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Obama/McCain 2: Town-Hall Style

How Obama can lose this debate is if his opening response is “They still call it the White House, but that’s a temporary condition.”

Things that could be dropped on that scarlet carpet and never found again:

  • That damn spot Lady MacBeth couldn’t get out
  • Elmo
  • Tom Brokaw’s credibility and pride
  • John McCain’s blush when he said “Thank you” while Obama was attacking him

Things that could be put up against the blue wall and never be seen again: Vladimir Putin’s eyes (“K,” “G,” and “B” notwithstanding).

McCain shuffles. A lot.

Nashville-area congressional earmarks from 2007 that John McCain would cut:

  • $400,000 Meharry Medical College for facilities and equipment
  • $150,000 to Nurses for Newborns for prenatal services
  • $150,000 to the African American History Foundation for the planning, design, and construction of a museum

Q: How badly does McCain misunderstand economics? A: “As supply goes up, cost goes down.”

“That one”? Really?

McCain was still annoyed about the disagreement between strategy and tactics from the first debate, so he brought it up again while trumpeting the surge.

Brokaw chose “Would you defend Israel if Iran attacked it, or would you wait for the Security Council?” as an important question? Given that fact that no candidate would ever break faith with Israel, what does the question serve other than to let both candidates revive the same old trumped-up disagreement about Iran?

How is “go after al Qaida” equal to “attack Pakistan”?

Three debates, and education has only been mentioned once.

Michelle Obama is hot.

A better debate than the first, but, by virtue of his being ahead, Obama wins! (Indeed! As of 10:30, the Democratic winner-take-all ticket was up to 79 cents on the Iowa Electronic Markets, a two-cent gain since this afternoon.)



is there a need on both candidates part to acknowledge more than just in empathetic terms the current economic state?

or is that too risky at this point in the campaign?

and, what think ye of “That one” and “me.”

I suspect it would be politically dangerous to discuss the economy in more than just personally empathetic terms. (I consider that a vestige of Bill Clinton’s influence on American politics, actually. His skill at interpreting the political scene in kitchen-table terms has had a long, long tail.) Obama did address wage stagnation, which is a longstanding trend and pocketbook issue, but an underreported one. Were it not politically unfeasible, how would you recommend they talk?

“That one” amazed me. McCain’s disdain for Obama has been well-known for years. He wore it on his sleeve in the first debate, but he mostly disguised it during this one—until he said that. In what context would McCain legitimately refer to his colleague and opponent with a demonstrative pronoun? In what context would anyone? Perhaps if he was thinking of “that Senator there,” but even then, one would only say that by pointing someone else out from across the room. It was dismissive and completely counter to how people perceive of Obama.

I missed your other reference. What of “me”?

BTW, what’s up with Obama talking the talk on regulation, then having to go and bring up Delaware being the bank-capital of the U.S.? Did BO forget who his running mate is? McCain totally missed a good opportunity.

I wondered how fast Language Log would have a post up about “that one.” The answer? Not long.

the reference to me was in the that one comment. that ones this… and who will save you? me!

no, i don´t know that there is a way beyond what obama is doing… one especially can´t, i think, though i thought that O did a much better job at being slightly realistic (prioritizing things, etc.), say well, my platform will have to be scrapped because W has left me such a mess.

i wonder, though, why O didn´t point out that M´s plan to save the world was actually nothing new, but a power already given in the bailout bill sorry, the rescue bill

It’s odd that McCain criticizes Obama for being messianic, but his primary argument is that he understands how things work: he understands “how to win a war,” he knows how to clean up Washington. McCain says “country first,” but it seems to be about his own idiosyncratic conception of country—an attempt to remake the country in his maverick image.

Obama understands the value of populism and, for the most part, deflects attention on him back onto his audience: “it’s not about me, it’s about you,” he says, which isn’t entirely true, but it’s a solid republican sentiment built on a general sense of civic life.

for interested shoppers: http://www.thatone08.com/

7: The videos are good…I particularly liked “Original: The Remix” and “That One Music Video.” Very nice!

I have not really worried about the outcome of this election since the first debate, but the Iowa Electronic Markets have put all but the smallest of my fears to rest. Since Tuesday, Obama’s stock has gone up 4 points. Right now: Obama’s at 0.837; McCain’s at 0.162. Put another way, investors only give McCain a 16.2% chance of winning.

To which I say, hooray for common sense in the electorate!

To which I say, hooray for common sense in the electorate people who invest in electoral prediction markets!


Insofar as what investors’ investments in electoral prediction markets represent common sense in the electorate, hooray!

Regarding “that one,” it’s also worth noting that in Latin, there are two words for that: ille, which one uses in normal situations, and iste, which is used exclusively in instances where the “that” is meant to be derogatory. You get a good sense of the terms from Cicero, who often uses iste when drawing a comparison between his client and the despicable client of the opposition.