Barack Obama campaign Routt County Field Organizer Dylan Roberts watches Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden during a Democrat viewing party Thursday night at Sunpie's Bistro.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Barack Obama campaign Routt County Field Organizer Dylan Roberts watches Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden during a Democrat viewing party Thursday night at Sunpie's Bistro.

Dems gather at Sunpie's Bistro to watch VP debate


— Rob and Lisa Callahan had different expectations leading up to Thursday night's debate between vice presidential candidates Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska.

"Palin will show how she's been coached, and she's completely uninformed on the issues and doesn't know anything other than what she's been coached," Lisa Callahan said.

"I just don't think Palin's as stupid as she does," Rob Callahan replied.

The two, on vacation from Savannah, Ga., were among dozens who crowded into the back room of Sunpie's Bistro for a debate watch party hosted by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's Campaign for Change office in Steamboat Springs.

The standing-room-only crowd listened with mostly rapt attention throughout the 90-minute debate. The most spirited responses came after Biden zingers such as his characterization of one of Republican presidential nominee John McCain's policies as "the ultimate bridge to nowhere" and Palin slip-ups such as when she mistakenly referred to Biden as "Sen. O'Biden," the Taliban as the "Taliban-ee," and McCain as "the man we need to leave - lead."

But by the end of the night, many found themselves unexpectedly impressed by the Republican running mate - just as Rob Callahan predicted.

"I thought she confronted (complicated issues) a lot better than I thought," said Tina Segler, who said before the debate that she had very low expectations for Palin. "She still dodged the subject when she got stuck, but she did better than I thought. I think that's because I had such low expectations to begin with."

David Moulton also was surprised by a debate that he initially thought would be "more a stump platform than a debate."

"I think it was much better than I anticipated," said Moulton, who thought the debate was even better than last week's face-off between Obama and McCain. "I think they had more positive things to say."

The debate also was likely more substantive than expected for the creators of a bingo drinking game that many played throughout the event. Squares were filled with buzz phrases including "executive experience," "33 years in Senate," "shore up economy," "Bush doctrine," "maverick," "bailout," "hockey mom," "Main Street," "deregulation," "small-town Wasilla" and "working-class Scranton."

While many of the buzz phrases were mentioned throughout the debate, no one was able to call out a bingo.

Local Democrats plan other election-related events in the days and weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election. On Saturday, Diane White-Crane will host a party for Obama supporters at her llama farm in Clark. White-Crane was a staffer for late former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

"Barack Obama, in my opinion, because of his high intelligence and his integrity and his charisma, has the potential to be the greatest president we've ever had," said White-Crane, who particularly was perturbed by Palin's smile throughout the debate. "He's the first candidate I've been this excited about since Bobby Kennedy."

Harris Reitman-Swiss, head of the college Democrats at Colorado Mountain College, said he already has signed up about 40 students who will wait outside the Routt County Courthouse to be among the first to cast their votes when early voting starts at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 20.

"There's a lot of support at the college," said Reitman-Swiss, who wore a button that read "GOP RIP." "Eight-thirty for a college student - that's early."


Duke_bets 8 years, 6 months ago

As Americans, 'we do not got to allow that'. Palin needs a 5th grade grammar lesson.

Darn, Heck yeah, ya', ya', ya', not got, thanks.............Not words I would expect out of somebody campaigning to be the Vice President. Of course, GW probably didn't even notice.


nikobesti 8 years, 6 months ago

First of all, I thought Palin did a good job for the level of her knowledge. She is a confident speaker, and she came off quite well. The problem, though, is that she'd been studying talking points on many subjects and instead of answering questions, she could only reproduce those talking points. When a she got a second chance to talk about the same issue, she repeated the same talking points. She simply does not have the breadth of understanding needed to answer tough questions and counter Biden. But she did well, and I do like the Palin I saw last night much better than the one that dwelled in a sewer of lies and insults during her RNC speech.

Joe Biden was on point. I'd never seen him debate this well. He did exactly what he needed to: attack McCain, not Palin; show a good grasp of the issues; propose solutions that the Obama campaign would implement; he was respectful and not condescending. In fact, he passed up many chances to nail Palin on her record; he passed up every one. When Palin gave the wrong name of the commander in Afghanistan, Biden didn't even correct her. And at least Biden answered the questions.


nikobesti 8 years, 6 months ago

After watching both debates, I can see a pattern forming. Obama and Biden proposed solutions for many issues. Nearly every time they talked, they said, "We should do X, Y, and Z." If anyone contends that they don't know Obama's platform, that he doesn't propose solutions, only catch phrases, they're either not listening or they're lying through their teeth.

