Live Blog: 2nd Presidential Debate

Well tonight is the 2nd Presidential Debate at Belmont University. I know the a lot of us in DC will be watching and tonight I will try and blog live from DC Metblogs during the debates- providing the “joe six-pack” view. Maybe I’ll even crack open a six-pack; I’m sure good amount of viewers will have their drinking game sheets in hand.

If things go well I’ll be back before the debates and I encourage those to keep DC Metblogs up during the debates and feel free to comment away during the debates!

8:24 PM: Hi everyone (or maybe just myself)! I just emptied my bladder, grabbed a slice of pie, and I’m

Courtesy CNN

settled down to watch this debate. I’ll be watching the feed from CNN tonight- I don’t know what people think of their use (or overuse) of timers, graphs, and polls. I could definitely feel overwhelmed with information with all that junk up there. However I love it.

Wolf Blitzer just said Al Gore is in the house and so is John King with the magic wall. Who knew that in 2008 we would be analyzing the news using a “magic wall”?

8:39 PM: I won’t be some of the few out there in DC drinking along with the debates but I did decided to track a couple of buzzwords: “Maverick”, “Change”, “Main Street”, and my personal favorite “voted with bush 90% of the time.”

8:50 PM: 10 minutes to go! Listening to talk on the format of tonight’s debate- it will be a town hall format where the candidates will be talking to an audience of undecided voters. Tom Brokaw will moderate and questions will be selected from the audience as well as e-mails that Brokaw selected before hand. CNN just reported that there were over 6 million thousand questions submitted. I didn’t hear that they were looking for questions.

9:00 PM: Here we go, 90 minutes of fierce talking point delivery!

See the rest of the night’s live blog underneath the more tag…

9:03 PM: Alan Shaffer delivers the first question: What’s the fastest, best way to help Americans suffering from economic crisis? Obama basically hits his usual points on government regulation and oversite- McCain takes the energy independence route… and he also wants to buy up the bad mortgages- interesting that he wants a larger government presence.

9:10 PM: Hmm Warren Buffet as Treasury secretary… For those that don’t know about him- his company, Berkshire Hathaway, currently has share valued at $124,000 per share. Pretty good for the world’s richest man- maybe he can raise our stock.

9:14 PM: Obama delivers the first attack on McCain… interesting how the candidates are using language like “bailout” and “rescue”…both have different meanings…

9:17 PM: Everybody is writing letters- don’t people know e-mail is faster? Maybe they should of facebooked the Treasury Secretary- that way everyone can see it!

9:19 PM: Doesn’t anybody wanna be a Maverick in order to solve the economy? Oooh- Obama was so close to dropping the 90% line!

9:23 PM: McCain talks about how he challenged his party- isn’t that being a Maverick? If he would only say it… John, I got a Maverick count at 0 man! People are waiting to take a shot! I should of started a “My Friends” count…

9:26 PM: As I stare at CNN’s dial testing graph- it’s mostly neutral and I can see why. I feel that both candidates are delivery the typical talking points that I’ve heard before. McCain wants to drill and Obama wants reform and tax cuts for the middle class.

9:30 PM: 30 minutes down- it looks like the candidates are taking too much time, but who doesn’t during these things? Both parties agreed to the rules and both parties will break the rules. At least both candidates want to examine the budget. McCain mentions an overhead projector as an example of overspending- but doesn’t want to cut it (and also tries to associate the item with Obama.) That was a weird move.

9:34 PM: Obama talks about how young people can serve- and as a person of this young generation I agree that service is something that is growing and hopefully will grow with every succeeding generation. Also it’s clear that this election has seen a lot of participating from young Americans- and it makes me excited!

9:37 PM: Here’s a difference the two have- selective spending freeze cuts (Obama) vs. cuts across the board (McCain)… McCain just compared Obama’s tax policy to nailing Jello on the wall… I wonder how long he was waiting to unleash that one. McCain directed a statement at McCain Obama- it’s good to see he can acknowledge him!

9:40 PM: Again Brokaw is trying to keep order- I wonder if there has been a moderator that has been able to do that in a debate. Yes! Obama dropped, “Looks like Straight Talk Express lost a wheel!” I hope McCain has AAA.

9:42 PM: I picked the wrong buzzwords- I currently have 0 on all words. For those that don’t know Tip- Tip O’Neill (D- MA) was speaker of the house from 1977- 1987. Interesting to hear McCain mention him and Reagan in the same sentence.

9:47 PM: McCain is mentioning himself working with Joe Lieberman a lot, I wonder if he’s trying to hint at working across the aisle… of course Lieberman is no longer a Democrat…it appears both candidates like any other energy source besides oil- unless you are McCain then you want to drill too.

