Guess who live blogged the debate tonight? Tonight’s coverage came from waaaay out in suburban Maryland — home of the very mighty baby boig. Also, in case you missed it, I live blogged that joint appearance by Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton on Saturday night two weeks back.

thoughts from the debate

8:05 AM I honestly can’t imagine a better prologue for the debate than McCain calling for it to be canceled, and Obama educating John that a President needs to be able to walk *and* chew gum at the same time.
12:08 PM debate is looking like it’s a go. reporting that mccain has agreed to participate, citing “significant progress” on the bailout.
12:14 PM in case you hadn’t heard, mccain has already won the debate … and this “happened” while he was still trying to kill it.
5:10 PM i’m more than a little nervous about rolling out new technology (posting from iPhone) in a live broadcast event … even if it there are just three of you watching/reading.
8:18 PM at the party … negotiations have commenced as to which network coverage to watch. it doesn’t look good for PBS.
8:55 PM So we have the option of watching RoboCop or the debate. Dunno, I do like Peter Weller.
9:01 PM Here we go, in the land of the stars and bars. On CNN. *Sigh*
9:03 PM I [heart] Jim Lehrer.
9:05 PM Interesting how McCain entered from the *right* of the stage … hmmm.
9:05 PM Barack = too much makeup.
9:07 PM McCain trots out Kennedy’s illness? Nice try, but poor form … especially for what was deemed a “mild seizure.”
9:08 PM At least McCain practiced his response to the financial bailout question. Barack should have had that speech polished. You’ve *got* to map out your first fifteen offensive plays if you want to coach in this league, kiddo.
9:10 PM It’s going to be a long night if they don’t start answering Jim’s questions…
9:11 PM How is the financial crisis like the landings at Normandy? I got WAY confused on that one…
9:13 PM Point to John McCain for making a joke … proof that he’s actually alive. Especially important as he (a) isn’t moving much, and (b) his makeup makes him look like a corpse.
9:16 PM That lighting makes McCain look like he has a comb-over … or maybe that’s just reality doing that.
9:20 PM “I didn’t win Miss Congeniality in the US Senate..” NICE!
9:27 PM Barack is looking great … and I don’t think McCain is winning many points being *so* focused on pork barrel spending. It’s a bullet point, John. It’s not the whole speech.
9:31 PM Is McCain running for President or Accountant-In-Chief? Next slide, John-boy.
9:35 PM Barack is much more nimble at jumping from issue to issue … John-boy isn’t flustered, but isn’t exactly fleet of feet here.
9:44 PM I hope Petraeus doesn’t retire … who is McCain going gush over when he’s gone.
9:48 PM Watching on CNN, I am fascinated by the little graph on the bottom of the screen measuring audience response, one line each for dems, indies and repubs … I know it prolly has no substance what-so-ever but I can’t tear my eyes away
9:51 PM Barack is calling McCain out for “misrepresentation” a lot. People here are standing saying “Hallelujah,” but I wonder how the confrontation is looking to the undecideds.
9:52 PM I feel like McCain keeps fighting the last argument.
9:56 PM Is McCain sleeping with General Petraeus? I know about this “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing, but maybe John-boy should do a little more “don’t tell…”
9:58 PM John-boy supports extinction for North Korea and jokes about bombing Iran? Two good lines to Obama. I’m thinking he was well prepped.
10:00 PM McCain’s jowells are twitching … I think he’s getting ready to combust.
10:01 PM Oy. A verbal battle of soldier’s mother’s bracelets … unseemly. You can see that Obama is wearing the bracelet, John. Why bring it up?
10:05 PM McCain just called Iran an “existential” threat. Was that “existential” as in “existentialism,” as in Albert Camus and Friedrich Nietzsche … as in “I create my own reality?” Heck, I’d agree that John-boy creates his own reality …
10:07 PM I know that I’m partial, but I’m pretty sure Obama is doing waaaay better keeping McCain honest than vice versa.
10:09 PM “Punishing countries by not talking to them does not work…” *great* line from Obama, putting McCain square in the Bush camp.
10:12 PM So, this reminds me of a funny joke I heard: Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Obama walk into a bar — stop me if you have heard this one …
10:18 PM I can’t hear the word “Russia” without thinking about Tina Fey saying: “I can see Russia from my back yard.”
10:20 PM You know at least a hundred people outside Atlanta just called the Georgia state police to report that the Russians have invaded.
10:24 PM That smirk on McCain’s face is positively Bush-ian. Do you think the general public finds it as pompous (and vaguely unstable) as I do?
10:26 PM Does anyone know what Nunn-Lugar is? Two of you? Great. Are you an undecided living in middle America? No, not so much …
10:28 PM If the U.S. is safer now than after 9/11, can we get step down from that “Code Orange” thing that’s messing up all the airports?
10:30 PM I know Obama isn’t going to say it, but could the biggest threat to our security be to remain in Iraq? Or, for us to not fix our standing in the world?
10:31 PM Spoke too soon. Obama just said “we must restore our standing in the world” and that statement shoved that audience reaction graph through the roof. Dems and Indies are way up. Even the repubs are up, up, up. Who knew America cared? Or, who knew a focus group in Atlanta cared?
10:33 PM McCain just said “blood and treasure.” Which brings up an important point … does middle America celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and do they know it was actually last week?
10:36 PM McCain just said Bush and Obama shared foreign policy stubbornness. Sharpest knock on the president so far, though (imho) it seemed a bit forced.
10:37 PM John is tiring out, Barack. Just smile and nod… and say you love America, a lot. And babies.
10:38 PM It’s over, enter the Stepford Wife!
10:45 PM Well, that’s done … not sure anyone really won or loss, but I’m drooling over the next round of polling.
10:46 PM How far up does Obama have to be to overcome people swapping teams in the voting booth due to the latent racism of Americans? Someone here at the party said 15%, though I’d guess Palin may have moderated that a bit (target for latent sexism).
10:47 PM Okay, gotta drive home. More thoughts later …
10:51 PM Not leaving quite yet. Was there any moment of this debate that we will remember in 20 years? I am thinking not. And it seemed to me that debating with McCain sullies Obama. I don’t like seeing such a gifted orator have to deal with a bean-counter like that.
10:55 PM Lotta people talking (in person, on the telly) about Obama saying “John is right” so much, and that being a sign of weakness … I’m not so sure. A sign of bipartisanship, yes. Weakness? Maybe not.
10:56 PM Okay, now I really am leaving…

a couple thoughts from the drive home

first, i liked how approachable obama seemed … he had a “kitchen table” schtick about him, and it think that will serve him well. it’s not him at his most eloquent, but i think everybody is expecting a good state of the union already. it’s still a question of if you want to drink beer with him, and the debate was a personal win for him here.

second, that stupid audience reaction graph seemed to map indies and dems very closely together, with repubs more often swinging the opposite way. if that graph has value, which is a bold assumption, then this correlation is a very, very good sign for Obama. actually, anecdotally, i’d say that the three lines were more “together” when barack was speaking, and a little more separated when mccain was speaking. that could be good, too.

finally, a Conservative commentator (not sure who) mentioned that foreign policy and national security are the bread and butter issues for McCain, and that if he doesn’t score in this debate, he probably isn’t going to score at any debate. Now, call the debate how you will, but i don’t think anyone is saying that McCain did any better than “holding his own” … so, that could be good, too.

well, good night! god bless you … and god bless the united states of america.

p.s. i want you to know i did this whole thing from a couch using my iPhone. come on in, my friends … drink the kool-aid. the water is *mighty* fine.