The Anchoress summarizes a lot of reactions:
Good heavens that was the most boring townhall debate I've ever seen. No "moments" to it. Both the Kerry/Bush and Gore/Bush townhalls were a great deal more informative and persuasive. Brokaw needed more input from the audience and less from his gasbag self. I am told it was better on radio, but to me neither one of the candidates brought their A game, tonight. Both seemed like they needed a cup of Mystic Monk Coffee
Vodkapundit says McCain won, just barely. He might be right.but I think Obama did nothing good for himself tonight by sounding like a policywonk going-on-80, and failing to bring the charisma or even a modicum of humor. Obama made himself seem like any other politician. With his youth, he should have shown a brightness, a bounce to the step, even a cockiness; he should have walked all over the 72 year old McCain, and he didn't do it. Instead, he was wonkish and grim to the point of coma, and he almost seems like he has to be prompted (in rebuttal) to say anything good about America. I think the nation needed to see a bit more Obama Ommph. They don't expect it from McCain, but a little energy from Obama was really necessary. So, all in all, I think more than McCain winning "a little," Obama actually lost "a lot." He handed the "youth, energy and charisma" ball to Sarah Palin.
Instapundit notes that intrade markets show a 24 point drop for Obama and remarks, "That's odd. I didn't think it was that lopsided." It wasn't, except for Obama's utter lack of energy; his ability to seem distinct from any other politician. That is what I meant, when I said the debate gave the most help to Sarah Palin.
Vanderleun seems to agree with my assessment!
Question: Does anyone think Obama sounded like he was being prompted, almost word-by-word on his answers re Russia and Israel? He was so halting and dull it sometimes.sounded.like.he was receiving.each.word.through his left ear. But maybe I just have a very active imagination. And when one is bored, the imagination DOES take over.
I note that John McCain showed none of the oomph, vigor and fire that he showed just two days ago. I wonder if he is unwell?
UPDATE: YIKES!! Ann Althouse thought she saw an earpiece in Obama's LEFT ear.I kept asking my kids if it didn't sometimes seem like Obama was looking LEFT and giving halting answers, as though he was being prompted. The yawned at me, of course, but some of Althouse's commenters also thought the same thing. So, I ain't totally crazy.
Update II: Okay, Ann is "reconsidering" the earpiece. But I still think it's funny that she saw something in his left ear, and I'd been wondering about his looking to the left when his answers plodded. Oh.that works on so many levels, too! Heh.
McCain did not say the thing that would have won him the election, tonight. As we have seen before, no one ever listens to me. Both of them had their best moments on their closings, with the only interesting question of the night: "what don't you know?"
Althouse liveblogged and her commenters were very busy. All I know is Ann switched from tea to cognac by the end of it, and I wish I had, too.
Also.I'm sorry but the Palin/Biden debate was more interesting and entertaining. What has happened to Obama's energy and charisma? He seemed lethargic. McCain seemed old. Nothing vibrant or new or fresh about either of them. Neither of them managed to display much humor, self-deprecating or otherwise. Don't they understand the power that one has in the ability to laugh at oneself?
Reactions to the debate below, most recent links first:
Betsy Newmark: "We're in deep trouble". Not sure if she means the whole nation or just the GOP, there, as I am unimpressed and uninspired by either of these men.
Lorie Byrd emails that, watching on TIVO she sees McCain hitting all these points she'd hoped for. She feels more positive than many.
Camille Paglia: Do not underestimate Palin. As ever, she is a delight and a blast to read, even when one disagrees with her. On Palin, she is clearly having fun throwing darts at the provincial left. Don't miss it - including the letters.
Reuters: McCain camp has a sense of humor. Obama camp clearly does not. You gotta be able to laugh, guys.
Ace: Barack is a liar but McCain needed to change the game, so Barack wins by a hair and here's sixty seconds of truth. 60 seconds ain't enough time.
Andy McCarthy: Why won't Obama talk about Columbia? Maybe because he didn't write so well, back then?
Rod Dreher: What appalling candidates!
Jim Geraghty: "another hour and a half of my life I won't get back".
