Magazine article The American Conservative

Chairmen of the Bored

Magazine article The American Conservative

Chairmen of the Bored

Article excerpt

The Politico called it the worst debate ever--with good reason. The second showdown between John McCain and Barack Obama produced no memorable laugh lines or game-changing gaffes. The war hero showed no fight. The candidate of change was colorless. But the substance was even worse than the style.

Each candidate promised things he could never deliver. Of the federal budget Obama told the audience, "I'm cutting more than I'm spending." McCain said he "would order the secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate.... Is it expensive? Yes." No kidding. Instead of a policy adviser, under McCain, Paulson's successor will be the go-between for millions of overextended homeowners and their banks. So much for the party of limited government.

Obama scored the only hit of the night. When McCain implied that his opponent was irresponsibly announcing too many of his foreign-policy views to America's enemies (and citizens), Obama replayed McCain's greatest townhall hit: "Bomb, Bomb Iran. …

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