07 October 2008

2008 Presidential Debate #2 Post-Mortem

9:37: Another reader responds to Matt B.'s idea about John McCain appointing Mitt Romney as "economic czar":
Oh man, I LOVE the Romney idea. Why not do it? The more I think about it, the more I love it. two vice presidents (for all intents and purposes)
9:22: Mark Steyn on John McCain's proposed mortgage bailout plan (this pretty much sums up how I feel about it too):
A fellow New Hampshirite writes:

Nina Easton nailed it by referring to McCain's mortgage buy up plan as a death knell for free market capitalism. Out in California Reagan is spinning in his grave.

No argument from me. As NR's resident demography bore, I often make the point that one of the reasons why America has a healthier birth rate than any other western nation is because it's the cheapest one in which to buy a four-bedroom house on a nice big lot. You look at how the Dutch and Germans live and it's no wonder they're in no hurry to have kids. So I value a sane, affordable housing market more than, say, the British version - in which you buy a half-million-pound basement flat in a seedy rundown East End slum, install a cat flap in the back door, and sell it two months later for 1.3 million.

Will massive government intervention restore the health of the American property market? It's not clear to me why the government needs to buy up all these mortgages. We talk of "keeping people in their homes", but in what sense are they "their homes"? Many of these home "owners" obtained such ridiculous mortgages that they have minimal equity in them: Losing "their homes" is, in that sense, little more in cash terms than losing the security deposit on your rental apartment. Listening to all these proposed government interventions designed to stave off reality, I'd rather leave it to the market.

But then, as Andy put it, we have a non-conservative making the conservative case in this election, which is why McCain and Obama seemed, in that first 45 minutes, to share so many basic assumptions.

9:16: Dick Morris: 'Bill Ayers taught that the purpose of college education was to radicalize students politically--and then he put Barack Obama in charge of dispersing $50 million to that end.'

This is an interesting take on the association: Ignore the friendship and 'guilt by association,' and focus instead on the fact that they both agreed, philosophically, that the purpose of education should be to radicalize students.

Robert Gibbs was on with Sean Hannity and accused him of being an anti-semite because he had an anti-semite on his show. This was in response to questions Hannity raised about Obama's assocations with Bill Ayers & Jeremiah Wright.

The difference, of course, is that Sean Hannity is a journalist while Barack Obama is a Senator and candidate for President.

(if someone can find me video of this exchange, I'd appreciate it.)

Erick Erickson of RedState, who is a class act, on CNN's "analysis" of the debate and the state of the race:
First there was David Gergen tonight who said, "It's too early to declare it over because Barack Obama is black." Yes, he thinks the "Bradley Effect" could cost Obama 5 to 6 points.

James Carville then chimed in and subtly hinted at massive riots if Obama loses going into the election ahead in the opinion polls.

Then Paul Begala piled on calling Sarah Palin's attacks on Obama "dangerous." He had the nerve to cite the AP calling her attacks "racially tinged" saying "That's the AP, not a Demcrat."

Begala then said Palin's praise of small town America hints at racism, the South, and killing Obama.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was actual political commentary on CNN.

8:52: Awesome Amanda Carpenter (Townhall) on a key moment in the debate:
OBAMA: "This is the guy who sang bomb, bomb, bomb Iran...who called for the annhilation of North Korea...who said, 'next up Baghdad!"

MCCAIN: "I understand what it's like to send young Americans into harms way. I was joking with a veteran about going into Iran...I'll get Osama Bin Laden my friends, I'll get him no matter what...but I'm not going to telegraph my punches."

Obama was flippant and arrogant. The libs will love it, the conservatives will hate it and the independents will be uncomfortable.
8:24: Matt B., who texted earlier, emails to make his Romney point perfectly clear:
If I were McCain with the first economic question of the night I would have stood up and said that "when I am elected I will appoint Governor Romney as our economic czar.....having said that here is our economic plan of how we are going to fix this thing.....this is how it works, this is what it is going to do and this is why Obama is naive and his plan is dangerous and the wrong path to prosperity."

Then I would send out Romney, who still has a great base to all of the TV shows, even stumping, and explain the plan and why Obama's is dangerous and naive. This would create essentially a McCain-Palin and Romney ticket. McCain could continue and focus on what he is good at (the war and foreign policy), Palin could focus on what she is good at (attacking and calling a spade a spade), and finally Romney could do what he is good at (economic growth and superiority).

It would be unprecedented, game-changing, and I would predict a landslide in November.
8:08: McCain's plan to nationalize mortgages? I hate it. Is that strong enough language? It wasn't enough to nationalize the bad debt of our banks, now we're supposed to buy and renegotiate the mortgages of people who bought homes they couldn't afford?

Once again, responsible America pays for the mistakes of foolish America.

Ugh. Barack Obama is a lying c... country western singer, but no game changer, so effectively he wins.

McCain has one debate and two weeks of serious negative campaigning left. That's all that can help.

7:58: Another reader, responding to Romney's advocacy of the McCain economic plan, texts:
If I were McCain I would have stood up tonight and named Romney the economic czar and [then I would] send him on every news show from here to November talking about the McCain economic plan ... thus creating a McCain-Palin & Romney ticket.

And discrediting Obama's economic plan as dangerous and the wrong path to prosperity.
7:55: Jason Steorts on debate strategy:
Politics requires you to look people in the eye and earnestly say things that you know to be tendentious.
7:44pm PDT: What the hell is going on with Frank Luntz's focus groups? Before he was on camera they told him they thought John McCain had done better on the economy. But then, when asked on camera who did better, only 3-4 of them raised their hands.

Tell me again: Why do we even listen to these focus groups?

I agree with Bill Kristol
, Tom Brokaw did a disservice to the country by sanitizing all of the questions and making this a re-hash of talking points we'd heard before. And that was disappointing. For the most part, I heard all the same things I've heard from both of these guys before.

I hoped they would get into a fight about Fannie/Freddie and the causes of the economic crisis and except for a few minutes at the beginning, we didn't hear it.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.