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And some responses from the other side of the aisle. [Editors Note: the other side of the aisle is the one with all the unicorns and rainbows. I’ve added in a few counter-responses of my own. They’re in italics and are designed to keep the unicorns from crossing the aisle and im-Palining you with their horns.]

I think I think that…McCain knows his military lessons and lesson number one is “Secure your flanks.” The combination of his performance at Saddleback and the Palin pick secures the Republican base. This frees him to play Maverick for the next eight weeks.

Flank secured with base. Flank exposed as the drip, drip, drip, of Palin and her positions continues. Behind closed doors I don’t think “Maverick” thing is going to go over well with the power players in DC.

I think I think that…Not coincidentally, the act of McCain securing his base helped Obama solidify his. For all the talk over the last year about postpartisanship, Obamacans and PUMA’s, we’ve found ourselves right back where we should have expected to be: the right and the left fighting over the mushy middle.


I think I think that…I couldn’t tell you if McCain’s speech connected with the middle or not. In years past, I would have been one of those mushy middle people that needed to be convinced one way or another. I would probably vote Obama over every Republican candidate in my lifetime. Except McCain.

If you’re in the middle, you’re looking for policy. I didn’t see much of that the other night before I went to bed.

I think I think that…I can’t believe I just said that I would vote for a socialist for President. Perhaps I’m deluding myself. Maybe what I mean is that if those candidates were running in the 2008 election and not Obama running in 1988 then I would vote for him.

The real thing Obama brings to the table is inspiration. Sure, gov’t will be there, but I think he inspires people to better their own situation and take responsibility. Doesn’t sound socialist to me. Problem is that it’s not an “issue” with sex appeal, it’s one of those “intangibles.”

Brian: Yeah, the socialism charge is a teeny bit snarky on my part but there is also a bit of truth to it. I’ll disregard his tax-based redistribution policies for now because, well, I’m not entirely against them.

My biggest problem with Obama might be his attempts to mobilize the country, mostly the youth, to create some kind of volunteer army.

What? Your biggest problem with Obama is his call for more volunteering?

No, my biggest problem with Obama is the government mandated “volunteering” that will become more or less compulsory for every college-age student under an Obama administration. (Well, compulsory that is unless your parents are wealthy and have no need for the tax credits that will be used as the carrot to create the volunteer army.)

Obama’s volunteer army is symptomatic of an idea that undergirds the entire Obama platform, an idea that I thought the people of the United States had long ago decided against: that government should tell me what to do with my life.

More simply, in my mind’s eye, Obama places too much faith in government and not enough faith in people.

The difference between the candidates was clearly evident in McCain’s speech, in his exhortations to “run for office, join the military, volunteer…” It wasn’t McCain standing up there saying the government will pay you $4,000 for college if you spend 100 hours tutoring. It was McCain saying “get up off your butt and go do it.”

Obviously, I’m not against volunteering. This country is the most philanthropic country in the world and a significant portion of that is people volunteering their time. But the key word there is “voluntary.” Secular and faith based voluntary associations are the source of charity in this country and they should remain that way.

Government is not the answer.

I think I think that…I missed Biden’s speech but caught the other three. Objectively, I think you’d have to rank them Palin, Obama, McCain. Personally, I rank them McCain, Obama and Palin, at least if you go by the candidates ability to make me a wee bit misty eyed. I counted seven for McCain and one for Palin. I don’t remember Obama’s count but it was more than Palin’s and less than McCain’s.

Seriously???? It wasn’t her speech. Bush’s speechwriter wrote it the week before, even before she was selected. She delivered the stock “VP’s” speech. McCain was bad…sure some inspirational POW stuff, but just darn hard to stay interested. The speech was well delivered and would have won her the “America’s Next Top Comic”. I wasn’t surprised that a former beauty pageant contestant wouldn’t be well spoken in front of an live/televised audience. Much better than any other speech I saw GOP give. Too hostile a speech for the position she is running for.

Anyway. Overall, on writing, delivery, effectiveness, and sincerity I would say….Obama, Palin, Biden, McCain. Biden was good.

