7:31 PM. That's a wrap, folks! I send my congratulations to President Obama. McCain's facial expressions will be collaged-up by Stewart, Colbert and Obamaniacs on Youtube. Mark my words! Just watch.
7:30 PM. McCain's closing statement: Attacks Bush, blames him for the recession. Urges voters to not pick the same pseudo-conservative form of government while expecting a different result. Stresses tax cuts for the middle classes; education; innovation and technology; sacrifice and responsibility. Obama's closing remark came off with a higher level of grace.
7:27 PM. McCain's closing remarks: "Not satisfied with the last 8 years". How will the Republican base feel about that? Stresses his service to the country. Let's see what Barack's got...
7:25 PM. McCain's take on education has been his best so far. But it's not the kind of offensive he'd like to take... or needs to take.
7:21 PM. zzzzzzzzz
7:15 PM. Obama gives a rational, centrist view on abortion.
7:13 PM. Over half way through the debate, McCain still hasn't knocked any balls out the park. Even if this debate is a tie, that's still a loss for Johnny Mac.
7:11 PM. McCain: "We have to change the culture of America". Please elaborate...
7:10 PM. Obama slams McCain on equal pay.
7:05 PM. McCain calls Obama "Senator Government". Another slip up. They keep on coming. What does that tell you?
7:03 PM. McCain is obsessed with this friggin' plumber guy. Must be his BFF.... if he even knows what that is.
7:01 PM. Obama destroys McCain on the Joe the plumber issues regarding health care. McCain goes hard on claiming that Obama would fine Joe. Obama points out that Joe wouldn't be fined because Joe is a small business owner. On the split screen, McCain watches in horror. Biggest moment of the night so far.
6:59 PM. McCain: We need to have fitness programs at schools! ... I agree, but doesn't that involve and require... "SPENDING"!?!?? "TAXES"!??!??! Huhhhhh.....
6:56 PM. McCain flips the old "Obama wants to sit down with ____ (in this case Hugo Chavez)" schtick. Obama laughs. McCain critiques Obama on not traveling to Columbia, bypassing that fact that Sarah Palin has been to two other countries besides the U.S.
6:53 PM. zzzzzzz....
6:47 PM. Another McCain slip: "Nuclear pants". Hehe... I only point this out because it highlights the point that McCain seems flustered.
6:46 PM. McCain on Iraq: "We're seeing Iraqis united as Iraqis." WTF!?!?
6:43 PM. McCain line of the night: "Bresh of freath air". j/k
6:39 PM. Obama: "The fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign says more about your campaign than it does me."! Wow!!!!!!!
6:38 PM. Obama flawlessly dissects the Ayers and ACORN connections word-for-word how he has in the past. What else can McCain say now?
6:36 PM. Obama: "Ayers has become the centerpiece of the McCain campaign". I can't help but laugh at that one...
6:34 PM. T-shirts!!!! McCain is offended by t-shirts!!!! I'm trying to be objective here, but McCain is just losing it...
6:33 PM. Why is McCain trying to interrupt Obama so much? And did he just call his supporters "fringe" people?
6:32 PM. Obama addresses the "terrorist" and "kill him" lines at McCain/Palin rallies. McCain tries to interrupt but he's got nothin'.
6:28 PM. Obama: Our feelings don't matter when you compare them to what Americans are going through.
6:27 PM. McCain: John Lewis hurt my feelings! Self-victimization may not be the best way out.
6:25 PM. Here we go with McCain's shoulda, coulda, woulda town hall meetings. I still don't understand what difference that might have made!
6:23 PM. Obama smacks down McCain's claim that Obama can't reach across the aisle. Obama: "On core economic issues... you have been a vigorous supporter of President Bush".
6:21 PM. McCain to Obama: "I am not President Bush". The gloves are off!!! Great line.
6:19 PM. Debate is pretty boring so far... ;D
6:17 PM. McCain flips Obama's hatchet/scalpel analogy. McCain: hatchet first, scalpel second. Not to mention he sounds like a historian once again by using a Great Depression reference.
6:16 PM. I get the notion once again that Obama is much calmer than McCain who seems a bit nervous and shaky.
6:14 PM. Obama: "We've been living beyond our means and we need to make adjustments".
6:13 PM. Obama: "I don't mind paying a little more" taxes. McCain: We do "not [need to] spread the wealth around".
6:11 PM. Obama points out that 98% of small businesses make less than $250,000 a year. McCain claims he supports small businesses while failing to point out that oil companies will be getting larger tax cuts.
6:10 PM. Obama hammers McCain on his tax cuts for oil companies. He stresses the fact that 95% of working families will get a tax cut. Joe the plumber is a major player in this race now! LOL...
6:08 PM. McCain talks to Joe the plumber in Ohio. Strong argument! Let's see how Obama counters this...
6:05 PM. Taking a page from Palin's playbook, Obama contrasts with McCain's opening remarks by speaking towards the camera.
6:04 PM. Freddie Mae? Don't you mean Freddie Mac? C'mon Mac-Man....
6:03 PM. McCain starts off with another "_____ is in the hospital" intro. No surprise.
6:02 PM. Barack Obama shakes Schieffer's hand. McCain does not. Hmm...
6:00 PM. It begins! Schieffer is a stand-up guy, so I'm sure he'll do a good job (crosses fingers).
Note: I will try to be as objective as possible! ;D
The Preamble: This is the first time I'll be live blogging a political event. Hopefully I won't tire myself out and/or get too lazy by the midway point of the debate. Being that this is the final presidential debate, many would say that it is the most important of them all! In essence, this is the McCain campaign's last hurrah. It's do or die for the Mac man. On the flipside, Barack has to avoid any damaging slip-ups. But it all comes down to the punches John McCain is poised to deliver. Can he continue to pin this William Ayers connection to Barack Obama? Can he pull it off successfully or will it fall flat as previous and current polls are showing? We'll soon see... This debate will be fun to watch (and live blog!) because as far as I know, it will be arranged in the form at which I prefer the most: one table; two debaters; one moderator; nothing more. No podiums; no "independent voters" with "spontaneous questions"; just the candidates, the questions, the answers. As always, I'm confident that Barack Obama can secure yet another victory. As of yet, he's won the first two presidential debates according to all the major polling sources (Fox News notwithstanding). Obama's cool, calm and collected swagger has seemed to be most appealing to voters; The calm approach seems to be what voters prefer. This of course puts John McCain in a tough spot: he has to seem calm yet aggressive; he has to be in attack-mode while still maintaining his temper. Tone and body language is what I believe all the great political experts -- and voters alike -- will be looking for in tonight's debate. Keep in mind that a John McCain loss on November 4th will not only be the end of his presidential campaign; it might be the end of his political career. He's up for reelection in 2010 with a candidate who will most assuredly give him a run for his money.
I can't wait to see what happens tonight! Join me, won't you? © Harry Shearer