9:00 No pinstripes on Katie tonight. You're welcome
9:01 I would totally lie and claim to be an "undecided voter" to get on one of these things. I wonder how many of these folks did.
9:03 The "No one's allowed to make noise, except now" thing reminds me of the Service of the Living Tradition every time.
9:04 Brokaw says many of the questions tonight are about the economy. The first one comes from a guy with an awesome accent.
9:05 I LOVE that Obama brought up AIG.
9:06 McCain felt at his pockets as if he couldn't find his keys. It was weird. McCain likes energy independence, he just doesn't, you know, bother to VOTE for it when he has the chance because that would mean showing up.
9:07 Everybody likes the bailout. Sigh.
9:08 Brokaw asks each candidate to name a treasury secretary nominee. OH GOSH, BROKAW'S ASKING FOR SPECIFICS! WHAT DO WE DO? McCain wants someone America admires and trusts. Judge Judy for treasury secretary!
9:10 I kid, McCain likes Meg Whitman from Ebay, Obama likes Warren Buffett.
9:12 Oliver, an african-american guy, has a question. I find it weird that "most of the people" he knows have had "a difficult time" in this economic crisis. Didn't the crisis start like two weeks ago?
9:13 McCain thinks you might not have heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yep, he's going for the dumb guy vote. Either that or he's talking to Oliver. Probably not the time to be talking down to black people, Senator.
9:14 THECSO says: McCain just started talking about Fannie and Freddie's "risky loans" they started making. (I was wrong here. Turns out they DID buy a bunch of Alt-A paper.)
9:16 CC again: Obama is confident about the American economy. That makes one of us.
9:17 Brokaw: Is the economy going to get worse before it gets better?
TheCSO: Man, I wish Ron Paul were here to answer that. He'd be like "yep."
9:18 McCain likes American workers. Did you know that?
9:19 I don't like this undecided voter. She wears Sarah Palin glasses and she can't speak. Wait a sec... Sarah? Is that you?
9:20 "When George Bush came into office, we had surplus..." Obama says. It's that whole "Largest economic expansion in the nation's history" thing I was talking about when Hillary Clinton was running.
9:21 Speaking of Clintons, remember how Bill was the governor of Arkansas and he was running against a dude who had been director of the CIA and Ambassador of the UN, and he didn't seem to remotely think that Foreign Policy questions that were unfair in the least? Those were the days. Oh, yeah, McCain is talking...
9:22 McCain had the chance to say "Maverick" and didn't. I think that means all of y'all have to spit a drink out...
9:23 McCain LOVES that energy independence that he couldn't be bothered to show up to vote for.
9:24 Try to keep up, McCain. It's a debate. I like how he can fix entitlements, health care and energy problem, he just can't pick up his damn cellphone from the campaign trail to work on the bailout. That has to be the political equivalent of walking and chewing gum.
9:25 Obama knows how much gasoline is going for in Nashville today. Nice one, Senator.
9:28 Brokaw-Don't make jokes about the economy.
9:29 If we're paying 6.8 billion dollars for airforce tankers, that puts an interesting perspective on the 700 billion bailout.
9:30 Oh please don't bring up 9-11, Obama...
9:31 TheCSO is reading a twitter feed that has funnier jokes than this liveblog. Jealous.
9:32 TheCSO and I are confused by the whole "Town hall is McCain's format" claims. He's fumbling a lot more than Obama is.
9:34 Lisa wrote in the comments ""Every time Obama says, "And just one more thing," I imagine Tom Brokow giving him dirty looks and pointing to his watch."" Snerk.
9:35 She also asked about McCain's "rifle" comment. I think the idea is that a rifle is a precision instrument compared to a shotgun. It's McCain's version of Obama's "scalpel vs. hammer"
9:36 TheCSO offers more perspective on the size of the bailout: This year's budget for the Fairfax County Public Schools: 2.2 Billion
9:39 Cubit says: "Every time McCain pumps his fist, I'm reminded of one of those members of the lollipop guild welcoming you to munchkinland. " That's right kids, make me laugh, and I will put you in the liveblog.
9:41 McCain is now repeating his talking points.
9:42 What we need is a commission! And recommendations! If this whole president thing doesn't work out, McCain so has a job waiting for him at the UUA.
