Un-Suspended: Live-Blogging the Debate
By Al Giordano
(This photo is of James Meredith trying to enroll in the segregated University of Mississippi in 1962. Forty-six years later, Barack Obama is debating John McCain as presidential candidates on the same campus.)
9:02 p.m. ET: > Here we go. Jim Lehrer is introducing the candidates.
9:07 p.m.: McCain announces that Teddy Kennedy is in the hospital (which he was a little while ago this afternoon). Teddy is now back home watching him say that in his living room.
9:22 p.m.: McCain: "A lot of people might be interested in Obama's definition of rich." Well, that was a soft-ball pitch.
Obama: "If you make $250,000 or less you'll pay less (taxes)."
How about: My definition of rich? I think that owning eight houses, 13 vehicles and an airplane probably qualifies.
9:34 p.m.: Obama: "You're using a hatchet when you need a scalpel."
9:40 p.m.: After forty minutes of bickering over domestic economics, now into foreign policy. (Watch the CNN focus group dial graph at bottom of its screen: Independent voters visibly approved of Obama's answers over McCain's, and more so as the debate went on. When McCain referred to himself as "independent," the Independent dial sunk rapidly.
ng>10:44 p.m. The debate ends without major incident. Spin time!
10:48 p.m. C-Span 2 has a camera in the spin room! Go there! (Plouffe is spinning right now: "On foreign policy, John McCain was on defense all night."
10:49 p.m.: Now it's Schmidt: "Obama is naive and dangerous... dangerous... dangerous..." Here comes their theme.
11:12 p.m.: Halperin grades: Obama A-, McCain B-
Has Chuck Todd weighed in yet?
11:52 p.m.: Focus group and polling data is coming in now, from Fox, CNN, CBS, and Mediacurves so far. All of them agree that Obama and McCain each "won" among members of their own party, and Obama significantly won among Independent voters. The latter group is all that matters. Obama helped himself among swing voters tonight. McCain, not. In Reaganesque tones, he upped the "comfort" factor with him as commander in chief. I think within a couple days this is likely to be reflected in swing state polling.
12:11 a.m.: Here's CBS video excerpt caught by Jed for Huffpo: