The real winner [by Alicia]
OK, let me tell you who the real winner of Wednesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University was. Yes, yes, clearly Sen. Barack Obama trounced the lagging Sen. John McCain more thouroughly and cooly than he did in the first two debates. And McCain sputtered and stumbled, repeating the same catchphrases over and over. And if we go by the polling numbers released immediately following the face-off, yes, it looks like the public agrees McCain was left babbling in Obama’s wake.
But did B come out on top? I don’t think so, my friends.
Joe the Plumber won that battle.
Did you guys WATCH that debate? Joe the Plumber’s name got tossed around more than the nerdy kid’s lunchbox.
If you didn’t watch, and rely solely on buntology for your campaign trail news, here’s the recap. And B) Good work, buntology is all the news you need.
At the beginning of the debate, while discussing economic policy, Sen. John McCain made reference to a Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber in Toledo, Ohio, who attended an Obama event. Joe the Plumber told Obama, “Your new [econmic] plan is gonna tax me more” or something like that. Obama, caught on camera, explained something something “I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too. And I think that when we spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
McCain called out B for that, critiquing the “spread the wealth” idea. And then brought up Joe the Plumber 32 more times throughout the evening.
“Joe should be able to buy his own business!”
“So people like Joe the Plumber can own his own … business!”
“My plan HELPS people. People like Joe, Joe the Plumber.”
And so on. You get the idea.
I watched the debate at – surprise! – my day job. I watched with rest of The Eagle copy desk and my .. I don’t want to say my favorite reporter, because I like all of my reporters a lot .. but on both a professional and human level, he’s my secret fave. Uh, so anyway, we watched the debate, and reporter Jack and I noticed McCain’s repeated economic metaphors about hatchets and scalpels. Yes, I know B also used the reference. But McCain mentioned it multiple times, and it kind of freaked us out. Jack was like, “It’s like Saw 5. First, I’ll use my hatchet .. then my scalpel ..” HA! I chimed in, “Then, my chainsaw .. !” HA!
But Joe the Plumber and Jigsaw weren’t the only recurring slogans in McCain’s sorry snubs.
We heard about how we shouldn’t be sending $700 billion a year for oil “to countries who don’t like us very much.” Guess which country we get most of our oil from? Canada. Those fuckers!!
And did you know? McCain’s willing to fight his own party. And he’s got the scars to prove it.
The most exciting thing McCain did was get nervous and stammer. Oh, did I say exciting? I meant predictable.
B, on the other hand, remained cool and collected. And when moderater BIll Schieffer brought up the attack ads the rivals have been lobbing at one another, Obama addressed the issue with a calm directness. He told McCain that he was 8 years old, and Bill Ayers was 40, when Ayers was with the radical political group Weather Underground.
McCain and Palin have recently been calling attention to the fact that Obama was on a committee a few years ago in Chicago with Ayers, who is now a professor. This is the guy Palin’s talking about when she says B “pals around with terrorists. McCain also mentioned that Obama launched his campaign for the presidency from Ayers’ home. Obama calmly told McCain that wasn’t true.
“The fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Sen. McCain,” B said, “says more than your campaign than it does about me.”
By the numbers
Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg worked with a focus group of undecided voters in Colorado. He crunched some favorability numbers, and here’s what he came up with.
Here were the favorability-unfavorability ratings for each candidate at the start:
McCain: 54 favorable / 34 unfavorable
Obama: 42 favorable / 42 unfavorable
McCain: 50 favorable / 48 unfavorable
Obama: 72 favorable / 22 unfavorable
And, if you really wanna get down with this, here’s the full hour and 30-minute debate.