7WD watches the Senatorial Smackdown

  • 9:40 PM We’re live, watching C-SPAN. Al and Tipper Gore have just been introduced to the studio audience.
  • 9:46 PM Sorry for the incorrect time. I’m using ScribbleLive to manage the liveblog. There doesn’t seem to be an option to change the timezone. I wish someone would write a WordPress plugin to do liveblogging. Shockingly, it doesn’t seem to exist.
  • 9:46 PM Also, you have to manually refresh the page. There’s not a convenient way to cause WordPress to write the headers to force an auto refresh. As 7WD continues to liveblog events, we’ll improve the technology.
  • 9:51 PM It must be cold in the studio where the debate is taking place. The host is wearing an enormous pink scarf. She looks like she’s in the Arctic or something. By turning the thermostat down to 58 or something, they are avoiding any chance of the Kennedy-Nixon sweatlodge.
  • 10:03 PM Here they come! Obama wins the first round: more crowd-directed hand gestures as the crowd was clapping. McCain stuck with the finger jab. Obama used the tried-and-true wave.
  • 10:06 PM OK, digression. I’m liking ScribbleLive now. Someone from HQ read my complaint about timezone and autorefresh. They’ve offered to help me with a solution. I’ll stick with them for the next event. Good customer service makes me happy every time. So whatever McCain and Obama do tonight, I’m voting for ScribbleLive.
  • 10:08 PM McCain: solution to market nose-dive is more tax cuts. And to stop sending money to countries that “don’t like us very much.” What would it be like to treat countries well, so they start liking us? How about if we stop sending money by reducing consumption? Oh, that doesn’t fit into the narrative. I can’t believe the crowd is liking this — according to the CNN squiggly lines.
  • 10:09 PM McCain wants to turn the country over to eBay.
  • 10:12 PM McCain is still trying to save face over his “campaign suspension.” Sigh. Does anyone NOT see that this was a way to save a few bucks on ad buys for a couple of days while he tried to score political advantage?
  • 10:14 PM Tom Brokaw is no Gwen Ifill. Tom’s not going to let our senators get away with their usual tricks of ignoring the rules. Hopefully he’ll make them answer the questions too!
  • 10:16 PM According to CNN, men don’t like it when Obama trashes “Fannie Mae.” I wonder if the audience members know that Fannie is not a person.
  • 10:18 PM On the blog, there’s a comment from someone pointing out that much rides on who is actually to blame for this crisis. Here’s a link:
  • 10:18 PM www.factcheck.org
  • 10:21 PM Obama: no one is innocent in the economic mess. Fair enough. He fixes the blame on Bush, and cites McCain’s votes for Bush policies. A good answer for him. Doesn’t duck responsibility.
  • 10:21 PM McCain: I have been a consistent reformer. As in reforming my wallet during the Keating scandal.
  • 10:23 PM McCain wants people to look at his record. I’ll say it again (last time, tonight). Keating 5.
  • 10:24 PM The women really liked it when McCain said “nuclear” correctly. Maybe THAT’S why women didn’t like Palin.
  • 10:25 PM McCain thinks he can work on three entitlement programs at once. But he can’t campaign and talk about the economy at the same time. Sigh.
  • 10:28 PM Obama is going to look at the budget line-by-line and get rid of things that don’t work, and make everything else work better and cheaper. And everyone is going to get a million dollars and a perfectly green front lawn!
  • 10:29 PM Tom has given them a second stern warning about taking too long with their answers. What’s next? A trap door for the long-winded?
  • 10:30 PM McCain on earmarks:
  • 10:30 PM blog.washingtonpost.com
  • 10:32 PM Whoa! McCain says he’s not going to tell people without health insurance that they have to wait. That’s a dig at Obama, who said health care reform was his second priority. But here’s the question: since when did McCain have a plan to actually insure everyone? Since when did any Republican ever care about the 50 million people without health insurance?
  • 10:33 PM Wow. Obama invoked 9/11 first. Score one for the Dems! Oh, wait, I hate it when people bring up 9/11 for political gain.
  • 10:35 PM Obama: “high on the hog.” McCain: “porkbarrel.” Who do they think is watching, Porky Pig?
  • 10:37 PM McCain is going to give Americans $5000 to buy health insurance. Does he have any idea how much health insurance costs? More than $5000.
  • 10:38 PM Tom Brokaw just dropped the hammer. Good for you, Tom. Make them stick to the plan.
  • 10:40 PM Wait a second, is that Obama speaking in specifics? Pointing out that he’ll only increase taxes for the wealthy? (Yes, John, “middle income” does not include you if you make $200,000) Go Barack!
  • 10:42 PM Our Cranston Bureau wishes Obama hadn’t gone on about taxes. I was glad he sorted that out, but the Cranston Bureau wishes he had gone on to SS and Medicare. Hmm. Maybe that’s right. Older people actually vote.
  • 10:43 PM I call B.S. on McCain’s claim that Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. Check out the next link for a debunk:
  • 10:43 PM www.factcheck.org
  • 10:44 PM How many times is McCain going to say we’re in tough times? Does he think we didn’t hear it the first 23 times?
  • 10:45 PM McCain’s actual record on climate change.
  • 10:53 PM ScribbleLive has just gone offline. Have to manually do this. Sorry for the delay.
  • 10:56 PM I take back the good things I said about ScribbleLive. Good customer service doesn’t count when your server is belly up.
  • 10:57 PM The women really like all this talk about health insurance from Obama. Now he should start talking about beer subsidies to make the men happy.
  • 11:03 PM McCain still stands by his record on the Iraq war. Astounding. Almost $600 billion and over 4000 lives later, and we still haven’t accomplished much except to destablize the Middle East.
  • 11:07 PM Obama just said that we should intervene in other countries not just when there are national security interests at sake, but also when there are moral issues at stake. So why hasn’t he been pushing to deal with the L.R.A. in Uganda or with the situation in Sudan?
  • 11:08 PM Oh, that’s a relief. Both candidates are opposed to the Holocaust.
  • 11:10 PM I thought this was supposed to be a debate on the economy. Why are we talking about terrorism again?
  • 11:11 PM The men really liked it just now when Obama talked about killing and crushing.
  • 11:12 PM Our Cranston Bureau reports that the CNN analysts are in agreement that Obama is winning this thing. If I were trying to appeal to my male readers, I would have said “Obama is crushing McCain. Soon he will have killed him in this debate.”
  • 11:14 PM Tom backed down again. For the next debate, I think they should give the moderator a Taser. (Male approval ratings for 7WD just went up!)
  • 11:16 PM McCain is going on about his military experience again. Here come the prison stories…
  • 11:17 PM We need some metaphor checkin here. We’ve had “green behind the ears” and “telegraph our punches.”
  • 11:18 PM McCain is always going on about how he knows how to get bin Laden. If he knows, maybe he should call the Pentagon and tell them?
  • 11:20 PM From our Cranston office: “McCain looks Putin in the eyes / Palin sees him in her skies”
  • 11:23 PM This debate is boring, by the way. Can we have Palin in the next one?
  • 11:24 PM Here’s my plan for the next debate. Each presidential candidate has to carry their veep running mate on their shoulders. The veeps get nerf guns. We let the rest sort itself out. (This will involve about the same amount of rhetorical sophistication as tonight’s format.)
  • 11:26 PM There goes McCain again with the League of Democracies. I’m picturing Superman, Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, and the whole gang. Superheroes would definitely help.
  • 11:28 PM My Cranston office is concerned that McCain might not be able to carry Palin. So we’ll it up to each party. Palin can carry McCain, if they so choose.
  • 11:29 PM Can Tom put us out of our misery? When does this end?
  • 11:30 PM Question from New Hampshire: “What don’t you know, and how will you learn it?” I think Donald Rumsfeld wrote that one.
  • 11:32 PM McCain: “What I don’t know is what all of us don’t know. And that is…what’s going to happen.” OMG! McCain is a philospher. Or he’s a candidate stalling for time, trying to answer a weird question.
  • 11:33 PM McCain is ending with the prison story again. It’s an impressive and heroic tale, but it seems a bit…unfortunate to use the story to prop himself up again & again. It really had nothing to do with anything that preceded the answer.
  • 11:34 PM I’m going to sign off. I don’t have a witty wrap-up. The debate was boring, and I’m cranky because ScribbleLive died halfway through the event. Here’s take take on the players:
  • 11:35 PM Brokaw (C-, for allowing the candidates to ramble). McCain (C-, for rambling). Obama (C+, for doing a slightly better job of sticking to the questions, I think)
  • 11:36 PM CNN (D-). The first comment from the commentators when it ended: “Tonight we saw the candidates, for the first time, able to get up and walk around” That is, they were on stools instead of chairs. Wow! The novelty.
  • 11:37 PM On that note, I’ll end. Gergen agrees, by the way: boring. Anyway, I’ll fix the liveblogging platform before next time. Things will get better & better.
  • 11:38 PM Thanks for reading…  G’night.

