The Second Debate: Obama is Cool Hand at the Tiller

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Unlike the first debate, in which the candidates seemed more or less evenly matched, I’d say Obama pretty solidly topped McCain this time around. Obama’s answers seemed clearer and more down to earth. McCain came off as, well, dated, detached, and kinda weird at times. My notes:

The first thing McCain says about his plan to fix the economic crisis: energy independence, keeping taxes low, and stopping spending in Washington. Can you say inserting talking points where they don’t belong?

McCain, in response to Brokaw’s question about his pick for Treasury Secretary: "Not you, Tom!" Prickly and strange.

McCain to audience member: "I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before this crisis." Is it just me, or does that seem a little condescending? I would guess most people have heard of Fannie, at least.

Obama: CEOs making much more than teachers are "living pretty high on the hog." Uh oh, the McCain campaign is going to say he called Palin a pig again!

McCain: "I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy." Wow.

Obama made an excellent point about most small businesses earning less than $250,000 a year, and small-business owners having trouble paying for health insurance. I get the sense McCain doesn’t even know about that.

Hmm… I wonder why McCain isn’t calling Social Security "an absolute disgrace" here, like he did a couple months ago.

McCain seems to end every answer with a lie about Obama that Obama needs to spend his next turn rebutting.

Obama is right on again about health insurance companies excluding people with pre-existing conditions. That’s a HUGE problem, and I’ve heard nary a peep from McCain about it.

Good response from Obama that state laws regulating health insurance companies are consumer protections.

Every time McCain attempts humor, it’s toe-curlingly awkward.

How many times can that man say "my friends" in one night?!

McCain: Judgment about military intervention requires "a cool hand at the tiller." Um, are you sure you want to say that, dude?

Also: "You have to temper your decisions…" If I were McCain, I would avoid using the word "temper."

Oh god, not the "crossing the Pakistani border" question again.

Obama likes to "talk loudly" about foreign policy? As opposed to the dulcet tones of McCain and the neocons? Confidential to McCain campaign: that one ain’t gonna fly.

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Do you agree that Obama conquered? Let me know below.