Scott Cavanagh
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Notes on the Final Debate...

October 15, 2008 

Posted By Scott Cavanagh
Easily the most productive and lively debate of the three. Some thoughts I jotted down during the event:

--McCain sure does take a lot of notes. He spent more time scribbling during this debate than he did wandering the stage in the last one.

--The "Joe the Plumber" bit was effective for about the first seven references--by number eight I hoped Joe would lose his business and go bankrupt. No matter how many times McCain repeated the theme, it did not change the fact that Obama's plan would not raise Joe's taxes a dime unless he made at least $250,000 last year.

--McCain showed real political bravery on the question of spending cuts, when he said he would consider repealing lucrative ethanol subsidies that are very popular in GOP-leaning farming states.

--While his voting record may indicate otherwise, McCain had the line of the night when he reminded Obama and the viewing audience that he was not George W. Bush. He continued to impress when he listed the many areas where he has stood up to his party over the years. When put in laundry list form--it is a very strong record.

--Things started to get away from him (as his campaign did IMO) when the subject turned to Sarah Palin. Is it just me, or does complaining about a $3 million planetarium project in Chicago seem a tad ridiculous when your "maverick reformer" running mate requested $28 million in earmarks for her Alaska hunting camp of 6,000? And when did the governor become the foremost authority on special needs children--in the five months since her son Trig was born? Man, that woman is good. According to McCain, she has transformed the entire good old boy network of Alaskan politics, delivered her fifth child, arranged another shotgun wedding, become the foremost expert on special needs kids AND ran for VP--all in 18 months!! You'd think she could handle Katie Couric

--Forty-five nuclear power plants. Forty-five! That's how many uninsurable--lets replace carbon emissions with a more deadly bi-product--terrorist targets McCain thinks we need to build in the near future. Maybe AIG can insure them--they like big risk. Oops.

--It was great to hear Obama take on the oil companies about the hundreds of miles of coastline which they already control and refuse to drill under. That is a major point in the drill-or-not-drill debate and needs to be addressed.

--Health care was the killer for McCain and really turned the debate back to Obama. Let's face it, no matter how you cut it--and McCain admitted as much himself--the Arizona senator has one answer to the soaring health care costs that are crippling American families and businesses. That entire plan consists of providing families with a $5,000 tax credit--minus the costs incurred by HIS OWN proposed tax INCREASE on health benefits. The average plan costs about $12,000. You do the math. 

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