i’m desperately trying to come up with something else to liveblog tonight, mainly because i am struggling to come up with anything original that i could possibly say during another ninety minutes of political discourse.

sure, mccain could come out with some kind of plan, and sure, obama could suddenly start spouting in arabic about the downfall of the great satan … but i am thinking the odds of this are a little low.

I will say that there has been a lot of ink floating around lately which seems to be setting up nicely for an Obama win. The most interesting are from (admittedly moderate) Conservatives such as David Brooks:

He’s phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team,” Brooks said. “I disagree with them on most issues, but I am given a lot of comfort by the fact that the people he’s chosen are exactly the people I think most of us would want to choose if we were in his shoes.

… and Andrew Sullivan:

… McCain would have to concede that he didn’t vet her, made his decision impulsively based on no real knowledge of her, and that his first serious judgment as a presidential candidate was so monumentally irresponsible that it doesn’t just disqualify her for the vice-presidency. It disqualifies him for the presidency.

This story line is the most interesting to me, as someone who was on the hill during the later part of Gingrich’s Republican revolution. I can say, the prevailing wisdom was that we had seen the death-knell of modern American liberalism, and that people we’re hoping that the Conservative lock on the halls of power would only be a couple of decades long.

Sure, I’d take an Obama presidency in it’s own right, but just the possibility that we haven’t become a country of one permanent majority party is what’s making me feel warm and fuzzy right now.

8:54 PM just heard five minutes on CNN where I couldn’t make out one pundit making one discernable point. it’s going to be a long, long night.
8:58 PM tired of hearing deal people talking about real problems. can we have some fake voters talking about some artificial problems?
8:59 PM john king: “john McCain is George bush’s older brother.” ouch!
9:03 PM the candidates almost hugged. what are they up to?
9:06 PM mccain has now started two-thirds of the debates with a hospital update about a prominent political figure. some one needs to explain to him that the demographic he should be targeting isn’t exactly on hospital watch.
9:10 PM schaeffer: “senator mccain, would you like to ask a question?” mccain: “um, no.”
9:11 PM obama: “senator mccain has obviously been listening to his own ads … now, let me tell you what I’m *actually* going to do.”
9:12 PM eating 53-week old wedding cake. third slice. it’s *that* good …
9:13 PM this is much more socially awkward that usual, and i honestly didn’t think that was possible.
9:18 PM McCain shouldn’t talk about the Depression era like he was there. Oh, wait. He *was* there.
9:20 PM I wonder if there is a “debate moderators” support group, where they go through therapy as a result of the candidates refusing to answer their questions.
9:21 PM Ooo, McCain is getting feisty. “I’m not President Bush. If you wanted to run against him, you should have run four years ago.”
9:22 PM … and he just tanked the rest of his response. a promising attack, snuffed out in its youth.
9:27 PM multi-tasking. just posted pictures of a weekend of hiking in sky meadows state park, virginia.
9:29 PM wow. jesus. finally. mccain brought his “a” game to this debate. him looking so hurt about the john lewis thing kinda made him look like a wuss, though.
9:31 PM it seems like a slippery slope for either of them saying that the other one is going too “negative.”
9:32 PM i’ve decided … these two need marital counseling.
9:36 PM mccain pressing how he has been treated by the obama campaign is a bold gambit. i wonder if it pays off … or makes him look completely unfocused on the issues.
9:40 PM obama: “I think that your focus on [Ayers and Acorn] shows more about your campaign, than it does about my campaign.”
9:41 PM okay kids. that was fun. can we get back to the issues the rest of us care about now?
9:48 PM i wish i had more to live blog, but nothing terribly original is happening … other than the rising levels of condescension.
9:50 PM i wish the campaigns would watch the stupid little audience response graph on cnn. talk about issues? graph goes up. talk about each other? graph goes down. how hard is this to understand?
9:52 PM the lady sparkler and texas in africa said within minutes of each other that this debate is waaaay too inside baseball.
9:53 PM tee-hee! i’m going to start playing the “drink everytime McCain slips an attack in on Obama” game. think i will make it through the next 3 minutes?
9:55 PM you know, we were *just* talking about how much better a model that Peruvian free trade pact was over the Columbian one. like, last night over dinner. this is the best debate ever!
9:57 PM the lady sparkler just broke out the vodka. i was going to avoid telling you that it’s lemon vodka, but that tidbit was just too tasty.
9:58 PM obama: “i was just talking to a couple of women who had to be in their mid-50s…” i hope they don’t turn out to be 40, because he may have just lost their votes. thank god he didn’t guess their weight.
10:02 PM if mccains smile becomes any more forced, people are going to think he died.
10:05 PM why does Joe the Plumber get all the love??? how about Evan the Fundraiser, or HGM the Freelancer, or Texas the Professor? oh, that’s why. we’re the white intellectual elites. damn.
10:07 PM HEY! mccain is a self professed federalist. dig out those papers, kids!
10:09 PM john, saying justices must strictly adhere to the consitution *is* a litmus test.
10:11 PM I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of televisions cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
10:12 PM we have to change the culture of america, john? i thought america was the most perfect country around. you can’t change it! that’s un-american …
10:16 PM that stupid little audience response graph just went through the roof when obama started talking about education, and working to reduce the demand for abortions.
10:16 PM last question! oh, thank god …
10:21 PM i love soldiers too, but making them all teachers without requiring certification? i’m not sure that is such a great idea.
10:25 PM the CNN pundits’ scorecard is currently 46% mccain, 54% obama.
10:29 PM john mccain’s closing statement was perfect. it’s a damn shame (for him) that the rest of his campaign hasn’t carried out that theme …
10:31 PM go vote now, it will make you feel big and strong …
10:32 PM cindy needs to adjust her vertical hold, or her white balance, or something … i mean, daaaaaaaamn girl.

final thoughts

the pundits are saying that mccain was great out of the gates (agree) that it was mccain’s best debate (agree) and it wasn’t obama’s best (agree) and that obama was on the defensive for the first third of the debate (agree).

but they are also saying that mccain let obama back in the debate by dwelling / looking emotionally disturbed by the ayers / john lewis thing (agree a hundred times over). mccain looked angry. obama looked like an academic. wonder how all this translated into the masses …

after the last debate, there was a lot of conversation about how mccain’s window was closing, and that this closing window means he would have to take larger risks (attacking obama) and those risks would have a greater chance of backfiring.

i certainly think that mccain has either slowed or stopped the hemorrhaging, but did he fundamentally change the course of the debate? dunno, but my guess is no. and i am certainly not going to loose any sleep about it.

speaking of which, good night. god bless. i’ll most likely kill you in the morning.