Mark Steyn: This debate a horrible travesty.
Stanley Kurtz: Obama's Seeds of Disaster
Mary Katharine Ham catches Chris Matthews cooing about Obama. Ick.
Michelle Malkin liveblogged, snored and woke up when Obama called 9/11 a "tragedy" that "most remember". Yeah, that was an eek. They both made eeks.
Palin watched the debate in a pizzaria. Pubs and pizzarias. I think I know this gal!
Ed Morrissey, who earlier today wrote of CNN commiting an act of random journalism, writes tonight that McCain won on points.
Barney Frank tries to pass the buck
Rep. Barney Frank is blaming a familiar scapegoat for the financial crisis: racist Republicans. As the Associated Press reports:
The Massachusetts Democrat, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the GOP is appealing to its base by blaming the country's mortgage foreclosure problem on efforts to expand affordable housing through the Community Reinvestment Act.
He said that blame is misplaced, because those loans are issued by regulated institutions, while far more foreclosures were triggered by high-cost loans made by unregulated entities.
"They get to take things out on poor people," Frank said at a mortgage foreclosure symposium in Boston. "Let's be honest: The fact that some of the poor people are black doesn't hurt them either, from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people."
In fact, there was a concerted government effort to relax credit standards in order to make it easy for low-income and minority borrowers to get mortgages. As the Boston Herald reports, in 1992 the Boston Federal Reserve Bank put out an influential study called "Closing the Gap: A Guide to Equal Opportunity Lending." It concluded "that a serious problem exists in the market for mortgage loans, and lenders, community groups and regulators must work together to ensure that minorities are treated fairly." Among its recommendations to that end:
Policies regarding applicants with no credit history or problem credit history should be reviewed. Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor. Certain cultures encourage people to "pay as you go" and avoid debt. Willingness to pay debt promptly can be determined through review of utility, rent, telephone, insurance, and medical bill payments. In reviewing past credit problems, lenders should be willing to consider extenuating circumstances. For lower-income applicants in particular, unforeseen expenses can have a disproportionate effect on an otherwise positive credit record. In these instances, paying off past bad debts or establishing a regular repayment schedule with creditors may demonstrate a willingness and ability to resolve debts.
The Herald reports that economist Stan Liebowitz "says the widely disseminated guidelines were misused or exploited by lenders, some well-meaning and some predatory, and laid the groundwork for abusive practices--ch as no-money-down, option adjustable-rate-mortgage and liar loans--that have spiraled into the mortgage meltdown the country is faced with today." The head of the Boston Fed at the time was Richard Syron. The Herald describes his later career:
The Fed published a guide in 1993 for banks on equal opportunity lending, with a foreword written by Syron. The guide recommended changes to mortgage underwriting standards and practices that, according to Liebowitz, is where we find the seeds of today's mortgage meltdown. . . .
Syron left the Boston Fed in 1994 and wound up as CEO and chairman of the Federal Home Loan Corp., or Freddie Mac, in 2003. As head of Freddie Mac, Syron has said he faced increasing pressure to buy up more and more risky mortgages, some of which the Boston Fed's guide had, in effect, served to legitimize.
When too many of the mortgages went bad, the federal government stepped in last month to take over Freddie Mac and another government-supported enterprise, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae. Syron and Fannie Mae chief Daniel Mudd were ousted.
Barney Frank is playing an old and disreputable liberal game, one that we've seen in past debates over welfare and affirmative action: ascribing a racial motive to criticism of policies designed to help minorities. But not all of his Democratic colleagues are playing. Fox News quotes Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus:
Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.
Does Frank want to call Davis racist too?