9:48 PM: Wow- Brokaw is really trying to keep these guys on time, calling out the warning lights. I loved McCain’s response, “Tom, just waive your hand!”

9:50 PM: McCain: “Who voted for that bill [Bush energy bill]? That one! [Pointing at Obama] Who didn’t vote for it? Me.” All I have to say is- OH SNAP!

9:54 PM: On Healthcare- Obama restates his universal plan, accuses McCain of offering tax credits when he’s raising premiums on employers… and also drops the first change reference! McCain: “Let’s put medical records online, it’ll reduce ‘medical errors’ as they call them…” What else would I call a medical error?

9:59 PM: After Healthcare section: Change – 2, Maverick – 0

10:00 PM: 30 minutes to go- so far I think both candidates are doing ok, there has been little jabs but nothing big.

10:02 PM: Talking about jabs- McCain is working the foreign affairs and experience issues against Obama. Obama fights back by trying to link him to Bush- especially with Iraq. When Obama repeats the costs of the war- does it mean more to you with the current economy situation we are in?

10:06 PM: In addressing Sammy’s comment- I heard that as part of rules negotiated for this debate, there were limits on showing reaction shots from the audience. For instance if an audience member asks a question- they won’t show that person’s reaction to the answer. Is it just me or did they bring the audience in more in the first half but now Brokaw is asking more and more questions?

10:08 PM: Oh good an audience question: Katie Hamm asks about military presence abroad.

10:12 PM: McCain wants to carry a big stick- does he have trouble walking? For some reason I feel like I’ve heard this point before… oh ya last week but instead of McCain it was Sarah Palin saying it. You can tell that it’s the same ol’ talking points but now it makes me realize how the VP debates were nothing more than the VP candidates delivering the same points.

10:14 PM: Oh boy Obama wants follow-ups, McCain wants follow-ups to the follow ups…Brokaw must be secretly going out of his mind with this controlled chaos.

10:16 PM: Bomb Bomb Bomb- Iran, is that song available on iTunes? I agree with Frank’s comment- politician’s should be able to figure out how to delivery points in a minute…. McCain knows how to “get him”, but I’d love to know how he is going to do it.

10:19 PM: Shout out to fellow DC Metblog writers Frank and Monica, I’m thinking out loud but maybe we should have a live blog panel for the next debate. None of us are political experts but we are all from DC ;-) Actually I think the whole idea for this was to encourage live conversation, especially with the local crowd (and all of our friends.)

10:21 PM: Wouldn’t it be scary if you looked into someone’s eyes and see any letters? In your eyes- the light, the heat- in your eyes- I am complete…

10:23 PM: Petro dollars- that’s gotta be the new buzzword.

10:24 PM: Brokaw asked both candidates for a yes/no answer and Obama gave him a paragraph and McCain gave him a “maybe”.

10:26 PM: Here’s the “randomly selected” question on Isreal- whoa is that in the rules for McCain to pet the people asking questions?

10:29 PM: Again, I’ve heard Obama’s answer- except it was Joe Biden’s head instead of Barack’s…

10:30 PM: Here’s my explicit opinion and reaction: out of all the points here I strongly agree with Barack’s foreign policy position… we see a little Michelle Obama in the house- but why no Al Gore?

10:34 PM: Last question: Obama wants “fundamental change” (drink!) McCain knows what it’s like to be in the Vietnam war, and wants to serve the country -both candidates really treated the question like their chance for a closing statement.

10:36 PM: Look candidates- you both have disrespected Tom Brokaw by not following any of the rules, but if there is one thing you don’t do, you don’t get in the way of a man’s teleprompter! Tom’s going to have to lay the smack down now!

10:44 PM: Well the debate is over! I have to say that for me it was flurry but a really great experience- thanks to everyone that read along and commented. I think that discussion about the issues and the candidates is an important part of the election process and I encourage everyone to get involved in this year’s election.

Both Obama and McCain delivered their points without any major snafus. CNN right now is saying that McCain needed to gain some ground in this debate- I don’t think he said anything that really did that. Honestly I heard the same old talking points, and I guess for McCain that wasn’t good enough to gain any ground- he had that one little moment where he said Obama voted on Bush’s energy plan and he didn’t. I don’t think that was anything huge.

10:55 PM: Final count: Change – 7 (checking rough transcripts), Maverick – 0 Good night everyone!

49 Comments so far

  1. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:01 pm

    Hello from battleground wisconsin…this should be interesting. hopefully this will be at least as interesting as the VP debate. the only difference this time is when the candidates dodge the questions, they won’t actually say "I’m not going to answer that question" !


