Earmarks! Everywhere, Earmarks!


I don't love 'em, but I don't think they're the only economic problem we face. McCain's clinging to them like a favorite teddy bear. Sure enough, it gives Obama the chance to finally bring up his Coburn BFFism.

McCain does seem to be controlling the debate, parrying Obama's challenge that he supports Bush 9/10 of the time (a hit on the campaign trail) by dryly reciting how many times he's shoved Bush's face in the dirt.

Finally, finally, the Iraq portion. It's been a long time since we've talked about this, so I feel like we're being hurtled back to July: McCain was right on the surge! Obama was right in 2002! Obama doesn't know the difference between a tactic and a strategy! The winner of this is decided outside the room, I think, by people who are deciding how much they want to go out versus how much they don't trust Obama.

Both of them sound pretty on their game on the wider war outside Iraq, probably because, well, Obama was planning for this all week (as opposed to the economics) and McCain thinks about nothing but this and spending.

Interesting exchange on the bracelet story. Obama is clearly ready (here and surely in the town hall debate) for McCain to yank at heartstrings with tales of his military service, his connection to vets. (Probably why Obama doesn't tag him on his vote against the new GI Bill.)

Both men are comically full of themselves. The McCain history of the world, as we know, is of him summoning the wisdom of the great men and spider-sensing his way out of problems. Obama remembers every personal insult: "I was called naive!" for wanting to meet with foreign no-goodniks.

"The average South Korean is three inches taller than the average North Korean!" is one of the best things that's ever been said in a debate. Overall McCain sounds conversant and Obama sounds like an analyst. Exactly what you'd expect.

I get the feeling the inside of McCain's head looks like the inside of Napoleon's circa 1812.

If your drinking game code words were "doesn't understand," please see a doctor.