenomenal increase for an economy only valued at $13 trillion. Assuming we don't want runaway inflation; there are only two ways of dealing with this debt--paying it off or borrowing more. How does that work for your family? You're in debt; what are your options? Pay it down by spending less (the deficit>$400billion this year and >$440 billion next; so, no--we're not spending less). Pay it down by increasing the your income (for the commomonwealth that’s higher taxes). Or you can borrow more to keep the lifestyle. Republicans want to keep borrowing. It doesn't work for your family and it doesn't work for our nation. We are living way beyond our means. The Republicans are very, very liberal spenders of public monies. Ultra liberal. So don't tell us how you are against raising taxes--this ultra liberal spending amounts to leaving our children an impossibly large tax burden to pay. 'The Democrats are tax and spend', they say: the only thing worse is the 'borrow and spend' Republicans. I have no respect for anyone who votes for sloughing off debt for our children to pay. No wonder we have our first generation which doesn't believe their lives will be better than their parents. The Republicans have weakened our military by squandering trillions that will be needed for our future national defense. The Republicans have to be thoroughly defeated for mismanaging the country.
Can the Democrats fix it? Wishful thinking; it is very broken. There are systemic problems. The day of reckoning is nigh-- the next trillion we spend better be put to very good use.

Posted by: Scienceguy | October 7, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Who is William Ayers?
William Ayers was a radical who opposed a stupid war in a far away land where John McCain flew 23 bombing runs before he was shot down. Wonder how many innocent civilians died on the ground in those bombing runs. Any one wondered?It was a stupid war which ended in humiliation of American armed forces with over 50,000 troops dead and more than a million Vietnamese dead.
This is the same John McCain who along with the Bush administration threw dust into the eyes of the American people and asked us to launch a war based on fabricated intelligence. Remember Colin Powell showing fabricated intelligence of WMDs at UN which were never found?This is the same John McCain who would want us to be in Iraq for a 100 years, and would happily bomb bomb Iran.By God, the worst hell is reserved for those who value non American lives cheaper than American lives. Pray for your redemption before the day of judgement you conservative thugs who have stolen America. Your time has come to an end. Nov 4 th is the day of judgement. The Republican thugs will be thrown out of the White House.

Posted by: JSmith | October 7, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Okay, from a long time Arizonan, here's an important one for McCain - when he says the phrase "great American" you must slam a domestic beer.

Posted by: Jack | October 7, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's another game to play, and it's hard. Every time you see, or hear, Sarah Palin you can't run to the bathroom, you must sit and listen. As hard as it is, you must fight the urge to vomit and hold it. First person that caves is out. Good luck with this one, the longest anyone has made it is 10 seconds.

Posted by: bretb | October 7, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Head of State

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Fear and Loathing in the Town Hall: A Predictive Fantasy

(The camera looks at the hall from above, into the hall, from the POV of the stage. Red meat has been hung from the walls and rafters, along with dollar bills which, upon closer inspection, are Monopoly money.

The crowd is seated. They are strangely quiet. Their manner is that between those who are waiting for their instructions, post-op surgical recoverees, and post-war survivors. They are slightly slumped, in the same posture.

The candidates enter from opposite sides of the rear of the stage and walk to their podiums. The crowd rises as one and cheers with a loud, aggressive fervor reflective of their desperation.
Obama is standing tall in stride, looking a bit overcome by the experience, although genuine. McCain is smiling--his cheerful public grimace, although there is some genuine pleasure. His eyes have the slightest glaze of a gradually oncoming fog.)

MODERATOR: Tonight is a different format--one where you, the public, can ask your questions directly to the candidates. None of the questions have been screened in advance, and the candidates have been given no advance notice of what the questions, or who the questioners, might be. And with that, we begin. Our first question:

CITIZEN 1: My name is Jan, I'm from Murfreesboro? I've been watching the news, and I'm scared. I can't say that I've listened much about the stock market before? But I know that it's going down, and that's bad. I don't know what's going to happen to my job, or my house, or my kids. My question is for Mr. McCain? What will you do to help us understand what is going on, and to make it clear just what you will do about it?

(Crowd applauds vigourously as Jan sits down with a bit of embarassment).

