I'm watching live both on CNN and C-SPAN. The streaming is pretty stable so far. The C-SPAN set up is a static webcam placed way in the back of the auditorium and (oops, it just died - back on) and CNN is flipping through a variety of talking heads.
CNN is letting iReporters speak live. Barbara Rademacher from Arkansas is asking about health insurance - likes Barak's approach to foreign policy (talk first, fight later). The CNN reporter looks European.
Holy crap. Obama is taking a photo with a fan? Right now? Calm. Cool. Cameras flashing like mad.
C-SPAN - nothing happening. Stage empty. Crowd murmuring.
I had Grape-Nuts for dinner.
WTF. CNN shows off some crazy Audience Reaction meter. Twist the nob to the left = positive, right = negative. Live, dynamic graphing?
In the Debate Hall, guy on stage asking the audience to keep the hollerin' and cheerin' to a minimum so he can concentrate. "This is not an (inaudible) pep rally," he says.
"Not only does this debate have to be fair, it must appear to be fair."
Crap. This C-SPAN stream ends. Have to find C-SPAN2. (Update: The stream has turned to an area called The Grove on Ole Miss campus where huge screens are set up. Looks like a jamband scene. Huge crowd.)
Holy crap. Myspace has a sweet site.
Obama Speaks! Talking about the Bail-Out. Ah... Wall Street vs Main Street. Wow. He has answers - quick and fast. Countin' 'em off...answers.
McCain mentions Kennedy. Decent. He looks old. Starting strong...he is talking about vague things. No clean, numbered answers. "A number of important elements." (?) This is the end of the beginning of the crisis, he says.
Head-to-head combat time! Lost my C-SPAN feed. Closed the wrong window. McCain coughs. Nice Normandy story, however. McCain scores. He talks about the accountability - (I don't believe him).
C'mon, Obama. Stop thinking so much. Just say it. McCain and Obama seem to have trouble talking directly to each other. Ear-marking as a gateway drug. Nice. Bear joke doesn't work. McCain does well with run-away spending topic - Obama takes one on the chin.
I don't know if I can keep this up.
McCain still doing well. Damn. Obama jumps in! Just got an email from https://debatehub.c-span.org/ They saw my live posting. Check it out. (Late follow-up: this site is pretty awesome, actually. The debate clips are already batched out for you and ready for embedding, they've got an active Twitter set-up and the national blog coverage is excellent. The Debate Timeline tool is amazing.)
It's getting messy and technical. I don't know as much as I should about these tax issues. Careful mentioning oil, John.
"That's not true, John." Obama is cold. New question: The Bail-Out. What are you willing to let go in order to pay for the Bail-Out. He's a little off-topic, I think. Stick to it, Obama. McCain goes back spending and waste. Good stuff. Obama jumps back in - he wasn't ready. Damn. Battery dying - brb.
Spending freeze. Hatchet vs scalpel. Nice. Obama brings up Iraq. Nice. Neither will give specifics on what they are willing to give up. McCain back to spending restraint. Strong. 90% of the time! There it is! ORGY (Obama just said "orgy") of spending lies! 90% of the time. 90% of the time. 90% of the time.
Lessons of Iraq - a failed strategy. Blame the lack of planning. "We are winning in Iraq," says McCain. Same shit, really. Obama and the lessons of Iraq. Barak leads with Why? 4,000 lives, 30,000 wounded, a trillion dollars with nothing to show for it. "Use our military wisely," say Obama.
Obama brings in Biden, calls McCain wrong on many things. McCain quotes "We don't want out kids coming back here," said some soldier, claims McCain. McCain claims peace of prosperity in Iraq. The troop funding issue - here it is. Democrats saw this coming, of course. McCain kind of lied here.
"Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory." Knock it off, John.
Pakistan, Taliban, poppies, terrorists. Afghanistan. Iraq. What a fucking mess. "If you going to point a gun at someone, you'd better be prepared to pull the trigger." Not too sure where John is going with this.
(Why do we have to help anyone, again? I forget). McCain talks about terrorism and jihadist. Pretty much saying that we should do what we are doing - but with more troops and money.
I, personally, not a fan of Obama's stance on "taking them out". Lot's of talk of war, ethnic cleansing...McCain rightly struts his record. He's been there. Not that he's made the right decision, but he has been there. Damn. McCain drops a story about a soldier's mother giving him a bracelet to remember him by. "I've got a bracelet, too," says Obama. Nice.
McCain sticks with prevailing in Iraq and Afghanistan - says we need to stay there because of safety and such. Jim Leher is good. McCain - Iran is a threat to Israel. Stop it with the Second Holocaust bullshit. League of Democracies? Never heard of it?
Iran is a serious threat, says McCain. Mostly concerned about nukes, it seems. Obama is also concerned about nukes - 'We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran," says Obama. We need tougher sanctions, says Obama. Thankfully, Obama brings up diplomacy. Isolation is not helping, says Obama.
McCain does not believe in sitting down with world leaders w/out preconditions. He believes that meetings will legitimize world terrorists.
Obama brings up McCain flub on Spain. (I'm astounded that McCain is doing this well.) McCain claims that Obama is not only naive, but dangerous. "Trust but verify," says the Reagan of old. 6-Point cease-fire in Russia. (I don't know what that is). Obama stresses diplomacy re: Russia. Obama does not want a new Cold War - we need to work with them.
Russia DID NOT commit the first move on Georgia. McCain is wrong here, I think. McCain botched a Putin-KGB joke. The Russians? Really? The Russians? More chatter on Russia. Obama and McCain are mostly on the same page, it seems. Most of this is lost on the viewers, I bet. It's murky for me, too.
Obama calls out McCain on his alternative energy voting record. 23 of 26 times McCain voted against it. McCain pushes drilling again. Incidentally, the Democrats caved on off-shore drilling a few days ago.
Here it is 9/11. McCain says he'll never torture again. Says that we have a long way to go as far as becoming "safer". We need better intel and stronger border, says McCain. I agree. Nothing to not agree with here. Obama makes it clear that he wants to regain our respect in the world. We need to regain our stature.
(Is it over yet? This is hard.) Trillion dollars, Obama says. Back to Al Qaeda. Obama says the next president must have a broader strategy, bigger and more global. McCain calls Obama naive - kind of calls him dumb, really. McCain claims the veterans love him - last I checked, Obama out-polled McCain something like 4-1 AGAINST McCain.
Almost down. McCain finally brings up POW stuff. POW. POW. DONE!
Kisses to the wives, Obama looks calm - confident. McCain's wife is freakish. McCain looks stunned to still be alive. Crowd leaves. Oh - John Kerry was there in the audience. I think I just saw Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings). Probably not.
Thirsty. Don't think I can stomach reading commentary all night. I think McCain did really well. Obama needs to make stronger ties between Bush and McCain. McCain looks ghostly.
Wow. Remix ad based on debate video already up.