I wasn’t able to live blog this debates since I didn’t get back from church with the kids early enough.  So watching a replay.  Some of my thoughts:

  • I thought the moderation was decent, and neither candidate cut the other off.
  • I was bored, but that could be because it was late.
  • Obama said with middle class with his “rescue plan for the middle class” saying 95% of working families will get a tax break.  His rhetoric connects, but unfortunately doesn’t have the record to back it up.
  • McCain parried well with saying that small businesses would have their taxes increased and they make up most of the jobs.  Doesn’t want to raise taxes on anybody.  Said the last president to raise taxes during a recession was Herbert Hoover and that led to a depression.
  • McCain also pointed out that businesses are paying the 2nd highest tax rate in the world was a good point.
  • Cut backs – McCain lists specific programs… even some defense spending, earmarks, and across the board spending freeze.  Hatchet and scalpel.  Obama mentions $15 billion of insurance companies that don’t work.  He said he would support a net spending cut, programs that don’t work cut, programs that we need keep.  My problem is his view of programs that we need.
  • McCain mentions that Obama asked for $1 Billion in earmarks, Obama didn’t deny it, but said instead “it only makes up 1/2 of 1% of the budget.”  Yikes.
  • Got to watch the video with this Joe the Plummer guy.  Obama told him that “we’ve got to spread the wealth around.”  McCain – “I want Joe the Plummer to spread the wealth around.”
  • Money Quote: after Obama criticized a Bush policy Senator McCain said, “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush.  If you wanted to run against President Bush you should have run four years ago.”
  • Regarding balanced budget – McCain said check our records on spending and see what the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste are saying about us.
  • Obama vs. McCain on going against party leadership – I don’t think there’s any question on records.
  • Too much time spent on negative campaigning.  They both do it, move on!
  • Obama’s associations should have been brought up during first debate, but McCain was right to bring them up.  Obama – “let’s not focus on associations, let’s look at the issues.”  If the shoe were on the other foot I doubt he’d be saying that.
  • VP Choice – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Best point of the night: goes to McCain – Obama’s solution to everything is to spend – he proposes $860 Billion in new spending.
  • Energy independence/Free Trade – McCain’s energy plan seems more comprehensive.  McCain’s line “wants to sit down with Hugo Chavez, but doesn’t want to enter into an agreement with our best ally in the area (Columbia)” line was good.
  • Healthcare – You like Obama’s plan?  See how well socialized medicine has worked for Canada and England.  Mandating insurance benefits on larger companies makes me nervous.  Obama says we need to reduce medical costs, but doesn’t get into specifics.  Both say we need to focus on prevention.  McCain gets into some specifics on reducing medical costs, and mentions $5000 tax credit for families ($2500 for individuals) – likely won’t be enough to help a family purchase their own healthcare outright, but will help.
  • Judges/Roe v. Wade – McCain – strict constructionalist/Obama – somebody who supports Roe.  I think Roe was a good decision.  What?  Most constitutional law scholars would not lift Roe up as being good case law.  Poorly decided.  Where exactly does the Constitution say we have a right to privacy?  Especially when it comes to ending human life?
  • Obama tries to defend his Illinois Senate record on voting against or present on the Illinois Born Alive Act and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.  With the partial birth/late term abortion ban saying he was against it because it didn’t say anything about protecting the “health” of the mother. First off – any OB/GYN could tell you that partial birth abortions are not needed to protect the mother’s health.  Why not just deliver the baby?  Secondly “health” has been very loosely interpreted by pro-abortion activists so basically it is a meaningless boundary.
  • Education – Obama supports charter schools, but generally against school choice that is publicly run.  McCain is for school choice – vouchers for private schools, for charter schools and pro-home education.  As a home educator I stand with McCain here.

     

    Overall I think this was McCain’s best debate.  I’m not sure it will make an impact.  His strength is foreign policy and national security.  Right now the economy issue favors Obama though I think McCain’s tax policy & spending policy makes him better qualified to shepherd the nation’s economy.

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