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October 15, 2008

Liveblogging: Obama, McCain Face Off

Barack Obama and John McCain began tonight's debate by reiterating their plans to stimulate the economy. CNN is updating the transcript during the debate.

McCain doesn't believe the government should "spread the wealth around" as the candidates debate over what Joe The Plumber wants.

The moderator Bob Schieffer asked McCain and Obama to address the negativity in their campaigns. McCain brings up comments made by Rep. John Lewis, who compared the campaign to the segregationist tone fostered in the 1960s. Now they are comparing the actions of the people who attend their rallies.

McCain brings up Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers and ACORN. The candidates defend their running mates.

The candidates are discussing plans for energy independence and health care. Joe The Plumber comes up for the 13th time. Ted points out that Wiki already has an entry.

The moderator asks the candidates whether they would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would disagree with their stance on Roe V. Wade. McCain says he would never impose a litmus test on justices. He says he wants to leave Roe V. Wade to the states. He says he would consider anyone for the Supreme Court based on their qualifications.

Obama says he wouldn't impose the litmus test and reiterates his support for Roe V. Wade. He says that women should be able to decide and the constitution allows for right to privacy.

McCain says he wants to change the culture of America and says those of us who are "proudly pro-life understand that." McCain brought up Obama's present vote on partial-birth abortion. Obama says he's willing to support a ban on late-term abortions as long as there are exceptions for when the life of the mother is in danger.

Obama says he wants to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and that no one is pro-abortion. McCain says "health of the woman" has been stretched by the pro-abortion movement and talks about adoption.

The candidates end on education.

Schieffer says "Go vote. ... It'll make you feel big and strong."



MY ASSESSMENT: McCain Wins--He's ever more aggressive than ever in making his points.

McCain will gain points in the polls. Although the economy, the energy/environment, and education seem secondary, McCain has the edge on these issues in the mind of some Evangelicals. The abortion issue is the determining factor for a true Evangelical.

Bottom line: If you are a true pro-life Evangelical, you will vote for McCain; if you are pro-choice (which tramps the right of the unborn), you will vote for Obama.

MY PREDICTION: Many Evangelicals will wake up and turn the tide. This will have the McCain/Palin gain points in the polls.

Anyone else surprised that McCain stands by (and promotes) his votes for Supreme Court justices Breyer and Ginsburg?

Hi Aaron,

It's late and I have two kids to wake up with in the morning so I'm going to keep it short. But I do want to say that I am a TRUE PRO-LIFE EVANGELICAL and I'm voting for Obama. I am PRO-LIFE across the board, not just with abortion. Please, no more divisive, fear-based, name-calling politics. I think we all want to reduce abortion rates; I just don't think throwing women in jail (most being low-income women) is the way to do it.

It was more energizing than the previous debates. Shieffer was, by far, the best moderator. Clearly, Obama skirted the Q's and did a lot of double-speak. Thankfully, McCain did not say, "my friends, my friends" but both of them made stupid facial gestures (smirking, etc.). One can only wonder - will it play in the Kremlin?

The winner of the debate was clearly Joe the Plumber who will have his name mentioned on the late-night comedy circuit and SNL and probably has a good shot at a reality t.v. show for which he will pay extraordinary taxes.

The big question is this: will America die in her sleep, or will she wake up?

Aaron, there's no Evangelical "mind" involved at all if we vote based on one issue, as you are suggesting, and an unnuanced position at that. Though McCain alluded to the fact that he doesn't think those who support Roe v. Wade are qualified for the justice seat, his answer should have been surprisingly uncomfortable for those who were hoping for some sort of reaffirmation in appointing pro-life justices (which is, in the end, more or less all the president has the power to do to affect this issue).

If you want to talk about an Evangelical mind, let's consider the case of Brazil, where abortions are illegal, and yet with half the population of the US, still racks up more abortions than the US. Obviously, making abortion illegal doesn't stop it. On the contrary, the abortions are relatively lower in the States due to a variety of factors, including the positive move to make it a moral issue versus a lifestyle choice, and providing healthy alternatives after carrying through with the pregnancy. Morality doesn't act in a vacuum, and Obama's plan wants to deal with contributing factors to unwanted pregnancies, and not just the pregnancies themselves.


I think Obama did a good job disarming McCain's characterizations on his positions on abortion, clearing up his voting records and stances on partial birth abortions.

