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October 7th, 2008
09:07 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Showdown in Nashville

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

It is Debate Night in Nashville, the 2nd time John McCain and Barack Obama face-off. It will be a 90 minute ‘town hall’ style event, moderated by Tom Brokaw. The candidates will take questions from Brokaw, but they’ll also answer q's from uncommitted voters in the audience and Internet participants. We are 28 days from the Elections, and there is pressure tonight on the candidates, particularly within all this dire financial news.

Yesterday the markets had a rough ride, they did not get a lift from the passage of the bailout bill. And it’s not just limited to the U.S., far from it, as most of the world’s stock markets are hurting. Barack Obama made a point of underlining his economic messages yesterday, and McCain/Palin questioned Obama’s ties w/William Ayers and continued to try to paint Obama as a ‘risky’ choice. Obama more or less accused the GOP of trying to ‘change the subject’ from the economy because this subject works to his advantage with voters. (and he released a 13 minute documentary on Keating 5).

Our polls show more voters trust the Dem candidate w/economic issues, and this has given Obama the lead recently. Our national poll stands at Obama 49%, McCain 43% and 8% undecided. We also have poll results from Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin coming out today-all show Obama gaining. Tune in today and you’ll see how these results change the Magic Map (that’s what we like to call our snazzy Electoral Map internally).

McCain has to shine tonight if he is going to break this momentum. Town halls cater to his strengths. That said, the debate will be divided between domestic and foreign policy issues, but most likely voters will want to talk about the economy so McCain will have to show that he has concrete and inspiring plans on the issue against Obama.

Anderson, Wolf Blitzer, and Campbell Brown will moderate from our NYC Election Center at 8pET till 9pET when the debate kicks off, and then they will pick things up again at 10:30pET w/post-debate analysis.

What are you looking for in the debate tonight? Is your mind made up yet? And what do you think of all the back and forth on William Ayers, Keating 5 etc from Obama and McCain. Do you think this is appropriate or they should just be speaking to the issues at hand rather than digging up skeletons from the past?

And what do you think of Palin’s ‘pit bull’ strategy? Our new poll shows her favorability rating is at 52%. Is she winning you over vs. Biden? (Biden is out of the mix till tomorrow, fyi, his mother-in-law died and he has no public events till Wed).

Let me know! And see you tonight.


Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Maureen / Newman, California

    Re: Back and Forth- Obama had to respond to McCain's attack because there are many people who do not follow the real news or the debates. So these uninformed people make their decisions based on these attacks and ads that tend to make headlines. While Obama continues to talk about the real issues that affect mainstream America, McCain and the Prom Queen throw mud at Obama, his wife, Biden, and anyone who Obama ever slightly knew. McCain/Palin should not bring up character at all. Mr. cheater on his wife who is married to a drug addict that stole to support her habit. And Mrs. Troopergate-Book Burner who is married to Mr. Alaska is not part of America. McCain is desperate to change the subject away from the Recession because he is incompetent and unable to form any plan to get America out of the Recession.

    Re tonight's debate- I am looking for real solutions to real problems that affect mainstream America. I am not looking for mud slinging, winks, goofy wording, and lies.

    October 7, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  2. Katya

    I want to hear more about Palin's comments about eliminating personal property taxes. I keep thinking that I heard her wrong. To my knowledge there are no personal property taxes collected by the federal government. Apportioned property taxes can be collected from states but it has to be from all states and equalized based on representation. As best I can tell, that was only done through the Civil War period. So what personal property taxes is she referring to in these speeches?

    To my knowledge those taxes are generally collected by county and state government. If those are eliminated, then how are states and counties to pay for new libraries, schools and local streets?

    October 7, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  3. Gary Bonner, Baltimore, Maryland

    Penny,

    Sarah Palin is winning over the public mostly because you and CNN are willing to become her echo chamber. You have made no serious attempt to help inform the public about who this woman is.

    You have been willing to report (repeat) who she says she is. You have been willing to report (repeat) who some of her critics say she is. But you have done ZERO investigative journalism related to Sarah Palin. Mean while Sarah Palin's celebrity continues to drive your ratings up because you are willing to give air to the vitriol coming from both her supporters and detractors. You have abdicated your duty to inform us.

    With the stakes as high as they are this election year, our fourth branch of government continues to fail us miserably.

    October 7, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  4. Steve

    You know what I'd like to see? Someone stand up and have the guts to ask Obama why he thinks he's qualified to be president when the only reason he's still in this race is because of the inner city minority vote. He's playing the ultimate race card. These people don't have a clue or a care about foreign policy or government spending. They only know that theres a minority in the race and he's going to get my vote. I'm not saying Obama isn't qualified, I'm saying, he's not campaigning anywhere that doesnt have a large minority base. He is trying to steal this election. Clinton was a better choice and would be a better candidate. Why is there noone out there that will ask the question. Oh ,thats right , the media is so Obama biased it's not funny. It seems that everyone of them wants to kiss his backside. Please, with the choice we are left with, the only choice is McCain. Obama is not ready to lead this country.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  5. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    I would love to hear, in simple terms, just how the candidates expect to find the funds for all the promises of the last year. No waltzing around the topic, just spit out the truth.
    I think Governor Palin is doing what Biden has done. I don't see why any VP really has to have a role to rip into a fellow candidate. Just my thoughts. Happy debate day.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:55 am |
  6. Steve the Canuck

