McCain v. Obama – the first debate

It goes something like this:

Early November, 2008. NBC studios, in New York. The polls show McCain and Obama both at 50%, with nothing to separate the two. Tension is riding high ever since Cindy McCain won a bake-off with Michele Obama. Her apple pie beat Michele’s carrot cake handily.

McCain: “I am old enough to be your father. I could teach you a thing or two.”

Obama: “You are old enough to be my father’s father. You don’t understand the modern world. ”

McCain: “At least I fought. You didn’t serve in our military. You’re not able to be a credible commander-in-chief.”

Obama: “My perspective is uncluttered with a sentimental attachment to war. You’re still fighting it.”

McCain: “Don’t dare belittle my experiences. When the tough decisions need to be made, I’ll face them in the eye. I’ve survived worse than you could ever imagine.”

Obama: “The way forward is not war. It is peace and the building of a new future. How is your personal ordeal, brave as it was, favourable for America in the 21st century?”

McCain: “Personal bravery is the making of a man. You’ve not had anything comparable to draw on.”

Obama: “I fought off Hilary Clinton in a bitter and sometimes nasty campaign. I’ve fought racism everyday of my life. My war is the war fought by every working class American, for justice, a fair wage, and universal health care.”

McCain: “We both stand here as the survivors of nasty campaigns. And don’t forget: I was the target of an ugly smear campaign in 2000 with racist overtones, so you’re hardly unique. And as for being a working class American: you’re an Ivy League patrician.”

Obama: “That campaign against you was a Republican smear campaign. Thank you for reminding us. Let’s agree to ignore the bickering and concentrate on the policies.”

McCain: “Ok. Let’s start with the Iraq war. I intend finishing the job, no matter how botched it has been until now. ”

Obama: “We need to withdraw. It was the wrong war to fight at the wrong time. Enough damage has been done: let’s not dig a bigger hole.”

McCain: “Too much blood and money has been spent for us to abandon it now. Sending out a signal of weakness will condemn us to fighting more and bigger wars in the future.”

Obama: “Wars we can fight with our full energy, if we need to. Right now, we are stretched too thin in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our enemies are not just the terrorists: they are poverty, exclusion, racism, religious fundamentalism. Let’s focus on knocking down those threats.”

McCain: “I never met a terrorist yet that I could talk to or that would listen. As for their poverty and exclusion: if they accepted our friendship now, they’d be half-way there to prosperity.”

Obama: “Paying for Bush’s war means we cannot pay for our health care system. Our marginalised citizens fall further behind every year, in education, opportunity, and security.”


At some point, McCain will mention “ordinary working class people”, implying white working class people. Obama will counter with at least 4 or 5 mentions of Bush or of “this failed administration” (an oxymoron?). In the end, the vote will take place. McCain will win 50%, Obama 50%. The Supreme court will be brought in to decide….aaargh!


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