MCCAIN: (Holding the top of the rostrum with both hands and smiling): Well, first, I want to welcome each of you here tonight. You know, I know what each of you are feeling. I think that each of you must be scared--as I am, of not verifying myself in my father's and my grandfather's eyes. But, that's not so important today--or, at least saying it isn't. What is most important is to appear that I understand an economy that just months ago I said that I had little understanding of at all. I want to win. I need it, frankly, as a way of overcoming my own personal horrors and demons, of overcoming the anger that was bestowed and thrust, unwillingly, upon me. And that's why I'm still willing, even as the sharpest edges of mental function fade, to propel myself through this mass of insult. I understand how to respond to insult. With anger. And impulse. And that's what I'll bring to the White House, come January of 2009.

(Crowd applauds vigorously)

MODERATOR: The next question is for Senator Obama.

CITIZEN 2: Thanks. My name is Ross, from Shreveport. First-time caller, long-time listener. My question is: Senator Obama, it's not an error that you were given the middle name "Barack". We know that that is the same name of the murderous. Communist leader of Iran--and that's no accident. (A slight murmur from the crowd. The moderator looks vaguely stunned, but does not interrupt). Now, when you were going to Russia, with Bill Ayers, and dodging the draft--just like William Jefferson Clinton--(speaking more quickly now, more aggressively, turning to the crowd)--why weren't you here at home, saving our banks from the Liberals and the Socialists who want to take our money away from us and just give it to the terrorists?

SARAH PALIN: (Poking her head out from the wings, with a big smile): You betcha'!

(She withdraws).

OBAMA: Well. First of all, I also want to welcome you all here tonight. You know, I know that this is a difficult time. Many of you are worried about your jobs, your families, your homes. There are times that test a man's soul, and every woman's as well. And I know that this may be one of those times. I can understand why you would be frightened, even angry at what this nation has done. But we are a nation that has risen up in adversity even in the best of times, we found our strength, and honor, and courage, our ability to work as one, when faced with the most difficult situations. And I want to call on each of you, in that spirit of patriotic sacrifice, to join with me in that effort in the days ahead.

(Silence. Then applause, as the recognition of actual thought begins to spread through the crowd. It swells, and finally, subsides).

MODERATOR: The next question is for Senator McCain.

CITIZEN 3 (He is a man who appears to be in his early 40's wearing blue jeans that are stiff and obviously brand-new. They are perfectly creased. He is wearing a tight fitting, also obviously new T-Shirt that says "Average American...And Black With Rage!" beneath which is an American flag. He is wearing black wing-tip shoes. ). Senator McCain, I'm just an average American, just an average Joe, just your Average Joe-Sixpack (Blackberry begins ringing)...Oh...
excuse boss's phone...(whispering tensely into phone:) "No...I said sell. Sell. Yes, the entire portfolio. No, not Ghanan timber, for god's sake, gold, the lot of it. Jesus H....(tucks Blackberry back into pants pocket and then readjusts his stance to that of average Joe, slumping to one side again and changing his voice back to it's original tenor). Like I said, just an average Joe Sixpack. And I'm wonderin'. I heard what Mr. Hussein just said about "rising up", and I'm wonderin' if that's exactly what he wants to do! Oh, sure, he wants us to band together to rise up--where have we heard that before? Socialists! That's what they do! (crowd begins to murmur, and in the rising heat, the smell of the fresh meat begins to waft faintly through the hall). Rise up! That's what he wants to do! Well, we need to rise up! Against those kind of Socialist, Communist, Fascist, Atheist, Marxist policies! (the crowd is talking, some nodding their heads). And so what I want to ask you, Sen. McCain (crowd quiets), as an average everyday American, is this: What is it like, being a fighter pilot and all, when you know that Barack Hussein was out there, palling around with his Communist friends?

MCCAIN: Well, my friend--and by that, I mean that all of you are my friends--I'm glad you asked. Not everyone has had the luxury of gaining an education merely on the basis of their own talent, or the opportunity to travel the world learning how to be separate from important family members without their having significant pull, or to be able to experience the variety of foods that one has the chance to consume when they are paid for by the State. And, I can say that, in that way, I haven't been quiet as lucky. But I will say this--I will not look such fortune in the face and say: 'Fine, I'll work on education with the Bill Ayers of this world', "I'll be at the top of my class at Harvard", when I can be down, down there with you at the bottom! I know what it's like to be at the bottom when I've had all the opportunities--and I want to share that experience with those of you who have had none. You're angry. I'm angry. We have that in common. Let's be angry together, satisfied that, for another for four years, we've put those who have the arrogance to think for extended periods in their place, content in knowing that we're right--even if we're wrong.