    I'd like to see Senator Obama hammer home the point that Senator McCain does not understand the economy, but not by focusing too much on the past. As recent as a year ago, Senator McCain was asked about the economy during a national interview, and replied that he wasn't an expert and that he had advisors for that. Well, then how can he make good judgment regarding economic decisions, considering the advisors he's chosen are the same ones that got us into this mess to begin with. No president can be an expert on everything, but grasping the fundamentals of the economy is necessary, as how else can a president surround him/herself with the right advisors? And Senator McCain's track record demonstrates he has displayed dubious judgment on which economic advisors he has selected.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:48 am |
  7. Tina

    Looking foward to the debate in Nashville. I don't know who I'm voting for yet. So...maybe this debate will help me. I'm getting nothing of what I want to hear out of either of them. Really. I want to hear "we will find Osama". I want to hear " we will end this war and send over a few FBI or a few good men to get HIm and end his gang". There shouldn't be a whole force running wild over there. Two black hawks crashed over the weekend is something I read. Sometimes , I just don't know. Is the stock market ordeal taking away the coverage from the war. The war is one of the reasons the market is in the shape it's in. I think.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:36 am |
  8. Patricia in Ohio

    They need to concentrate on the economy. All this other stuff is bad news. McCain is a sore loser and his ratings have fallen drastically. He is letting Palin do his dirty work. She is not to be trusted. All I say is stick to what the American people are most concerned about. That is their pocket books and their financial future for their families. Palin is the female replica between Bush and Cheney.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:25 am |
  9. Terry

    1. If we are talking about government provided healthcare for everyone. Get real ...everybody... that's dead in the water. Have you not been listening to the global financial crisis. Obama cannot tax anyone at this point in our economic crisis. So it can't be paid for.
    2.Please locate the SNL bailout skit. I cannot find it on the internet. It would just be refreshing to see it on your show. It has mysteriously disappeared. Funny we can find all sorts of porn and disgusting garbage ...I think this skit would add humor to economic problems we are experiencing.
    3. California wants money now. Drill...oil barrel prices have raised gas prices for truckers, the American population....raising food, heating, ac, merchandise and manufacturing. Again, Obama cannot take takes from companies who will lay off as a result of this mess. California may have just figured out they cannot a afford a welfare, sanctuary state. They should drill now and promote all the other alternative energy resources. MAYBE THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO BALANCE THEIR SHEETS WITH THE REVENUES...I BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT ALASKA IS DOING?

    October 7, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  10. Barbara Dooty

    I have never applied for a job where I was encouraged to "smear" the other applicants, in fact, it would be unacceptable. Politicians, in my opinion, should promote their own merit, agendas, attributes and qualifications instead of attempting to emphasize "they are just a better choice than the alternative." Do they even consider their loss of dignity and integrity with these adverse tactics?

    October 7, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  11. Michelle

    I am disappointed that CNN is joining the FNC in the McCain
    campaign's efforts to smear Obama. Here we go again.
    TRy and scare Americans with the Obama is a Muslim crap.
    By having Palin and others make these outrageous comments
    because the media can't help itself and will fall for weapons of
    mass distraction, the McCain campaign is owning the media.
    I for one will be watching hack the debate on Current TV because
    it is just viewers and debate. Not anyone telling me what to think.
    Because the viewers thoughts about what is going on is on the
    screen for everyone to see in real time.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  12. brian in cda

    I'm expecting John McCain to blow a VALVE bigtime in tonight's debate.You could almost see him setting up yesterday in New Mexico. Dur ing the past few weeks you could see a distinct change in looks,tone ,slander,voice,and attitude.He is fighting with himself and the American people will see the ARROGANT side of John McCain tonight because he knows he's in real trouble defending trading regulations and the economy which will be the main topic of the debate. Unfortunately he has failed to seperate himself from George Bush and the American people are not buying in to his bullish tatics.John McCain keeps talking about what himself too much and I'm afraid that self praise is NO RECOMENDATION. It is OVER,OBAMA/BIDEN in a LANDSLIDE.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:20 am |
  13. ndivheni from south africa

    I am obsessed with US politics I dont sleep watching your coverages. Its fascinating knowing that politics is de same de world over and dat politicians fight over power to serve or lead the public to an extend of desperation. If dis desire is genuine y should Mccain campaign resort to none issue like Obama's harmless community development project in association with William Ayers. I think dats an insult to de IQ of US voters, unless they too are ignorant to be swayed by fear like de last time with Bush.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:18 am |
  14. Donna Compton

    This political campaign has turned into nothing more than a mud-slinging contest. McCain and Palin should put their brains in gear before opening their mouths and Obama should get a swift kick in the butt for lowering himself to their level. Stick to the issue guys and leave the bottom feeder tactics out of this campaign. You're degrading the respect of the office you're running for.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:17 am |
  15. Rahni, Connecticut

    Palin is the pit pull and Joe Biden is the dog catcher. Wake up everybody and get on board with the Obama/Biden ticket! And John McLair and Sarah the Pit Bull are losing in the important battle grounds. They don't have a clue when it comes to our economy.