America asleep? This is the first election in decades that America hasn't been apathetic. Registrations are up. Interest is up. The outcome matters. Both candidates are well-liked and respected by a majority of Americans. And despite all the talk, neither campaign is going very negative (they're both pointing out differences, but no Willy Horton type ads, e.g.).

The one thing that has been absent is a focus on family values issues, and Obama knows how to talk about the culture war without being combative. In a political campaign, both candidates have to not only take different issues, they have to run on them. But that's not McCain's thing--remember when he called Christian Right leaders "agents of intollerance"? Rember in the primary when Dobson, Robertson, and everyone else backed ANYONE but McCain? Remember why everyone was happy about Palin--she was the read deal?

But the main reason is that, like it or not, the economy trumps everything.

I am so glad Barack Obama is in the lead. I really believe that it is God's plan for him to win the election. Sure we can talk about abortion and gay marriage, which I am totally against. But, when I read the Old Testament I periodically see were God would raise certain individuals for a specific time. And sometimes the Israelites did not understand God's selection or choice. Well I think the same is true with Barack Obama. God has ordained him and Michelle for this period. Whether we like it or not, Barack is the best man for American and the world.....Our best days are before...
Go Barack & Biden 08

I am so glad Barack Obama is in the lead. I really believe that it is God's plan for him to win the election. Sure we can talk about abortion and gay marriage, which I am totally against. But, when I read the Old Testament I periodically see were God would raise certain individuals for a specific time. And sometimes the Israelites did not understand God's selection or choice. Well I think the same is true with Barack Obama. God has ordained him and Michelle for this period. Whether we like it or not, Barack is the best man for American and the world.....Our best days are before us...
Go Barack & Biden 08

McCain's finger quotes around "health of the woman" was truly remarkable. However you feel about abortion, choosing between the life of the mother or an unborn child would be about the most heart-wrenching decision any couple could make. How could he be so cavalier and sarcastic? America isn't that shallow--

The Barracuda showed her teeth, and America recoiled. McCain is vicious but America rejects it. THe sad thing is I think McCain is probably a good man. I admire his stand on torture quite a bit. But he wants this too badly and has lost himself.

I can understand where you are coming from Chris, but when considering an abortion based on the safety of the mother, one must remember that God is in control. Trust him and He will do what will bring Him glory. He knows what is best for us, even if we do not like it.

Don't you find that McCain's position on abortion has an acrid whiff of eugenics to it? A woman if forbidden to have an abortion, unless she can prove that the father is an inferior sort of man, and therefore not deserving to have his DNA passed on to another generation...or that the woman herself is a sickly sort and neither should she.

However, I think that the GOP Party Platform rejects that position, calling for the forbidding of abortions in all circumstances. Is removing a dead/dying fetus an abortion?

Are Americans in general given to that sort of no-exceptions absolutism? Shouldn't people be allowed to have some difficult decisions?

Which reminds me of what someone smarter than me wrote somewhere: Rather than complex rules to keep people simple, Jesus gave us a few simple rules for complex people.

Of course, no-exceptions rules are the most simple rules, in theory, but people are still complex. Does loving your neighbor mean watching her and her unborn child die, when she could have been saved? Is Cesarean section really an abortion, even if it is to deliver a live fetus, as it's certainly "not natural?"

Is an unborn child always more valuable and deserving to live than its mother? Which brings up possible sexism...a male fetus is always more valuable and deserving to live than a female adult, to some people..so in an absolutist mindframe, all fetuses must not be aborted under any circumstance, in order to save all possible males.

Or, does loving your neighbor as yourself sometimes mean allowing difficult decisions? How difficult, when, by whom and where? And, thereby living with, or dying from, the consequences?

Like McCain, I admire Obama's style and eloquence. Unfortunately, most of Obama's stuff is fluff. Some Evangelicals are blinded by Obama's smooth-talking and charisma, and this is (one of some of the fundamental reasons) why they're going to vote for him. Such shallowness and the worry about the economy are the other reasons why some Evangelicals are going to vote for this man. How sad.

I think McCain has a better plan in terms of the economy and in not raising taxes. McCain is much stronger in foreign policy. And he is much more experienced than the other guy.

But ABOVE ALL, I'm going to vote my conscience as follows:
Negatively, I'm not going to vote for Obama who thinks that a woman's choice trumps the right of her unborn innocent child. Positively, I'm going to vote for McCain who leans towards protection the life of the unborn.

If it boils to down economy versus morality... I will vote for someone who is pro to the values I hold dear.

