As some two politicians take to national TV to discuss the country’s woes, Occupied Chicago Tribune contributing editor Nick Burt offers running comment on tonight’s presidential debate.
7:56 p.m. Democratic campaign spokeswoman, prefacing the debate: “The American people are going to see the choice they’ll have in November.” Indeed, that’s why Occupied Chicago Tribune staff are watching with a bottle of Wild Turkey 101.
8:03 p.m. Moderator Jim Lehrer says questions for tonight’s debate were submitted “through the internet… and other means.” Carrier pigeons. Telepathy. Messages scrawled on the doors of bathroom stalls.
8:06 p.m. Can almost hear Romney repeating in his head, “Break the ice with a joke, Mitt!”
8:18 p.m. Wishing desperately, along with probably plenty of the Republican base, for the Herman Cain Train to crash the show.
8:25 p.m. Romney says, “Let’s look at history.” Ignoring that Obama just made a Donald Trump joke.
8:26 p.m. Romney complains that there are 47 million people on food stamps. Living in a country of 311 million means Romney can afford to shoot higher.
8:28 p.m. First full-blown face-palm of the night
Did Romney just drop a "bro" on President Obama? #debate
— Lindsey Mysse (@lindseymysse) October 4, 2012
8:35 p.m. Obama decries schools with more than 40 kids in classrooms, students getting decade-old textbooks. Same guy who refused to take a side when Chicago Teachers Union brought up the same damned issues.
"like 50 years worth" has Romney turned into a 90's surfer using words like "like"
— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) October 4, 2012
8:46 p.m. When Romney goes on the attack, Obama looks down at the desk guiltily. When Obama goes after Romney, the governor just smiles weakly, like a nursing home resident too polite to tell her visitors that she’s deaf; just blinking, waiting it out.
8:49 p.m. Too much Paul Ryan talk. Taking shot of Malört.
8:50 p.m. Lehrer wraps up Medicare debate by asking candidates, “Can we say there is a clear difference between the two of you?” Candidates: “Uh, sure.”
8:51 p.m. Romney gives a well-deserved verbal hiding to some of our country’s true ultravillains: People running banks out of their garages.
Jim Lehrer's eyes are dark as the depths of hell. #debates
— johnknefel (@johnknefel) October 4, 2012
8:57 p.m. Discussing “Obamacare,” Romney criticizes the lack of accountability of “an unelected board” in the health care industry. And the candidate calls himself a businessman!
9:01 p.m. We’ve hit the 2/3 point of this debate, and 2/3 of Occupied Chicago Tribune staff are still standing.
9:05 p.m. Obama and Romney have matching American flag pins and dark blue jackets. I kind of like the idea of those two going shopping together on a summer Sunday.
9:11 p.m. Romney name-drops Tip O’Neill. Would be kind of lackluster if that turned out to be the secret weapon Chris Christie promised.
9:13 p.m. Jim Lehrer sitting against a backdrop of absolute blackness. Like that scene in Herzog’s White Diamond where the viewer wasn’t allowed to look into the cave behind the waterfall.
9:14 p.m. “Freedom” “‘Merica” “Free enterprise system.” Obama channels the presidential debates, 2004.
9:17 p.m. Romney again says “trickle-down.” Would have been good for a cheap laugh if Santorum had been the nominee.
9:22 p.m. Roms to Obams: “You’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts.” A very rich man attempts a funny.
9:25 p.m. Romney’s done remarkably well for a patrician corpse.
9:31 p.m. Grinding nails into chair all through closing statements. Need a cigarette. Maybe Obama’s with me on this one.
9:32 p.m. Lehrer plugs second of three presidential debates, forthcoming. OCT‘s Dan Massoglia: “Do we have to care about that one, too?”
9:37 p.m. Thanks for checking in with us tonight. That wraps up our live-blog of the first presidential debate. End tally: 90 minutes of testy bickering; and our part, a bottle of Wild Turkey, a couple of six-packs, two bags of chips, and some volume of Jeppson’s Malört. We’ll hand this over now to people who get paid to comment on this. Hope you enjoyed.