I really appreciate that Jim Lehrer is trying to get the candidates to speak to each other. I like the idea of a real debate instead of mutually exclusive stump speeches.
Obama is able to adapt to talking to McCain. McCain doesn't seem to be able to do anything but stick to his talking points.
The financial crisis is the big topic of the evening and McCain doesn't get it. It's Wall St., the private sector, that's in trouble but McCain just keeps rambling on about earmarks and tax cuts. McCain has a very limited repertoire, he's just not up to the job. A President has to be able to move beyond his pet issues and deal with whatever situations arise.
6:38 - McCain has finally gotten to talk about Iraq and the Surge. He's repeating his canned spiel about the Surge working and about "winning". Lots of jingoistic slogans and no reality. Clearly he's trying to refight the Vietnam War. He doesn't understand what has happened and what is happening in Iraq.
Obama called McCain out on his claim that Obama voted against funding the troops. Obama pointed out that McCain voted against a troop funding bill with a timetable for withdrawal and He voted against a bill without a timetable. A difference about timetables and not about funding the troops.
McCain clings to the idea that "the Surge" worked even though the Pentagon says it was other factors that reduced violence in Iraq.
6:50 - Afghanistan... McCain says we'll do in Afghanistan what we did in Iraq.
Obama says it'll take much more than just more troops to fix what's wrong in Afghanistan.
Weirdly, McCain claims that Obama suggested attacking Pakistan. Also, McCain thinks Pakistan was a failed state when the Pakistani military overthrew the elected government.
McCain tells an anecdote about a goldstar mother and once again reveals that his thinking is stuck on Vietnam. He want to "win" before he dies because he feels he was "defeated" in Vietnam. He's not able to move beyond the Vietnam War and see the reality of the current situation.
7:00 - Iran... McCain still want to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. He doesn't seem to have any thoughts about a diplomatic approach to resolve the problem.
Obama says a diplomatic strategy is needed.
McCain rehashes the same old garbage about not talking to foreign leaders unless you love them.
- wrap up - McCain is stuck in the '60's. His thinking on foreign policy and the economy are inflexible, simplistic and dogmatic. McCain's long, long habit of popping up to play at being "the Maverick" when an issue lends itself to grandstanding and then dropping out of sight on tough issues really doesn't make him suitable to be President of the U.S.A..