September 27th, 2008
10:45 AM ET

First Presidential Debate: What They Didn’t Say

Editor's Note: Frank Sesno co-moderated last week's "The Next President: A World of Challenges; 5 former Secretaries of State share what advice they have for “The Next President.” (WATCH HERE) Frank shares his thoughts on the first Presidential debate:

Watch Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama debate the financial crisis and foreign policy in the first Presidential debate
Watch Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama debate the financial crisis and foreign policy in the first Presidential debate

Frank Sesno | BIO
CNN Special Correspondent

Okay. So the debate featured a few good moments but no knock-out blows. McCain attacked Obama’s experience and Obama challenged McCain’s judgment. But both candidates left a lot out. Partly because the time and questions were limited. Partly because they wanted to.

Let’s start with Iran.

John McCain didn’t say what he’d actually do if the Iranians called up and said, “Hey, we’re ready to talk. You don’t trust us and we don’t trust you but we’ll try this one again as long as you give us a little respect.” Just how would President McCain handle that call? Take it? Ignore it? Say he’d talk but only after the Iranians sign a friendship pledge and shut down their nuclear program? (We know that when a similar missive came in 2003, the Bush administration didn’t even write back.) For all the discussion about conditions and pre-conditions, just how does John McCain propose to deal with Tehran?

Senator, your answer please.

On the other side of the stage, Barack Obama didn’t say what he’d do if, as he was talking, the Iranians shook with the right hand and kept enriching uranium with the left. That’s what they’ve been doing for years. They’ve talked to the Europeans, talked to the International Atomic Energy Agency, talked to the world even as they added thousands of centrifuges to their uranium enrichment capacity and tested scary new missiles. Talking is worth another try. That’s what all those former Secretaries of State told us when Christiane Amanpour and I had that discussion Obama referred to. But what will President Obama do if talking doesn’t work? He didn’t say.

Here are some more things they didn’t say.

They didn’t say what they’d do if bully Russia turns off the gas again this winter. It gets pretty cold in Ukraine and Georgia in January – right around inauguration time in the United States. Russia’s a huge gas producer. Getting richer by the day. Talk about leverage. Then what?

They didn’t say how they’d get a more help in Afghanistan, which is supposed to be a war that NATO is committed to winning. Some alliance. Washington’s asked for additional troop commitments. NATO’s ducked. The U.S. leads NATO. Mr. Future President, any ideas?

They didn’t say how they’d get Arab countries to do more in Iraq. It’s their neighborhood after all. Sure, the U.S. military strategy matters. But what about diplomacy and the regional responsibility. How’s the next president make that happen?

The list goes on.

They didn’t debate Darfur or say how they’d handle the larger middle east. They didn’t talk about how the financial crisis will reduce America’s clout in the world or how we’ve got to live within our means. They didn’t discuss what they’d do if China stopped buying our debt or started dumping dollars. They didn’t debate exactly how they’d restore America’s image in the world or what they’d do to address global poverty, disease and climate change.

Too bad. We might have learned a lot more about them and about the world as they see it.

Candidates leave things out if they’re too complicated or if they muddy the story line. They know they won’t win if they sound pessimistic or make the issues seem overwhelming. But it’s a pretty overwhelming world right now. And whoever wins in November is going to have to navigate it.

Back to that conversation with the five Secretaries of State again. Madeleine Albright put it best. “Remember,” she said, “you wanted this job.”

So how about a little more meat on those debating bones?

Say it like it is. We can handle it.