Brian: So, Obama writes all his own speeches? I thought Deval Patrick’s speech writer did that? I kid.

I’m not saying that Obama at his best is not a better speaker than Palin. I’m just saying that I don’t remember thinking that that was one of Obama’s best speeches.

I think I think that…What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good USA!!! chant.

Not a sucker.

I think I think that…I heard something last night that I already knew but had forgotten. Something that pretty much negates the McCain age issue for me. Its not the fact that McCain’s 97 year old mother is still alive. Its the fact that his grandfather, an Admiral in the U.S. Navy during World War II, waited to die until the day after WWII was over. Somehow, he told the grim reaper, “I don’t think I’ll let you kill me today. You’re going to have to wait until I get home and see my family for one day.”How many times have you seen that in a Hollywood blockbuster. Guy with 47 bullet wounds keeps fighting until the castle is secure, only to die immediately after the last bad guy is taken care of. That’s Chuch Norris. That’s Admiral McCain.

Mother McCain is 97. Holy crap!!! Looks pretty good, but she hasn’t had cancer four times. His grandfather was 61 when he died, his father was 70 when he had a heart attack.

I think I think that…We’re gonna see this picture a lot.

Come on, I said that first!!! Give me credit!!!

Oh, so now you wanna take credit for stuff like this? Stick to the issues man. I wanna hear about issues…

I think I think that…We’re gonna see this video a lot.

Agree. Palin has some out there too. So does McCain with Hagee. It’s a no win for any of them.

I think I think that…The people of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia will get to know a little bit about a non-Muslim terrorist named Bill Ayers.

Have you noticed, but when you’re in a state that’s not up in the air, like Illinois, you feel a little from the campaign detached because you aren’t bombarded with ad after ad and the candidates don’t visit you. Sort of like being on the outside looking in.

I think I think that…A national spot light will shine upon the Chicago political machine.

Could be a good thing. Have Cook county taxes gone up this week yet?

I think I think that…This might be the last presidential election decided by the Electoral College.

No comment on this one. Hope not.

I think I think that…As someone who believes in federalism, that’s not a good thing.


I think I think that…This will be the last Presidential election in which MSM will play a more important role than emerging media.

Mmmmm. Maybe a couple more. Problem is that there’s not much direction on the internet. Anyone can post anything without much accountability yet. It’s sort of like the wild west…..lawless…..little accountability as compared to TV personality. Ask Dan Rather how that one works. MSM at least has greater credibility since they are real journalists. As more personal information gets posted online, it will be easier for online journalists to do work/research from home. They will become even more reliable with time.

I think I think that…As an American, that is a good thing.

Not sure. Havent thought about this one much.

I think I think that…If McCain is elected the Supreme Court will get not two new Scalias but rather two new Kennedys.

Doesn’t that make McCain a hypo. to his base?

Brian: Maybe. Part of why I say that is because I think those would tend to be the judges McCain favors and part is because of that’s the kind of judges he’ll be able to get past a heavily Democratic Congress.

But, to whatever extent that would make him a hippocrite, I guess I just don’t care because I think that a four Scalia, three Kennedy, two Souter Supreme Court would be a very good Supreme Court. Simple math reveals that the three Kennedy’s would be driving that bus.

That bus filled with really old white guys and their friend Clarence.

I think I think that…As someone who slept through Con Law II, I think that is a good thing.

Is that like that movie Con Air? Nick Cage is the best!!!

I think I think that…If Obama is elected the Supreme Court will get not two new Justices but rather two new legislators.

Don’t know.

I think I think that…As someone who slept through Con Law II, I think that is not a good thing.

Why don’t we make judicial appointments that are 20 years long?

I think I think that…The people of America would rather be governed by the first 500 names in the Wasilla, AK phone book than by the editors of The Harvard Law Review.

I think you’re wrong. But hey, Teila Tequila has already had two seasons on MTV. Anything’s possible.

I think I think that…About three weeks from now Palin is going to make an innocuous foreign policy blunder. The nutroots and MSM are going to go wild dissecting it and calling her unprepared. Her approval ratings will go up.

Probably, on the mistake. People might wake up and take a second look.

