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The Political Take: Breaking Down the Nashville Debate

The Fix and Newsweek managing editor Dan Klaidman got together this morning to discuss the debate that was and what to look for out of John McCain's campaign in the next few days.

The "Political Take" follows.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 8, 2008; 7:40 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , FixCam  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain Changes Tactics?
Next: Wag the (Video) Blog: Can McCain Win?




The Solution to the Economic Crisis is NOT to place a former cocaine user like Obama in charge of the World's Largest Economy.

Are you completely insane?

Voted One Of The Nation's Top 5 Political Blogs For The Election Of 2008:

Bookmark It Now !!!!




The Solution to the Economic Crisis is NOT to place a former cocaine user in charge of the World's Largest Economy.

Are you completely insane?

Voted One Of The Nation's Top 5 Political Blogs For The Election Of 2008:

Bookmark It Now !!!!



Posted by: 37thandOStreet | October 10, 2008 5:27 AM | Report abuse

The People Who Struck The Match, Set The Fire, and Fanned the Flames Which Are Burning Our Economy To The Ground Are Conspiring To Shift Blame And Avoid Jail Time. And One Of Them Is Set To Be Our Next Attorney General.

The Major Players Including Jamie Goerlick, Franklin Raines, Daniel Mudd, and Jim Johnson are at the heart of this meltdown.

Aided By Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Chuck Schummer, Henry Waxman, Maxine Waters, Artur Davis, Gregory Meeks, Lacy Clay, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Barrack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi.

These people owe the American People an explanation, an apology, and perhaps some jail time. Don't take your eye off of the ball. These are the people who lit the match and fanned the flames. One Of The Players, Jamie Goerlick is set to be our next attorney General. We simply CAN'T let this happen or they will all go free.

And You Certainly Can't Dismiss Acorns Involvement In The Melt Down. Acorn Was Heavily Involved In Pressuring Banks To Make Less Than Credit Worthy Loans In Economically Depressed Areas. Obama Was Their Lawyer When They Threatened or Sued Those Banks To Make The Worthless Loans

Posted by: gdodd414 | October 10, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse



A great deal has been said of Obama as head of the Harvard Law Review - however the evidence is that he was voted into that position because the people thought it would be "cool" to have a black in there, not because he was more qualified than the other students.

Having said that, Obama NEVER wrote for the Harvard Law Review.


There is a pattern of Obama getting positions or jobs through affirmative action and then NOT doing those jobs.

1) First, he took a position in the class at Harvard Law School (from a white student) however Obama NEVER became a lawyer,

2) Obama became head of the Harvard Law Review, however Obama NEVER wrote a law review article.

3) Obama became a State Senator however Obama RARELY voted yes or not, voting present many many times - Emil Jones placed Obama's name on numerous bills which were Emil's work, and Obama took credit for Emil's work because someone decided that Obama was going to be pushed forward.

4) Obama was selected to be the Chairman of the SubCommittee to review NATO's role in Afghanistan however Obama NEVER held any hearings of this SubCommittee.

5) Obama was elected to the US Senator, however instead of doing his job as a Senator Obama went on a book tour and started a campaign for President - HOW MUCH TIME HAS HE REALLY SPENT ACTUALLY BEING A SENATOR ???

Sorry However NONE OF THIS IS IMPRESSIVE. In fact, it is rather sad.



Posted by: 37thandOStreet | October 9, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 9, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Mickey007 :

You're right, different bills. The real difference between them was the timetable issue, so McCain can feel free to argue that point. But instead of having an honest debate or discussion about that difference, he goes around saying "Obama voted against a bill that included funding for our troops."

And the fact remains that "McCain voted against a bill that provided for our troops." So, I assume you would have no problem if Obama starts going around saying that. I hope you wouldn't, because it's just as true.

Posted by: ChrisDC | October 9, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Oboma wiped the floor with McCain!

Posted by: vicbennettnet | October 9, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Dear Opa2,
Senator McCain will not, and did not vote for any funding of American troops that included a time table to withdraw them. Senator McCain has said it several times "NO TIMETABLE" Get your facts straight Opa2 or shut up.

