* 6:00 PM PST – Watching ABC
*6:01 PM – Stephenopolis: “6 out of 10 Americans wonder if Gov. Palin has what it takes to be the VP. ” How many Americans wonder the same about Joe Biden? This is clearly a Palin-centric debate.
*6:04 – Biden stated that this bailout is evidence of the horrible economic policies of the last eight years. If true, that makes Barack Obama the second greatest political recipient of these worst economic policies of the last eight years.
*6:08 – Great back and forth about McCain’s comment on the “fundamentals of the American economy.” Get the job done.
*6:10 – I would be interested in your thoughts about Palin’s “Joe six-pack” reference? Palin: “It is not the American people’s fault that the economy is the way that it is.” Biden: “John McCain thought the answer was, tried and true response, deregulate.” I disagree with the governor. While some people were clearly duped by preditorial lenders, anyone who could surf the internet and was capable of doing basic research on the housing bubble could have seen this disaster coming. We have clearly been in a housing bubble for several years. Some of the responsibility for this mess rests on the excited, consumptive habits of the American people. Contra Joe Biden, government regulation regarding sub-prime loans is what put us in this mess in the first place. Congress has had regulatory oversight over Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and congressional members on both sides of the isle have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. People are people be they on Wall Street or in the halls of Congress. People need to be honest and the American people need to hold preditorial lenders AND congressmen responsible for their each of these parties’ irresponsible actions.
*6:17 – Palin: $250,000 = a tax on small business. Great point.
*6:19 – Palin makes a great distinction between McCain’s budget neutral healthcare plan and Obama’s government mandate and budget heavy plan. Biden’s response that McCain’s budget neutral healthcare plan would cost us in taxes does not make sense. If it is budget neutral, why does McCain have to raise money for it?
*6:21 – Exxon Mobile is only a wedge for people who do not drive cars or do not appreciate driving cars. Palin seems to have a legitimate critique (based on experience) of the oil companies. Biden seems to be chasing an oil phantom. As a side note, Exxon Mobile pays $4,114 per second in taxes. They posted a net income of $11 billion in 07 which is just a third of the $33 billion which they paid in taxes.
*6:27 – John McCain worked a bi-partisan effort on the recent bankruptcy bill. Biden: “Barack Obama saw the glass as half empty.” The evening’s headline.
*6:30 – Palin: Not just about tax breaks or drilling… energy
independence is the key to this nation’s future. YES! Palin is strong
on the energy issue given her experience in Alaska, but she just struck
a chord with me. When Republicans talk about energy, it is in light of
the prosperity and security of this nation. When Democrats talk about
energy they speak condescendingly about America’s energy usage in light
of a fringe, global warming movement. Biden: “This problem explains
the fundamental difference” between the candidates. Yes it does
*6:35 – Illustrative – Palin: About Biden’s
opinion on drilling “Raping the outercontinental shelf.” I do agree
with Biden that we ought to export clean energy technology. In fact, I
think that America ought to pioneer and export this technology.
– Palin has it right. The issue is not whether same-sex partners
should see their ailing partners in hospitals, the issue is whether or
not we, as a society, believe same-sex marriages to be identical and
equal with heterosexual marriage. Ought there be a civil-rights
distinction between same-sex and heterosexual marriage? I believe so
but I am interested to hear what you think.
*6:42 – Biden:
“Fundamental difference, we will end this war… for John McCain there
is no end to this war.” Regarding the timetable issue, I believe that
Biden was equivocating on what Bush and Malawki has said on this
issue. Regardless, the argument here is this: Timetables determine
when wars are won. I do not understand why anyone would think this.
– I would like to have heard Palin say more about Pakistan. I agree
with her that Iraq is where the war is being fought, but we do need to
do good work in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
*6:51 – It is just
erroneous to say that we have not attempted diplomacy. A cursory
Google news search of America + Iran diplomacy would reveal otherwise.
Contra Senator Biden, Barack Obama (via his website) did say that he would sit down with Ahmadinejad without precondition.
– I agree with Governor Palin, it does seem that Sen Obama’s campaign
is running against George Bush. Sen Biden’s response did not help the
image. Their strategy is to equivocate on the names George Bush and
John McCain. It is worth noting that President Bush came around to
John McCain’s advice on the surge. Any attentive moderate or
conservative politico knows that John McCain and George Bush are not
the same kind of politician.
*6:59 – “Let me say that
again.” Biden is repeating himself. Is anyone saying that we should
carbon-copy our Iraq strategy in Afghanistan? Who is Biden responding
to? Biden looks flustered.
*7:04 – Biden: “When a country
engages in genocide, when a country engages in harboring terrorists…”
that country forfeits their right to keep us out. Palin: John McCain
knows how to learn from the mistakes, the blunders. I think that this
is a crucial point. John McCain knows how to listen to commanders and
make tough decisions. We have no such record from Barack Obama – he
has not lived long enough and worked long enough as a senator. America
had to learn to fight asymetrical, counter-insurgency warfare. We
learned. Barack Obama dismisses this learning and boasts that he was
against all of the lessons from the start.
*7:11 – Sen Biden is trying, but he cannot out “main street” Gov. Palin. Shout out to all ya third graders.
– I appreciate that each candidate fleshed out what their roles would
be as Vice-President. Gov. Palin seemed a bit soft on the point and
Biden clearly had the most passion about the answer. However, Sen
Biden, do you really believe that Cheney is the most dangerous Vice
President we have ever had? I don’t think Alexander Hamilton would agree with you.
*7:20 – Biden: “I know what it’s like to wonder if your son is going to make it.” Wow. Powerful.
– Biden: John McCain not a maverick on the issues that affect people at
the kitchen table. I respectfully disagree, I think that the war and
fiscal policy are issues that affect people around the kitchen table.
On the issues that the senator outlined, Barack Obama has not had a
*7:28 – Sen Biden is partially correct about
questioning motives. You should not assume you know motives unless
they are made explicit. Then you can further understand the individual
and the individual’s judgment.
*7:29 – Closing
arguments. Palin: The war and experience are why you should vote for
McCain/Palin. Biden: The most important election of our lives. Why?
Because of the Economy & Foreign Credibility. Notice, Biden did
not say the war, he said tax breaks for Exxon Mobile (addressed above),
and US credibility in the eyes of foreign powers. This troubles me.
Osama Bin Laden is not out to win a popularity contest.
‘Sawyer: Joe Biden was holding himself back from correcting Palin.
George: It was a fascinating moment, you could just see him holding
himself back.’ Wow Diane and George, how very big of him. He did not
jump all over a mis-speak. Clearly, Palin did not know the name of the
commander in Afghanistan… it was sure nice of Biden to let the simple
woman hold her simple opinion on the matter. Gibson: Sober reflection
to be preferred. Indeed Charlie, I agree. This concludes the
liveblogging – thanks for reading.
Great job candidates. Also, commendations to Gwen Ifill for moderating an excellent debate.