I think I think that…Palin is less prepared to be Commander-in-Chief than Obama. Way less prepared.

Finally! Someone with rational thought.

I think I think that…Obama is not prepared to be Commander-in-Chief.

He’s prepared. But the former two-term governor from Texas was? He still isn’t. I think Obama will govern fine. I think he will surround himself with experienced people of both parties, a la B. Clinton. Maybe Powell, maybe Hagel, and Biden is there for advice. Hell, I heard if O’Reilly beats Obama in H-O-R-S-E he’s going to name him Secretary of State.

I think I think that…Joe Biden had it right when he said “That’s like saying I played running back in high school so I can do it in the pros!”

Not sure I understand this one?

Brian: Its a line that Biden used in the Democratic debates against Richardson. The idea is that although being governor of New Mexico is executive experience, its the equivalent of playing high school football.

I think I think that…McCain made the case for reform better last night than the Republican’s did the night before.

Agreed. But are earmarks the scourge of our society… He seemed so pissed off when he said “…you will know their name…”

I think I think that…McCain’s biggest weakness is the lack of a true agenda.

Agreed. I still don’t see true focus in their campaign…seem to be drifting a little.

I think I think that…McCain’s biggest strength is the ability to do the best he can with the agenda of a Democratic controlled congress.


I think I think that…You know how your friend changes when he gets a new girlfriend and he starts spending all his time with her? Well, I think Lyndsey Graham and Joe Lieberman know how you feel.

Don’t worry. As my wife pointed out…Joe L. will get a high-ranking cabinet position and be quite powerful. He will take the title of Emperor of staff, National Security Emperor, or Emperor of State. Palin is not going to have McCain’s ear the way Cheney has Bush’s? I see her largely invisible in this cabinet. I think its too bad, because the presidency is a tag-team effort with the flat world.

Brian: Its interesting that you say that. Arguably, the Cheney administration is the first in American history to be so involved. Usually that role is played by a gaggle of advisors.

But that also brings up another point that David Brooks has brought up several times recently: the Republican Party’s cupboard is bare with respect to that gaggle of advisors. The last eight years have worn them out.

Which means McCain is likely to end up with a very bipartisan administration whether he wants it or not.

I think I think that…Obama will not use the words victory and Iraq in the same sentence even one time over the next eight weeks.

Nobody has defined victory? His is a nuanced answer, and something most people have little patience to try and understand. Most people see in B&W, no nuance. It’s about body count, the easiest metric.

Brian: I’m sorry. I simply fail to see the nuance in withdrawal at all cost, especially now that success is clearly within sight. I agree with you that Obama’s position over the course of the war has been nuanced. That nuance is gone.

I think I think that…Keith Olberman’s head is going to explode.

Agreed. Rachel Maddow will collect the pieces. Annoying.

I think I think that…I am really not all that agitated about the “earmark” issue. But I did think that McCain’s most effective moment last night was his “and you will know their names!!”

See comment above regarding earmarks. Put that one way down on the list of my priorities. Just balance the budget dammit.

I know that…Its going to be an incredible fall.

Agreed…..I hope McCain decides he wants to make it about the issues, because his campaign manager says it’ll be about personalities. I hope McCain can take control of his campaign’s Rovian staff.


What issues?

The Republicans don’t wanna talk about the economy, George Bush or the last eight years.

The Democrats don’t wanna talk about Iraq or terrorism.

McCain has taken the Democratic position on immigration, carbon and renewables.

Obama has taken the Republican position on guns and the death penalty.

Nobody wants to talk about health care because of how much its going to cost.

Nobody wants to talk about Social Security because Obama has a horrible plan and McCain doesn’t even have one.

The candidates tax proposals are aimed at corporations and billionaires and are only useful for soundbite politics.

The reality, I think I think, is that this election is simply a referendum on Obama and his policies, but mostly on Obama. As much as McCain wants to deny it and no matter how well he’s separated himself from Bush so far, a vote for McCain is a vote for the status quo. For believing that the current economic storm and international tumult will pass. A vote for Obama is a vote for the change that he has spelled out.