The First Presidential Debate

It's debate season. As most of you know, the first presidential debate took place on Friday. Since it's important to be informed about what's happening, I figured I'd publish the exact transcript here for anyone who missed it:

Jim Lehrer: Welcome to the Ford Center at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. I'm Jim Lehrer. I'm a very, very old man. The questions tonight were chosen by me, and they were not cleared by anyone. Not even me. Now please welcome the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.

[candidates walk out to podiums]

Lehrer: Let's get started. At this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan? Senator Obama?

Obama: Well thank you Jim. And I'd like to thank the University of Mississippi for hosting this event. I'd also like to thank the people of Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida for just being you. As for the financial recovery plan, I'm a Main Street guy. Wall Street can blow me.

Lehrer: that it?

Obama: It's very straightforward, Jim. There are two streets, and quite simply, one is better than the other. Furthermore, golden parachutes.

Lehrer: Alright...Senator McCain?

McCain: Well I'd like to begin by wishing my best to the wonderful Ted Kennedy, who is in the hospital tonight.

Obama: Crap. Touché.

McCain: Yeah I can't believe you didn't think of that. We need to fix the biggest crisis of our time. And I've been around a little while. I'm an extremely old man. Eight years ago, people were like, "McCain's probably too old to be president." I can't believe I got nominated eight years after that.

Obama: Yeah how did you pull that off?

McCain: I'm not sure. It's pretty nuts. Anyway, we need to solve this financial crisis and we need to drill offshore.

Lehrer: Senator McCain, please stay on topic.

McCain: Reach across the aisle.

Lehrer: What? Okay, listen-- I'd like you two to argue against each other and not just talk to me.

Obama: Look. We need more regulation, more accountability, more transparency, and we need to make Main Street longer.

Lehrer: Um, longer, Senator Obama?

Obama: That's right. Longer. Main Street is a rad street and if we make it longer, then there's more of Main Street. John McCain thinks the economy is booming.

Lehrer: Christ, stop talking about each other in the third person. Please use the second person.

Obama: Oh yeah. John, you think the economy is booming.

McCain: No I don't. And I refuse to use the second person. The second person is elitist and over-educated. The third person is a hardworking middle-class American.

Lehrer: The hell?

McCain: And I think we should make Main Street even longer than Senator Obama wants to make it.

Lehrer: Even...longer, Senator McCain?

McCain: That's right. If Senator Obama had his way, he'd make Main Street kind of longer. I'd make it ridiculously longer.

Obama: Well I'd shorten Wall Street.

[audience gasp]

Lehrer: Okay, screw it. Let's move on. Senator McCain, what would you do as President that's different than Barack Obama.

McCain: I'd cut spending. I'd coerce spending into resigning. And when I'm President and I want spending to resign, spending will resign. I'll have the power to have people and their families killed and goddammit I intend to use it. Obama wants to spend more. He wants mad earmarks. He wants to go on a shopping spree and spend the shit out of things.

Lehrer: Is that true, Senator Obama? Do you want to go on a shopping spree and spend the shit out of things?

Obama: Of course not. Sure, I'd earmark the shit out of the place-- but I'd tax the assholes making over $250,000 a year to pay for it.

Lehrer: That's a pretty good point. Senator McCain, please respond to Senator Obama. Look at Senator Obama and respond to him.

McCain: Jim, it's quite simple. Senator Obama wants to raise the taxes of every American, essentially putting a Slip 'N' Slide on Main Street and thus making a mockery of all the people living there.

Obama: You see, this is when I get angry. Not angry angry like a typical person. But angry in my Barack Obama way. I remain mad calm and collected. For better or worse.

Lehrer: Alright, enough. What are you angry about?

Obama: He continues to say I'd raise taxes. I'm planning to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. 95 effing percent. I don't know how many times I can say it. Unless you're some dick living on Wall Street, I will cut your taxes.

McCain: You see, Jim, this is the same shit that makes Obama the most liberal person in the history of the Senate, and indeed, the world. He'd actually raise taxes of all kinds of Americans.

Obama: You dick.

McCain: Sissy.

Obama: I'm sorry, I have to say something here-- what is with your constant smug smile Senator McCain? It's making me violently angry.

McCain: I just think it's cute when you try to act like a "real politician." You're cute.

Obama: You're going to die like 40 years before me.

McCain: That was hurtful.

Obama: Yeah, sorry. But your smile is infuriating.

Lehrer: Alright, let's move on. As a result of a potential $700 billion bailout, what would each of you give up to pay for it? Senator Obama?

Obama: We need energy independence. Healthcare for all Americans. We need to prevent jobs from going overseas.

Lehrer: Senator Obama, you didn't answer my question-- you just stated stuff that you want to do as President.

Obama: John McCain represents four more years of the failed policies of the Bush Administration.