Any observer can contrast that sharply with what McCain and Palin have been offering in speeches and debates. First of all, they peddle fear that Obama is going to raise taxes (only for the 5% of Americans who make more than $250,000) and that Obama would sit down with Ahmadinejad (false again-he said he would meet with Iran representatives, not Ahmadinejad). Both Palin and McCain invoked both these falsehoods again and again. They talk about their records and their competitors' records, but rarely talk about what solutions they would put in place. They don't even have a response for the Democrats' charges, they just deflect the question and repeat the same talking points.

Whether you like them or not, there is zero question which party is offering the solutions here. I'm hoping Americans are tired of fluff and dodging tough questions and issues.


drumski 8 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone else find it amusing that she sounded like Homer Simpson, "It's pronounced newculer." Oh yeah, someone else says it that way, what's his name......DUBYA.

On a serious note, saying that she did, "better than expected" means absolutely nothing. Yes, she did not trip over her own feet walking in, however....

She did do a good job of repeating what the compaign advisors had drilled into her head, but what does we're going to "ramp" up the economy mean exactly.

I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I will vote for the best candidate. It is unfathomable to me that people would vote for McCain knowing that Sarah Palin could very likely become president. I would love to see a woman take the oval office, but she does not represent most women that I know. Anti-gay, anti-abortion, book banning.....the list goes on. Wake up people.

The sad thing is the Democrats are notorious for blowing it and obviously had Biden on a leash so as not to come off as condescending. Next time they should take the gloves wait....that was the only VP debate. I'm sure they're kicking themselves.

Don't forget to vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


stillinsteamboat 8 years, 6 months ago

Palin didn't even know what "achilles heel" is. I'm sorry, she is not qualified to be President.


Fred Duckels 8 years, 6 months ago

Drumski: You are presenting yourself as a perfectly neutral, intelligent chap that just arrived on this earth and decided that one side has the only acceptable ideas. This is the oldest liberal trick in the book. A little more originality might be more believable.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

The real earthy question today is which of the folks who you saw last night would you trust with your 401K for the next four years?

A fella who has been a Senator for 36 years and has never done anything else? Oh, yeah, he takes the train home every night.

Or a small businesswoman, mom, beauty queen, point guard, Mayor, Governor? And she can field dress a moose!

Now this woman is from a small, small town and a state with just a little bit of population but golly gee they sure do have a lot of oil and gas; and, heck, they have no income tax and the citizens get an annual check from the PFD.

So, really, who is it going to be?

I may have forgotten to tell you that the Senator fella graduated in the bottom quarter of his class in both undergrad and law school --- well, actually, the bottom 1/8th of his class to tell you the truth. And, was accused of plagiarism in law school and got an "F" in that course.

Also, the chick went to 5 or 6 different schools and got a degree in journalism but at least she was in the top 10% of her graduating class.

So, who will it be?

Cause that is exactly what you are getting ready to do.

You like that equity in your home? That 401K or SEP or IRA? Well you better protect it when you vote.

And, sure everybody is getting a tax break next year cause that $700B bailout, that won't cause any problems delivering on the tax breaks, will it? Hahahahahaha!

Choose wisely, folks, cause the campaign rhetoric is not going to cut it when the bills come in.


Jason Krueger 8 years, 6 months ago

JLM- You can repeat your same talking points over and over. It doesn't change the fact your party has bankrupted this country, the military, and our international standing. Face it, you had 10 years to get it right and you failed. Your party hasn't presented a single new idea for this election yet criticizes the other side. Your party has lost the one thing you seem to hold in such high regard: honor.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

New ideas? Barry Obama has trotted out campaign promises that were old when Joe Biden first was elected to the Senate. LOL

Even Bill "it was just a BJ among friends" Clinton blamed the problem on Barney Frank (he of the gay lover in charge of new product development for Fannie Mae fame) and his blocking of reforms supported by Clinton and the Republicans. Billy Boy Clinton!

But hey if you think our "international standing" is bankrupt maybe we can get Barry Obama to make a really great runway model speech in say, Berlin?

Sheesh, talk about a poseur!


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

It might be worthy of note that it was the Republicans and always has been the Republicans who have been the only responsible stewards of America's military preparedness.

You may remember a Republican chap --- hint: "RR", first name "Ronald" --- who rebuilt the military, won the Cold War and got the Russians to tear down the Berlin War?

