Interesting. I thought it was a good debate, and though I’m obviously biased, I think it was a win for Obama.
For the last several weeks, we’ve been reminded about the Carter/Reagan debate. Americans were unhappy with Carter’s performance as president, but they felt a little uneasy about a right-winger like Reagan in the Oval Office.
But the two debated and Reagan showed that he was not a drooling war-monger. Rather, he had a sunny disposition and seemed to know his facts reasonably well. They started to feel comfortable with the idea of Reagan as president.
Tonight, McCain got in his digs on Obama. He was a bit surly and arrogant, and MSNBC keeps reminding me that McCain never looked at Obama once. I keep thinking of McCain’s reaction shots when he seemed to show contempt for Obama and comparing that to when, in one of the Gore/Bush debates, they kept showing Gore sighing in disgust whenever Bush said something stupid or inaccurate (which happened often). But in the end, Bush was perceived to be the winner because Gore showed contempt for Bush.
Obama, on the other hand, demonstrated that he understands the issues and that he has excersied good judgment on matters of policy. Also, hecame across as a genuinely nice guy.
The pundits say that Obama said agreed with McCain too often. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. They don’t disagree on everything and I think it was good for Obama to point that out, especially as voters are telling pollsters that they are sick of partisan BS.
A week from now, I think that consensus will be that Obama won easily, mostly because he showed that he is an informed and thoughtful guy that most Americants can imagine as president.