Filed under: Frank Sesno • Presidential Debate • Raw Politics • T1
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Sue, Billerica, MA

    I found Obama to be pleasantly cool, calm and reasonable and just the kind of intelligence that I EXPECT in my president. I found McCain to be condescendingly snide, over-reactive and unreasonable. I found Obama's mature generosity to McCain a sign of his true great character and McCain's childish taunting to Obama as a sign of his true sick character. War hero or not, McCain would make a HORRIBLE president, with is Bush-like cartoon characterization finding enemies wherever we can accelerate them and wars wherever we can insanely start them, and in my opinion, all either because he has some kind of PTSD paranoia OR he is using the proven works-every-time fear mongering Republican propoganda to use the greatest way to get blind following of a helpless public by instilling unremitting fear in them of enemies everywhere... as McCain seem to even see Obama as an enemy... and as Joy said today on the view and I agree, he should see Obama as his ADVERSARY and NOT his ENEMY. It always amazes me the very people who wave their religion and bible as reasons they should be elected for their belief in God and Jesus, IGNORE the teachings of Christianity of "blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" and "love and forgive your enemies" for otherwise we just, as the Iraq war has shown, only empower and multiply those that already hate us and want to destroy us... we need to live up to our self proclaimed ideal of the greatest nation ever and rise above the insanity of the world and war and fear and hatred and intolerance, and talk, yes even to those that hate us, even those that want to destroy us, for without that we have no hope but to change them and as we saw with Sadam that for every madman we destroy, a thousand little wannabees more desparate and more dangerous spring up to try and take their place.

    Lets let Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All, not just be a Christmas carol but an everyday goal, or we are ALL doomed!

    September 29, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  2. clarence jonesville

    shirley shirley you seems to be a very misinformed person maybe you didnt take all your medicine,we all no you didnt watch the presidential debate,so any other is no concern to the american peoples who want this country going in the right direction.So next time watch CNN and a person like you might get a clear understanding about the world which we live in(USA).

    September 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Angela

    Well there was a lot not said but for the subjects discussed I felt the Obama was more in touch with the majority – middle income families needs, because that’s where I live every day. And that for the leadership skill of being able to look at a situation step back think on it then make a decision as how to proceed. Instead of acting like a 5 year old running amok making a decision and making Americans suffer the consequences like Mc Can and Bush records have shown they are famous for. I believe some people have become accustom to Washington/leadership lying to us that when someone shows up with a sincere heart of understanding and willingness to help they are so in a state of hopelessness they can’t believe anything good can happen.
    This is the America that so badly need CHANGE. Let’s make it happen

    September 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  4. Peggy in Iowa

    I too saw the blatant errogance of McCain during the debate. How dare he not acknowledge Barrack and Mrs. O. Who the hell does he think he is? One thing is certain, McInsane is not acting..he seems to really believe he knows it all and doesn't need any help. That sure sounds and feels all too familiar.

    September 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  5. AARON

    Where was the oh so important flag pin on McCains lapel during the debate that he made a big deal of when Obama didnt have one on. Does this make him as unpatriotic as Obama was accused of being. He hasnt been seen wearing one at all lately. Whats the deal with this?

    aaron/ tennessee

    September 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  6. kenny

    McCain is obviously only concerned about the rich, and my vibe on him is the you survive my any means necessary legally.
    you have a better chance of laughing after being shocked by a stunn gun than to hear the word middle class come out of his mouth.
    if he had any sense he could lie and say that he will do something for the middle class but he really, really don't care for the middle class.
    so pick your man and you will personally struggle for the next 4 years if you are even close to feeling what we feel today

    September 29, 2008 at 8:54 am |
  7. Segale

    McCain, has an honorouble intent and no one can argue against that. He wants to get rid of corruption and excessive government spending and that is admirable. This is what he doesnt understand. You can get rid of corruption over time but if underlining govt policies favour corporate america over middle america, then the result will be that the few elite will benefit and the majority will suffer. The end result is strikingly similar to having all out corruption, most of the money in the hands of the few, and very little benefit to the vast majority. Continued ligitimization corrupt policies and inadequate regulation will only lead to the situation that we situation that we are in now in which we know that something is very wrong but we cannot refer to any policies in place to pin the bad guy.Therefore, it is not adequate for MacCain to say that he will get rid of corruption which can not be pinned to the breach of policy and regulation.

