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Live Blogging the First Presidential Debate at University of Mississippi 2008

The First One! Finally! Who's Watching the Debate With Us?

Well, after a few days of up-in-the-air-edness, it's finally here: the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain at the University of Mississippi. It starts at 9 p.m. (EDT) and there are so many ways to mark the occasion. We'll be here during the whole debate commenting in this thread, please join us, we're dying to know what you're thinking!

Now that the official head-to-head discourse is starting, maybe you'll want to see just how what they say to each other stacks up against the promises they've made so far this campaign. This tool from the National Journal is outstanding — you can search promises from each candidate by subject — keep it handy while you watch!

Tons of you mentioned . . . games of a drinking nature — we found a few pretty funny ones from Wonkette and Radar, and Comedy Central if you're so inclined to enjoy said debate with an adult beverage.

We'll be posting our full reactions to the debate afterward, and we haven't made up our minds as to just who won — yet. Our radio friends Maegan Carberry and Lizzy Blackney are twittering during the debate, and we'll be checking back with them afterward to see what they thought.

So who's with us? Who's settling in for the big debate?


Join The Conversation
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I think calling him John wasn't professional but it wasn't disrespectful either. I could see a lot of McCain supporters seeing it that way. But ok, I see your point.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
HF, I know you were just responding to the other comment, I was talking to Wade, sorry, I should have been specific. Wade, you're just proving my point that based on who you prefer, you're going to think one or the other was rude.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Calling him John was not meant to be disrespectful, it's the man's name. Obama called him Tom BY ACCIDENT because he was going to refer to Tom Coburn.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I don't care that he didn't look at him. I was just pointing out that blaming it on past injuries is ridiculous.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Well if you think not looking at him was rude, how do you feel about Obama consistently calling McCain 'John' (and getting his name wrong a few times). McCain had the manners to call Obama 'Senator Obama'. Both candidates might have done things you could interpret as disrespectful. Depending on who you prefer, you're more likely to be bothered by one or the other.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I agree with HF, McCain not looking at Obama one single time was very rude (especially in a debate). I think he's team told him it would give him points if he not like at Barack and repeatedly say "you don't understand", like Obama is a little boy. McCain looked like an old grumpy teacher berating his student. McCain was supposed to blow Obama out of the park but he didn't. I give this to Obama because foreign policy isn't his strongest point.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Give me a break Laine. The reason he didn't look at Obama is not because of previous injuries. You can look at someone without turning your head.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
lol jude
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
No swimming pools this time, but thanks, pink :)
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
dont chip a tooth jude :wink:
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
YY--that's funny, because I'm actually wasted :drinks: We played the drinking game for both candidates. After about 15 minutes, my head was already spinning. As for facts and numbers, it's one thing to throw a bunch of numbers around, another thing when everything one says against the other is immediately and conclusively refuted.
yummymango yummymango 8 years
@yesteryear: LOL. I don't think Palin should be underestimated though. I'm sure she's going through a lot of preparations as well. Hahahaha! The great Christiane Amanpour giggled when McCain stumbled on Ahmadinejad's name.
chancleta chancleta 8 years
I think McCain did awesome. Obama may talk nice but McCain had the facts and the numbers. As for Obama's performance: The amount of time he interrupted was unacceptable. Referring to Senator McCain as "John" was disrespectful. And now the media is talking about why didn't McCain look at Obama? How quickly the media forgets that McCain has limited movement due to his injuries and would have to turn his body around to look at Obama.
jenintx jenintx 8 years
wow. given palin's interview performance and biden's reaction to this debate, i'm expecting a barracuda skinning next thursday.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
yummy..hahha! yes he's got LOTS of preparing to do. i hear the topic is how to skin a moose.
yummymango yummymango 8 years
Where do the questions come from? Jim Lehrer himself, or the audience beforehand?
hope2be hope2be 8 years
Wow. I thought the economic questions will not last more than 30 minutes, but boy was I wrong. My fiancee extremely enjoyed the debate although he entered not liking McCain, but he ended up laughing at that moment the whole other audience was laughing. My fiancee thought that McCain did good despite his expectations (he got pretty low expectations of McCain because he thought that Obama would trample him since Obama used to teach law or whatnot, and his Ivy League education in law schools). As for myself, I ended up drinking at least 2 shots when McCain said "Mavericks" :lol: I'm pretty happy right now regardless who 'wins'. Woot Woot.
yummymango yummymango 8 years
@yesteryear: He's busy preparing for his debate with Palin.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
biden is on cnn - there he is! i forgot about him. haha. where the heck has he been? reminds me of that onion piece that showed obama's email with joe's email in the trash "hey barack! why don't you ever respond to my emails?"
yummymango yummymango 8 years
@hippie: For me, it was great to hear more specifics about their issues as opposed to just one-liners and such.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I don't think we heard anything new from either side in this debate. I guess that's pretty normal though, no?
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
damn jude, i watched the same debate, but i still couldn't string together something as coherent and thoughtful as what you just did. i agree!!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Sorry I couldn't be live commenting with y'all (we were watching it on the computer) but I do have to say it was an interesting exchange. Naturally whether or not we agree on the candidates' stances (and therefore whom we feel "won") is going to fall fairly evenly along party lines, but I do think McCain didn't perform up to his past standard just on a speaking and presence level, while Obama brought a lot more fire than I had expected him to. And McCain's foreign policy opinions frighten me. I felt that all I was hearing from him was talk of which governments are legitimate and worth dealing with, and which ones aren't, and one of the most frightening aspects of our current foreign policy is that tendency to brand certain regimes as illegitimate, therefore ripe to be attacked. In particular, I noticed a stark difference between their Iran stances. One side was all about fearmongering (again) and pandering to the Jewish vote afraid that softness on Iran will lead to Israel being nuked (don't see that happening). The other side was willing to concede some diplomatic efforts. That's the side I'm on.
yummymango yummymango 8 years
I like the round table of the pundits better than asking campaign advisers from each side. Obviously, there's some bias there. LOL.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
organic, if you're liberal then i'm voting for mccain.
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