CITIZEN 4: Hiya. My name is George, from Midland, altho' some would say Kennebunkport, heh, heh. I have a question for ya, John, and it's this. Listen: I'm goin' to be out of a job soon. Oil futures aren't lookin' that good, and I've got to tell ya', I didn't have too much luck there in the first place. So I'd like to ask ya, one flyin' man to another--what do you think I oughta do?

PALIN: (emerges from wings with purposeful strides to McCain's podium): I've got to take this one, John. Mr. Bush, if you can't figure out what you want to do after you leave and we move in, take a little time off, and then you come right up to Alaska. They love hunting just like you--and you can fly, you can learn to do it from a plane! The pipeline's big enough for any number of mistakes. So you come up here when you're finished--we've got plenty of bars with plenty of bowls of nuts and plenty of televisions right on Wasiila Main street--we'll take care of you right!

(Bush smiles and sits, crowd applauds, Palin, smiling and waving, exits).

CITIZEN 5: Well, look. This is a serious question. I'm John, from Carpenter. It's for both of you. I've got two kids, 4 and 6, a boy and a girl--so sweet. You know. My wife, she was working for the WaMu branch, center of town. It's closing next week. She's been looking in the ads, the newspapers, online--nothing. It's all she can do to keep a smile on her face for the kids. Myself, I built a commerical trucking business from the ground up. Sixteen years. Sweat everyday, grease on my hands, I can never get it out. We were never rich, but I made a good living. I didn't know about investing--who does, you're not born with it! Anyway, I went to an investment advisor, it seemed like the safe thing to do, protect the kids, plan for the future, not use my own dumb head (smiles). Well, he was so smart, and he was so sure, and he had it all planned out. And it looked so impressive on paper. Now--all of a sudden--it's gone. Everything is changing. It's changing so quickly. It seems like nobody--nobody knew. Not even the people who were supposed to! Everybody was talkin', makin noise, thinkin' of one thing: Themselves, themselves, themselves. Never worrying to think about someone else, about the future, about the next moment.

Well, now the next moment is here. And I wanna know--what are the two of you really gonna do about it?

(The room is quiet as his last word echoes in the hall. The raw meat is rocking, slowly in the air, and the paper bills are gently fluttering). You can see Palin in profile, standing in the wings, holding her chin in her hand. The two candidates stare straight ahead, holding the podium. They are silent).

Head of State

Posted by: Cara Prado | October 7, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Who won the presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee?


Posted by: DBlake | October 7, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

man.. mccain and freddy and fannie

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

McCain likes to say "My clean record"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Ho do u won't to c coming on tv wan moskow or iran shot nekler ? Abmah or jhoun mackin

Posted by: max pintil | October 8, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

From "Fact of the Matter"


Tom Brokaw was definitely the wrong pick for the Moderator. He allowed John McCain, in what I believe was a concerted effort, to speak outright lies about Obama's voting record and some of Obama's policies, go unchallenged. He didn't, as the moderator, dispute these well known lies and false claims, nor did he allow Senator Obama to challenge the false McCain statements.

Brokaw allowed this biased latitude for McCain to occur on three different occasions until Senator Obama finally told Brokaw this, "I'm sorry Tom but there's a lot of this stuff out there...." Stuff meaning LIES AND SMEARS, by McCain. Obama successfully defended himself, and respectfully put McCain in his place, and McCain tried to throw a low blow, yet as Phil Collin's once sang, "...did I miss again, how did I miss again oh oh..."

My opinion of Tom Brokaw has lessened. He is obviously in the REPUBLICAN TANK. As an Expert Moderator he failed to do the 'CIVIC DUTY' of a journalist, too challenge a PROVEN LIE or allow Senator Obama rebuttal against obvious lies. This inaction and disallowing by Brokaw seemed a concerted effort of Corporate Media favoritism of John McCain in action. I felt in spirit that Brokaw was blatantly taking sides. I'm not God so I can't say for sure. Yet, even though he possibly tried to aide McCain on those three occasions, for McCain it obviously wasn't enough. He later took a jab at Brokaw by saying, "It sure won't be you Tom", in his answer to the question who would they choose for the position of Secretary of the Treasury.

McCain demonstrated anger and aggression. John McCain "appears" bitter because he is losing in the polls, and HATEFUL because it is Barack Obama who is proving to be John McCain's BETTER. McCain is demonstrating the mindset of someone who knows he went about his plan wrong and now he is paying for it. Can Somebody say, "LOOOSEERRRR!!!!!"