    I am not suggesting that corporate America should be unfairly treated because in the long run, all americans need corporate america and vice versa. We need policies that will lead to responsible economic growth in corporate america and middle america. In other words a win win. Obama's suggestion of reducing taxes on companies that keep jobs in america is a definite win win. These are the sort of policies that McCain needs to suggest. This is the age of creativity, not rigidity.

    September 28, 2008 at 12:38 am |
  8. Dan

    a debate isn't about this nitty gritty stuff here. it's about getting basic views down so that people that didn't know about them know more about them. this is specifics that need to be asked specifically in a question because you simply don't have time to run through every possible scenario and if you think they can in that short amount of time you are just naiive

    September 28, 2008 at 12:28 am |
  9. kunwar raj singh

    I watched the deabate. It is meant to understand the personalities of the contestents to assess how they would impact on dealing with the future and current problems and challenges facing America and to some extent the world. I saw an old fashioned miltary man with a military approach and perspective, who could be a tough efficient administrater, believing in talking down an adversary (you are naive again and again), peace at my terms(according to my notions of my needs not yours, my interests, not yours, from my pedastal, where I have prejudged you), inciting sentiments(referring to haulocost) physically appearing to be impatient, anxious and patched up. ... I saw in contrast a pleasant, humble, quick-brained, more composed and respect ful person, youthfull,with a wider perspective and vision.willing to understand the root causes and other's point of view, a sense of social justice (for the middle class, healthcare etc issues), Choose America what you want, your destiny in the 21st centuty future or the graveyards of the past.

    September 28, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  10. tiffany of Lithia Springs

    I'm ready to talk about domestic issues. The only foreign info I need to hear is that we need to get out of IRAQ and be apart of an international solution to for North Korea and IRAN. No more Maverick moves that cost us 10 million dollars a month.

    September 28, 2008 at 12:17 am |
  11. Georgia Democrat

    If we don't wake up and push to get Barck into office we are doomed. The U.S. can't afford to have another Republican at all!!!! It doesn't matter who you feel i qualified. The bottom line is noone can mess it up any worse ok. So all you racism let get beyond that none sense and focus on the real issues with our country. I mean if we don't get this on the right track asap we can expect thw worse case scenario. I know it's plenty of republicans shaking in their boots now. Everything is crashing (stock markets) (gas shortages) (foreclosures) etc.....People the country we know doesn't even feel the same it's as if noone even cares. I can understand being a republican and i agree with a small portion, but if my party has let me down I would switch for the greater good. Let's wake up people the time is NOW!!!!!!!!! The results from McCain being put into office scares me dearly. The thought of Palin scares me worse!!! She is not qualified to get the job done, she can't even handle common sense interviews. She's pretty and smart V.P of our country that allready has enormous issues. If McCain get elected we better get ready to move to another country and that's all I got to say. I'm sure the other countries are sitting over there laughing at us. China owns us we really need new ideas and a new approach were in trouble and it will take a new fresh person to try to dig us out of this mess. McCain is old and set in his ways the only think fresh he has going is Palin's new face. Which is not enough of a change we need a educated woman with the job . Not just a hockey mom I'm sorry. Word of advise you and your first DUDe drop out and focus on Family Issues which should be your main concern. Which like mopst family she has alot of them , but most families aren't running for VP of the US.

    September 28, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  12. Amy Noir

    McCain is selfish No respect, he picked Ms. Palin not because of competence but Gender. He lost my Vote I am Republican. He came across as too stubborn during debate.
    McCain doesn't show respect for Women nor his Opponents.