Lehrer: Okay...Senator McCain? What would you give up to pay for the bailout?

McCain: When I was a prisoner in Hanoi, there was a small window in my cell. One day, a little bird came by-- a robin, I believe-- and said to me, "John, these are tough times. But your country needs you. Do you know that? Do you know that John?" It was at that moment that I gave myself to Jesus, and then gave Jesus to my country. So by extension, I gave myself to my country.

Lehrer: [Sigh] This debate is ridiculously boring. You guys are repeating the same exact 10-12 sentences we've heard for the last 10 months, no matter what my questions are. Please-- for the sake of the millions of people watching-- give us something new. What is something specific that you would give up to compensate for the bailout?

Obama: I'd give up dependence on foreign oil.

McCain: I'd give up insurgent attacks on our American troops abroad. And I'd give up America's resistance to drill offshore.

Obama: I'd give up the high unemployment rate and I'd give up how we keep not finding Osama Bin Laden.

Lehrer: Christ. Okay, let's continue-- what are the lessons from Iraq? Senator McCain?

McCain: Victory.

Lehrer: Is that all, Senator McCain?

McCain: That's all.

Obama: See, I think Iraq is a very complex situation with many facets and it is hard to break it down to a simple "win or lose" outcome.

McCain: That's the kind of elitist bullshit that the American people are sick of from your mouth. Did you always think that way? Or did you change when you were a POW in Vietnam?

Obama: What?

McCain: Oh that's right. That was me. I was the POW. Not you.

Lehrer: Brilliant. Any last words on Iraq?

McCain: Folks, Senator Obama was against the surge in Iraq. He wants to cut funds to the troops and give them poisonous food. And as the chairman of the foreign relations subcommittee, he hasn't even visited Iraq. He can't even point out Iraq on the map. He celebrates Ramadan.

Obama: You just lied 6 times in 5 sentences.

McCain: Yeah, I've been getting trained by my campaign experts on how to slander and lie really obviously but in a way that most Americans still believe.

Obama: Upsetting.

McCain: Yeah.

Lehrer: Okay, but again, let's focus on the question here. What are the lessons of Iraq?

McCain: I was in Ohio the other day. A good American woman came up to me and handed me a bracelet. She said it was the bracelet of her son, who had died in Iraq.

Obama: Well I was in Florida recently, and an old Christian veteran soldier came up to me and gave me a necklace. There were 32 beads-- each one for one of his grandchildren, all of whom had died in Afghanistan.

McCain: And just last week I was in Wisconsin. A bald eagle landed on my shoulder. First, he saluted me. Then, he gave me an anklet. It had belonged to his nephew, who had died in a hunting accident. Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand that.

Lehrer: Let's move on. How about Iran?

McCain: Ahmenidenijad. Achmedinindaj. Ahmendijababobaba.

Obama: Really? My campaign guys made me repeat the name like 400 times so I couldn't possibly mess it up.

McCain: I know, me too. I'm incredibly upset with myself right now.

Lehrer: Alright, how about Russia. Senator McCain?

McCain: What Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand.


Lehrer: Yes?

McCain: What?

Lehrer: You said, "What Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand..."

McCain: Yes.

Lehrer: What doesn't he seem to understand?

McCain: We Republicans came to power to change Washington, and Washington changed us.

Lehrer: The hell?

McCain: Wind-solar-water-biodiesel-geothermal.

Obama: Yeah, they had me memorize that too.

McCain: It took me quite some time.

Obama: Oh. Really?

McCain: I never won Miss Congeniality in the Senate.

Obama: John McCain voted 90% of the time with the Bush Administration.

McCain: Maverick.

Obama: Brady Bunch.

McCain: POW.

Obama: George Bush.

McCain: Naive.

Obama: Folks. Ordinary, hard-working folks.

Lehrer: Christ, stoppit! This is disgustingly boring. Do you really think Americans are that dumb?


McCain: Well, yeah.

Obama: Yeah, obviously. That's what our entire campaigns are centered around. Winning over dumb people in about eight specific states.

Lehrer: Well that's wonderful. Thanks for a stimulating debate. Please join us next week for the sure to be more interesting vice-presidential debate. Good night and good luck.


Anonymous said...

please do the Palin Biden debate

Anonymous said...

very entertaining. do you publish these outside of the blog?

Anonymous said...

i nominate tim urban for president.

or maybe just the moderator for the next presidential debate.


Anonymous said...

Amusing ...

Anonymous said...

This was really FUNNY! I had a great time reading this. You should really think about writing a book. You are really good at writing conversations.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't watch CNN,
I would have thought this was the real thing.

Can't wait for a Biden-Palin.

Wallyhorse said...

Just saw this, and it was a good one:

Hopefully, there will be more in the future!

Anonymous said...

Please do the VP and 2nd Presidential debates! That was hilarious.

Alter Tobi said...

Good times.

Anonymous said...