My first impression: Schieffer has on a red-and-blue striped tie. How politically correct! (Brings out his baby blues.) Does this mean he's going to bipartisan? Non-partisan?
Hey, what's the deal with McCain wearing a BLUE tie and Obama wearing a RED tie? Is this "Wacky Wednesday" or something? Was there some metaphysical body-swapping going on a la Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis?
OMG NANCY REAGAN?! Does anyone really care?!
Wow, does anyone else think McCain's face seems particularly swollen, at least on the left side? [Insert Left/Liberal reference here.] His eyes also look pretty bloodshot.
The mortgage question... hmm... Like the idea of keeping people in their homes but...
Obama's looking more than a little tired too. Nice lapel pin.
Okay, so far, I'm hearing same old, same old. Yadda yadda yadda. Not to belittle helping homeowners and middle class Americans and "Main Street" and we the taxpayers, but I'm not hearing anything NEW.
Ah, ENERGY POLICY. That took less than five minutes.
9:07: Let the attacks and campaign stories begin! Joe, Joe, Joe. Joe the Plumber. Joe shmoe.
Note to McCain: Obama has stated and written he is NOT going to tax small businesses!
Ooo, nice comeback, Barry, with the "watching Senator McCain's ads" line.
Why must Obama always have to explain himself? I would be effing testy if I constantly had to repeat myself and explain. What are you, stupid, John? Can't you read? Didn't you listen?
9:10 McCain has got to stop smirking while Obama speaks. It reminds me of Gore rolling his eyes during his debates with W.
OK. ENOUGH ABOUT JOE THE PLUMBER [who, it turns out, is not a licensed plumber and is behind on his taxes]. I don't give an ounce of Drano about Joe the Plumber.
There he goes again, having to explain to McCain that he is going to CUT 95 PERCENT OF AMERICANS TAXES.
(Love the fact Obama refers to Warren Buffett as "Warren.")
9:13: HOW CAN WE CUT TAXES WITH ALL THIS SPENDING?! Hey, I don't want to pay a dime more in taxes, but I'm not naive. You want to spend more, the money has to come from somewhere. Wasn't spending money you didn't have what got us into this mortgage/housing/financial/economic mess?
9:14 Obama mentions "living beyond our means." Says he's a strong proponent of "pay as you go." I'm all for that. Who can argue with that?
Waiting for "scalpel" reference... Waiting...
I like the idea of "investing in our young people." The seeds you plant today...
9:16: McCain like a dog with a home ownership bone. Oooh, McCain just mentioned Senator Clinton. Take THAT, Senator Obama!
9:17: Schieffer takes McCain to task, not that it does a lick of good.
And McCain gets out the hatchet -- and the scalpel! But at least he sort of answered Schieffer's question about what he would cut. Actually, he didn't.
Wow, Schieffer just called McCain on something. Are those specifics we are hearing? Oh man, the aircraft manufacturer deal, again.
9:18: OK, enough about effing pork barrel spending and the $3 million projector for the planetarium in Chicago. Didn't we clarify that after the last debate? [We did. To read the real story about that "earmark," click on the link.]
SCALPEL! Finally. Took a few minutes, but Obama did use that "scalpel."
Memo to John McCain: Stop smirking.
Ooh, McCain smacks down Obama on the Bush issue. But you know what? Cute in the moment but Obama IS running against the Republicans, the party which McCain belongs to and has supported -- a majority of times.
[Should have chosen "scalpel" and "hatchet" for the drinking game.]
Excuse me, but what's wrong with voting with and/or supporting your party? Isn't that the point of belonging to a party? If you think your party/colleagues are in the right, what's wrong with supporting them? Reaching across the aisle can be a bad thing [see "Joe Lieberman"].
You go, Obama, showing the old man some respect. Torture, cool.
"Scars to prove it." Bottoms up!
Does McCain think he's winning?
Oooh, the "high road" question... Is anyone else uncomfortable sitting here?
Oh, so the whole problem is that Obama didn't agree to do town hall-style meetings, that's why the McCain campaign went negative?
Ah, John Lewis hurt John McCain's feelings. Boohoohoo. And why did John Lewis say those things, John? Hmm? And why should Obama repudiate what someone else said? Has McCain?
OK. Point to McCain re the flip-flop on Obama and campaign spending. He did. But I'll say this, sometimes there is a good reason for changing your mind. In some cases it shows your thinking has evolved. (Of course, Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, doesn't believe in evolution...)
Okay, I've been just listening to McCain and Obama. Just listening. And there is such a clear difference in their tones. McCain is clearly irritated and hostile while Obama is maintaining his cool, speaking calmly and slowly and clearly and thoughtfully -- and trying to set the record straight while McCain keeps interrupting.
9:33: "I'm proud of the people who come to our rallies." Seriously, John? Seriously? You are proud of those people who think Obama is "an Arab"? [Not that there is anything wrong or evil about being an Arab. See last night's "Daily Show."] Who shout "kill him" and "terrorist"?
9:35: Thank you, Barack Obama, for bringing the conversation back around to the real problems facing this country. And yes, I like the line about agreeing to disagree but not being disagreeable.
9:35: Ayers and ACORN. Go!
Obama responds to the Ayers and ACORN accusations... Brilliant job debunking the Ayers accusations. Sidebar: Can we just get away from this guilt by past associations, some of which, if not most, were brief and/or tenuous. Let's talk about who you are associating with NOW, who is advising you, whose opinion you seek out.
