Saturday, September 27, 2008

the debates

Yep ... I fell asleep 2/3's through it last night but there was no shortage of news this morning. Here's the transcript and below is what I found funny and/or interesting.

"John, you're absolutely right."

McCain was a bit slow especially in the beginning and the earmarks/spending mantra quickly became a broken record. But at least he took time to read the name on his bracelet before he got on TV. Ok, that's a bit meaningless but it didn't come off as looking sharp (which generally Obama has nailed). I thought Obama hid a bit behind Biden, was mistaken about being able to prevent another 9/11 via respect and restoring standing, and as the video above points out, I'm not sure what the repeated "John is absolutely right" was intended to do.

In the end, I thought McCain sounded experienced and compassionate while Obama struck me as book smart and lawyerish (is that a word?). As I thought about how some of my brothers and sisters in Christ would take this I wondered about the emerging gang. They seem to lean toward Obama because of his use of story and his place in the story. Yet I related to McCain as the story teller while Obama was the party line teller.

Net, I'm a surprised because I expected to hate everything Obama said (which I didn't) but love his presentation and identify with him (which I didn't).

And now, from my friends at, the summary of misstatements.
  • Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.
  • Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.
  • McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.
  • McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.
  • Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.
  • McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
  • Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.
  • Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.
  • McCain misrepresented Obama's plan by claiming he'd be "handing the health care system over to the federal government." Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.
  • McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.

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1 comment:

mt si dad said...

Lawyerly would be a word, but it comes across as coolly professional.

Lawyer-ish is a nonceword, but it gets the feel right. Trying to stay above the fray.