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Thread: This town hall didn't help John McCain

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up This town hall didn't help John McCain

    Wednesday October 8, 2008 23:18 EDT
    This town hall didn't help John McCain

    Barack Obama dominated this debate from the very first question John McCain fielded directly, when he condescended to the African-American questioner, a young man named Oliver, who asked how the $700 billion rescue plan passed last week would help the average American. McCain first implied that Oliver and other regular voters wouldn't know that much about Fannie Mae and and Freddie Mac, then went into the misleading Fannie/Freddie claims Andrew Leonard broke down here. Then McCain told Oliver that his plans would "help Americans like Allen ... stay in their home." Allen? Allen was the nice older white man who asked the first question. So what about Oliver? Did he not matter? Was McCain confused?

    Obama came up and broke down exactly how the rescue plan will theoretically (ignore the stock market) help the economy and American voters. Much of the rest of the night went like that. After rather inexplicably telling the audience that "energy independence" was the most important step the country can take to quickly solve the current economic crisis (when most experts agree energy independence will take decades), McCain a few moments later told moderator Tom Brokaw he couldn't pick a priority among energy, healthcare reform and fixing entitlement programs. It was like he wasn't tracking his own answers.

    The conventional wisdom on debates drives me crazy, but it's probably true tonight: If the candidate who's trailing doesn't decisively win, he or she loses. By that standard, McCain lost, but he lost even without that cliché. He was shooting for big points on his "plan" to buy back troubled mortgages; the trouble is, the rescue plan already includes that power, and the Obama camp says Obama lobbied to include it in the package. Even on his supposed strong suit, foreign policy, he was erratic, rambling at one point, "I'll get Osama bin Laden, my friends. I'll get him. I know how to do it!"

    I blogged on this earlier, but I knew Sarah Palin lost the debate when she failed to acknowledge Joe Biden's pain over losing his family. McCain's standout gaffe wasn't so awful or inhuman, but it was equally tin-eared. He called Obama "that one." Really. Asking if the audience knew who voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill, he pointed at Obama: "That one."

    My first reaction was that it was slightly racist -- depersonalizing African-Americans has a long rhetorical history. But I think it was more like something a cranky baby sitter would say -- Angry Uncle Joe, or Mr. Wilson. "You know who broke the coffee table? That one." He made it worse by either deliberately failing to shake Obama's hand at the end, or at best, forgetting to.

    Lots of people said the town hall format would help McCain but it didn't; it made him seem more cranky and uncomfortable with Obama. The audience didn't favor anyone; were they full-body Botoxed? Not only did they not clap or cheer; nobody smiled; nobody seemed to move a muscle. It was hard to watch.

    Time is running out for John McCain, and that looks good for Barack Obama. Or as James Carville just said, "You can call the dogs in, wet the fire and leave the house." A few moments later, David Gergen countered: "It's too early to declare victory because Barack Obama's black." That's stark. The CNN instant poll just called it for Obama, 54-30. We'll bring you more reaction soon.

    -- Joan Walsh

    This town hall didn't help John McCain - Joan Walsh - Salon.com

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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    If that was McCain doing well, I'd hate to see him doing poorly.The audience was told not to clap or cheer or they would be removed, so they were very careful.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Debates between Obama and McCain don't work well for McCain because of the way they carry themselves. Obama is calm and clear and McCain is just cranky and bewildered.

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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    it certainly didn't bb.

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    Elite Member crackho's Avatar
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    Well, John, that failed miserably, and the American people don't want to hear your lame jokes or your attacks. They want to hear honest plans. Too bad you don't have any of those.

    My my, didn't we all just dip our tongues in some acid today.

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    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Remember the thing about his hair plugs/plants?

    Bad joke. And a reminder of how old he is.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i never even noticed he had hair plugs.. them's some good hairplugs.

    then again, Biden doesn't need 5000 dollars worth of tranny spackle to make him look human
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member ana-mish-ana's Avatar
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    I thought that comment was a bit rich considering he has a bloody combover.

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    Elite Member Belinda's Avatar
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    I'll be curious to see the poll numbers after this debate. It won't be good for the old man.

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    McCain just doesn't come across well on TV. He looks like the old cryptkeeper that he is. Meanwhile, Obama seems like an upwardly mobile professional that has the skillset to get things done. Perception = reality and if people are real with themselves, Obama is winning things handily at this time.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    if only the election could be tomorrow
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member WesCAdle's Avatar
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    You could tell McSame knew he sucked cause he pouted and hurried up and grabbed his Barbie toy and left. Guess he had to hurry to catch a flight immediately to save the world in about 22 hours! Totally disrespectful to the audience and the Obama's. Then pitbull six pack held court at a bar playing the Maverick drinking game although I think they changed it to how many times he said General Patraeus and I know how to get it down - without telling us how.
    as privileged as a whore...victims in demand for public show, swept out through the cracks beneath the door, holier than thou, how?

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    When McCain implied a young black man would have never heard of Fannie and Freddie, he lost me there. I would have raised from my seat and corrected,"With all due respect, Mr. McCain, as an informed citizen who understands economics and business, and holds a degree in said field, I had heard of them before September and questioned sub-prime lending's long term effect on the ecomony as far back as my freshman finance course. You should have joined us in that class. Maybe you would have noticed the red flags before 2008."



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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    I noticed that too. How insulting. First off I thought "I've heard of it," then I noticed he was talking to a young black man and thought "there ya go again, you old white racist".
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Honestly, who hasn't heard about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

    He must be old cause he's obviously living in another time/planet.

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