15 (Worthless) Things We Learned from the Town Hall Debate

15 (Worthless) Things We Learned from the Town Hall Debate

After almost two weeks of tense anticipation, we sat down last night to watch history. And by history we mean the second presidential debate, and by tense anticipation we mean we were hoping one candidate would accidentally quote Hitler, or perhaps take the stage sporting a visible erection.

Neither of those things happened (though our staff is still analyzing the video) because, as it turns out, the event was carefully planned to the letter by operatives on both sides to make sure that, above all, nothing embarrassing would occur. They figured the best way was to just make sure that virtually no debating occurred, either.

We liveblogged the debate and, while no new information was conveyed, we did learn some important things about this election:

McCain Has a Nuanced Understanding of Obama's Plans for Technology

MCCAIN: Now, how -- what's -- what's the best way of fixing it? Nuclear power. Senator Obama says that it has to be safe or disposable or something like that.

  • 8:44 PM Hbn Gladstone - "Senator Obama says it has to be safe or something like that"
  • 8:44 PM Dan O'Brien - Gladstone's not lying, that's an EXACT QUOTE.
  • 8:46 PM Michael Swaim - "What Senator Obama doesn't understand is, computers are boxes filled with ghosts."
Obama's Campaign and Economic Policy are Powered by Hope

    OBAMA: No, I am confident about the American economy … We're going to have to coordinate with other countries to make sure that whatever actions we take work.

  • 8:15 PM Ross Wolinsky - "Once upon a time there was a pony who believed that the free markets could correct themselves."
  • 8:15 PM Dan O'Brien - "Let's say Bush is Voldemort. And let's say Voldemort put his dick in the economy."
  • 8:17 PM Dan O'Brien - Obama says he believes in the American Economy. What is that based on?
  • 8:17 PM Michael Swaim - Hope.
  • 8:18 PM Dan O'Brien - Even if the American worker DID have money, he still wouldn't be buying that bullshit.
The Internet Can Apparently Ask Questions

BROKAW: Senator McCain, for you, we have our first question from the Internet tonight.

  • 8:37 PM Michael Swaim - The Internet wants to know: "Who am I? What is this strange sentience I am experiencing? Why am I filled with jizz?"
  • 8:38 PM Dan O'Brien - The internet wonders "Why did you accidentally the Nation?"
  • 8:40 PM Dan O'Brien - From the comments, Kari says "Senator McCain keeps blinking. This is a sign of lieing."
  • 8:41 PM Hbn Gladstone - He's not blinking. His facial tumor is just attacking his eyes.
  • Presidential Debates Have a Very Lax Screening Process

    THERESA: How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got -- got us into this global economic crisis?

  • 8:18 PM Ross Wolinsky - Congrats: That was the only time you'll ever be on TV. You blew it.
  • 8:19 PM Dan O'Brien - Teresa lost this debate.
  • 8:19 PM Ross Wolinsky - Teresa dates Joe Six-Pack.
  • McCain Has a Freaky Side

    BROKAW: The three -- health care, energy, and entitlement reform: Social Security and Medicare. In what order would you put them in terms of priorities?

    MCCAIN: I think you can work on all three at once, Tom.

  • 8:24 PM Dan O'Brien - McCain was asked to prioritize three items, and he said "All of them at the same time."
  • 8:25 PM Michael Swaim - It's astounding that they can not answer a question that only has a three word answer.
  • 8:26 PM Michael Swaim - "Let's do 'em all at once." You heard it here first folks. McCain in crazy sex romp.
  • Obama's Got More Bill Clinton In Him Than Hillary Ever Did

    BROKAW: Senator Obama, if you would give us your list of priorities.

    OBAMA: We're going to have to prioritize, just like a family has to prioritize. Now, I've listed the things that I think have to be at the top of the list.

