Worst “debate” ever. ABC really botched this one. I could actually feel myself getting dumber with each passing minute in that first hour.

Good night folks! More tomorrow.

HAHA! They’re going to Jake Tapper? WTF?

He talks specifically about the Obama character memes. Not the issues in the second half, just the dirt. Thanks for the “insight” Jake.

The crowd boos the spin…Gibson says the crowd is turning on him. Gee, I wonder why…

Leslie Carbone via Twitter:

Clinton still doesn’t know how to wrap policy in hope.


Both were off. McCain won the debate.


Thankfully this disaster is over. This added absolutely NOTHING to the campaign.

I will say that it revealed that Hillary was willing to hit Obama on some pretty thin issues like the Weather Underground stuff and the Wright – 9/11 controversy…and since that’s the stuff the Republicans will be hitting him on, it’s disappointing. But honestly, it feels like Obama blunted it, especially on the Weather Underground stuff.

I guess we’ll see.

Closing statements…boring…here come the boilerplates and the lists…

Sorry folks, my blog wouldn’t let me update this post, so I missed a lot. We should be humming on all cylinders now.

Josh Marshall earlier…

9:24 PM … I was disappointed that Charlie Gibson seems to spout off right-wing bromides as established facts. I was even more disappointed that Obama didn’t seem able to knock them down.


Asking Obama on affirmative action. Brings up the economic factors instead of race, and says that race should be factored in only if the odds are against them.

Says he doesn’t think it can be a quota system. I think this is going to raise some eyebrows in the Dem party.

Wait a second…is this a 2 hour debate? It’s 8:30 CMT and this isn’t over yet. I thought they said 90 minutes.

“We will strike the right balance.” Good line from Hillary.

Gibson asks Barack about D.C.’s gun laws, and he talks about local and state rights, compares gun rights to zoning ordinances.

Uh-oh, we’re going to start talking about gun rights now…

Gibson talks Virginia Tech tragedy, and that’s why we need to talk about guns. Says candidates have supported gun control laws. Why don’t they talk about those views?

Answer…they do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t also say they support the 2nd Amendment. This is baked now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create programs to cut down on gun violence.

Hillary is making a strong case here, and it’s a good one. Says she’ll support assault weapons ban. Again, good.

Q: Who losing tonight?

A: Everybody. ABC especially. Whew…

Wonkery, wonkery, wonkery…getting lost…dizzy…

Oh, here’s the AARP Donklephant commercial with Hollywood stars. You’re welcome AARP.

Hill hits Obama on lifting the cap on payroll tax, but Obama talks about the fairness…Gibson keeps interjecting about the people between 97K and 250K.

Obama also claims Hill said she actually DID say she would consider lifting the cap when she was out of range of the cameras. Ouch.

Man, I’m glad there’s only 17 minutes of this left. This is such a bad debate. Gibson and Steph sound like they’re taking their cues from NewsMax.

Now it’s Clinton’s turn. “We know we have to get back to an economy that works for everyone.” Good line.

Recalls Bill’s presidency and the economic stability then. Does anybody believe that he won’t be a second President at this point? I don’t think she does herself any favors by constantly bringing up the 90s again and again and again.

Gibson asks about capital gains tax cut, cites evidence that revenues goes up as the tax rate goes down. Asks why Obama would raise it.

Obama says he said he would look at it, but talks about the hedge fund managers and how they’re making money hand over fist, but not paying the appropriate amount of tax on their gains.

Obama says he would cut the payroll taxes, social security taxes, is being very wonkish about tax cuts. Kind of putting the lie to McCain’s statements.

Hits at Bush’s economic philosophy…pushes his “lobbyists are running the game” message.

Turning to the economy…

Plays clip of McCain talking about Dems wanting to raise taxes. Hillary laughs after the clip has played. Obama does not.

She says she would roll the taxes back to the 90s rates.

Hill talks about how she wouldn’t invite Ahmadinejad to the White House. A snipe at Barack?

George asks Barack about Iran. He lays out the case, talks about the carrots and sticks and says they’ll know what our posture is. Says we have to keep nukes out of their hands.

Says an attack on Israel would make us strike Iran.

Hillary says the same thing, says the Bush policy has failed.

Same question to Obama. Talks about how the President sets the mission, and nails Bush on pushing it off on Petraeus.

Says he’ll always listen to generals on tactics and how to adjust them, but “the buck stops with me.”

She says we don’t know what will happen if we withdraw, but we do know what will happen if we stay there. Agreed. She’s showing good leadership here.

Okay, we’re going to be talking about national security most likely now.