    September 28, 2008 at 12:14 am |
  13. Trish A

    McCain wasn't on point once. He rambled on like a grandfather telling his grandson a bedtime story! I can't understand why the Moderator didn't cut him off as he was certainly over his time limit more than once! He didn't say what his plan was on the bailout, on restoring the economy, on getting the troops home, on how he was going to leave Iraq victoriously, on what his Health Care plan would be, on how he would provide for the Veterans who knew and belived he would be there for them or how his leadership would bring change. Obama did. McCain did nothing but attack Obama and show his aggitation when it brought no results! Obama was on his Game, focused and on point. He won hands down! And like another blogger commented – McCain is done, put a fork in him!

    September 28, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  14. jerry

    The polls say Obama won the debate who is in control of the polls out
    there it sure is not the majority of the people in the united states. It is time the people stood up and demand that popular vote wins presidency not electoral votes. I never voted for electoral voters in the
    first place. This is suppose to be a free country if that is true then our votes should count for who we vote for not some electoral voter who has the right to make my wishes on who should be president. That is not a free democracy. It never has been America wake up our country
    has been and still is to this day run by the few in power. Your vote has
    never really counted since the Kennedy administration. I am a devoted democrat but not this time I love my country and I want to
    keep it I am voting John McCain and Palin on this one america and
    if you really love this country and want to keep it with the hard times we are in folks better wake up. Thank you

    September 28, 2008 at 12:09 am |
  15. siringu

    God bless America! As long as we believe in our ingenuity, hope and faith we will take control of our wheel of progress. Everything we need in order to suceed is right here. All we need is the right leadership. Those who created the problems through lack of proper oversight cannot claim to have the solutions at this time. Obama I believe has a better vision of where the majority of Americans want to be. He feels my pain. We need a President who sees the rest of the world as one globe interconnected given its complexities without appearing condescending. Because he who calls the piper must dictate the tune, arrogance has no place in the present world. If we go- a- borrowing from China or other countries, respect is the key.

    September 27, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  16. Jim

    As a registered Republican I must say after watching the debate that.....I will no longer be voting for John McCain. I will be voting for Obama. Although Obama is young and "experience" he seems to get it on several of the key issues affecting America today. Sorry GOP, maybe you'll get my vote next election.

    September 27, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  17. Shane

    I've crossed over to McCain as I am a democrat long time ago. After this debate, I thought Obama was like a fish out of water trying to get back and swim with his comfortable liberal cronies. It's as if he was pleading for help from his liberal friends and coudn't stand on his own. I felt like all this time he was campaigning, he was so partisan and at the debate he actually agreed with McCain several times? What's going on in this guys head? Does he wanna lose the election?
    I mean it just dosn't feel right and I don't feel right on electing him as my president. Maybe, he took a risk and might still win the election but he should becarefull. But he certainly lost my vote ..... besides, he should be ahead 20% in the polls by now? he's only ahead 5% and there is so much unknowns...

    September 27, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  18. David

    McCain blew it bad, I've crossed over he lost MY VOTE

    September 27, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  19. Wingy Lam

    Dear Anderson,

    Yesterday was the first time in my life to watch presidental debate, becasue I know it is very important to every American.

    Here is something I like to talk about:

    Everybody talk about the 700B bail out, it only help large company in wall street. OK they got the money can loan more money to main street American, sounds good, but you know what, people like me already loss my job for over 2 years, my husband loss his business by 80% since 9/11. Our credit score from 750 drop to now 605. NO ANY BANK OR LENDER WILL LOAN US ANY MONEY AT ALL. What is the different for us?

    Who can help us?

    Those wall street company get bail out, and "have" the ability to loan money to people again, but those people who doesn't have money to pay back the loan since the not enough business or loss business or loss job....etc. What is the good for it?

    I am support OBAMA but you know, he will not able to help me either, unless give me some money 🙂
    I am not a home owner (loss my house when I have cancer) I can't get any loan, I can't find a job....I have about 30000 bad debt can't pay, no any debt company can't help because my debt is "no large enough" I don't have money for health insurance, I can't qualify for California Med-Cal because my husband's income over $9000/month, they will grand me Med-cal with a $2200 monthly dedubicable...what good is it?

