live-blogging the debate

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So far so good. Obama sounds decisive. Eighteen billion dollars in earmarks sounds like chump change tonight.

McCain sounds sincere, I'll give him that. But Obama's got the facts on his side.

Good points Barack, but don't get too far down in the weeds.

McCain's talking generalities. Fixed cost contracts? Hahaha I know what that is because I'm a contractor. That's NOT the problem.

Spending freeze? 45 new nuclear power plants? At least McCain isn't sporting his creepy smile.

McCain: cut spending cut spending cut spending.

Obama: calls McCain "Tom", then calls him "Jim". Barack, his name is JOHN.

OMG McCain refers to Palin. BAD IDEA.

Barack is good when he looks directly into the camera.

Obama SCORES on Iraq. McCain said we'd be welcomed as liberators.

McCain belittles Obama. Appeals to emotion.

Obama goes on and on about Afghanistan.

They're arguing now. This is deteriorating. Lehrer, ask a new question for god's sake.

Oh my god, Lehrer asks a new question and it's about Afghanistan.

Obama gets into the details; half the audience goes to the kitchen for popcorn.

McCain admits they blew it in Afghanistan.

McCain gets into strategy; I'm losing the thread.

McCain belittles Obama again, regarding Pakistan.

McCain touts his record. Evokes emotion again.

Ooo Barack has a bracelet too. Dueling bracelets.

McCain gets sarcastic. He travels!

Lehrer: what's the threat from Iran?

McCain: existential threat to Israel.

Obama agrees: can't tolerate a nuclear Iran.

McCain is riled up about Obama's willingness to negotiate with Iran.

THANK GOD Obama pronounces "nuclear" correctly. I'll vote for him on the basis alone.

McCain belittles Obama again.

New question, thank god. Russia.

I just noticed that it's raining hard here. Obama's lost me on Russia.

McCain gets sarcastic. Sees "K-G-B" in Putin's eyes.

By the way, McCain's $5000 make-up artist is worth every dime.

Neither of them is going to win this question--it's too complex and they're both getting into details. Obama gets into energy independence. Food fight! Obama want's to respond. No chance.

Final question. Thank god.

Obama gives a great final answer. McCain is still combative. Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Obama follows up with another great answer.

McCain is pissed. Says he's got experience, Obama doesn't. Says Obama is stubborn. Obama is smiling. The surge! McCain claims the support of vets.

Obama makes a closing point: there's no other country on earth where you can make it if you try.

McCain's rejoinder: I was a POW!

I'm watching in PBS. David Brooks says he misses Reagan. Nobody made a values connection; didn't change the campaign. Mark Shields: this topic is McCain's "wheelhouse" (?); Obama held his own.


My main complaint with the debate was actually that I thought Lehrer did too much. When things were deteriorating was when I thought Obama looked the sharpest; McCain wouldn't even look Obama in the eye.

Yeah, a lot of people noticed that McCain wouldn't look at Obama. Wth, huh?

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