Posted by: Mickey007 | October 9, 2008 4:15 AM | Report abuse

I felt a cold chill up my spine when i viewed the Palins "palling" around with USA 'haters' Check out the dates. This wasn't 40 years ago:

Posted by: pulakimo | October 9, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

It seems that friends of Obama have a lot in common:
Aires and wife
Reverand Wright
Father Flaggard

THEY ALL HATE AMERICA. It is well known that birds of a feather flock together. So there you have it and I have called a spade a spade.

Wake up Democrats and use some common sense. Obama is a danger to our county. Obama is friends with black militant racists, terrorists and criminals and should be exposed as a FAKE AND A FRAUD.

Posted by: Revelation143 | October 9, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

So we are post debate and McCain today used what must be his next gimmick, his wife!!! This rich lady who wants to be your first lady, inserted herself into the debate by saying something like "When Barrack Obama voted against the bill that would have funded the troops in Iraq, voted against my son, it sent cold shivers down my spine." wonder how she felt when her husband voted against the same bill two months later? Did she divorce him? Did she at least give him a black eye? HELL NO She didn't even cut off his allowance. What a shameful pair of characters.

Posted by: Opa2 | October 9, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 9, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse


* Sen. McCain pointed fingers and called names when talking about the economy. However, he did it only to Sen. Obama. Sen. McCain should have also talked about Clinton administration , Carter administration, Dem. party , Barney Franks and Chris Dodd involvement.

* Sen. McCain was non presidential when he pointed to Sen. Obama face and said "...that one.". (BTW, Presidential qualities = civilized, courteous, emotionally controlled).

* Sen. McCain kept looking at Sen. Obama constantly. This surely distracted Sen. McCain. Sen. McCain should have done it in a more natural way and fewer times.

BTW, Fox news did an investigative report about the Democrat involvement in current economic problems. This was a great report. FOX NEWS, please do more such report!! Also, Sen. McCain needs to talk about Dem. involvement in current economic problems.

Posted by: lazerboy | October 9, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse


THE Admiral SON.

In Oct. 26, 1967, the admiral's son while flying his 23rd mission over North Vietnam, once again fell from the sky, this time landing in the hands of a brutal enemy. He was beaten and bayoneted. His shoulder was smashed and his right calf was nearly perpendicular to his knee.
The severely wounded McCain was finally thrown on the back of a truck and hauled to the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison camp. Immediately, his captors began to interrogate him using sadistic methods they had perfected on hundreds of captured U.S. servicemen before him.

His interrogators demanded military information. When he refused, his guards kicked and pounded him mercilessly.
McCain admits that three to four days after he was captured, he promised the Vietnamese, "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."
McCain also admits that the Vietnamese rushed him to a hospital, but denies he was given "special medical treatment" because of his promise.
He claims he was given medical care normally unavailable to captured Americans only because the Vietnamese learned he was the son of Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., the soon-to-be commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific including those fighting in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese figured that because POW McCain's father was of such high military rank that he was of royalty or the governing circle in the United States. Thereafter the communist bragged that they had captured "the crown prince"and treated him as a "special prisoner."

Less than two weeks after McCain was taken to a hospital, Hanoi's press began quoting him giving specific military information, including the name of the aircraft carrier on which he was based, numbers of U.S. pilots that had been lost, the number of aircraft in his flight, information about location of rescue ships and the order of which his attack was supposed to take place.
There is also evidence that McCain received "special" medical treatment from a Soviet physician.

After he was out of the hospital, McCain continued cooperating with the North Vietnamese for a period of three years. He made radio broadcasts for the communists and met with foreign delegations, including the Cubans. He was interviewed by at least two North Vietnamese generals one of whom was Vietnam's national hero, General Vo Nguyen Giap.

On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service story headlined "PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral," reported one of McCain's radio broadcasts: "Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of the United States commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits to having bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since being taken prisoner.
McCain says he violated the Code of Conduct only when the North Vietnamese brutally tortured him. He further claims that he was so distraught afterwards that he tried to commit suicide. He has never explained why his "aid to the enemy" continued for more than three years.

Even though there are no reports in the public record from other POWs who witnessed McCain's claims of torture and heroics or his attempted suicide, the American media has accepted his version of events word for word, no questions asked.

Yet, the same press that transformed the admiral's son into an "incredible war hero--an inspiration to all Americans," vilified the two grunts.
Comparing the incidents surrounding the fates of three POWs,' who collaborated with the enemy, makes one question why two faced possible execution for treason, while the third won acclaim as a hero fit to be President of the United States.
Once more, Lady Luck had smiled on John McCain . . . or was it the admiral?