9:43 "If you talk too long, you don't have to answer followup questions" is NOT a good precedent to be setting. Oh, and do you know where we get the majority of our oil? The top supplier of oil to America is: Big bad terrorist Canada.
9:44 For the first time in history, a Republican just used "the French do it" as a justification for doing something. McCain doesn't like Spain, but he loves those cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
9:45 TheCSO says: Brokaw needs a gong.
9:46 Manhattan Project vs. Garages is an interesting question.
9:49 McCain doesn't answer, and doesn't do so in an annoying way.
9:51 Health care question, sorry, I'm zoning. But here's a fun fact: All those earmarks McCain is always talking about add up to 16 billion. So cut out earmarks and you could take that money and run one (admittedly large and wealthy, but still...) school district in Va for slightly more than seven years.
9:56 TheCSO points out that healthcare across state lines will just drive all healthcare to the place with the fewest regulations and the friendliest courts. Like banking.
9:57 Hairplug jokes. Ai yi yi.
9:58 Obama just brought up TheCSO's point about healthcare across state lines, and no more eloquently than theCSO did. TheCSO and I did this awesome little happy dance.
10:01 McCain has supported every Goddamned war ever. He calls this "good judgment"
10:03 Oh, please Obama, use "I don't understand" as a repeating theme and hit all of the things McCain has done that he doesn't understand a la John Travolta in "Primary Colors." Please?
10:04 Damn. He's not going to do it. Us Kathy Bates movie fans never get any respect.
10:05 Ok, even the "Obama DOCTRINE" even sounds sexy.
10:06 Obama brought up Hitler. Debate's over.
10:06 TheCSO asks "If we're opposed to 'ethnic cleansing,' why use such a happy term for it?"
10:09 Pakistan question. Obama hitting the Bin Laden button again, which I understand.
10:11 Three minutes ago, McCain's hero was Reagan. Now it's Teddy Roosevelt. Flip-flopper.
10:13 Who were these Afghan freedom fighters again? Could someone remind me? Senator Obama? Do you know?
10:14 As far as theCSO and I can figure out, McCain is in favor of attacking anybody Obama isn't.
10:15 Obama's taking the "speaking softly" bit and running with it. Yeah, bring on the snark.
10:16 I think the point is that you were joking about Iran when lives are at stake, McCain. Who we were joking with isn't the point.
10:17 TheCSO and I again wish Ron Paul was here, this time to answer the "reorganizing Afghanistan" question.
10:20 Sorry, I'm zoning on the Russia question. I think I'm still on the fact that McCain knows how to get Bin Laden, but won't tell.
10:24 Tom Brokaw asked yes or no question. If McCain had left it at "Maybe," I would totally have given him the point. As it was, his answer was like three times the length of Obama.
10:25 The next question is being asked by a very pink man named Terry who has been in the Navy. I bet those were rough years. Anyway, he wants to know what we should do if Iran invades Israel.
10:26 McCain respects Terry, but not enough to actually answer his question.
10:27 McCain is against holocausts.
10:28 Obama seems to get the "Umm...yeah. Israel is our strongest ally" point and his answer is a damn sight tougher than McCain's point.
10:30 Obama just made the first actually funny joke of these three debates.
10:32 The business of America may or may not be business, Senator McCain, but it's certainly not war.
10:33 When I think of "steady hands for the tiller" or indeed "steady hands" at all, John McCain does NOT come to mind.
10:34 I am planning to vote for Obama, it's true. But I haven't called either of the previous debates for the Democrat. I'm calling this one. I think McCain had his ass handed to him. I was really impressed by both candidates, though. There wasn't really any mudslinging though McCain was kind of a dick with the "that one" bit.
At the same time, I wish we could have a few followup questions. Obama came off a lot better, but neither of them had to answer questions that were particularly hard. I'm aware that I'm mostly making my call based on image. Obama watched McCain the whole time and McCain wandered around. Obama was willing to talk about Israel and McCain danced around it.
And honestly, the Israel question was an easy one.
Seriously, is "We're not taking any options off the table" such a hard answer when you're the REPUBLICAN?
On the cosmetics, Obama kicked ass. McCain didn't have any more substance, though.
As much as I appreciate Brokaw letting McCain drone on like a weird old man, I think next debate the lights should be where the TV cameras can see them.