What was the Democrats response to this chap? To call him a "dunce."

Heck, even the Messiah is an admirer of President Ronald Wilson Reagan!

It very, very difficult to believe that the American military can be entrusted to an inexperienced Illinois Senator and a draft dodger (yeah, Sen Biden avoided the VN draft by obtaining 7 student deferments then obtaining a medical deferment for high school asthma after bragging of his HS athletic achievements, that Joe Biden).

And, yes, the military funding bill which was passed to fund the Army in Iraq was, in fact, opposed by Sen Obama. He voted against the final version which was enacted into law over his opposition.

A fakir, a poseur, a liar and no friend to the military --- our Senator Barrack Obama.


drumski 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Duckels,

I'm not sure what you're getting at but I'm hoping you will expand. In fact, I'm not sure who I'm trying to fool? If you think that having a problem with banning books is liberal, than I guess I am. However, I am not for a national health care system, so I guess I would be conservative there. Fiscally I'm very conservative.....something that I have not seen from the current so called conservative administration. I trying to trick you again? Am I a lefty tree hugger just pulling a fast one on you? No Mr. Duckels, I am just a realist looking for the best candidate. McCain/Palin might be the worst candidates I've seen since Ross Perot. As that original enough for you?

Oh yeah, I'll be voting for Al White (R) in the local you're really confused.


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago

Cool JLM!

McCain picked someone who can play basketball, look pretty and field dress a moose! I am definetly voting for McCain now!


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

Actually, playa (can I call you "playa"?), I think John S McCain actually picked a chick who was a CHAMPIONSHIP basketball player --- hell, a point guard, the guardian of the rock ---, who looks "gorgeous" not just pretty and not only can field dress a moose but she shot the dang thing herself and she loves mooseburgers.

Oh, yeah, she is a Governor of a State which has huge energy resources and she is quite an expert on that matter, is she not? Heck, that might come in handy down in Washington, what do you say, playa? No?

As Governor, she was responsible for doubling the annual payment from the Alaska PFD to its citizens. Have you gotten a $3200 check from Colorado this year?

She got rid of Republican corruption and she has been instrumental in turning the 30 dream of a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 into a reality.

And that was just in 2 years in office. Of course, Governors can't vote "present", they have to make things actually happen.

Oh, boy, I can't wait to see what the 'Cuda does next!

Damn, I envy Todd Palin.


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago

Sigh do I have to explain again??

We all know Alaska is rich with oil and yes, Palin is an expert at rescources. But lets think of other global issues: The Iraq War, Global Warming, Darfur, 4 Trillion Dollar Debt, Healthcare, Overpopulation and I think we can still name more. My point is that there are lots of problems going on in the world and what Palin specializes in is....RESCOURCES. Experience? Hardly, she was running a town with a population less than Steamboat's. Problem solver? I dunno, she can't even answer questions and she basically hides from the media.

I just don't see her being a top-notch V.P. Next election? I would say so, she can have more experience instead of just...two....years. I have nothing against McCain or Palin personally, but I think we all know that Decision '08 has to be the best one we can have, which is why I try to keep all options open.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

Hey, playa, are you at all worried that Barry Obama began running for President when he had only served in the US Senate for 143 days?

This directly on the heels of having been a part time Illinois Senator who apparently was mostly "present", a part time law professor and a full time community organizer? Hardly the body of work one would want for a President, eh?

In addition, he is the most liberal member of the US Senate --- to the left of Teddy and Hill; and, is a product of the most corrupt political machine in the US.

Does it bother you even a twit that his entire body of campaign promises is the twice baked regurgitation of "chicken in every pot" liberal promises that are trotted out every 4 years by the Democrats?

And it is to be funded by raising taxes on the wealthy, "closing loopholes for corporations" and "eliminating wasteful government spending". Of course, none of these loopholes or programs have been identified, have they? Gee, I wonder why nobody else has thought of that before?

Are you old enough to remember what a great piece of work Hillary turned in as the First Lady on healthcare? That worked great, eh? Well, maybe not so much!

Does it bother you that BO proposes to tax the most productive part of the American work force which already pays more than 80% of all taxes.

Does it bother you that O intends to increase taxes on capital gains in the midst of a capital crisis and when our trading competitors do not tax capital gains at all?

BTW, just for the record, our national debt is $10.2T which is less than the $14T 2008 GDP of the US. National debt is approximately 70% of GDP.

The national debt is a truly bogus indicator.

