Presidential Debate #2 — Live Reactions

Hi Middlebury,

Here is the thread for tonight’s second McBama debate. Treat it as a chat room: go ahead and comment freely and frequently! None of your reactions will be edited or changed.

To get to the COMMENT SECTION, you need to click the headline of this post.

When you comment, please be sure to include your name. You have the option of being anonymous, but we believe it’s best to stand behind your opinions. Let’s talk!

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32 Responses to “Presidential Debate #2 — Live Reactions”


  1. 1 Mike October 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Even though these debates don’t typically give us a clear “winner,” I believe that tonight, on the heels of the VP debate and the horrid performance by Palin, McCain is going to need to come out STRONG and feel that he has to shore up his support groups.

    He’s going to go for broke and try and definitively WIN this second debate. We’ll see what happens!

  2. 2 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Bailout continues to be thrown around without context and without referring to what’s actually happening: the government trying to restore confidence with a measure that would allow the government to buy stocks that would then make money as people responded favorably. but as people–politicians, media outlets–continue to stress how the “bailout” is not enough, it becomes self-fulfilling and prevents confidence from being restored

  3. 3 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    rescue, not bailout

  4. 4 Maggie October 7, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Smart move for Obama talking directly to the audience member about how the bailout will help him…

  5. 5 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Obama: no one is innocent, but some people are more guilty (Bush)

  6. 6 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    it’s so bizarre to see the politicians speaking directly to the audience while reciting the same old speaking points as if stuck on a broken track

    how many times will McCain repeat his rhetoric about Obama’s tax increases and how many times will Obama respond with the same argument?

  7. 7 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    McCain seems a bit off tonight: mixing up speech, stumbling, seeming older than usual

  8. 8 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    McCain: We’re americans, we can freeze spending and fix healthcare at the same time!!

  9. 9 Mike October 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Awkward how McCain keeps getting up to walk around ominously in the back as Obama speaks… strategy? You can tell a lot from body language, he’s making a statement/undermining Obama

  10. 10 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    raisetaxes,raisetaxes, raisetaxes!! why, obama, do you insist on raising taxes??

  11. 11 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    That repetition of “my friends” is bullshit. He and Palin are a great pair– both from the school of thought that if you repeat a little phrase— “maverick,” “maverick,” “my friends,” “outsider”—the point will eventually be made strongly because ppl will just get so sick of hearing it, they’ll buy it? Maybe?

    ..it doesn’t work.

  12. 12 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    McCain: it’s not that hard to fix social security

    Brokaw: health care?

    McCain: i’ll get to medicare in a second.

    is it really that easy to ignore “health care” and simply talk about medicare? are people buying this?

  13. 13 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    “Let’s put health records online, that’ll help them avoid mistakes…”

    I thought McCain doesn’t know how to use the “Internets?”

  14. 14 Maggie October 7, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    McCain either doesn’t see or doesn’t care about the “red light” signaling he should stop talking…

  15. 15 Sam October 7, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    great question: is health care a right or privilege

  16. 16 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    “I don’t understand how we invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, while Osama bin Laden and his cohorts are in Afghanistan plotting against us..”

    Very effective rhetoric, and then he adds “that was Senator McCain’s judgment” since McCain voted in favor. How can John respond to that?

  17. 17 Sam October 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    did we not have the ability to intervene in Rwanda?

  18. 18 JK October 7, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    McCain’s solution to the economic crisis: working towards energy independence and providing tax cuts.

    What the hell is he thinking? This is a deep-rooted issue that energy independence won’t solve. It also doesn’t take an 8th grader to realize that massive tax cuts for Exxon/Mobil execs, as proposed in his economic policy plan, will do anything to stimulate the economy, much less save it from its current crisis. There’s a reason why Obama has been leading McCain in the polls in the last few days: voters are most concerned about the economy and trust Obama to put it back on the right track

    (He’s leading by 9 points I might add; biggest ever in Gallup history)

    Obama’s solution: blame bush and greedy CEOs, more regulation, then give tax-cuts to middle-class to ‘pay them back for the $700 billion bailout.’

    Obama, not so good here either. We all blame bush and its easy to blame greedy CEOs; that wont solve the problem
    And more regulation is good but you’ve got to be specific about how the regulation will help the economy.
    Paying back the middleclass wont solve the problem either, especially with a growing deficit. The hope is that the Govt will get even more than the 700 billion dollars back. Its an investment. Tax payer money isnt gone forever.

  19. 19 Maggie October 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Obama said that he wants to “crack down” on the military dictator in Pakistan because he’s not going after Al Qaeda strongly enough, but then said he wants to increase non-military aid to the country. That doesn’t seem like “cracking down” to me…

  20. 20 Maggie October 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    dictator, not military dictator… sorry about that.

  21. 21 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    “We will kill bin Laden, we will crush Al-Qaeda, and that has to be our biggest national security priority.”

    That’s HUGE talk… even a major Obama supporter like me gets nervous, that sounds like the kind of sweeping, grand promises high school candidates for student council president make when they’re up on the podium… i.e. “I will get us all soda at lunch!”

    Hmmm… I can’t blame McCain for saying “Obama likes to talk LOUD.” Kind of a good point.

    …but then Obama cites the “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” song that McCain made the grave error of SINGING publicly… haha very, very good, Barack.