    My nightmare is far from over, but the start point is change our president.

    I don't care how Iran, Iraq doing now, I can't even same my own problem now.

    Wish you the best,


    Wingy & Family

    September 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Arnie Shea --

    For years both parties have baited the middle class with promices for affordable health care. As long as your country clings to capitol C – CAPITOLISM, whereby the corporate controls your policies by using lobbiests who are much smarter than the politicians (I know-I was one) there is little hope, Especially now that your citizens are expected to pay for your corporations lack of morals.
    Canada's Tommy Douglas (Keiffer Sutherlands grandfather) was a mild socialist who put it together for Canada. However, I believe full blown socialism will rot society from the bottom up, but, too much capitolism will rot from the top down. Somewhere in the middle works for countries that are serious about their peoples well being.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  21. damon reardon

    these candidates need to focus on the bigger picture / our lives and means are at stake here and thier focus should be on human services in our country rather than some one elses country i am tired of these politicians always talking foriegn policies and putting all the focus on their needs rather than americans needs we are being smothered with abundant of issues in our country which needs a lot of attention and thats what iwant to hear at a debate

    September 27, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  22. ann

    I personally would have loved it if McCain had fallen back to his previous statement when asked about how he would deal with Iran: "BOMB BOMB BOMB, BOMB BOMB IRAN" set to the beat and tune of the old Beach Boys Barbara Ann song. (I wonder how the Beach Boys felt having their innocent surfer girl hijacked and used as a weapon of mass distruction...?) Probably would have gotten some laughs... :>0
    Add that to Sarah Palin's recent "I don't blink, I'm wired that way" response that we would go to war with Russia and you have all the ingredients for a Molotov Cocktail that tastes and smells like World War III. Get real, America. This isn't a dress rehearsal.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  23. june

    I thought Obama's remarks were more clear to the point than McCain's.
    But what I noticed more than anything was the fact that McCain did not look at Obama at all. Obama addressed his remarks by looking at McCain several times.
    McCain appeared arrogant.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  24. Brenda Harris

    Macain is already putting out adds saying Obama is confirming him. Didn't he know that pople were watching? we saw the whole thing and know was obama was refering to. It just shows how twisted and deceiving Mccain can be.

    Mcain mentioned he and his VP are Mavericks. Has he seen the press lately. He and Palin are making this country look as if it's a joke. He always says he can fix something. What makes him think that america believes him when he's voted 90% of the time for Bush policies. MIddle class people are hurting. Houses lost ,jobs lost. He never mentions the middleclass. He needs to get a clue this has got to Stop NO way are we going to take 4 more years.

    AND he was not a HERO of war ; he was just a VICTIM of war.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  25. linda from South Dakota

    conditions are important but as in the psased where bush ignored them,, mccain will too,,, in order to get along,, we need to talk yes and work out a do-able plan,,, not do what bush did,,, nothing ever was solved by not responding,,, bush is war mongal,, and he wants it his way,, now that we arte in trouble,, he sits back and shhh's cause he knows he created this all,, and its tur that mccain voted withhim over 90% of the time, not matter what mccain says,, hes tryin to sway peopl,, but we arent that dumb,,,, prrof>>> would you have picked palin?? think about it,,,

    September 27, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  26. Greg

    Did anybody notice that John McCain did not once look at Obama? Even when they first came out and shook hands McCain did not look at Obama. Is this how you reach across the isle and work together with your collegues by such a lack of respect as to not even look at your fellow senators? Jim Leher tried repeatedly to get John McCain to look at Obama when talking to him but McCain would not even glance at Obama. On the other hand Obama showed much respect and looked at McCain several times when talking to him during the debate. I guess it is obvious how John McCain feels about Obama as a person if he cannot even look at once during a 90 minute debate, shear disgust and contempt. Very sad.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  27. Christian

    How about solving the financial crisis as a hot debate topic? If we have $700 billion dollars that the government can come up with to save big business, and big financial institutions that have failed in simple mathematics, how about taking that money, and dividing it up between every taxpaying american citizen? Then tax that few hundred thousand dollars, and let the american taxpayer stimulate the economy by paying off their mortgage debt, financial debt, etc? The government is supposed to act in the best interest of the people, not necessarily in the interest of big business. This solution would put money back into the governments hands (Taxation), and stimulate all areas of the economy. Bailing out big business for their financial irresponsibility is not the solution for solving the economic woes of america.

