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This article is cross-posted from BitsBlog.

Here’s a transcript of last night’s debate.

If I get time, there’s a number of points I’d like to break out of it.  But for now, a quick overview of who won and who lost.

If there’s one thing that the blogging Democrats and their pre-written declarations of an Obama victory in the debate last night proves, it is that BS is a renewable resource. Last night, the left side of the spin floor similarly had nothing but the same tired nonsense we’ve seen this entire cycle.

In their overblown (and largely pre-written) declarations of victory, intended to change voter perceptions of what they saw and heard, they ignore the entire “Joe the Plumber” meme, which I consider a microcosm for last night’s debate, and in fact the whole of the campaign. McCain was wise to bring this whole thing up last night because the story is viral in nature, and will do a lot of his work for him.  I mean, leave at the side of the road all the large number of questions about his relationships with Ayers, Wright, ACORN, and all the rest that now reside under his bus. Those are important, certainly, and we’ve discussed them here.. But in terms of voters personally identifying with a situation, none of these comes close to Joe the Plumber, and Obama comes out on the losing end of that one.

Ah, yes, Joe the Plumber.  You remember him… he’s the one who started asking serious policy questions of Obama… specifically tax questions… in Holland Ohio. MSNBC’s Mark Murray does a fair job for  himself as he writes about that confrontation. (Amazing, given the network he’s attached to, but let that go for the moment) Go and read.

Or, if you like, here’s a vid.

Back now? Good.

Joe The Plumber

The reality is that all Joe the Plumber did, was ask a pertinent question of a liberal, a question that stripped away the liberal veneer, exposing the socialist underneath.  That’s something the mainstream press has very rarely dared to do. That such a thing so rarely happens is exactly why Obama was caught off guard.  That is particularly clear in the video. In asking those pointed questions, Joe succeeded in inserting himself into the political landscape. Since that day in Holland, he’s been on with Couric, he’s been on ‘The War Room’ (Which by the way, has more listeners than Couric) He’s been on at NPR, etc, etc,etc. The liberal press that ignored the questions Joe dared to ask, is now apparently trying to grab some of his thunder, while just as apparently not understanding his popular appeal.

Why is this so important?  Well for one thing, Obama got a failing grade on his answers. He leaned, almost as a one would a touchstone, on socialist values… on ‘wealth redistribution’  His answers make clear that not only has Obama not thought this stuff through, he clearly is not used to having his mantra seriously questioned. His reaction showed it, and for revealing this, Joe the Plumber is a hot topic today. He became important based on that one set of questions, and for making Obama squirm with them.

Consider closely, please, the rapid rise in popularity of Joe the Plumber…. (Who, it should be said, at first blush rather reminds one of Dale Franks, in appearance) …for asking serious questions of liberals versus the slow demise of the supposedly mainstream media for their long- term refusal to ask such questions. The very reason Obama was caught off guard by Joe was that he dared to enter an area the press would never go.

So how does all that bear on last night? It’s rather simple. Obama of course knew the subject would come up, and had his tap shoes on, ready to dance around stuff McCain threw out. But as Obama demonstrated last night, there is a major difference between being ‘ready’ and being capable.  He couldn’t hide the fact that his devotion to socialism is a major weak point, much as he wrapped it in the usual feel-good-sounding words. There’s no question that Obama is eloquent, but in actually reading what he says, outside that delivery of his, when one gets to really analyze what he’s saying, and what he’s proposing, one gets a clear picture that the Obama is a complete disaster for America.  I should point out the fact that Joe has done exactly that.

Honestly… McCain is not a showstopping debater.  Never has been and that much was clear back in the 2000 cycle and frankly long before that. thing is, though, we’re not electing a Harvard Debate team, we’re electing a leader. So, to win in terms of winning the election, what McCain had to do during the debate was to reveal the flaws in not only Obama’s policies, but in Obama himself. Not with anything explosive, but by sticking a pry bar in the cracks so a little light can shine in over these next 20 days or so. McCain did that. And with the revelation of those flaws, with that substantive debate, where high sounding oratory doesn’t quite matter so much as mere facts, Obama didn’t do as well, and couldn’t close the sale… as has been the case all through this campaign cycle.

Win: McCain, by small points.

Now the stage is set for the last lap. Watch for McCain to be pulling on that pry bar.

And by the way, an informal poll being run at Drudge this morning, is apparently in agreement with my reading of the matter… running 75/25 in favor of McCain.

Others I’ve read on the topic: Sister Toldjah , Ben Smith The Opinionator, Fausta’s Blog, Jon Swift,, Raising Kaine, Tennessee Guerilla Women, Commentary Sweetness & Light Hugh Hewit Weekly Standard Karl Rove, Michelle Malkin Flopping Aces JammieWearingFool, Stop The ACLU Gateway Pundit Riehl World View, Little Miss Attila and interestingly, the AP

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