Did they answer your questions?

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican John McCain answered questions from American voters and not the moderator. We asked our Observers if their questions and concerns were answered. Most of them said - No.


'Disgusted with the mud-slinging'

Tim Kenney, branding consultant, Bethesda, Maryland (Democrat)

The debate turned me off a little bit, but what was very interesting were the audience reactions just below the main picture, and it was fascinating to see that every time each candidate went negative the response on the part of the audience went negative.

I'm disgusted with the negative turn the campaign has taken. I feel McCain is desperate and resorting to mud-slinging. I do respect his experience, I do respect his judgement, but I really want to hear what he's going to offer. Unfortunately he seems to be offering the same old package. McCain could have done better than the sloganeering that Republicans tend to favour.

I wasn't impressed with Obama's better handle on clearer policies and that's what I was looking forward to – I want an answer to what plans on doing, and at this point, hearing the candidates' clear plan of action is critical.

Poo-flinging monkeys

Linda Sharp, parenting writer, Austin, Texas (independent)

Well, let's just start with something very basic. John McCain, I am not 'your friend'.

Prefacing every statement with the cloying, disingenuous 'my friends', working it into the middle of every sentence, ending each soliloquy with it. The term went from irksome to condescending to the point where I damn near sprained an eyeball from rolling them so hard each time it was uttered.

Moving on, the debate went down pretty much as predicted. With the past 36 hours, seeing the campaigns flinging more poo than a zoo full of monkeys, the tone between the men was much more tense. Each question, from the economy to foreign affairs, received a brief answer which quickly segued into each candidate trying to 'set the record straight' from the opponent's previous responses.

All the pundits predicted McCain would do well in this town hall format. I disagree. He seemed old, less than vigorous or presidential, and he spoke to the audience like were are small, stupid children.

Barack Obama, with all the cool he is known for, calmly sat on his stool while McCain rambled and wove the continual string of lies and half-truths of the GOP. He would then state his case, rebut the lies, straighten out the warped portrayals of his policy proposals, and move forward.

At no point was there disrespect in his tone towards McCain. McCain, however, was reeking of it, at one point even referring to Obama as 'that one'.

This debate will not change the minds of those who are dedicated to their candidates. My hope is that the undecideds will care enough to do some homework tomorrow and fact-check the statements that were made. Obama stuck to facts, McCain simply picked up another handful of poo and flung it as hard as he could.

'McCain's not a rock star but can make imaginative, tough decisions'

Alexander Stone Dale, former taxi driver, Manhattan, New York (Republican)

Six million Americans may have submitted questions for the debate, but moderator Tom Brokaw got to pick which ones were asked, so the entire debate was pre-edited.

Senator Obama spoke in the present tense about dealing with a corrupt dictator in Pakistan. He seems oblivious to the fact that Pakistan has elected President Asif Ali Zardari.

Senator Obama said that if we had not been distracted by the Iraqi theatre we could have finished the job in Afghanistan. Implying that if we had only stayed and only fought in Afghanistan that somehow al Qaeda wouldn't have – what? – not thought to regroup in Pakistan? How stupid is that?

'Does Senator McCain suffer from a charisma comparison to Governor Palin?'

McCain's not a rock star. But his choice of Sarah Palin shows he can make imaginative, tough decisions. Even if it means that he personally doesn't get to bask in the limelight for having made them. How George Washington of him. Joe Biden?

Long on the past, short on future plans

Ernesto Haibi, US Army medic, Copperas Cove, Texas (independent)

On 9/11 I said about the fanatics who attacked us, 'We will drag you kicking and screaming into the 21st century or leave your corpse in the 20th.' McCain is the 20th. He seemed to speak at and not to the questioners in the audience. He spoke too much about his past record without giving details on his future plans. He insulted one questioner when he said that the man had probably never heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before this recent economic incident. Also, referring to medical errors by saying 'as they call them' shows a detached semi-elitist world-view. Maybe a tip also, stop saying 'my friend'; it doesn't sound genuine.

On the other hand, Obama suffered from a similar disease, as both men gave a sort of 80/20 split between old material and fresh answers. On the plus side for Obama, having the richest, most famous investor in the world on your side is a coup, and McCain should not have quoted Buffet when trying to make Obama look economically inexperienced.

Both candidates seemed to give us the same answers to questions that weren't asked. If the next debate goes the same way, no one will change from whatever view they hold now.

McCain, again, is sounding more like the 20th century. He would have made a great president had he won in 2000. Sadly 2008 will usher a possible two-term president into the policies of the 21st century and into my children's adult lives.

McCain has to stop saying 'my friends'

Tim Bottaro, attorney, Sioux City, Iowa (Democrat)

McCain has been slipping in the polls and needed a game-changer but he didn't do that. I think he did a better job in the first debate. McCain's habit of saying 'my friends' was really annoying.

Next time we're going to count how many times he says 'my friend'. Senator Obama, meanwhile, seemed more presidential because he didn't get into petty attacks, and I think he will continue to rise in the polls.

