It's hard for me to judge what's going to come of this, but my prediction as an armchair gadfly is that this will swing in McCain's favor. He landed some hits -- the $932 million in supposed pork barrel, that went unanswered and not even indirectly refuted -- he got call himself a maverick and a reformer a couple times, and though it sounded scripted, and isn't, I believe, true, it sounded effective.
Obama actually raised his hand (or actually did that sort of "Waiter -- oh, waiter? Excuse me?" thing) at the beginning of the debate to try and get moderator Jim Lehrer to, well, moderate. He needed to come off as commanding and forceful (without, I suppose, coming off as a threatening black man,
Overall, though, they both bore me, neither said anything bold, both told some lies, and only McCain really had anything soundbite-like. Now, I don't believe in soundbites, but the actually legitimate need they may have arose from was from clarity. Both of them talked around and around and around issues so as to not to commit to anything. Lehrer couldn't even get them to say anything remotely resembling an answer about what they would do or change because of this crisis. ARRGH.
Oh, nice -- Obama just pointed out the McCain is chiding Obama for something his (McCain's) advisor, the war criminal Dr. Henry Kissinger, recently endorsed. But you know -- despite the cheesiness of canned quips and put-downs, this debate REALLY needed (well, needs) some pithy insults.
Oh, for god's sake -- this whole "talking to them legitimates them" thing. Ok, that's it. I'm out. I'm playing some video games.
Paging Dr. Madison...
"At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."