Scattered Debate Notes


– The disconnect between the McCain campaign on the airwaves and the McCain campaign personified by JSM III is Snake River Canyon ride. The McCain campaign, over the last 96 hours, has been all about Obama's character, his past, his misinterpreted comment from 2007 that we were blowing it in Afghanistan by "air raiding and bombing civilians." The candidate arrived tonight and ignored that.

– Those debates in 2007 and 2008 about McCain's philosophy? They were worth having. Like Sarah Palin, he thinks uttering the word "Reagan" is proof that he's a conservative. Pay no attention to what I'm saying about Wall Street greed and my support for the bailout and the responsibility of government to provide health care!

– You can see why Obama drives McCain to such a molten rage. When the subject isn't health care or the specifics of the bailout, he clearly knows less than McCain. Is he smarter than McCain? Maybe. But he hasn't been around as long. He has an expansive yet shallow command of center-left talking points. He knows which ones to deploy, and when. He's liberated in a way that Bill Clinton was not in 1992: He doesn't need to apologize for being a liberal, because, hell, why not give the liberals a chance after the utter collapse of conservatism?