Debate reaction, and Washington gubernatorial debate

October 16, 2008 at 7:56 am | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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Since when is a plumber a sympathetic charcater?  Only someone who has never had to hire one, and wonder how they were going to pay their fee would think so.  Most plumbers didn’t finish high school, and yet they make as much as doctors.  Their work is also recession-proof — even when the economy’s in the toilet, so to speak those pipes are going to begin leaking and flooding the basement with the same regularity.  When McCain was talking about the plumber he actually used the phrase “class warfare”.

They were sitting at desks this time, taking notes and I noticed again they are both left handed.  What is it with us and our left handed presidents?  Just a freaky coincidence, I suppose.

My favorite lines from each of them:

Obama: “We must embrace a culture of responsibility.”

McCain: “First I’d use a hatchet, then get out a scalpel.”

Obama gave credit to McCain for opposing torture.  That must have hurt since he’s now in favor of it.  McCain took credit for being the first to introduce climate change legislation in the Senate.  I wonder if he realizes his running mate believes it is fiction?

Bob Schieffer asked, do either of you want to say to the other’s face anything that’s been in the negative attacks at rallies and in advertisements?  The answer was a resounding “No!”.  Obama, cool as a cucumber like usual, said “I don’t mind being attacked for the next three weeks.”

Referring to William Ayers, McCain brushed off the subject — “I don’t care about an old, washed-up terrorist.”  Then, he basically accused Obama of lying, calling it “another example of his eloquence”.  Less well crafted speaking equals more honest?  Desperate pandering.

McCain called Palin “a breath of fresh air” but he kind of choked on those words.  Can’t fault him for that.  Is Palin qualified?  “It’s up to the American public to decide,” Obama diplomatically stated.  Right afterwards NBC went to an interview with six undecided voters.  They were sure a strange, pensive and corpulent bunch.  They were wishy-washy and split on all the host’s questions, except when she asked them, “Is Sarah Palin unqualified to be President?” and all six hands shot up.

It’s distressing to me that when talking about energy they never bring up conservation.  There might be vague references to shared sacrifice and ending our reliance on non-domestic sources.  Why don’t they just tell us we’re a bunch of fatasses who need to quit driving six blocks to the store?  That would be some straight talk!

The most offensive part [it was tough to choose] was McCain saying he would “build 45 new nuclear power plants right away”.  Yikes!  Has he no soul?  Second most was all of McCain’s discussion about education.  Like most right wingers, he views vouchers and charter schools and school choice as the answer to everything.  I think it’s thinly veiled racism, an end run around Brown v. Board more than 50 years later, and it makes the problem that inner city urban schools are at a disadvantage much worse, setting them up for failure.

Now, on to Washington state politics.  I’m camped out here for a month, and I don’t know much about what’s going on here but it sure looks interesting.  Waiting for Obama and McCain to come on for 15 mins. or so, treated to a barrage of state political ads.  Hey, you can vote for the Attorney General here, and one candidate promises to be a consumer advocate and fight corruption at all levels!  What do you know.  [Alaska is one of five states where the AG is appointed by the governor.]  You can also vote for the Lands Commissioner.  They’re also voting here on a Death with Dignity law like Oregon’s.  A Christine Gregoire commercial ran right after one for the movie W, the actor’s George W. mug shot segwaying right into the real George W. face beautifully!

Chris Gregoire, the Democratic incumbent is running for governor against Dino Rossi, Republican who she defeated in 2004 by 132 votes.  It took seven months for recounts, suits and countersuits to determine that result.  It’s rumored to be that close again but I don’t believe it.  There’s about a 50-50 mix of Gregoire and Rossi signs here in Sequim, but the race will be decided by King County and I’m certain it’s leaning Democratic.

This feels like an extremely mean and nasty campaign.  Rossi’s ads accuse Gregoire of losing the names and addresses of 1,300 sex offenders; while hers accuse Dino of wanting to lower the minimum wage by $1.50.

At the beginning of their debate Rossi noted it’s been 28 years since Washington elected anyone other than a Democrat as governor.  I’m not sure if he ever said Republican?  He seems to have disavowed all knowledge of the name of his party.  His ads, signs, and I guess even the ballot call his party affiliation “GOP”.  Nice try.

Rossi seemed to have mixed feelings.  Talking about his career as a state legislator he said, “Honesty and integrity are the only way you can survive in Olympia.  All you have there is your word.”  But before that he had said we need to fix what is wrong in Olympia [hinting at a culture of corruption, I guess].

At one point Gregoire accused Rossi of soft-pedaling and obfuscating tax increases by calling them “fees” or “surcharges” instead of taxes.  Sound familiar?  [Think Mark Begich.]

KING-TV had an interesting idea — they left a cliff notes version of the original question [from a panel of three news reporters] on the bottom of the screen during the candidate’s answer, so you could see just how far they were straying in their answer.

Update: Oh no!  Joe the Plumber might be a fiction.  A real guy, but most of the stuff McCain said about him turns out to not be quite true.

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