I actually thought Tom Brokaw would be playing a game with the questions, but he spent most of his time keeping Barack Obama on track. He agreed to guidelines he couldn’t keep, trying to go on about how McCain was lying, that he didn’t know the truth on the facts or whatever excuse Obama’s campaign is going to put out tomorrow. Also, any viewer could see that Barack wasn’t in his environment and his answers showed. What did we see in this debate? Let’s discuss it now…
Well they criticized Sarah Palin on it last time, but CNN and the rest of the MSM seemed to ignore the fact that Barack didn’t answer the questions. For example, take the final question from the debate; What don’t you know and how will you learn it? Obama made a quick joke about how his wife will teach him everything he needs to know and then decided to discuss his “McCain is Bush” rhetoric. For a man with NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE he should have given an answer here. How will you learn what you need to learn to run the country? How will you get the experience to lead America through hard times fast enough to avert disaster? CNN’s team decided to ignore this in their post-debate discussion where they took a joke McCain tried to make about hair plugs out of context.
Domestically, McCain came out stronger providing a solid context for his economic plans. This was important, especially since Obama hammered him this week on ignoring the issue. Why CNN didn’t mention this is beyond me, but I guess it goes further to show that they are suckling at “The One’s” tit. He mentioned supporting the middle class and small business with tax cuts, he also mentioned a more comprehensive health care plan, elaborating more on what he had said in the first debate. It was important that he tie Obama to tax increases and how they would hurt the economy, and while he could have stressed it more, I felt the town hall limited what he could do. What did work is that the rules both campaigns agreed to actually hindered Obama on domestic issues. Instead of getting to reply to everything McCain said, especially on taxes, he was constantly cut off by Brokaw. You could also see that the barrage of awkward questions also put Obama at a disadvantage. The question about who each candidate would pick as a Treasury Secretary really confused Barack, and you could see it in how he stumbled through the answer. While McCain was quick on his feet, naming three of his top picks for the positions, Obama could only repeat a portion of McCain’s answer and then rambled on about irrelevant economic matters.
One major point that was brought up by McCain was this stabilizing of the housing market by buying up a fair portion of the bad mortgages. Michelle Malkin and many of the bloggers are freaking out over the “game-changer”, but once again I would like to remind readers that they aren’t the ones with economic degrees (sorry Michelle). We have heard this talk ever since the economy started slipping, that the federal government needs to step in and stabilize the housing market. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, CBC, CTV, etc brought on economists who discussed the fact that the government will have to purchasing many of these bad loans to at the very least stabilize property prices. This ISN’T renegotiating the principle of a loan (even now this is still a stupid idea Obama and Biden, but what can we expect from there two?), this ISN’T more ACORN-like practices of giving those who can’t afford them homes, this is a adjusting mortgages to the reevaluated price of the property. For those who don’t get it, let’s me speak in words that you can understand.
In terms of renegotiating a loan, the idea is giving judges the final say in how much a person owes the banks on a mortgage. With this, you also see ACORN-like practices since it is up to a variety of different judges to decide how much each person should pay, and in some cases, with liberal leaning judges, you may even find loan forgiveness. This is the same kind of thinking that got us (YES Canadians too, our economy is tied to yours, you suffer, we suffer) into this situation in the first place, and Obama and Biden want to continue digging the same hole hoping that it will somehow lead to economic stability. With the plan McCain proposed tonight, what he is saying is that there will be a federal body that will undo the over-estimations on loans which gave many people mortgages they couldn’t afford. For example, while the house originally cost $500,000, anticipating skyrocketing prices with the expected boom in the housing market, banks would revalue the property and award a loan of $750,000 or more. When the market went bust, the value on these houses dropped, but people were still paying the original over-estimated loan back with interest. Realizing that they were losing money, many people walked away from these bad mortgages. Revaluing a house wouldn’t be loan forgiveness, they would simply force home owners to pay back a loan which would match the new market value of the property. Right now you hear all this talk about this plan being another $300 billion, and you hear the right screaming about it, BUT WE DON’T HAVE SOLID NUMBERS ON THIS, just rough estimates. We also have no idea how much of this cost will already be covered by the bailout plan so RELAX!