  2. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

    What in the bailout package will actually help americans? ummm, yeah, i’ll have to get back to ya!


  3. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:28 pm

    ever notice how the cnn graph is almost ALWAYS positive?


  4. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

    Hey Pho, i agree with you, i want to hear a maverick remark.


  5. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

    the straight talk express lost a wheel!


  6. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

    and then mcCain cuts of brokaw, let him do his job as moderator


  7. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

    new buzz word pho – "my friends"


  8. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

    Obama says nuclear power needs to be "safe" with "adequate disposal"….what a liberal wuss


  9. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

    Um, I’m a Maverick. There ya go.


  10. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:47 pm

    I notice that both McCain and Palin laugh more then anyone else while the other candidate is speaking. I think it’s pretty rude.


  11. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

    they should put the lights on tv so we know when they go over, or just start playing music like that do at award shows to people giving their acceptance speech


  12. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

    damn…these guys are really good at dodging questions! "should health care be a commodity?" "well, let me tell you about what im going to do about health care."

    if i answered test questions like that, i’d flunk


  13. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    red light means STOP…..haha mccain said he needs a hair transplant


  14. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

    McCain’s solution to the healthcare crisis: let the markets sort it out.


  15. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    Pho- whats your thought on the audience? I’m enjoying watching them all and their facial expressions


  16. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 9:59 pm

    what does everyone think about this debate format?


  17. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

    nobody is fallowing it and you know all the questions are scripted, so in my mind, there is no need for the audience


  18. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

    I don’t think the phrase shedding blood and the word peace should be used in the same sentence.


  19. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

    yeah, what’s the use for rules if no one follows them?


  20. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

    I think Tom has chosen all the same questions we’ve heard before. I think the audience should be able to ask anything, I’m almost sick of hearing the same things over and over, it’s not making it any easier to chose!


  21. Monica (monica) on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

    If McCain says "my friends" one more time I’m going to scream.


  22. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

    Other then this lady right now I do agree that there was more audience participation at the beginning.


  23. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

    even thought that question from katie hamm was from the auidience, you could tell that she didnt write the question, she had a hard time reading it. Someone else wrote it and gave it to her.


  24. Frank (frankl) on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

    I think if you want to be president you should be able to handle the fundamental concept of "1 minute."

    Also-I am very skeptical that Katie and some of these other people actually came up with these questions….


  25. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

    Oh poor Tom.


  26. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

    isnt it "walk softly, but carry a big stick" ….not "talk softly"??


  27. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    That’s what I thought. He said it right the first time. I guess he just wanted to say Obama talks a lot.


  28. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    i want to hear them talk about akmehdenisha

    poor mccain wants his turn to talk


  29. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

    I would have lost it already if I was Tom. I would have just started yelling "Green Light" "Red Light", like the kids’ game, because as Frank above said, they should "be able to handle the fundamental concept of "1 minute"


  30. Frank (frankl) on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

    Yes if I was Tom I would have pulled off my lego hair by now in disgust.


  31. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

    now that its getting close to the end tom wants to keep track of time


  32. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

    from what i’ve seen, this debate is probably going to be close to a tie. at this point in the campaign, ties go to obama…


  33. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

    Hahah that is a good one.


  34. Frank (frankl) on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

    Isn’t Russia no longer under Vladimir Putin?


  35. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

    TOM SAID YES OR NO…..say yes or say no neither one answered correctly


  36. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

    Politicians are NOT capable of Yes or No answers. It is IMPOSSIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE!


  37. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

    That guys was sooo uncomfortable when McCain got closer to him.


  38. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

    Putin is the prime minister now. but he is the de facto leader. i suspect when he hits his term limit there, he’ll find another position to take up in the russian govt.


  39. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

    i like this last question


  40. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

    Oooo good Question.


  41. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

    the question was what dont you know and quote obama…"this is what i know"


  42. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

    "What DON’T YOU KNOW and how will you learn it."

    …"well, i’ll tell you what I DO KNOW Tom."


  43. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

    haha
    they stood in the way of Tom’s cheat sheet


  44. sammy42884 on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

    Thanks Pho!


  45. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

    So they both don’t know what the future holds!? Does anyone!?


  46. cheezedude on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

    thanks pho


  47. riababy on October 7th, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

    Thank you Pho. :-)


  48. The Definitive Dmbosstone » Post Topic » Live Blog: 2nd Presidential Debate (pingback) on October 10th, 2008 @ 8:32 am
  49. Live Blog: Final Presidential Debate | Washington D.C. Metblogs (pingback) on October 15th, 2008 @ 8:31 am

    […] I had some fun with a live blog during last week’s live blog of the Presidential Debates- so let’s try it […]



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