Stay Tuned for a Special RSBS Event

McCain_Obama.jpgWith baseball’s furlough strikingly apparent this evening, RSBS presents a one-time, not to be missed, special event at 9PM tonight as Allen live-blogs the 2nd Presidential Debate. Now, we won’t promise it will be good. We won’t even promise it will be entertaining or coherent. But it will be live. Join us as we update throughout the evening, right here, after the jump.

And we’re done. Obama definitely had the edge on the domestic issues but McCain got in a couple good points in the foreign affairs arena. However, Obama did just enough to win this one and that puts him up 2-0 in the series with one match left. But the only one that really matters takes place in November. See you then!

10:34 PM:
Both contestants make it out of the finale unscathed. What don’t they know? Well, they’re not sure because they don’t know. But goshdarnit, they’re going to find out. Here’s looking at you, America

10:29 PM
Iran. Nuclear weapons. Been there, done that.

10:24 PM:
Things are winding down here at the end as both Senators talk about Russia. There’s no real difference so we head to the ninth.

10:20 PM:
McCain brings in his favorite reliever, David Petraeus. Petraeus just doesn’t seem to have the same old zip on the fastball, though.

10:13 PM:
Katie’s question about Pakistan lets Obama get to the one area where he has consistently out-hawked McCain. McCain tries to parse Obama’s answer but that just isn’t his strong suit. Let’s score it an E-72 (or however old McCain is).

10:08 PM:
Brokaw comes out firing, trying to nail both candidates down on their respective doctrines with respect to use of force. Obama tries to lay down a bunt but McCain swings for the fences once again. Neither one really succeeds in answering the question but McCain’s attempt definitely looked more impressive.

10:03 PM:
McCain gets a pitch right in his wheelhouse with the switch to foreign policy. And he does
what he does best, knocking it out of the park. Obama goes back to the fence, tries for the leaping catch but can’t quite keep it in.

9:54 PM:
McCain channels his inner Guiliani. He just needs to hit the “noun, verb, 9/11” and his journey will be complete.

9:52 PM:
McCain wanders across the back of the frame. Is he lost?

Obama is getting into the wonky part of the debate. But he makes a biblical reference so all is forgiven.

9:49 PM:
I keep noticing the woman in blue in the back, the same one from earlier. She just looks like she wants to hit someone. That’s the same killer spirit that makes America great….and that got Shawn Chacon fired.

9:43 PM:
We’re getting into the drudgery of the middle innings of a closely fought match. Taxes, entitlements, all important things but also things that tend to bore the hell out of normal people.

“It’s not tough to fix Social Security.” Huh?

9:33 PM:
Obama pulls a trick out of his sleeve, mentioning 9/11 first. McCain must be fuming right now. Sure didn’t see that coming. And then he manages to end it with the volunteerism and the Peace Corps. Wow!

9:26 PM:
How did I not notice this before? McCain is a southpaw! And he’s got some nasty stuff tonight. Obama voted for a 3 million dollar projector for a planetarium in Chicago? Oh no he didn’t!

9:25 PM:
One of the best parts of watching a baseball game on TV is the weird people in the crowd. Turns out debates are a spectator sport, too. Some lady in the F section asks a question in spurts and starts and the woman behind her gets a wide-eyed, “oh my god, she’s going to blow it” look on her face. Good stuff. If only they had hotdog vendors, too.

9:20 PM:
It took a few minutes but McCain finally goes on the attack, hitting Obama on his association with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama manages to foul it off and settle back into the comfort zone of his stump speech.

9:11 PM:
For some reason I’m always nervous when these things start. And Tom Brokaw looks really washed out. But as they come out of the gate, uh, I already forgot what the question was. Both guys stick to their strengths, feeling each other out and they both look pretty calm and loose. But, I have to say that McCain’s strengths are apparent in this venue and Obama looks like he’s not sure where he should be standing or what he should be doing.

9:00 PM:
And here we go. Jim Lehrer introduces the format and the place on PBS and Tom Brokaw prepares to welcome the candidates.

With the election now less than a month away, it’s make or break time for the two candidates. The Conventional Wisdom is that tonight’s format, a Town-Hall style forum, favors McCain since this is his preferred style of crowd interaction. And with his numbers slipping and Obama taking sizable leads in key states, McCain really needs some sort of game changing play. Meanwhile, Obama just wants to coast through, keep hammering home his message and not allow the Hail Mary.

In a way this debate bears some similarity to the upcoming Rays-Red Sox series. There’s some bad blood and there have been some brawls in the past but the fans just want to see a good contest. In an hour we’ll find out if they’ll get it.

Update #1:
Just to get you in the mood, here’s SNL’s take on last Thursday’s VP debate. Or maybe this is the actual debate. I’m not sure.
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