With that said, let me also point out that America is in a deep recession right now thanks to this housing market mess. Investors have not only lost faith in the economy so they aren’t investing, but even if they wanted to invest, no bank is going to give them a loan with all this uncertainty. As with the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the government is going to have to get the economy moving again by spending money. Investing this capital into the markets helps get them moving again, once they are moving again investors will have more confidence in the system and they themselves will return to putting money back into domestic businesses, and with money going back into domestic businesses, we will have more jobs, and with more jobs people will have more money to spend on luxury items and we will find ourselves back in better economic times. This is simple economics people, John McCain gets it, and I am dumbfounded that both conservative and liberal voters don’t. I should slap anyone who criticizes that man for having the guts to deliver the straight talk Americans needs to hear. Even Obama is now admitting that this is only the beginning of a rough patch for Americans markets, so expect to hear more bad news until this problem is solved. Moving on…
I am completely ignoring CNN’s analysis of foreign policy because they must have been watching another debate. Did anyone catch what “The One” said about troop withdrawals? If you weren’t paying attention, let me spell it out for you, HE FLIP-FLOPPED! We have been hearing for months about how he will bring troops home, on how this will be an immediate withdrawal of soldiers from Iraq, but tonight he adopted McCain’s plan of slowly reducing America’s forces overtime. Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Paul Begala, Campbell Brown, etc all missed this, all refused to even acknowledge it. I will disagree with Ed Morrissey on the idea that McCain didn’t have a strong enough showing on foreign policy, especially after this answer by Obama. Is no one fact checking or even comparing this to his previous position? What we saw with this answer was a backtracking on his previous statements, MEANING HE WAS WRONG. We also saw this with others answers too…
When asked about Pakistan, Obama was all over the place. He was discussing attacking the country outright, discussing attacking enemies he deems dangerous, he then backtracked by attacking McCain for a joke he made with a fellow military officer about “bomb,bomb, Iran”. McCain responded that attacking Pakistan the way he suggested would cause significant damage to the country. This is returning to an analysis made last week (maybe on CNN, I don’t remember) about Pakistan’s political situation and how it is on the brink of civil war. By attacking the country outright, you would distabilize it, most likely allowing radical Islamic forces like the Taliban to take control. Barack was so off base that he also left himself open for attack on his policy in Iraq. When asked about his military doctrine, Barack sounded incoherent, mumbling about the Holocaust and then Rwanda (HUH?), finally finishing off his rant by saying he would use America’s forces to invade regions which he believed unstable. McCain’s quick reply knocked Obama off his feet, suggesting his plans of retreat from Iraq would only cause the USA to come back at a later time when the situation became unfavourable with al-Qaeda’s position more solidified in the country.
McCain really showed that he not only knew the situation in the Middle East, but knew what needed to be done. Returning to his answer on the question about the “McCain doctrine”, he stated that America can’t simply jump into any conflict that arises, but should act when doing so would bring about a positive result. As proof of this, he stated the tragedies in Somalia and Lebanon where American forces acted without examining the consequences. We also saw him relating very well to the former Naval officer who asked about his position on aiding Israel in a crisis. The shaking of the hand, the pat on the shoulder, thanking the man for his service to his country was all very sincere, and his answer came off very authentic as well, stressing that they shouldn’t allow for a second “Holocaust”. In contrast, Obama seemed very phony, repeating the answer but adding useless rhetoric which showed he was ignorant on the matter. We also saw this when asked whether or not Russia posed a threat to the world and how he would deal with Vladamir Putin. McCain talked about the importance of standing firm against Russia’s aggression and how Georgia and the Ukraine would have to be brought in under NATO’s protection, while Barack started rambling incoherently about protecting all former Soviet states and other irrelevant dribble. I will tell you this, if Putin was watching, he is now looking forward to pushing around Obama, the same way Nikita Khrushchev bullied John F. Kennedy, if that spineless politician is elected.
All in all, McCain did a better job with this debate then he did in the first one, mainly because he was in his element. Barack came off weak, incoherent and didn’t do himself any favours by dodging the questions to push his rehearsed lines of rhetoric he has obviously been practicing the last few days. While you could debate the outcome of their first tussle, not even CNN’s spin team can salvage this as anything but an embarassment for Team Obama. Once again, while it wasn’t what the conservatives wanted to hear, McCain presented a more comprehensive plan for the economy then he did last time. Cheer up, the McCain campaign is now in good shape after setting down their plans on the economy, and with Sarah Palin now pounding “The One” on his obvious lack of common sense, especially after his pathetic response to assertions that he was close to Bill Ayers for years, Barack is running out of time. Yes, you heard me, if Americans are as smart as I think they are, his fifteen minutes are coming to a close.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has already put up an article relating to a column in The Boston Globe today about the hypocrisy of the “Obama doctrine”. No matter what the MSM says, we all heard it, we can quote it, so spinning his statements on genocide is just going to be futile.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey comes out and shows why is he is the one at Hot Air with a level head. This is exactly what I discussed about McCain’s economic plan, when you take into account what we have seen with the bailout plan that was already passed. You sir GET IT!
UPDATE: I didn’t want to mention it originally in my blog, but I was assuming that McCain’s plan would use the funds from the bailout to buy up much of the bad mortgages (isn’t that what the $700 billion was for), but then people started saying that this means $300 billion more will be spent (HUH?). Marc Ambinder has now confirmed that the McCain campaign will use $300 billion of the $700 billion already in the bailout plan to follow through with this promise.
UPDATE: Seems someone felt the debate last night went to the “Maverick”. This is what we call a “Freudian slip”, PURE GOLD!