Well, three of these debates are now behind me. I hope the creative juices keep flowing for the last one. Thanks to all those who stopped by--I'm pretty sure it's been a record breaking night for this humble blog. ***End of Liveblogging***
(10:34) Two grandstanding politicians get in the way of someone while he's trying to do his job. If that's not a perfect metaphor for this whole shebang, I don't know what is.
(10:28) The candidates are asked what they don't know--and here I thought Brokaw was trying to be a stickler for time.
(10:22) Obama says we have to provide support for those in Poland, Croatia, and Estonia. I understand the mention of Croats and Estonians, but isn't it the very function of a Pole to provide support?
(10:18) McCain calls for the doubling of the Afghan army. I'm not sure he's aware of the huge mobilization of quilters this will require.
(10:15) McCain refuses to "telegraph his punches," apparently unaware of advances in communication technology in the past century. To his credit, he used to talk of "pony expressin'" his punches.
(10:13) That's an awful lot of talk about sticks, boys.
(10:09) Obama says we can't coddle dictators. This modifies earlier American foreign policy which specified only the occasional burping of dictators.
(10:06) The first time McCain said I was one his his friends, I was flattered. But the frequency of his utterance of "my friends" is making me begin to doubt the sincerity of its use, and I am deeply, deeply hurt.
(10:00) McCain punctuates his first response on foreign police by gravely criticizing the naiveté of Obama and pointing dramatically at the questioner. I swear I thought he was going to drop the mic at Obama's feet, too.
(9:56) Obama says children are cheap to insure.You heard it here first.
(9:54) McCain argues that borders shouldn't matter for health insurance. Let's see if borders begin to matter for immigrant labor.
(9:50) It's hard to see how health care can be commoditized, as the questioner states. Health insurance, on the other hand...
(9:48) McCain cackles with glee as he demonstrates his disagreement with many Republican policies as Obama gazes into the distance.
(9:44) While McCain talks about the safety of nuclear waste, the camera must quickly cut away as a dog with three tails scampers across the stage.
(9:41) MCain scoffs at Obama's sidestepping the entitlements question while sidestepping the entitlements question.
(9:35) Obama's policies may resemble Herbert Hoover's according to John McCain, but John McCain definitely resembles Herbert Hoover.
(9:29) McCain calls for a spending freeze on everything except defense, except veteran's affairs, and except a few other "vital things." Gosh, with a freeze that deep we needn't worry about climate change anymore.
(9:25) Obama equates the effort for energy independence with the space race. He fails to mention that politicians have been promising energy independence since before NASA faked the moon landing in an Arizona sound stage.
(9:23) McCain is speaking quite breathily. I believe the Old Testament describes this as speaking "as an harlot."
(9:21) The questioner asks the candidates how they can be trusted when both parties have failed so miserably; McCain responds by asserting his bipartisanship.
(9:17) Brokaw asks McCain to give his assessment of the economy's future "in all candor." I nearly choke on my spoonful of Dippin' Dots.
(9:15) Obama was so distraught about the consequences of the coming credit crisis that he wrote several letters! He even licked the stamps emphatically!
(9:10) McCain gets uncomfortably close to Oliver, the second questioner, as he coos about the cupidity of Wall Street.
(9:08) McCain floats Warren Buffett or Meg Whitman as the next treasury secretary. I wonder about the incentives a corporate CEO might have in a bailout such as we're seeing.
(9:07) Both candidates demonstrate a remarkable ability to remember the first questioner's name.
(9:06) McCain is glad finally to see Obama at a town hall meeting. That subtle jab did not escape this discerning viewer!
(9:02) Brokaw informs us that the questions he selected were approved by no one but himself. Still, Tom knows in his heart he always has my approval.
(8:55) A commentator notes that the questions for tonight's debate were submitted "by the internet." In other news, the world is rioting with the realization that the singularity is finally upon us.
(8:50) I'm looking forward to the new "town hall" format, even if all the questions were handpicked by Brokaw, tonight's moderator, and will be asked (read:recited aloud) by carefully screened voters whose mics will be cut off as soon as the question is finished and whose reactions will not appear on camera. So democratic!
(8:35) Seeing as it worked so well last time, I'm going to be liveblogging the debate while watching a streaming internet feed. I will be further burnishing my credentials as a 21st century denizen by consuming Dippin' Dots, ice cream of the future, during the broadcast.