If you made $100,000 annually and you bought a house for $250,000 with a downpayment of $50,000 (an FHA qualifying loan in most of the country), your personal debt would be 200% of your annual GDP. Would you be worried? The US national debt is 70% of GDP.

Does it bother you not at all that O was against the surge, predicted it would not work and has yet to admit it was a wise policy when even he indicated it "has worked beyond anybody's wildest dreams"?

Does it bother you that O voted against funding the Army while the Army was engaged in two wars simultaneously?

Does it bother you not at all that O promises you a tax reduction when the Congress just funded a $700B bailout of Wall Street? That sucking sound? That was your tax cut being flushed, playa.

It's a dangerous world out there and electing a fakir and a poseur only makes it more dangerous.

And, oh yeah, Obambi is at the TOP of the ticket, Ace.


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago

Okay JLM, a few things:Okay, I will admit that Obama has not ben in office as long as McCain, but, as said before, he has supported Bush 90% of the time, GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL!!! We've all seen what Bush has done to us in the past eight years. You say Obama wants to increase taxes, well so does McCain:

(I know these are not hyperlinked sorry)

And about Clinton's healthcare, this is an attack on Democrats, no Obama. It does not bother me that Obama voted against funding the Army during war becuase the money that goes to the war increases basicallyall of our funds (might I say the Iraq War?). I do not like war, I don't see why we need to fund for it, as you say. So in all of your "Does it Bother you statments" I reply, no.

Now let me ask you, JLM.....

Doesn't it bother you that McCain wants to continue a war we have "Already won" and we still lose money due to it? Doesn't it bother you that McCain's healthcare plan increases taxes and still people will not have it? Doesn't it bother you that we owe countries like China money, yet we continue to borrow it?

Our country needs more than just a veteran, a powerful speaker. It needs more than just looks or different race. It needs more than just a flash of a smile and an "Everything will be okay". It needs more than just 143 days in a senate. It needs more than just what the world wants and more of what is right. And wether you want Barrack Obama or John McCain, that is up to all of us.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

Playa --- have you been enjoying the safety in our Nation since 9-11? No terrorist activity on our continent for 7 1/2 years. Who would have thunk it, eh? Well, then, you should send a sweet little thank you missive to ----------------------- George W Bush.

The President does not propose legislation. Legislation is only proposed by members of Congress. Only members of Congress can vote on legislation. The President does not vote on legislation.

John S McCain has voted with his party 90% of the time and against it 10% of the time.

Obama has voted with his party 97% of the time and against his party only 3% of the time.

This includes procedural votes, cloture votes, resolutions (e.g. Guam Independence Day resolution), draft bills, amendments and final legislation.

Don't buy into the phoney talking point about voting "with the President".

Nobody with a brain is going to increase taxes during a recession teeterig on the edge of a depression but Obama has voted 94 times to increase, extend, expand or create taxes. Would you be willing to admit he has a bit of a tendency to like taxes? He has not been bashful about his promise to increase taxes on the most productive element of our society has he? Or to increase the capital gains tax? Or to tax small business? The guy is a tax and spend liberal. The most liberal member of the Senate.

Hey, look, nobody with a brain or a heart likes war.

But, playa, we are in a war --- two wars --- and if we don't want the terrorists coming back to Manhattan or Denver, then we have to win them. You do understand that our adversaries are so evil they would lure impressionable youth with the promise of salvation and a platoon of virgins to fly an airplane into a building to kill our people? This is not like wearing white after Labor Day with these folks. The crazies have gone "all in" on us and it is time to wipe them out or suffer the consequences.

And, we are just about there in Iraq and the same strategy that worked in Iraq will work in Arghanistan.

Who do you really want running the show --- some guy who wants to declare defeat and come home with our tail tucked between our legs and encouraging the terrorists to follow us home or a guy who defied the President and said it was time to decisively engage, to increase the level of combat troops and who risked his political career to speak up?

I usually recommend warriors to run wars and not community organizers. Go with me on this one, playa.

As an aside, you want to reinstitute the draft? Screw up the Volunteer Army by either forcing them to lose or by cutting off their funding. Who do you think is going to fight our wars and keep the terrorists at bay? Sean Penn? Alec Baldwin?

No, the Presidency is a bit too trying just now to entrust it to an inexperienced corrupt community organizer from the Chicago machine.

But, hey, that could just be me?


Jason Krueger 8 years, 6 months ago

JLM- You do it time and again- You throw out some holier-than-thou statement like "don't buy into phony talking points" then, in less than a paragraph you are guilty of doing just that.