As for my question on energy, Obama did a better job answering it and has a much clearer stand on the issue. McCain doesn't have an answer to why he's opposed to alternative energy for the past 26 years. He's never going to change from fossil fuels because he gets so much from oil companies.

'They're avoiding the immigration issue'

Jim Wilkinson, business owner, Mercedes, Texas (Republican)

Who won? If you're a democrat, you'll clearly see Barack Obama as the winner of this debate. If, you're a Republican, you'll think it's John McCain. Barack Obama speech was mostly generalities.

McCain scored points with his military background. When he goes and shakes hands with the panel member who served in the Navy, that's camaraderie. But at this point, economy is the crucial issue of the election. It might also be next debates' main topic.

As for my concerns, I'm really disappointed both parties are avoiding the issue of immigration. I think they don't want to lose the Hispanic votes.

'Significant difference between the candidates'

Julissa Reynoso, attorney,New York, New York (Democrat)

These candidates presented their philosophies, and they clearly have different views of the role of government. Their politics are starkly divergent.

In the economic context, McCain, for example, kept bringing up the earmarks that he alleges Obama used to benefit his constituents. McCain also keeps highlighting his plans for tax cuts as a possible counterpunch.

These points, however, simply do not stick with American voters the way they did in prior elections. These are dark times and Americans are looking for concrete plans of action to deal with their varied economic needs and anxieties. Obama has nuanced proposals to, at minimum, address the many economic and social worries affecting Americans.

Relatedly, what an interesting question was posed about what Americans are willing to do and sacrifice given this current state of affairs. McCain keeps bringing up the spending freeze with an exception for the military, as the major sacrifice. McCain's proposal, ironically, assumes that government can be solely charged with controlling the costs and burdens associated with bad policies and negative impacts.

Obama's response is more complex and comprehensive, and involves the state but also the citizenry. It brings in all the diverse ways Americans of all ages can help improve things - and share the burden. According to Obama, the idea is to set a tone of sacrifice and have all Americans share the costs according to what each can handle given their realities.

There was a significant difference between these candidates, and it manifested itself in the details and their views of responsibility and change.


Our Observers commented live on the France 24 channel.


Barack Obama's idea of

Barack Obama's idea of raising taxes on big business is not what we need right now. The world is in financial crisis due mostly due to middle class citizens spending more than they make. Now, if we raise taxes on these big businesses, who do we think will pay for that? The companies will have to get the money somewhere, and that somewhere is YOU! We're not talking about just Americans bearing the brunt of this tax raise, we're talking about the whole world who buys products from our American companies. Think of all the American food companies this will affect. If you think the price of cereal is ridiculous now, try buying it in a few years after Obama raises the taxes on those companies. The poorest of people will be affected in the worst way, considering cereal is one of the main food staples of the poor. And I don't know about you, but universal healthcare is not for me. I have no desire that my government tell me which doctor I am supposed to see or how many babies I'm allowed to have. This is what you'll eventually end up getting with universal healthcare.

Started Undecided...Ended Undecided

Neither candidate impressed me enough to secure my vote.

It's not enough to say we need a change. To me, thats age-old
politics. Mud slinging, again part of the running game.
It's evident both coached well. Being addressed as "friend" feels
condencending..but so too does being spoken to as if in a church revival.

I wanted to be swayed substantually, I just wasn't.

So, Who will you vote for?

Barack Hussein Obama is not half black. If elected, he would be the first Arab-American President, not the first black President. Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side. While Barack Hussein Obama's father was from Kenya, his father's family was mainly Arabs. Barack Hussein Obama's father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab (his father's birth certificate even states he's Arab, not African Negro).

What does this mean? Maybe nothing. But, why is Obama trying to hide this? Why does he try to hide is middle name? Why does he try to hide the religious Muslim school he attented as a child in Indonesia? Why doesn't he set the record straight that he wouldn't be the first black President? Why so many cover-ups and hiding of the truth?

Further, at only 6.25% African Negro, would he even be the first President who was part black? Not at all! Our 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson was our first part black President. And he's not alone, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge were also part black.

President Andrew Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. Andrew Jackson was such a high percentage black that his oldest brother was sold as a slave!

President Abraham Lincoln was the illegitimate son of an African man, he had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother also allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents.

President Warren Harding never even denied claims that he was black, because he had black ancestors between both sets of parents and he attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves.

President Calvin Coolidge was proud of his heritage and claimed his mother was dark because of mixed Indian ancestry. Coolidge's mother's maiden name was "Moor" and in Europe the name "Moor" was given to all blacks just as "Negro" was used in America.


My grandparents who helped raised me were republicans and I even voted republican during when Nixon was running. I served in the Army Reserves just before Viet Nam began to crank up so I am about 4 years younger than McCain. I'm not sure this makes me to old to be president but my military experience sure doesn't necessarily qualify me to be president. But I certainly would be willing to release my medical records. But McCain with his 90% voting with Bush is no Maverick. And his experience on deregulation especially in banking and his friend Charles Keating does not help me get back my retirement money lost the last couple weeks.

