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That One

Cynthia and I watched the debate from beginning to end, on C-Span — no talking heads for us. McCain came out at the beginning as sharp, clear, and focused, a better communicator than Obama. But that didn’t last long. After a while it was clear that at least Obama had thoughtful, well-constructed answers, especially under the time constraints and the fact that responses were not allowed, although Obama managed to get a few in anyway. It became clear that McCain was lying a lot of the time, or simply mis-informed. Obama may have been gilding the lily a little but at least he had trains of thought in his answers. McCain tended to jump around a lot, and kept opening with “My friends” which came across as phony after a while. His worse moment was when he thought he was being cute with that snide side-pointing at Obama as “that one”. Of course, I’ve been reading what others have been saying: Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, NYT editorial, plus several more in this vein. The snap polls have all given the debate to “That One” by a solid margin.

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The NYT has a great editorial today, Mississippi’s Ballot Trick, and this is one of the 150 comments so far, an editor’s pick:Wow, what a shock! Republicans trying to rig an election! Since the 2000 election, which saw the Supreme Court violate the law to stop the vote counting and appoint our President, we’ve discovered voter rolls purged of legitimate (democratic) voters, voter challenges, voter caging lists, voter registrations thrown in the trash, letters sent to the homes of voters to mis-inform them of the election date, phone banks jammed to prevent voters from contacting campaign offices for rides to the polls, students told they can’t vote in the districts where they attend school, and of course the continued use of notoriously flawed touch screen, paperless, voting machines which flip votes, lose votes, crash, and were invented to throw elections to the republicans. Has there been any serious investigation of these tactics by the mainstream media? Only now you’re offended? Eight long and tragic years late, but better late than never, though not by much.

— Kenneth D. Brown, Redondo Beach, CA

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Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo has a nice analysis of the super delegates legitimacy problem followed by a couple recent polls from Texas and Ohio here:

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