Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate Thoughts

I'm much happier about it than aimai is. Obama didn't need to devastate McCain; McCain needed to devastate Obama--really, really needed it. And that didn't happen. I don't think the earmark attacks ever really landed; nobody really gives a shit about earmarks except insiders, and Obama did a good job of putting them in numerical perspective. Beyond that, Obama was clearly more knowledgeable about the economy and came off as comparably knowledgeable on foreign policy (of course he's much more knowledgeable than McCain, but McCain was at his best last night, and did a good job of hiding just how crazy he really is).

The simple-minded insta-pundit commentary on PBS summed it up: the whole panel agreed that both candidates had "passed the commander-in-chief test". That's a huge loss for McCain, because the only argument he has left is that Obama isn't qualified to be "commander-in-chief". I see this as very possibly a 1980 situation, where once Obama passes that threshhold there's a big swing in his direction.

That's not to say that I wasn't disappointed in some respects. I had hoped to see McCain lunge across the stage and try to throttle Obama, and that didn't happen. On the other hand, I don't think McCain staring rigidly ahead while Obama was talking to him will go over all that well. I'm biased, of course, but I think McCain came off as a petty little rageaholic when he did that.

In other superficial observations: what's with the blinking? Good god, McCain blinks a lot.