  • 8:27 PM Ross Wolinsky - Oh great. Obama is about to go through every item in the budget.
  • 8:27 PM Ross Wolinsky - This is going to be BORING.
  • 8:27 PM Dan O'Brien - "Senator Obama, you're over time by about 13 minutes."
  • 8:27 PM Michael Swaim - Brokaw would call him on it, but he nodded off a few minute ago.
  • The VPs Are Easier to Talk About Than Their Running-mates


  • 8:22 PM Ross Wolinsky - This is completely unrelated, but did everyone hear about the Palin-themed porno?
  • 8:22 PM Ross Wolinsky - I believe it's called "Nailin' Palin."
  • 8:22 PM Dan O'Brien - Of COURSE.
  • 8:22 PM Ross Wolinsky - I really hope they work the phrase "pork barrel" into the back of the DVD box.
  • 8:23 PM Michael Swaim - Does she wink at the camera continuously?
  • 8:23 PM Dan O'Brien - "Drill Baby Drill"
  • 8:23 PM Dan O'Brien - "Alaska To Take Her Clothes Off"
  • 8:23 PM Michael Swaim - The money shot is a "Gotcha Moment."
  • 8:23 PM Michael Swaim - It pans to Katie Couric, who DOESN'T LOOK PLEASED.
  • 8:24 PM Michael Swaim - Palin has to re-take several times.
  • 8:24 PM Ross Wolinsky - Loinal Warming. I guess that's a stretch, huh?
  • Obama Isn't Above Taking it to Bush Country

    OBAMA: You know, a lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11.

  • 8:30 PM Ross Wolinsky - OH SHIT. 9/11 REFERENCE = DRINK 1 MILLION DRINKS
  • 8:31 PM Dan O'Brien - Somewhere, Giuliani is crying into his prostate.
  • 8:31 PM Hbn Gladstone - Apparently Obama thinks only "a lot of you remember 9/11"
  • 8:31 PM Michael Swaim - Well, he wouldn't want to go out on a LIMB.
  • 8:31 PM Ross Wolinsky - What happened on 9/11 again?
  • 8:31 PM Michael Swaim - It happened AGAIN?
  • 8:31 PM Dan O'Brien - Ben Folds' first Solo album came out.
  • 8:32 PM Michael Swaim - The PS2 was released.
  • 8:32 PM Michael Swaim - I'm wrong, it was the Dreamcast
  • 8:32 PM Michael Swaim - and it was 9/9/99
  • How to Fix Social Security

    MCCAIN: Look -- look, it's not that hard to fix Social Security, Tom. It's just...

  • 8:41 PM Dan O'Brien - Do you guys know what the REAL problem with social security is?
  • 8:41 PM Dan O'Brien - Years ago, Kaizer Wilhelm wanted the rest of his staff to retire, so he could have more power. He noticed they were all over 65, so he made 65 the mandatory retirement age. And it stuck, because bad ideas always stick.
  • 8:42 PM Dan O'Brien - That's it. It's an arbitrary rule that we still cling to
  • 8:42 PM Michael Swaim - Dan's full of great information that I don't believe to be true. Like the newspaper!
  • 8:42 PM Hbn Gladstone - Hey kids, Dan was a History major. Did you know that??
  • 8:43 PM Dan O'Brien - The school of Hard Knocks doesn't have a history department, Gladstone.
  • 8:43 PM Dan O'Brien - I studied Political Science.
  • Why This Debate Was Totally Necessary

  • 10:15 PMDan O'Brien - You know what bugs me? Obama and McCain are repeating, verbatim, a few lines that Biden and Palin respectively said a week ago.
  • 10:15 PMRoss Wolinsky - Most of them were about Teddy Roosevelt and chinese food
  • 10:15 PMDan O'Brien - It's not a debate if you're just awkwardly segue-ing into talking points.
  • 10:15 PMMichael Swaim - On the plus side, they're closer to coming to physical altercations than at any other point in the election.
  • Lax as it May Be There Apparently IS a Screening Process for These Things

  • 8:34 PM Dan O'Brien - I think there's one black chick in the audience and they keep moving her around. So it looks like there's more
  • 10:16 PMDan O'Brien - But boy, there sure are a lot of bald, fat white guys.
  • 10:16 PMDan O'Brien - Barack is 33% of the black population in this debate.
  • 10:17 PM Michael Swaim - Barack's half-white, so that's like 16.5%
  • 10:17 PM Hbn Gladstone - and DOB is allegedly 1/8th black
  • 10:18 PM Ross Wolinsky - Can I insert his joke about which 1/8 of him is black for him?
  • 10:18 PM Dan O'Brien - Only if I can insert your answer into your sister. That The VPs Are Easier to Talk To Than Their Running-mates