Obama vs. McCain

Being President of the USA is an extremely demanding responsibility, which would tax some of the worlds' leading politicians. To entrust this position to Mr. McCain is highly risky, and with due respect I seriously doubt his ability to cope with the stress 24/7. Mr. Obama has youth on his side, he makes more common sense in the debates, and he portrays confidence. I do hope that Americans remember that they cast their vote for someone who will occupy the White House for the coming 5 years.
How old will McCain be then?
Let reality prevail.
Ulrich Dannecker


What is it that Mr. Obama cannot directly answer questions but beats around the bush, takes his opponent's answers and make it his own! or starts by putting down his opponent and President Bush?

A very scary fact is that Mr. Obama owes his education to Arabs - and those are the ones who are now also funding most of his campaign.

Mr. Obama speaks about what people have program into him - He speaks of what people want to hear - He has absolutely NO experience. What is it that he has the answer for everything crisis - knows how to solve every problem - and put himself better than anyone in the Government?

Obama was born in his father's country and his birth was registered in Hawaii.
His father was a Muslim. This man went to school under the Muslim regime - his religion was listed under Muslim - that's was he was and is. Why do you think Arabs countries want to see him as President of the US? Would he come against his own people? This man, in his book, does not hide his preference for blacks and clearly state his position against whites-how he was afraid and did not want to identify with his mother's race!....

He has not even serve this Country - no military experience!

Many of us are very concerned about this man!

reply DEBATE

I think that you are right about Obama's emotional attachment to blacks. Though he is NOT a Muslim by any means.
Quite opposite ---- He was brought as a white Christian child, and his black part was a total mystery for him. Naturally, as a young adult he wanted to find out how to be a black man. He got too close to a few extreme idiots - It was a dreadful experience, but it was understandable, he wanted to know about a mysterious to him black character, good and bad. He knows now . The best he can do is to make an intelligent peace between his white and black sides. He is a good-natured person and a very quick learner. He may become a great inspiration for our nation's cultural development, and a global community as well, but if he will keep learning about humanity and new ways of doing and thinking. Whatever political people call EXPERIENCE these days - they look at an old bad experience which has to be replaced as soon as possible. Only an intelligent learner can find or choose the right safer ways. Remember: Experience is not what happens to a man, but what a man is doing with want happens to him.
Do not be scared of something that does not exist, Joelle
M.Henry USA


I'm not for either candidate; I am neutral, but in 2008 Obama presented his 1961 Birth certificate (from the state of Hawaii)
See for yourself


Voter Registration fraud being exposed!

Rampant voter registration fraud is being exposed across the nation and the organization at the center of the scam is one with close ties to Democratic Presidential nominee B. Hussein Obama. The Association of Community Organizers For Reform Now, or ACORN, was raided by Nevada state authorities and is accused of being at the heart of massive voter registration fraud in other important swing states such as Missouri, Ohio, and Indiana. ACORN is the organization where Obama worked and trained leaders as a "community organizer" and it is suspected of having received millions of taxpayer dollars funneled from Obama associates at Fannie Mae, which is at the epicenter of America's economic woes.

ACORN in Las Vegas was caught with fraudulent voter registrations from the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team. ACORN's officials are blaming the voter fraud on Nevada state officials saying that election officials have routinely ignored ACORN's pleas to take seriously fraudulent registration forms. But ACORN's shift the blame shell game is wearing thin as elections officials in key swing states are beginning to uncover serious problems with ACORN voter registrations. In the Cleveland, Ohio area, the Cuyahoga County Elections Board is investigating ACORN because several witnesses came forward who say ACORN hounded them to register to vote. One person registered 72 times.

There are widespread accusations posted on the internet that ACORN has registered 105% of the Indianapolis, Indiana eligible voter population. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ACORN workers are under investigation for voter fraud. In Pennsylvania, an ACORN worker was sentenced to prison for fraudulent voter registrations. In Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, some 11 ACORN workers were indicted on voter registration fraud charges, involving over 35,000 false registrations. AP reports that ACORN claims to have registered 1.3 million people nationwide for the November 4th election and has encountered even more complaints in New Mexico, Michigan, and North Carolina.

An August 22 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analysis of the Obama Federal Election Commission report indicates that Citizen Services, Inc., a subsidiary of ACORN with offices at the same address of ACORN's national headquarters, had been paid over $832,500 by the Obama campaign for "get out the vote" projects from February to May. In July of 2007, felony charges were filed against seven ACORN executives for perpetrating voter fraud. 2 Timothy 3:13 says "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." ACORN is a proven voter fraud machine, trained by Obama and paid by the Obama campaign. This is a case where the nut does not fall far from the tree.

Bill Wilson
The Daily Jot