Sorry, I can't just sit here and listen, I need to write, so here's some live-blogging.
Joe the Plumber - Try this story for some background. Joe's a small business owner; to him, Obama is not the Chosen One.
You're no Reagan - McCain doesn't tell human-interest stories with quite the flair that Reagan did.
Barack the Populist - Saying taxes will go down for 95% of Americans?
Tighten your belts, you spend too much - Obama sounds like Jimmy Carter. Think malaise.
The Freeze - Seems like a reasonable idea to throw out during a campaign in tough times, but I haven't seen any buzz about it since McCain raised it in the last debate.
Going negative - Each asserts the other is going negative ... with examples. "I'm tough; you're negative," each says. Obama says 100% of McCain's ads are negative.
Dissing America's team - Not good, McCain.
Moderator Schieffer - This format and Schieffer as moderator seem to be creating better interaction and more forthright comments from the candidates.
Obama on Biden - The man from Scranton; he fights for the little guy.
McCain on Palin - She's a reformer who is not afraid to face down big corporations and corruption.
Obama on Palin - He avoids the experience issue. Wonder why?
McCain on Biden - Sure, he's qualified, except for his cockamamie ideas.
Canadian oil is fine - McCain won't be building a wall on our northern border.
I support free trade, but ... - The Columbian exchange was the first where Obama was a little weak, I think.
Dissing Detroit - Not good, Obama.
Health care, you're breakin' my heart - Obama's health plan to bankrupt the country. It'll save the federal budget? Is that a joke? Mr. Freeze touts his $5000 tax credit plan that nobody wants and talks to Joe the Plumber, who will probably be getting some new business this week.
I'm a Federalist - Washington, Adams, Marshall, McCain. No ideological tests for Supreme Court appointments, as long as they are strict constructionists.
Roe v. Wade - My connection blipped when Obama addressed right of privacy in relation to Supreme Court appointments.
Last question: Education - Obama praises early childhood education, which he claims shows great returns in terms of better outcomes later on. $4,000 tuition credit for community service to recruit more teachers. Obama disses parents. McCain endorses school choice and competition; suggests underperforming teachers find another line of work. Mr. Freeze opposes throwing money at the problem. Wants to put vets in the classroom as teachers. They both critique teachers and parents ... what about telling students to get with the program?
Vouchers - Obama's against them; McCain's for them.
McCain's last dance - Tough times for America; we need a new direction (sounds like a pitch for Obama). I'm a reformer (new word replacing "maverick"). Look at my record and my proposals. I have served my country; it's been the great honor of my life.
President Obama speaks - Tough times for America; we need a new direction and fundamental change. Brighter days are still ahead. Tax cuts and health care for all. I will work tirelessly on your behalf.
My quick conclusion - Obama looked and sounded good; McCain tried to hit on specific criticisms and proposals, but I'm not sure that scored many points. It was certainly the best of the three debates.