    September 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  28. Shirley

    What I see and hear is that the media hype is how great Obama is no matter what! Didn't anyone see him looking down like a beaten puppy so many times? Why isn't anyone acknowledging that?! He doesn't know anything about how to protect our country or setting and keeping correct and strong boundaries with countries that are a threat not only to us but to the world. Yet the media will go after Palin for the most unimportant and sexist news coverage and hype so that the focus will stay off of Obama and his inexperience and book only knowledge. How much Actual experience does he have to be our president? Not enough to protect our great country from another Sept. 11 crisis.
    So, who doesn't want good education and health care? Our education systems are always improving. Health care is a crisis that will take time and bi-partisan efforts to resolve and is not just the president's decision. Wake up America. Don't just vote for a black candidate just because you want to be able to say you did. Vote for the candidate that has the intelligence, experience, courage and vision to keep our country "One Nation Under God", strong, protected, courageous, and "Free!" Thumbs up for McCain and Palin...May God Bless them in their decisions, and our great country!

    September 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  29. Gary Chandler in Canada

    mav·er·ick n.
    An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it.
    One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.
    Synonyms – nonconformist, independent, loner.

    September 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  30. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I think McCain has capitulated!? *Wanted to bail out of debate. *No Sarah Palin sighting last night. *His lame start of dropping Kennedy's name. (Kennedy does NOT support McCain.)
    *He has been 'feeling bad about many things lately'???
    HOW is he going to flip flop on the Sarah Palin choice without looking like the complete fool???
    There are impossible issues to overcome in his campaign. Who else can he blame besides himself, but watch him try!

    September 27, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  31. Charles Riley

    In terms of the proposed bail out of bad loans I have a question. Many of these lenders gave loans to people who they knew could not pay off the loan. They would give them an interest only loan that would last for 5 years in which a rate was locked in. After 5 years the loan rate would rise and the borrower would face late payment fees along with credit card level interest rates. My question is will we pay the full on paper debt for those loans thus rewarding the lender for his basically criminal and negligent actions or are we going to scale back what that lender is owed to the value of the property as it is now or was at the time of sale?

    September 27, 2008 at 12:29 pm |
  32. Mariann Chinsky

    I want real time fact checking and stats like the ones they use for baseball players, for example. Technology breakthrough. 21st century. When numbers and positions are challenged, live Google or whatever method works, during the debates.

    Historic dinosaur references on McCain's part are no longer viable. Step up to now. WAR is a deal breaker in the 21st century, Sen. McCain. Diplomacy and military protection, of course.

    Sen. Obama, take a trip to Walmart. We love you, we just don't understand "transparency" and stuff like that. Help us partner with your humanity.

    September 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm |
  33. Ellen

    What is McCain's problem? He is the most arrogant man I think we have ever seen as a President elect. He treats people with absolutely no respect, and I have to say, he will treat other's in the world no differently.

    We need a man who is meek and who's mind can be changed. These are tough times, and if we don't have a man in office that can be versatile, we are going to have even worse times.

    Yes, Obama has went from a left side liberal to a moderate liberal, and we need to not see that as a "bad thing", but rather see this as someone that turn this country around quicker than someone who won't listen to anyone but himself!

