DIXVILLE NOTCH, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama emerged victorious in the first election returns of the 2008 presidential race, winning 15 of 21 votes cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
People in the isolated village in New Hampshire's northeast corner voted just after midnight Tuesday.
It was the first time since 1968 that the village leaned Democratic in an election.
Obama's rival, Republican John McCain, won 6 votes.
So it's come to this. At a town hall meeting in Minnesota Friday night, John McCain was loudly booed after he defended Obama as a "decent man" that his supporters shouldn't be afraid of. The answer came in response to two questions from audience members, one by a man who said he's afraid of raising his unborn first child in Barack Obama's America, and another one from an older woman, who McCain had to yank the mic away from, after she called him "an Arab" that she "couldn't trust."
"He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States. If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running."
Older Woman: "I have read about him. He's an Arab".
"No, ma'am. No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
While it's nice to see McCain defend Obama from what Glenn Greenwald calls his "traveling lynch mob," it's important to understand that it was McCain himself (and, of course, Sarah Palin) who have been working overtime for the past 10 days or so painting Obama as a Un-American Terrorist Foreigner who they should be fearful of.
Now that McCain has debunked his own campaign's last line of attack, where does he go from here? Perhaps he can start trying to convince a majority of Americans that his ideas are superior to Obama's? I won't hold my breath.
McCain has constantly mocked Obama by saying Barack's attitude of negotiating with our enemies is a clear indication of his lack of experience in foreign policy matters. McCain also cites Gen. Petraeus as often as he can as he tries to use his support of "the surge" to demonstrate his judgement. Well, Gen. Petraeus just destroyed his argument with his appearance at the Heritage Foundation.
Petraeus also came out unambiguously in his talk at Heritage for opening communications with America’s adversaries, a position McCain is attacking Obama for endorsing. Citing his Iraq experience, Petraeus said, “You have to talk to enemies.” He added that it was necessary to have a particular goal for discussion and to perform advance work to understand the motivations of his interlocutors.
All that was the subject of one of the most contentious tussles between McCain and Obama in the first presidential debate, with Obama contending that his intent to negotiate with foreign adversaries without “precondition” did not mean that he would neglect diplomatic “preparation.”
McCain, apparently perceiving an opportunity for attack, Tuesday again used Obama’s comments to attack his judgment. “Sen. Obama, without precondition, wants to sit down and negotiate with them, without preconditions,” McCain said, referring to Iran.
Yet Petraeus emphasized throughout his lecture that reaching out to insurgent groups — some “with our blood on their hands,” he said — was necessary to the ultimate goal of turning them against irreconcilable enemies like Al Qaeda in Iraq.
I wonder what McCain will say at the 3rd presidential Debate when Obama brings all this up. Will McCain say that Petraeus was just a little confused? I guess we should just ask Sean Hannity since he basically runs the messaging of McCain's campaign. If you get the chance, call in to his radio show, ask him, record it and send me the audio.
John McCain tried to once again attack Obama over his assertion that if he found OBL he would take him out. Somehow in McCain's mind, Obama is giving out classified secrets to the enemy by announcing that to the world. It was interesting that Obama won the foreign policy of the debate pretty easily last night. Charles Krauthammer was shocked over that development on FOX in the post debate wrap up.
Obama: You're doing a great job, Tom. Look, I -- I want to be very clear about what I said. Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan. Sen. McCain continues to repeat this.
What I said was the same thing that the audience here today heard me say, which is, if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, then we should.
Now, that I think has to be our policy, because they are threatening to kill more Americans.
Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I'm green behind the ears and, you know, I'm just spouting off, and he's somber and responsible.
McCain: Thank you very much.
Obama: Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don't think is an example of "speaking softly."
This is the person who, after we had -- we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, "Next up, Baghdad."
Listen closely. When McCain asks who Barack Obama is a McCain supporter yells "a terrorist." It's pretty pathetic and McCain should tell his peeps that there is no place for that in his campaign. Sorry, I lost my mind for a second. This is their strategy...
But the current political environment does not excuse remaining silent when a candidate for president is referred to as a “terrorist” in your presence. A desire to win does not excuse remaining silent during a threat on the life of a U.S. Senator at one of your rallies. There are no excuses for evil such as this. John McCain and Sarah Palin, the GOP and all who support them have lost all rights to legitimate argument.
Worse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”
Wow, just wow.
Palin was so feeble during her interview with Couric that it obviously surprised Katie. So much so that it prompted her to continue asking some basic follow up questions. Questions that Palin couldn't answer. Just amazing.