    Rahni, Connecticut

    October 7, 2008 at 10:15 am |
  16. penny

    "Yeah Mccain, like the ad "Do we know Obama? Yeah America knows you are insane, because you have a nervous condition. That is why you blink your eyes all the time. Also we know you are too OLD to be the president in this global world. You picked sarah Palin as your VP because she wants money & cares nothing about the American people and you only want to get the OIL out of Alaska. That is what GW Bush said about IRAQ. Think again old man, we know what you are trying to do. WE are not falling for it any more "MCSAME"

    October 7, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  17. Mike, Vietnam

    Tonight is the biggest night of this race so far in my mind. ALL eyes are on these two candidates and they better put on a show if either of them wants to win these undecided voters over. Everyone is tired of all the poo slinging and name calling, the timing is horrible for that garbage. We the people are ready for some answers, and whoever caters to these questions is most likely to come out on top in the next few weeks.
    Wishing everyone a good day, looking forward to tonight's coverage.

    October 7, 2008 at 10:08 am |
  18. Michelle,fonthill,ont, canada

    Hi Good Morning
    Anderson and staff at 360
    Let the debate begin ! Let's see how these savy poltitcans will answer all of the questions that are plaging voters minds. The economy 's downward spiral and the dow market plunging yesterday how will they fix this mess? The repulicans talk in circles around it .

    This should be intersestiung can't wait to see the best political team
    on tv headed by AC!
    See you later on 360
    Michelle

    October 7, 2008 at 9:54 am |
  19. Pat

    Hi Penny,

    Obama is my choice. John's vile lies and attacks have confirmed for me he is not worthy of anyone's vote. His lies about Obama's connection to terrorists is dispicable and was proven false months ago. John has confirmed beyond a doubt he is the lowest of the low by bringing it front and centre again. For the McCain Camp to incite Americans to the point of hearing KILL HIM in reference to Obama at their rally is beyond the description of hateful, racist it is abhorrent! Anyone who votes for these despicable characters only confirms they were are from the same cloth.

    Both Candidates need to address the issues tonight especially the economy. However I doubt McCain will give us any solutions on any issues. If he remains in attack mode tonight he wil get back what he sends threefold. Many voters have nothing but contempt for him already. Strangely that's the same word many use worldwide to describe their feelings about Bush!

    October 7, 2008 at 9:46 am |
  20. Jordan (Minnesota)

    I want to know about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac!? You have 20 stories up there or so, but none of them about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What are these journalistic investigators scared of? Don't the American people have the right to know about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Isn't it a story? I see 20 or so stories on the home page, but none of them are as relevant to the American people right now as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

    October 7, 2008 at 9:38 am |
  21. judi

    We have heard about McCains health issues, have we addressed the point that Obama is a serious, serious smoker????? How is that not addressed as a health concern?

    October 7, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  22. Annie Kate

    I don't think a lot of people still understand about the bailout package and what its suppose to do and how long it will take to do it much less its effect on the market. With the added burden of job losses and homes losing value, people are still worried about just how bad this economic event will get. I'm afraid the holiday shopping will show it also. I'm not curtailing my holiday shopping for my family; I saved all year for it and I'm going to enjoy spending that money on what the different members of my family wants.

    If Obama had 13 minutes to do a spot on the Keating 5 he should have taken a few of those minutes and explained his extent of working with Bill Ayers more thoroughly. His explanation minimized the work they did and the duration of time they did it over. Drew Griffin reported on the whole story last night and it would have looked better for Obama to have explained it from the first in the detail Drew had. I don't think this story should hurt Obama at all – after all when Ayers and his wife were in the underground Obama was a child. But I like to know the whole story and not have to wonder on future questions if I'm getting the whole truth or just a snippet of it. That said I do wish they would stick to the issues. I don't know anyone who has a completely blameless past and to expect politicians to have one is not very realistic.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 7, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  23. judy mitchell

    No more Palin, Please! Sick of seeing her and listening to that nausating voice condemning everything. Does not have a positive thing to say about anything. Economy is the only issue and if candidates cannot grasp the seriousness of this, they are not fit to be CEO of the USA.

    October 7, 2008 at 9:26 am |
  24. Ann

    Whow, the debate for the Vice Presdential candidates was a total joke. What if Gwen had done a "shout out" and winked and blinked and "joe 6 packed" through the debate, or even if Michelle Obama was speaking and winking and blinking. As far as "Joe Six Pack", do we want them to govern the United States.

    Sarah Palin is a joke, 6 colleges to get 1 degree???? I can see she has street sense, which is good for Alaska, but not good for the US. I know several people that can give a great speech and capture an audience, however, that's not presidential. (Damn she's good at memorizing). She should go to Hollywood.

    October 7, 2008 at 9:22 am |
  25. Pat

    I really hope the issues are discussed tonight. Specifically, how each candidate plans to resolve the current economic crisis.

    October 7, 2008 at 9:21 am |