Politics & Government

Blips and slips from the debate

Excerpts from Tuesday's "Political Junkie" blog item about the second presidential debate:

The funniest moment: Had to be at the end when, as Brokaw was making final comments, a head bopped into the screen as McCain and Obama stepped to center stage and the moderator said, "You're in the way of my script there." The candidates had stepped in front of Brokaw's teleprompter, which was that black triangle at the back of the stage.

The phrase that will probably endure ... : "that one," which is how McCain referred to Obama at one point in the debate.

On Hardball, Politico's Roger Simon and Newsweek's Howard Fineman said they immediately received e-mails from the Obama campaign, which was testing the waters to see how people were taking the reference. Fineman and Simon, as well as most other observers, seemed to think the phrase was simply representative of McCain's disdainful attitude toward Obama. ...

The most fun post-debate: The midnight Hardball, with Chris Matthews broadcasting in front of screaming throngs of college kids like it was ESPN's College Gameday or something. Even with rain in Nashville last night, the Belmont University students were out in force.

Polling about: While the previous two debates — the veep debate and first presidential debate — revealed a disconnect between pundits/journalists and the general populace, there was a consensus that Obama won in Nashville. The polls showed numbers such as Obama winning 54-30 percent, according to CNN. At this writing, Kentucky.com's (unscientific) poll has 31 percent of responders saying Obama won by "a knockout," 18 percent "by a little," compared to 19 and 21 saying McCain won by the same standards.

Gamesmanship: The folks at DebateDrink.com sure gave some folks hangovers by directing viewers to take a shot each time McCain said "My Friends" last night. According to the Wall Street Journal, McCain used the phrase 18 times. Maybe they need to move that phrase back to sips of beer the next time. My friends, I recommend Excedrin Migraine and some OJ.