Posted by: popasmoke | October 8, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain today, in a speech today Wednesday===="My fellow prisoners" --- geez , John , I'm not happy with the country, but I'm not a prisoner.

Posted by: majorteddy | October 8, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

''As Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States''
Palin the ''Maverick'' grabs her shotgun....If she and McCain begin to spiral downward in the they will.......The rich and powerful may very likely create a major international incident.....To allow John McCain to come to the rescue..........

Republican or Democrat....
You will feel a cold chill running down your McCain and
Palin assume control of the nuclear trigger.

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

''As Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States''
Palin the ''Maverick'' grabs her shotgun....If she and McCain begin to spiral downward in the they will.......The rich and powerful may very likely create a major international incident.....To allow John McCain to come to the rescue..........

Republican or Democrat....
You will feel a cold chill running down your McCain and
Palin assume control of the nuclear trigger.

Posted by: rodhemeon | October 8, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Mccain has a senior moment and POW flash back. Reminiscent of Jack Lemmon in the movie "Save the Tiger". as a man who is slowly losing his mind with flash back from the war. Lemmon is giving a speech when he has one of his flash backs much like Mccain did today. Be sure to catch the look on Palin's face who is standing behind her. Mccain is completely oblivious to what he had said..

Posted by: popasmoke | October 8, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

It was an evening that left the race at the status quo and managed to solidify voter concerns with McCain's ability to handle - or even speak about - the economy. Obama is the hands-down winner...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | October 8, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"That one"

On all the blogs (HuffPo, Daily Kos)they are talking about Mac's meltdown during the debates where: he called O "That one" (an insult practically everyone understood), refused to shake O's hand after the debate, and fled the scene right after the debate without meeting and greeting the real folks at the town hall (the ones he said he was so comfortable with) as O and Mrs. O did. BO and MO shook the hands of every single town hall participant.

There was also discussion on all the blogs of Mac's disrespecting the two AA questioners; Mac assumed one didn't know what Fannie Mae was (an assumption based on nothing) and he turned his back on the young girl who asked him about "green" jobs. He even went after Brokaw; when Brokaw asked, "Who would you pick as treasury?" Mac snarled, "Not you."

Mac's snarly, teeth-gritting "that one" performance dominated Internet discussion everywhere.

One foreign cab driver said that when he heard Mac call a fellow senator "that one" he was embarrassed for America. He said the entire world (except I guess George Stephanopoulos, who thought it was okay) knew the racial insult Mac intended when he called O "that one." A lot of older posters, particularly those from the South, said the same thing.

Just read the thousands of posts on DailyKos and HuffPo today -- many Mac supporters who are now switching to O.

Not quite a macaca moment, but close. For sure, a sad moment for all Americans of goodwill.

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

It was an evening that left the race at the status quo and managed to solidify voter concerns with McCain's ability to handle - or even speak about - the economy. Obama is the hands-down winner...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | October 8, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

McCain has been around long enough to know that crazy talk about Ayers and domestic terrorism doesn't play with the average, rational American. Indeed, such extreme radical talk is downright offensive to average Americans, and only plays to the extreme right. And too, I don't think McCain the guts to make such allegations to Obama's face.

Posted by: jandcgall1 | October 8, 2008 8:33 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 prop 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 vigorously as Jan sits down with a bit of embarrassment).

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 going to 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: caraprado1 | October 8, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris and the other guy,
Your 'political take' on the debate was right on the money.It was boring,staged,and lacked the luster that had been predicted by other pundits who believed that McCain was going to 'take the gloves off'.
Boredom can be a beautiful thing when things are going right...whether in my life or the life of a presidential hopeful.
As you stated,Obama is the beneficiary of the boring debate.Not that I speak to many people on a daily basis,but I thought it was strange that no one wanted to discuss it at all...including me.You,Chris,stated that most people probably turned off or changed the channel on their sets after about 45 minutes.That's exactly what I did.It was simply too repetitive and monotonous.Cool.I slept like a baby.
Thanks for all you do at 'The Fix',especially in putting up with the mindless masses who bombard your site.Keep up the good work and send me a t-shirt for no good reason,other than I will tout your site and say you're the greatest thing since blueberry cobbler.Shameless,I know.
Best wishes.

Posted by: klowry57 | October 8, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

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