Brookes News Update
The US is definitely in recession: In the second quarter of the year GDP grew by 2.8 per cent. This was up from the 0.9 per cent increase posted in the first quarter. With GDP positive there can be no recession. Wrong. The US is definitely in recession
Can congress save the US economy from recession?: Supporters of the rescue package believe that without it there would be severe economic disruptions. This amounts to financial support at the expense of the taxpayer for a variety of phoney financial activities. The result is more political controls that will hamper genuine economic growth
Why the congressional bailout won't solve the credit crisis: The bailout cannot solve the problem because the real problem is one of lousy economics and an equally lousy understanding of economic history as well as the history of economic thought. So we can all look forward to more economic crises followed by more destructive politically inspired intervention
You're an angry feminist? That's so cute: Their shameful attacks on Palin and her family have revealed that liberal Democrats, the mainstream media, and those malicious hacks in the 'progressive' blogosphere are willing to navigate the deepest, darkest sludge of slash-and-burn politics to see their man, Barack Obama, elected President
Sarah Palin and the Experience Factor: "Palin accomplished more in 18 months than most governors do over full terms, including facing down a corrupt and entrenched old-boys network and bringing the oil companies - the state's biggest business - to heel, and completing a pipeline agreement with Canada. What did Obama ever do?
Obama advisors received millions instead of jail terms: The party of fraud, vote rigging, slander and treason has done it again. The three Democrats who looted Fannie Mae to the tune of scores of millions of dollars are now top advisors to Obama. As expected, the diseased media have refused to report or investigate
Israel on the brink as the winds of war from Syria and Iran gather intensify: Muslim enemies of Israel are getting ready - with the help of Putin - for another war. One that will, they hope, destroy Israel and finally bring about the total extermination of the Jewish race
Obama's economic agenda: This is change?: Any economists worth his salt knows damn well that equalizing incomes means attacking economic growth. But that doesn't bother Obama. He intends to raise capital gains taxes even though he knows it would damage economic progress. So what is fair about that?
Why America's economic crisis was unavoidable: As the financial crisis unfolds Americans have nothing to fear other than Congress. The Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac crisis is part of a larger and far more serious economic crisis, one that few economic commentators foresaw. There is nothing new here; financial crises are as old as banking itself. Fortunately the fear of another Great Depression are baseless
Can the US Government save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?: To save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from total collapse taxpayers will have to foot a massive bill. This means a further squandering of America's already depleted pool of real savings. It is only wealth generators that can revive the economy by accumulating enough real capital. This is the real cost of FF - the cost taxpayers do not see
Good job figures point to gloom times ahead: Regardless of what our Panglossian economic commentators are saying: one-third of Australia is not in recession. What we are seeing is the first material signs of a genuine recession and one that our economic commentariat is unable to explain
Media yawn as new museum honors Saddam's Abu Ghraib victims: When Abu Ghraib popS up in the news the leftwing media go on instant alert, sensing a renewed opportunity to negatively portray the Bush administration. But when the Iraqi government announced last week it was going to reopen the notorious prison as a museum honours the victims of the horrors committed there in years past, a collective yawn greeted the statement, proving that they are nothing but lying political bigots
Fannie May and Freddy Mac: the time bomb finally explodes: If you think that Fannie and Freddie's bust is a big deal, just wait until Medicare comes crashing down. Then, the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be truly unbearable. As that day rapidly approaches, however, you'll notice that the politicians are doing utterly nothing to forestall it
Discreet influences: Guenon, the author of the decay of the European West, had concluded in the 1920s that only three ways offered themselves to this civilization: the fall into barbarism, the restoration of the Catholic Church, or Islamization
The Book-Banners Hollywood Ignores: The September 11 terrorist attacks didn't turn celebrity leftists into hawks. But the minute they started reading false rumors about Sarah Palin restricting unfettered access to Daddy's Roommate and Heather Has Two Mommies in her hometown library, Tinseltown's docile doves became militant warmongers
Why not use food as leverage for oil?: "If those leading America in the future had fortitude to do so, food could be used as part of a geopolitical strategy to make our country secure and as a counterweight to oil extortion. This may seem crass to liberals but our enemies do not share their sensitivities. We cannot continue to defend ourselves without using all our weapons in a world where our enemy only recognizes strength
Olavo de Carvalho's lecture: The structure of the revolutionary mind: When revolutionaries like Che, and Hitler's operatives murdered innocent people, they blamed their victims for making them do it by refusing to go along with their revolutionary notions. This is where moral relativism leads
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH (2), TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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