Presidential Debate Highlights, Round Two

(Editor's Note: As a public service after major debates during the presidential campaign, this blog is providing video highlights of the key moments from the latest debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. This debate was conducted townhall-style at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.)

by Rick Rockwell

Despite the best efforts of moderator Tom Brokaw of NBC News and the varied questions from audience members and those who had submitted queries via the internet, the second presidential debate of the fall played out much as a repeat of the first encounter. As has been the case this year, both candidates resorted to repeating lines from their stump speeches or the talking points from their first debate. Some of this debate also echoed the salient issues of the vice presidential debate, which so far has eclipsed both presidential debates in both energy and audience interest. So, if you watched the first Obama-McCain debate, at least 80 percent of this debate was a rehash for 95 minutes. However, this post of highlights will attempt to underline areas where the candidates covered territory that was new or lightly traveled. And now the video highlights after the jump....

Like the first debate, this one revolved around the economic crisis, tax policy, energy policy, and foreign policy. The candidates did delve into their healthcare plans with a bit more detail than what was mentioned in the first debate. The debate began with the central focus of most voters, the economic meltdown and included a new plan Sen. McCain (R-AZ) has endorsed for the federal government to begin buying out failed mortgages.

Later in the debate, a member of the audience asked about why the public should trust either party on fiscal issues considering the contributions of both to the current economic mess. Also, a questioner asked how the candidates would respond to the national need to sacrifice with tougher economic times ahead.

The foreign policy portion of the debate featured discussions of U.S. policy toward Russia and a hypothetical question about an Iranian attack on Israel.

The next presidential debate will be held at Hofstra University in New York on Oct. 15.

For more background on the 2008 campaign, please see these archival posts:
  • "New Hampshire: Barack Obama's Latest Hope;"
  • "John McCain and the Republican Right;"
  • "Joe Biden: More of the Same from the Democrats;"
  • "Sarah Palin, Sex & the Republicans;"
  • "2008 Election Manifesto: Voting Your Conscience Isn't Wasting Your Vote;" and
  • "Campaign 2008: Mainstream Media, Take a Deep Breath."

  • (The photo of Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois campaigning in Ohio in February of this year is by BohPhoto of Cleveland, OH via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)

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