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To McCain's "I know how to deal with our adversaries", I'd have to quote: "bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran" (kinda sung to the tune of Barbara Ann by Beach Boys).

I know caricatures don't serve well in politics, but that was irresistible.

You are concerned about coherence and delivery and that makes you want to vote for Palin????

I'm astounded...did you see the Katie Couric interview?

Oops: If you're going to use first names, get it right: John, not Jim.
Are you sure he wasn't just addressing the moderator Jim Lehrer? As for the whole first name thing, I don't think it's a show of disrespect, it's more of a generational thing. I hear the younger generation using first names a lot more and Mr. and Mrs. a lot less. I don't know that it was an intentional tactic on Obama's part, but then again it's a presidential campaign and almost nothing is unplanned.

I think the debate itself was a draw. I didn't really see either candidate step out there and take risks or deviate too far from their campaign's talking points. A bit disappointing.

But I'll agree with the conventional wisdom that McCain really needed a strong performance relative to Obama and didn't get it. Obama's most basic need from it was to show that he's competent and knowledgeable and not out of his league with someone with the experience of McCain, and I think he more than accomplished that.

Too much from each of them twisting the other's position. That's as distasteful as having to listen to evangelicals tell me what I believe as a Mormon. Can't anybody just advocate his own position without making a fool of himself by distorting the other guy's?

I'd agree with mike. Nothing that seemed to set either one apart. From a random spending freeze and dry lectures on the meaning of "pre-conditions" to "hatchets and scalpels" and "I don't even have a seal" the entire things seemed to just give one way then another, but at the end was a huge draw. From looking at the initial polling, it must have been a tie because everyone is certain that their guy did just a big better and more likable and was just a bit stronger than the other guy.

Have you heard that McCain didn't win Miss Congeniality in the senate?

Yes -- was I the only one to mentally cycle through alternative formulations ... Ms. Congeniality? Mr. Congeniality? Senator Congeniality?

I feel that Obama 'won' the debate, as do most polls and editorials. However if this were in Vegas I would say that McCain beat the spread. He did much better than I had expected. I thought (and expected) that Obama would have been more quick to point out McCain's frequent failures to respond to Obama by simply repeating his canned answers. Though Obama also had his canned responses, I felt he proved to be a better listener in responding to McCain's answers and Lehrer's questions.

Of course, my expectations of McCain were undoubtedly influenced by his side-kick's utterly embarrassing interviews (or lack of them) these last few weeks.

I think the concurrent implosions of the economy and Palin (did you see her lastest interview? oy) are really what will sink McCain in the end. This debate certainly won't do it. Obama has leads polls on the economy and fears about the economy (especially questions about retirement funds) will likely seriously erode the old-folks vote that McCain previously had locked up.

McCain certainly battled to a draw in this debate. Obama clearly is not very comfortable with or adept at getting vicious in debates. (But that is one of the things I like about him.)

Ummm... it looks like I created a new word accidentally in my comment. Latest + Last = Lastest(?)

I won't even mention my other typos.

Sounds like I didn't miss much.

I attended an Armand Mauss lecture instead.

Neener, neener.

What exactly are we looking for in a president? I can't remember the last one I trusted or felt inspired by. I just know I will be glad to get beyond Bush. As bad as Obama and McCain sound when they open their mouths we need someone new.

The only reason Palin and Biden look better is because they say less. If Palin ever does say anything you will see her fall apart in the polls. I don't think any body stupid enough to expose themselves and their family in a run for president is even remotely capable of thinking our way out of this cluster we find ourselves in.

After saying "Jim, uh, I mean John." Obama later called him Tom.

Obama also couldn't remember the name of his KIA. Had to look at the bracelet.

Obama kept interupting McCain. But the one time McCain interupted Obama, Lehrer called McCain to task. Lehrer seemed uneven at best. I disliked the debate format. Seems like Lehrer wanted a fight. Perhaps because McCain has a reputation as a hot head?

Floyd, I'd agree the format seemed to invite a lot of back-and-forth interrupting and objecting. And yes, Lehrer seemed to not quite be in control of the whole show. What a contrast with the format and conduct of the Saddleback discussion a couple of months ago. Rick Warren and his church really did a fine job with their event.

I felt McCain needed to make his case and make it solidly and he didn't do that.

As one interested in communication I was greatly interested at Obama's willingness to concede points to McCain or acknowledge areas of agreement where they existed. Seeing as how McCain is supposed to be the maverick, the guy reaching across the aisle, he certainly showed no signs of being willing to do that when the stakes are high, as they were in the debate. He never once agreed with a thing Obama said, whereas Obama had no problem doing so with McCain. McCain avoided eye contact, and his body posture was defensive and tense.

more later

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