Question from voter: how are you going to get us out of Iraq? Gibson follows up with Hillary’s “Yes” comment, that she would pull out troops regardless of the consequences. She sticks by the answer. Good for her.

Says she will withdraw within 60 days. Says it’ll be responsible. I’m sure the right-wing will crow at this, but the point here is that the pressure needs to be put on the Iraqis to get their s**t together politically. Again, good for her.

Commercial break.

I literally can not believe how this “debate” is about memes. I mean, it’s shocking and sad and I don’t know how they’re going to crawl out of this hole.

Obama nails Hillary on her husband commuting the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground.

Game, set, match on that one.

Hillary brings up William Ayers connection again, trying to damage Obama.

Says this will be an issue that Republicans will be raising…yeah, they certainly will Hillary…

Brings up Weather Underground’s William Ayers and asks why Obama knows him.

Wow, worst debate ever.

Voter asking Obama: do you believe in the American flag?


Why is this debate about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING???

I fully expect this question to Obama soon: Are you a secret Muslim?

Stephanopoulos asking Obama about his campaign questioning Hill’s credibility, specifically on Bosnia.

Is this debate going to be ALL about gaffes and spin?

Voter asks about Bosnia comments. Is Hillary admitting that she knowingly lied about it now? She said she knew she was misspeaking? Did I just hear that wrong? Quite possibly.

Man, this debate is so NOT about the issues…kind of a bummer.

She talks about getting more sleep. Bad step. She apologizes again.

Stephanopoulos to Obama: Does Wright love America as much as you do? Seriously George?

Obama talks about disowning, and Stephanopoulus asks him if he means disowning the man? Again, come on George.

Hillary is jumping on it, and says we should explore it further. Of course you do. Talks about Farrakhan and Hamas? Jeezus Hillary…

Asks Clinton about Reverend Wright and if she would leave if the 8,000 members of that church didn’t get up and leave?

She says it was a personal choice, brings up the post 9/11 sermon and said she couldn’t stay in the church.

Obama responds, says the remarks were objectionable. Gibson interjects and is really trying to confuse the disinvite with the 9/11 sermon. Disappointing.

Gibson asks about Reverend Wright…why didn’t Obama invite him to his campaign announcement?

Obama explains the difference between what he said before the announcement and on YouTube, and gives the same answer he has given for a while now…highlights the good things about Wright as well as denouncing the bad.

Hill fires back and says she was talking about specifically what he said, not him. That’s kind of a fine line, don’t you think?

Talks about her proven record of results…taking passion for empowering people into this campaign.

Obama talks about Hillary saying he’s “elitist”, “out of touch”, etc.

He talks about how he’s a man of faith, has respect for gun owners, talks about the problems in politics and beating bad phraseology to death…but that’s not helping the people who are sitting at the kitchen table who can’t pay the bills.

Pulls the “baking cookies” line out on Clinton and talks about how it was silly at that time, and how Hill should know better than to parse his statements like that.

Stephanopoulos to Hillary: do you think Obama can win or not? “Well, we will win” paraphrasing here…talking about getting attacked by Republicans for 16 years, and that McCain is a formidable candidate.

She says, “Yes, yes, yes.” Good. Finally. She thinks she is better prepared, though.

They throw it to Hillary, and it’s definitely red meat. Talks about her family’s history with guns and religion, using “cling” quite a bit, talks about how she can understand why people would be offended.

Gibson asking about BitterGate. Obama apologizes for the mangling, BUT…he talks about difficult times…even before housing crisis…even before the economic expansion where the core wages didn’t go up.

He’s explaining his comments and not backing down. This could hurt him, although the candor is refreshing.

Hillary answers…she’ll do everything she can to make sure a Dem is President. Then why is she telling people that Obama can’t win?

Each have appealed disproportionately to some segments of the electorate…BUT pledge now to take the other as the VP. Why is Gibson asking this?

A pregnant pause. Neither candidate wants to answers. Laughter.

Obama gives his “it’s premature” response. Believes the Democratic party will come together.

Commercial break? WTF?

Hillary: “Neither of us were included in those original documents.”

She talks about her core policy points. Being very positive. Good solid intro. Plugs HillaryClinton.com for more detail.

Obama is leading with the “frustrations” of the voters. Hitting on special interests. Voters don’t feel like they’re being listened to.

Debate happening on Facebook at the same time? Why did I not hear about this?

Charlie Gibson: the campaign is in round 15 after a scheduled 10 rounder.

They just played the “elitist” and “shame on her” clips. That’ll set the tone.

Here we go. “It’s been a history making campaign. And it’s not over yet.”

Yep. I’m going to do it. Hope it’s not too terribly boring.

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