Obama Completes Sweep in 3rd Debate

Bill Bennett, former secretary and partisan CNN contributor said the Hofstra debate was by far the best of the three.  I disagree.  I do agree with Bennett that McCain was on the offensive most of the night, but don’t think it was his best debate.  His performance was uneven.  He didn’t appear very presidential on TV.  He looked angry and annoyed most of the night.  His aggressive, condescending tone couldn’t have won over many .  Obama remained composed throughout, smiling as opposed to grimacing when McCain landed a low blow.  Overall, Obama played excellent defense keeping McCain off the scoreboard.

They started off with statements about the economy.  McCain mentioned his plan to fix the housing mess.  Obama discussed his tax cuts for the middle class and sent a word of caution on McCain’s relief plan for homeowners:  “it could be a giveaway to banks if we pay full price for the mortgages that are now worth a lot less”.

McCain brought up Joe the Plumber.  Poor Joe can’t buy his business because of Obama’s tax plan.  I say if Joe buys that business and rakes in more than 300,000 a year, he can afford to pay higher taxes – he should be in a higher tax bracket; it’s only fair.  McCain talks about spreading the wealth – taking Joes’s money and spreading it out.  Come on.  It’s not like Obama has plans to nationalize Joe’s plumbing company, or require Joe to do pro-bono plumbing, although that would be a good idea.  Give Joe some tax credits to provide discounted plumbing for a non-profit organization.

There were some frustrating moments.  Bill Schieffer mentioned the negative tone of the campaigns and brought up Bill Ayers to which McCain responded that “we need to know the full extent of that relationship”.  Obama then explained that relationship saying that Ayers engaged in despicable acts when Obama was a child and that he (Obama) has since “roundly” denounced those acts.  They served together on a diverse “Republican leaning” school reform board founded by Reagan UK ambassador, Walter Annenberg. The board membership included two University Presidents.  Obama said that Bill Ayers has not been a part of his campaign and “will not advise me in the White House”.  After Obama’s disclosure, McCain again said “…the details need to be known (about the relationship)…”  Wake up John, he just told you.   McCain’s ACORN allegation did not stick.  First, ACORN is a respectable organization and there should be no shame in association.  The doings of a handful of rogue voter registration workers should not disgrace the entire organization.  Second, Obama’s staff did not hire ACORN to do any voter registration.  They hired an organization to canvass for Obama and this organization subcontracted out some of the work to ACORN to canvass for Obama, not to register voters.  That Obama is somehow responsible for doctored voter registration cards is ludicrous.

McCain and Obama continue to disappoint me on education.  Both are for Charter Schools that create a free market approach to education.  Education is not a business.  McCain supports vouchers, which the government issues to families who wish to send their kids to a private school.  I say let the private schools issue scholarships.  The government should not be in the business of subsidizing a private school education.  Rather, the government should be investing heavily in the neediest schools.  Vouchers and Charters simply drain resources away from public schools.  And sadly the kids and their teachers will be blamed for high dropout rates and low test scores. Instead of no child left behind, the law should be renamed all children left behind.

When Bob Schieffer asked if Palin is qualified to be president, why didn’t Obama just say no?  He had to go on about how capable she is and how she’s energized the base.   And McCain’s endorsement of Palin was even less enthusiastic talking about her as if she were going to be first lady, not the VP.  “…she’s a role model….a reformer through and through…and I’m proud of her”.

McCain continues to promote the building of 45 nuclear power plants over the next 20 years, which sounds reasonable until the costs are factored – 6 to 8 billion each and up to 6 years to build just one, and don’t forget the delays and cost overruns.  With McCain’s spending freeze, how can we expand nuclear and invest in renewable energy projects.  I wonder if Joe the Plumber has any expertise in nuclear; maybe he could do the job on the cheap with his new company.

Obama:  A for a solid defense and and a clear closing statement.

McCain:  C for an offense that scored few points.

For more details, read the 3rd Debate Transcript

Who do you think won the debate?

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2 Responses

  1. Well, I enjoyed your commentary here.

    About Joe’s $250K-plus salary … I think that’s a lot. I wouldn’t mind if people didn’t pay taxes, if they would be generous. I wouldn’t mind if people weren’t compelled to support things like the FDA, USDA, EPA, CDC, national defense, roads, schools … if they would do so voluntarily. But it didn’t should like Joe the plumber would be happy to support those services voluntarily as his means improved. It sounded more to me like he wanted to keep all his money for himself. Maybe he wouldn’t, but that’s how it sounded. I know this flies in the face of those who believe in less government, but I don’t know how you run a large country without things like roads and an army. McCain’s running mate did just say during her debate with Joe Biden that paying taxes was not patriotic. Can I take that to mean that supporting the troops in Iraq is not patriotic?

    During a segment about abortion, McCain referred to “the health” of a woman in a derogatory way. I cringed. Why wouldn’t the health of any living person be valued? Especially for someone who labels himself pro-life?

  2. I guess Joe the “Plumber” is in a little hot water for not paying his taxes. And apparently, Joe has no license to plumb and is therefore not a plumber. He may have a hard time buying that business without a license. Once again, the Republicans did a lousy job of vetting, and in this case, no job at all.

    Turns out even if Joe were to buy the business, he’d have to grow it substantially to be negatively affected by Obama’s tax plan. Records indicate the business in question grossed about 100,000 last year. Even Joe admitted he’d benefit from Obama’s tax plan. And more than likely, Joe the Six Pack would too.

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