1- What do you call the domestic terrorism anthrax attacks following 9/11? We have had terrorist attacks since 9/11. Stop glossing over reality.

2-The President has veto power over legislation. Don't make a blanket untrue statement. Either be accurate or keep your trap shut.

3- Obama does believe the bottom 95% of society should not pay all the taxes. He believes in a more balanced tax rate. Yes, someone making $200,000 a year will ultimately pay more dollars in tax than someone making $20,000 annually (basic math percentages prove that. But I forgot, you're a Republican and are unable to do basic math) but the goal of his tax plan is to balance the system. The majority of "small businesses" (95% actually) according to non-partisan measurements earn less than $200,000 annually. Obama's plan would not increase their taxes. He has not voted to raise taxes 94 times. This is a Rebulican smear. Also, please explain how Hedge Fund Managers are the most productive members of society. The era of the Rockefellers is long gone. Check your facts

4- Do you honestly believe going to war and exploding our military budget will actually eliminate 19 pissed off people from committing terrorism? Jees JLM- Dump words like "evil". They do nothing to support your claim and only add to your ignorance. Yes the actions are/were horrific but mocking the fringe section of a religion doesn't help anything. Remember, this country is full of people who believe in a talking snake and see no problem with shooting abortion doctors. The only difference between the two is bin Laden was more efficient. Wake up to reality.

5- We are in 2 wars because of the current administration. Things ARE going better in Iraq after 7 1/2 years (not less than 6 months). This Administration screwed up the war, screwed up the occupation and now is doing what they should have done from day one- listen to the military leaders not their "hawks". I will not give them credit for fixing something THEY screwed up.

6- Perhaps if we put an intelligent individual into Office just once we could get out of your mantra of "Times are just too trying for us to entrust our country with anyone else...."

7- It is just you.


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

JK, babe, has a single US citizen been killed in any form of terrorist attack in the US since 9-11? Let me help you out, babe --- NO!

Be big enough to give credit where credit is due. Say after me: "Thank you, President Bush."

The President does indeed have veto power and I surely wish he had exercised a few more vetoes but the point was that the President does not originate legislation. The Obama baloney about "voting with the President..." is just that, baloney.

The top 5% of wage earners in America pay 90% of all of the ordinary income taxes in the US and almost 98% of the capital gains taxes. The tax code has become progressively more regressive since the Clinton administration. Obama simply desires the most productive part of society to pay for his band of losers. He hawks not a tax credit or a tax refund but a redistribution of tax revenue from the earners to the consumers. This is the fundamental basis of socialism.

How do you figure the Obaloney man earns the sobriquet of being the "most liberal member of the Senate"? By raising taxes? I think so. The guy is a tax and spend liberal of the worst sort --- to the left of Teddy. This mantle was placed upon him by folks who think it is a good thing. LOL

Remember, he intends to raise the taxes on capital gains even if you are selling 100 shares of Exxon and your income is only $100 per year. His tax increase is on all capital gains.

Tell me all of the Presidents who have taxed the American economy into prosperity?

The only viable answer is to dramatically reduce spending --- hey, like a freeze on government expenditures, eh? --- while reducing taxes.

I think that killing terrorists will reduce terrorism. Yes, indeed. In case you haven't noticed both Osama Bin Laden and Gen David Patreus have noted that Iraq is the central front of the war on terror. Osama is sending his jihadists and Gen Petraeus is sending the US Army. The Army is sending the jihadists to mingle with the 92 virgins. Seems like a pretty good trade to me.

You have to pick the zip code in which you want to meet the terrorists. I pick Iraq and Afghanistan. Hell, even Obambi likes Afghanistan.

We are winning and if amateur hour can be put off for a couple of years, the wars will be won and won for all time. We cannot afford any Obambi OJT just now. That is dangerous and imprudent.

Obambi, book sense and fancy talk? You bet!

Common sense and character? No so much!


Jason Krueger 8 years, 6 months ago

In January I'll say this to the President: "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

And, I will be saying: "Welcome, President.........................................................................McCain!"


playa46 8 years, 6 months ago


You totally avoided my last post and went on to something about 9/11. (I didn't bother to read it becuase I know how senseless your posts are). Typical Republican, avoiding what I am trying to point out, just like 'Cuda!!!!!


JLM 8 years, 6 months ago

playa ---

Please accept my most sincere and abject apology for ignoring you. I did not intend to and I am truly sorry. Please forgive me.

What amongst your mountains of drivel requires a bit of enlightenment? I am always more than happy to assist you to see the light. LOL



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