    September 27, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  34. althea

    I respect your insight, but the problem if we keep going the way this country is going we are loosing, we own more than we can paid, McCain want to stop spending in the country yet want to keep funding a war that is base on lies, while children or dieding, family is being distroy, I was always taught that you must take care of home before you focus outside, as we can see the interest of this country have been on the back burner for along time, Obama idea's sound good, but how are we the couuntry going to fund it, when they have giving Bush a blank check to spend without limit, I for the will being of this country but we have left our enemies to get stronger because the Bush focus was on oil, money, greeted, and we the tax payer is going to pay for that, and sadly pay for him when he leave the white house. I also respect McCain but that doesn't mean he is the man for the job, he hasn't made the best decision in my eyes, his focus is winning at any expense while our military man and woman, pay the price. That not change that is the same, we're in debt because of lies. Bush is a lier and a Murder what happen to pro life, I see care for the unborn but forget the living. Wars kill, destroy, and break up families and when it's all finish that when the problem being.

    September 27, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  35. Chandra

    I have been an undecided voter for some time now. But after watching the presendential debate, I think that Obama will be a better choice for president. Obama made practical sense when he questioned US spending of $10 biliion in a war that had nothing to do with 911. In addition, Americans are suffering economically, while Iraq has a $76 billion surplus. It is truely a sad time for the American "working class"!

    September 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm |
  36. Hanz Delmas

    No bailout without relief for homeowners in default or foreclosure. Fix the Root Cause of the Problem

    September 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  37. Lori

    As a Canadian watching this from "up north" I can't believe that people would actually vote McCain/Palin into office. John McCain is George Bush and Palin is completely unqualified for the job. Your country is in a horrible economic crisis, at war and it's policies are very unpopular abroad. It's scary to me to know that Sarah Palin might have to step up to the job as President. John McCain is an elderly man. She is absolutely clueless and really should go back to Alaska. Obama seems to have a new vision/direction for the country and I can't understand why Americans wouldn't embrace it!!

    September 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  38. Linda Szynal

    Sarah Palin said, if I understood her correctly, that when Putin comes to the US, he flies over Alaska. Does he really take the long way, or does he fly over Europe and the Atlantic as commercial flights do?

    September 27, 2008 at 11:47 am |
  39. Kamal Lee Mohammed

    To all news broadcasters (CNN,FOX,MSNBC, et-al). Please stop telling us who won the debate. The people of this great country were watching and know the answer... We "the people" lost. We have talked amongst ourselves and are asking the same question, is their anyone else to choose from? Can Hillary still run as an independant. I'm a republican but I'd vote for her over those two "not ready for primetime" players anyday.

    September 27, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  40. Ayuma khaguli

    Im from kenya and right now everyone is going crazy by the fact that not only a black man but a man with kenyan blood may win the election.

    September 27, 2008 at 11:23 am |
  41. Gena- Illinois

    After watching the debate live, I thought Obama was the clear "winner", then I watched it again later, this morning I am reading the transcripts. Reading the answers is now giving me a new perspective on them.

    September 27, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  42. Tavi

    Indeed, we can handle it; and it is our country, afterall. We need to know which positions we'll be put in through the coming years, and we need to know how and why we'll be put there. Stop selling us short, and stop treating this country as if it belongs to noone but the White House – unless of course, there is a crisis. Then suddenly, it's plopped into our laps. For shame!

    September 27, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  43. Donell

    Watching last night debate I thought that McCain was 2 minutes from asking for an oxygen tank and a wheel chair. Both Obama and McCain made good points I just feel like McCain name throwing did little to help me forget about him wanting to go and fight this stupid war and all the things that THEY said would happen hasn't and its time for a fresh breath of air to enter the White House.... Also I got the feeling that Obama had McCain a little heated a few times in the debate while he repeated himself many times alone with those boring stories of his youth. Hey I'm not saying McCain wouldn't make a great grand father telling old folk tales but if we as the United States of America want to gain respect Grandpa McCain isn't the man to do that. Like he says "I been there and done that!" My question to him how much good has that done? Little to none.....

    September 27, 2008 at 10:54 am |