Once again McCain begin to trumpet the supposed winning strategy of the surge as the new war strategy against those whom would stand in McCains America's way. The Warmonger unleashed his list of experience in, 'knowing how to win wars'....


Counting Errors
McCain said that Obama had voted 94 times for higher taxes or against tax cuts. He’s getting warmer — the first time we dinged him for this one, he said Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes, which is way off. This is still misleading, though. The real breakdown includes: 23 votes against tax cuts (which would have produced no increase in taxes); seven votes that would have lowered taxes for most people, but increased taxes on a few; 11 votes that would have increased taxes on those making over $1 million a year. The majority of the 94 votes (53 of them, including some of the above) were on budget measures, not tax bills, and would not have resulted in any tax change. Four other votes were non-binding motions related to conference report negotiations.

Obama, in turn, repeated the claim that McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy. We found that only 11 of those votes would have reduced or eliminated incentives for alternative energy. The rest opposed creating or enforcing alternative energy.

Conclusion, they were both off some yet, McCain was, continuing, if you will, too PROPORT LIES. Let's look at another one...

Oversimplifying the Fiscal Crisis
It’s finger-pointing time again, with each candidates blaming the other for the financial crisis. McCain called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the “catalyst” for the crisis and blamed Obama for failing to sign on to a bill to reign in the FMs. Obama countered that it’s a culture of deregulation and lack of oversight that caused the problem.

We’ve been here before. Both candidates have a point: Democrats really have fought regulation of the FMs and McCain has in fact been in favor of deregulation.

Yet, McCain's campaign manager up until a month ago was still on the payroll of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. McCain in this argument has no argument. He is one of the main author's of deregulation.

These are just a few of the issues they are not quite correct on. Yet, the greatest aggressor of the SMEAR, FEAR, and LIES CAMPAIGN is THE PUPPETED MOUTHPIECE OF THE RNC campaign McCain90%w/Bush/Palin.


Health Care Fines for Small Businesses?
McCain said that Obama’s health care plan would mandate that “small businesses” provide coverage for their employees and would fine them if they failed to do so. Actually, Obama’s health care plan, posted on his Web site, says: “Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.” McCain previously used this charge in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention

Posted by: need4trth | October 8, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

In past weeks many have come clean about having regrets over electing Obama vs. Hillary. Republicans have taken advantage and placed a woman with no senate presence or knowledge of the senate as vice-president clearly using her as a mere bait for the Elections. I heard some people say that they will write in Hillary Clinton in the November ballot ...I didn't know that was possible but given that I'm so unhappy with the candidates I decided to do the same. Now I’m wondering how many people will use a write-in for Hillary Clinton on the November Ballot. -(A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name.)
Even if it was unlikely that she could win at least I would be at peace with not given in a situation that has been forced from the beginning and all by voting honestly my way. If you can’t bring yourself to vote for any candidate this far in the game, if you are not satisfied with either candidate Obama or McCain you should vote for Hillary. Please pass on and post this info for others. You still have a choice.

Posted by: Stella | October 8, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

In past weeks many have come clean about having regrets over electing Obama vs. Hillary. Republicans have taken advantage and placed a woman with no senate presence or knowledge of the senate as vice-president clearly using her as a mere bait for the Elections. I heard some people say that they will write in Hillary Clinton in the November ballot ...I didn't know that was possible but given that I'm so unhappy with the candidates I decided to do the same. Now I’m wondering how many people will use a write-in for Hillary Clinton on the November Ballot. -(A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name.)
Even if it was unlikely that she could win at least I would be at peace with not given in a situation that has been forced from the beginning and all by voting honestly my way. If you can’t bring yourself to vote for any candidate this far in the game, if you are not satisfied with either candidate Obama or McCain you should vote for Hillary. Please pass on and post this info for others. You still have a choice.

Posted by: Stella | October 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

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

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008.

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

HELLO RUSH limbaugh your hate smears not
working to good,heard you today,why don't
you have that rag of a party,dump mclost
and draft you to debate Obama or you run
your fat nasty tail,for the whitehouse,
since you are so white and entitled,only
thing wrong is that you are one of the ugl-est white person I have every seen!and I
won't forget how you made fun and jokes
about my health,you pigboy,can you have a
fathead tuck.

Posted by: michael j. fox | October 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am not living in the us, but I am a big sputter of John mackin. And this is my massage to all of u Americans the all would will laufe from u Americans for voting in a man ho is so week to be president. Lates sake u all Americans would u won't to abmah by the next g8 summit around the would Leeds come on americans wake up

Posted by: max | October 9, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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