Sunday, August 17, 2008

We Missed it Last Night

But how did the candidates do with the evangelist interviewer? My mother, a Democrat, tells me McCain was more likable and to the point. Tell me that isn't true? Please.

Apparently one of the more controversial questions was when the candidates were asked to define "rich." Here's The Monkey Cage's take on it.

What's Rich?

Last night, Rick Warren asked both Barack Obama and John McCain to define the income level that makes someone rich. Neither candidate gave a precise answer. Obama pointed out that families making under $150,000 would benefit from his tax plan, while McCain offered up the absurd figure of $5 million dollars.

This is actually an interesting question since there is widespread confusion (particularly in the media) about the distribution of income in the United States. Here are the facts according to the Census Bureau:

—In 2006, the median household income was $48,201. That means half of all households made less than this amount and half made more.

—For family households, the median was just shy of $60,000. For married couples households, the median was $69,716.

—Households making over $133,000 were in the 90th percentile.Households making over $174,000 were in the 95th percentile. This means that Obama’s line of $150,000 probably hits the top 7-8 percent of household incomes.

—The data on those making above McCain’s line of $5 million dollars aren’t readily available, but those making over $1.6 million are in the top 0.1 percentile (that’s the top one-tenth of one percent). Overall, there are only 146,000 households making over $1.5 million and only 11,000 with incomes over $5.5 million.

I think we can see from this just how out of touch McCain is. And yet these are still the people Republicans would choose to privilege. Rich but not rich enough.


Randy Johnson said...
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Randy Johnson said...

That seems to be the consensus on the morning news shows. I missed it also. But, as I've noticed a distinct McCain slant lately in the press, I don't know how accurate that assessment might be.

Travis Erwin said...

I saw part of the interview and actually was impressed by both men at various times. I'm at the national convention for the American Postal Workers her in Vegas and Obama is supposed to directly address us via video on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

Last year President Clinton spoke in person.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Patti,

I don't have cable tv, so I watch these events on the computer. I think MSNBC still has segments up if you want to see some or all. I did not see all of either speaker, but saw a lot of each of them. In the interest of full disclosure, I have already made up my mind to vote for Obama. I see him as having potential for the future and McCain as being mired in the past. My sixth grandchild will be born in September and with each grandchild, the future becomes more important to me.

With all that out of the way, I think Obama struck a more conversational tone, while McCain was very pointed (or, to the point, as your mother said) in listing facts. His tone was clipped and sure, much less conversational.

The audience seemed to like McCain's answers on abortion and stem cell research, so he did not have to talk much about them and could use the time on other things. It is always moving, although may not be relevant when he talks about his POW experience (which I do not diminish. I stand in awe of that service, but I do not find it relevant to the Presidential campaign.)

He seemed edgy to me when talking about the Supreme Court Justices. Other wise I think he did really well.

Obama's conversational tone always appeals to me, but clearly, his positions on some issues did not appeal to this audience. However, I think that his answers on social issues were well received.


I think the press is moving toward McCain to heat up the race which will give them more to write about, if the race gets a little closer.

I urge everyone who lives in a "could go either way" state to talk up the election and the candidate you support to everyone you know.

I live in New York which is solidly blue, so I will spend some face time campaigning in Florida and some phone time campaigning in North Carolina.


Terrie Farley Moran said...


I'd love to hear what Obama tells y'all.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how much people make. In fact, the more people making more money, the better it is for everyone. Taxing people more and more does not create wealth. As it is, the top 50% pay 96.54% of all income taxes. These are the people who create jobs. The bottom 50% pay just 3.46% of all income taxes.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Patti, the forum was broadcast on local radio here in So. Cal. and my hubby and I heard parts of it driving to and from dinner. Obama's style was definitely more conversational and there was a lot less applause for him than for McCain. (Big surprise - NOT) I thought McCain dredged up a lot of conservative sound bites straight out of his stump speech whereas Obama tried to avoid using his stump speech since Warren had asked them to not to do that, but I didn't hear all of it. And in the interest of full disclosure, maybe I'm a teeny bit biased since I'm a Dem. ;)

The most moving part of McCain's part of the forum was when he talked about his wife going to Bangla Desh to visit Mother Teresa and returning with a five-month-old baby in her arms and saying to him, "here's your new daughter". That was a wonderful thing she did.

I think CNN is going to re-broadcast the forum but I'm not sure when. You'd have to check your local listings.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for filling me in. I think it will run again several times but like the mother of the gymnast who couldn't watch her performance, I think I'll skip this one. I really dislike the idea of having an in-house audience react to the candidates. It just has to influence the audience at home.

Randy Johnson said...

I would encourage everyone to watch Obama"s town hall meeting tonight at six-thirty. My sister said she's scheduled to speak(she doesn't know the time) about her experiences with the Trade Act.
I posted about it on my blog.