Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Prox Live Blogs the Final Presidential Debate

Here is a repost, in a single post, of The Prox live blog of yesterday evening's presidential debate. It focused on the atmosphere in the Frist Center at the debate watching event. A recap of the evening is at the bottom of the post.

The Prox Live Blogs the Final Presidential Debate (8:59 PM)

Welcome to The Prox live blog for this debate. I'll be posting throughout the evening on the mood here in the Frist TV Lounge. Keep refreshing your page every few minutes for updates.

It's not quite as packed as it was for the previous debates. Perhaps a combination of debate fatigue and midterms. There's still a pretty good crowd here.

Oh, and unlike the cable news channels, we won't be doing dial-testing. Strictly unscientific.

Here we go...

The calm after the storms (9:09 PM)
We're almost half an hour in, and it's still pretty quiet here compared with the laughing, cheering, booing, grumbling, and audible eye rolling of past debates. We'll see if it's just because the back-and-forth hasn't really started.
The FOX News-on-McCain's-tax-policy got some laughs and claps, though.

Will you say it to his face? (9:25)
That last question by moderator Bob Schieffer about negative ads got a positive reaction from the assembled when it was asked. Good question, getting some interesting answers. McCain's answers in the back-and-forth are not being well-received. Obama's comments are very well-received.

The Palin Pick (9:45)
You can probably guess how the question on Gov. Sarah Palin went over.

Debate Bingo (9:55)
We have a winner in debate bingo. (The squares are different phrases and words related to the debate).

Joe the Plumber (10:01 PM)
I really hope one of the cable news channels finds Joe the Plumber and interviews him. Forget the pundits. Get Joe's reaction.
But definitely an engaging way to get at the details of healthcare policy.

That’s a wrap (10:16)
For all three of you who followed the live blog, thanks.
Here are some final thoughts on how it went over here at the debate watch in the Frist Center.

There were no surprises tonight. The crowd reacted much better to Obama's comments than to McCain's. This, of course, tracks with the comparative memberships of the College Democrats and the College Republicans, to use one easily available if imperfect measure of leanings here on campus.

The comments that went over best generally involved verbal jousting. Again, Obama's attacks occasionally got applause and nodding, while McCain's ripostes got no response or a negative one. Interestingly, though, the audience noticed when McCain went on the attack -- they just didn't seem to agree.

I really do look forward to one of our cable news outlets finding Joe the Plumber and getting his reaction. No, seriously. Wonder who'll get the scoop. Maybe even a blogger.

As one might expect from any audience watching the debates, especially the Daily Show generation, the less flashy but more policy-focused answers (to the extent that debates ever get into policy) were not as popular. Overall, pretty much quiet interrupted by some applause and laughter.

And now time for me to put a partisan cap on -- literally. After all, this election is pretty historic, but the Phillies are on their once-every-fifteen-years runs deep into the playoffs.