  • 9:21 PMRoss Wolinsky - I'm not gonna lie: Without Palin's weird neck and Biden's coin slot eyes I have no interest in watching political theater.
  • 9:21 PM Dan O'Brien - Me neither.
  • 9:21 PM Dan O'Brien - Plus, Palin keeps asking me to come to bed.
  • 9:21 PM Dan O'Brien - "In a MINUTE, Sarah."
  • 9:22 PM Dan O'Brien - Oh, hold up, guys, Sarah wants to blog.
  • 9:22 PM Michael Swaim - No, SARAH!
  • 9:22 PM Michael Swaim - Sigh.
  • 9:23 PM Michael Swaim - Hey. How's it going? Boning Dan?
  • 9:23 PM Hbn Gladstone - What's sex with DOB like?
  • 9:23 PM Sarah Palin - I can barely walk!
  • 9:23 PM Sarah Palin - I thought moose-wrestling was hairy and exhausting. I had no idea!
  • 9:23 PM Michael Swaim - You should rip Dan open and photograph him bleeding out in the snow.
  • 9:24 PM Michael Swaim - Bring your daughter.
  • 9:24 PM Michael Swaim - Great photo op. Plus, he gets off on it.
  • Where The Candidates Stand On Israel

    MCCAIN: … we can never allow a second Holocaust to take place.

  • 9:25 PM Dan O'Brien - That bald white guy is alarmingly concerned about Israel.
  • 9:25 PM Michael Swaim - He's obviously a Rabbi.
  • 9:25 PM Ross Wolinsky - He just heard about it in the VP debate.
  • 9:26 PM Ross Wolinsky - "I heard a lot about this Israel thing in the VP debates. What are you going to do about all that?!"
  • 9:29 PM Michael Swaim - BTW, McCain yet again boldly spoke out against allowing a second Holocaust.
  • 9:29 PM Ross Wolinsky - So wait... McCain is AGAINST the holocaust, right?
  • 9:30 PM Dan O'Brien - Just a second one.
  • 9:30 PM Michael Swaim - He'd strongly consider opposing a second Holocaust.
  • That The Candidates Have a Poor Understanding of Eastern Philosophy

    BROKAW: All right, gentlemen, we've come to the last question …. Peggy (ph) in Amherst, New Hampshire. And it has a certain Zen-like quality, I'll give you a fair warning. She says, "What don't you know and how will you learn it?"

  • 9:31 PM Dan O'Brien - "Senator, what don't you know?" "I'd like to tell you a story about my mother.
  • 9:33 PM Dan O'Brien - McCain says: "I don't know what the unexpected will be."
  • 9:33 PM Dan O'Brien - So we can rule out McCain as a wizard. There goes a fucking decade of research.
  • 9:33 PM Michael Swaim - "I'm not sure what this growth is."
  • 9:33 PM Hbn Gladstone - "I know what it's like to live with a huge facial tumor and pretend i'm fit to run for president"
  • 9:33 PM Michael Swaim - "I don't know the deal is with airline food. Am I right?"
  • 9:34 PM Dan O'Brien - "Don't know much about history"
  • 9:34 PM Michael Swaim - "Don't know much biology."
  • That You CAN Learn Something From These Debates

  • 9:34 PM Ross Wolinsky - Holy CHRIST was that boring!
  • 9:41 PM Dan O'Brien - If anyone reading along at home is an attractive lady, please email me naked pictures of yourself so this night isn't a total waste of time. I promise I'll look at them.
  • 9:41 PM Ross Wolinsky - Dan: Forward those to me if you get any.
  • 9:41 PM Michael Swaim - Oh, shit. Me too! Is that a thing we can ask?
  • 9:42 PM Hbn Gladstone - A gentleman doesn't ASK for naked pics. he just receives them and then destroys them because they are from underaged girls.
  • 9:43 PM Dan O'Brien - What about my blogging thusfar has implied that I'm a gentleman?
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