MY PREDICTION AS TO WHO WILL BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Barrack Obama. He will win by a small margin. But by putting him in the office, I thing we are going to bring judgment upon ourselves.

God help us!!!

"The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God" (1 Peter 4.17).

If you are pro-war and anti-choice, then you are not "pro-Life", you are "pro-Birth".

If you don't trust a woman to make the right choice, why would you trust her with a baby?

If you want the government to decide the outcome of a pregnancy, then why do you get upset at the thought of government telling you what your health care plan should be?

If you believe that the United States has garnered God's special attention, you might be right, but don't assume you know what it is.

If you think that the United States is a Christian country, then you haven't been paying attention. The Kingdom of God has no national boundaries.

Now we see through a glass darkly…

First of all, the poll results don't matter. I'm assuming everyone remembers when Reagan won the election after being behind in the polls until the very end. Also, abortion would not be a problem if groups like planned parenthood would quit shoving it down everyone's throats and convincing women that the best choice is abortion. Also, they try to shut down any opposing viewpoints (Just do an Internet search for evidence). Therefore, it is not really "pro-choice." Finally, McCain is admittedly not the best possible presidential candidate, but at the moment, he is by far the lesser of two evils.

Reagan was shown to be tied or slightly ahead up until late October. He ended up winning by more than what the polls predicted. That isn't really the same as polls showing Obama winning by around 7 percent in the national vote.

Time article on the weakness of the polls http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924541,00.html?promoid=googlep

Also there was only one debate in 1980, one week before the election. After the debate most thought that Reagan would win.

If I may I would like to have an honest comment. I think we have two great men being candidate for the presidency. But we should try to look at who the persons really are. Not just judge them for their opinion on some or one issue. But really be willing to look at the persons heart and at least try to see if he is good or not, and able to lead this country to better times.

Abortion isn't the only issue to decide who is a better man than the other. Or even who is a better Christian. Let's look at the war issue for instance. McCain is more likely and more quickly to go to war than Obama. Is that good Christianity? Aren't people getting killed there also? Some intentionally, others by accident. A lot of innocent ones too. That's not what Jesus thaught us, right?
McCain is also running a more negative campaign than Obama is. That's not good Christianity also.
Just an example: We don't know what McCain would have done if his wife or daughter was raped by an insane criminal with some disease and got pregnant? Would he walk the talk? Isn't it better to work on prevention of these circumstances as Obama suggested? I respect McCain, but sometimes we say things just to get certain groups on our side. For our own gain.

You don't force people do live by God's rules or to become a Christian, it should be their own choice. God gave us that free will, and he will judge us on the choices we make. It's our duty to bring the word to the people and try to win as many souls as possible for Jesus, our King. But again, it is their choice!

And if you ask me who will be the better person to lead this great country and to influence the world possitively, based on vision, motivational leadership, intelligence, quick to learn and adapt, integrity, vitality, persuasive negociation and much more, I'd say that is Barack Obama. Again, I respect John McCain, and I love him like a good Christian should. I think he has, like many others, great potentials, to be of help on certain issues.
But being a war hero doesn't automatically make you a good president. Being in the senate for 26 six years doesn't make you a good president.
If this was the case we could, every four years, just pick the one who served the longest in the senate to become the next president. And if you were part of or at least agreed with policies that failed and lead to the war in Iraq or to the economic crisis were in now, for more than 80%, it is hard to change your perspective on things to bring about the change we need.
It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks!

Nevertheless I would certainly respect and embrace whomever may be our next president. I hope you all would too.
Let us pray so that God's will be done. And if we honestly do so, there is no reason for joy or tears based on who is elected on November 4th. It is God's will. May God Bless you and may God Bless the United States of America, and the rest of the world!


I read with intrest Senator Obama's writings on abortion, war, healcare, the poor, ect. And I thought him to be very articulate and convincing. But as time goes by the less confidence I have in his ability to actually live out what he seems to be saying. I now think that he will be a yes man to a far left democratic party and there will be no meeting in the middle let alone reaching any further then a little ways down the line of far left liberal thinkers on all these issues that we all care deeply about. That leaves no voice for people like myself that had hoped that this election would really be about genuine change in our understanding of politics. I am so dissapointed. Election retoric aside, my vote in now with McCain. He, at least, has a record of challenging and voting and working with both sides. I don't see that with Mr. Obama. Maybe in four years a fresh optimistic candidate will immerge who will demonstrat a clear capacity for living out what they say without the dizzy cartwheel show.