  22. 22 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    “I’ll get Osama bin Laden, my friends, I’ll get him. I know how to get him and I’ll get him.”

    …wow. I guess my point about Obama’s promise being a bit of ‘wishful thinking’ flies out the window because then McCain made the same foolish promise that he cannot keep.

    What do they think, bin Laden is just chilling in Afghanistan still, in his best pal’s house or something? It’s naive to think we’d ever find him.

  23. 23 Sam October 7, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    when McCain says that Russia has acted in ways unbecoming of a nation with such status and money, is he including the U.S. with its own “naked aggression” in Iraq?

  24. 24 AAN October 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Does anyone know how McCain/Obama voted when we outsourced NASA to Russia for the next five years? The vote was passed right after the Georgia incident.

  25. 25 Sam October 7, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    people jumped on bush for using the word evil, now t. brokow uses it in a question about russia as the “evil empire” and obama readily uses it too

    i like mccain’s answer here: there’s no way to answer that question without committing a big error

  26. 26 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Wow, that navy chief’s question is SO good. very controversial… “if Iran attacked Israel would you deploy US troops…”

    Tough, tough question. Risk American troops’ lives for a nation that much of the country is against us helping, and a nation that much of the world doesn’t care about helping?

    Or stick to our ideals as a country and a leading superpower and help Israel no matter what?

  27. 27 Sam October 7, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    did Obama mention what he didn’t know?

  28. 28 D. Roberts October 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Nope. He avoided the question… and McCain sort of did as well, by answering that he doesn’t know what will happen in the future.

    because the question was obviously meant to be “what are your weaknesses and how will you address them in office” but neither owned up to any real weaknesses. naturally.

  29. 29 Anonymous October 7, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    pundits are already spinning mccain’s comments: referring to obama as “that one” and assuming that a man asking the question had not heard of fannie or freddie before the crisis

  30. 30 Anonymous October 7, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Who do you all think won the debate? Who will get the highest poll jumps? Who spoke more directly to the American people? Who was more relatable? Who’s a better debater?

  31. 31 D. Roberts October 8, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Well Anonymous (second one) those are all good questions.. I think the last one is particularly difficult to answer because this wasn’t REALLY a “debate” in the usual sense of the word, i.e. the VP debate.

    This was like a Q&A… and as for who spoke directly to the American people, I actually believe both candidates did, or certainly as they were making their fake promises (I personally cannot BELIEVE that BOTH men were foolish enough to say, 100% certain, ‘I will find Osama bin Laden’) they at least did seem to address the American public directly and honestly. In addition, they made clear their plans for tax cuts, which was good…

    I’m really not sure. I think Obama came off more honestly, but then again I acknowledge my own bias as an Obama supporter and raging Palin hater… tough call.

    Certainly, as we expected, no clear winner from tonight.

  32. 32 Mike October 8, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Mc Cain tax cuts will only benefit rich which means that many of us will not benefit. The fundamental difference between Obama’s and McCain’s tax plan is that Obama’s plan cuts taxes for the middle class and poor and raises them for the rich. Whereas Mc Cain wants to cut taxes for rich and increase taxes for poor and middle class. When Mc Cain suggests that Obama wants to raise taxes he is correct. Obama voted 94 times to raise taxes for the rich.

    Mc Cain has blatantly lied throughout his campaign while Obama has shown integrity and class. I can not believe Republicans made fun of his role as a community organizer. Politicians main goal should be to serve the public. I live in Chicago and will tell you that Obama’s community organizing consisted of going door to door in one of the most poverty stricken communities in the nation. In fact these communities are even overlooked today by local politicians because of the violence. He went to this community and empowered the same people that America typically forgets. Obama did this after turning down many lucrative jobs. The true test of a man is what he does when no one is looking and there is no obvious personal gain.

    Mc Cain And Palin are also misleading when they look into the camera and say that they are there for the Average American. This is an appeal to get voters to identify by race and culture. What they mean by Average American are white people. Skin color is the only thing they share with the Average American. Lets face it there are many people who will not vote for Obama because he is black which is unfortunate. It has to be the only explanation because Obama’s tax cuts will financially benefit the majority of Americans(95%). He is highly educated and has been in Washington just long enough to get experience and not be influenced by old politics. He is also favored by other countries. Its funny when I see these small town people who sit behind McCain at his rallies and support him when none of them will get any tax relief from him. Why are they supporting him if Obama can help them more? Most of these people are poor people or middle class. If some of you are not voting for Obama because he is black …please remember that race is the smoke screen and the real issue is class and economics. As long as the middle class and poor are divided by race then the rich get richer. We are made to fear each other while money will continue to go to the rich. Could you imagine the possibilities if the poor and middle class of all races came together to challenge the current situation in which 15% of the population owns 85% of the money. That’s right, the other 85% of the population fights over 15% of the money. See it’s not about color and we can all come together and increase our money making pool of 15% by voting for Obama. If you dislike somebody due the color of their skin to the point that receiving more money from tax cuts does not matter then

    Remember Obama’s life reflects the Overall American experience more than McCain even though he is black. John Mc Cain is unlike most Americans because he grew up privileged. He got into the best schools not because of his ability but because of his name. Mc Cain finished at the bottom of his class just as Bush but was still continually promoted. Washington let McCain in because of his name.


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