WHY IS MCCAIN CALLING OBAMA A LIAR WHEN OBAMA CAN BACK UP WHAT HE SAYS? Why does McCain say "taxes" like some Tourette tic?
9:40 The running mate question... God bless you, Bob Schieffer.
"Tax cuts"! "Energy independence"! Double shot!
Sarah Palin is... A ROLE MODEL TO WOMEN?! Not to this woman -- or any of the women I know. A REFORMER?! What are you smoking, Johnny Mac? A breath of fresh air? Oooh, the "special needs... autism" card. Nice one, Johnny. I mean, who could say anything bad about a woman with a "special needs" child who went back to work three days after he was born?
Un-effing-believable. Here is Obama being GRACIOUS about Sarah Palin and McCain takes the low road and insults Joe Biden about foreign policy -- and actually shoots down the three-state Iraq idea that actually seems like a damn fine idea -- and was popular with a lot of foreign policy/Middle East experts.
JSM: TAXES! [Salut!]
Re nuclear energy, three words: "The China Syndrome." Hey John, tell me truthfully, Would you want Sarah Palin commanding a nuclear sub? (Me, I don't even want her finger anywhere near a nuke button, though McCain's finger worries me more.)
Can we reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Obama gives a number! Ten years! A REAL ANSWER, to the question that was asked!
"$700 billion!" [Cheers mate!]
And did you know we can't drill our way out of the problem? Did you?
Wait for it... wait for it... Come on, Obama, say it! Say "clean coal." [9:50]
Does anyone really care or understand "NAFTA" and "free trade"? Does Joe the Plumber [as Brian Williams later noted, the now second most famous plummer, after Watergate]? I think not. Next.
OMG, is John McCain SIX?! Mommy, mommy, look at me! Don't listen to Barry's pretty words, Mommy. Listen to me, mommy, me, me, me. I'm the one who deserves your love, mommy! See, mommy, I'm smiling! It was MY idea.
STOP LOOKING SO EFFING SMUG, John. Voters don't like smug. Just ask Al Gore.
9:53: Hey, where did the split-screen go? Is McCain having a coronary? Did someone tell the camera guys to cut away from McCain? Why?
"Sit down at the table without precondition"! [Barkeep, pour me another round!]
"Herbert Hoover"! [A shot in every glass!]
And now, for healthcare...
Two women get laid off from their plant. Neither has health insurance... Hey, I think I know this one.
Really, does anyone NOT know the basics of Obama and McCain's plans at this point? Frankly, does anyone watching this debate really think they are going to learn something NEW? You want to know where the candidates stand? Go to their websites and read their platforms/position statements.
Um, don't we have physical fitness programs in school? We call it "gym."
ENOUGH WITH JOE THE PLUMBER.
"My friend"! [Weeeeee. Inhale.... Exhale.]
Take over the healthcare of America... like the U.S. government is taking over U.S. banks? So nationalizing or socializing the financial system and bailing out millionaires is OK but nationalizing or socializing healthcare and helping out children and people who make under $250,000/year (and much less) is BAD?
My friends, I say once more: ENOUGH WITH JOE THE PLUMBER. Cause ya know what? All the plumbers I know make way more than I do. Some of them ARE rich, John. So, please, can we move beyond Joe the Plumber? Let's talk about Jane the Teacher, Fred the Firefighter, Paul the Policeman, Nancy the Nurse, please.
And why has government grown in the past eight years? Which party has been in power? Yes, the Democrats achieved a very narrow majority in November 2006, which has basically been unable to accomplish anything because it needs Republicans. 'Nuff said.
10:06: Excellent question re the Supreme Court, Bob Schieffer -- and glad to hear you voted for Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, Senator McCain. But there is a difference between voting for someone and picking or nominating someone.
Picking the best person, John? Like Sarah Palin?
Right to privacy... Nice.
About Lilly Ledbetter...
Excuse me, but I don't want John McCain or any other elected official, male of female, legislating my body.
Yes, Barack Obama IS eloquent. Is that a bad thing? And he makes a good point about AVOIDING the need for abortion, by providing sex education.
10:16: Aw, last question?! I was just starting to have some fun.
And now, the education question...
Aw come on Obama, do I really have to turn off the TV?
So, choice when it comes to schools is good but choice when it comes to your body and your life is bad? Just checking.
No, John, throwing money at the problem IS the answer. It would be wonderful if teachers got paid what the guys who ran AIG and the SEC and Lehman Bros. got paid. But public school teachers are paid with tax dollars, and no one wants to pay more taxes. Just sayin'.
John McCain is a condescending (or is it patronizing?) prick. There, I said it. Btw, Obama's wife's name is "Michelle," Senator McCain (and apparently yours starts with the letter C... from what we've heard).
"Precious children with autism..." Hey, no one is denying that autism is a huge problem and a tragedy for families but I don't like it being used as a political card.
At last, the closing statements! And Senator McCain wins the coin toss! My friends [BURP], that may be the only thing McCain wins this year.
The spouse weighs in: "McCain's talking about change, and i have no doubt he's inherently an independent guy, but he doesn't look like he embodies change or that he instills confidence, or that he could truly deliver change." Well said, spouse!
And now for Obama... Is that a slight note of passion I hear in Obama's voice? A sense of urgency, perchance? And I believe he will work tirelessly on our behalf.
And we're out!
Whoohoo! NO MORE DEBATES!
You know who won the debate? BOB SCHIEFFER. He has my vote.
And for those of you who did not pick "Joe the Plumber" as your cue to imbibe in this evening's debate drinking game, there's always 2012.
Have A Merri One!
9 minutes ago