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11 Responses

  1. Dee Tavolaro says:

    Who is wearing a pink scarf?

  2. Scott Gunn says:

    Dee, it’s the off-camera event host, from the debate commission. Gotta watch C-SPAN to get the good stuff. 🙂

    John , hello, and welcome to 7WD’s live coverage. 🙂

  3. Nice little scold from the referee there. Neither was staying on topic on the previous question.

  4. Ann says:

    Hey Scott – thanks for suffering thru this for us.

  5. Who’s to blame for the credit crisis? McCain blames Dems for forcing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make irresponsible loans. Obama blames Republicans for deregulating financial markets. A lot rides on which side can more effectively fix the blame on the other.

  6. You mean it’s *not* spelled “nuculer?”

  7. Dee Tavolaro says:

    Who is in the 7WD Cranston office?

  8. Andrew Gerns says:

    I don’t think it was boring so much as on the whole more substantative. It was very clear when both candidates dodged or avoided the questions. I also wonder if there weren’t more interesting questions, they were surprisingly predictable. The best question I heard was “if health care is a comodity” which both candidates missed until Brokaw asked about “rights, responsibility, etc.”

    Thanks for live blogging.


  9. Scott Gunn says:

    Thanks, all, for reading. It was fun. Next time I hope to have a liveblogging platform that doesn’t die halfway through the event.

    Dee, I’m afraid the Cranston staff cannot be revealed, due to the interest of the Department of Homeland Security. National security and all. Thanks for your understanding.


  10. Ann says:

    Thanks Scott – more entertaining than watching.

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