I thought both candidates looked really good last night. Barack Obama was cool and in self-control as you’d expect from him. After this past week, I didn’t know what kind of behavior to expect from John McCain, but performed well, attacking Obama on foreign policy details and experience (if not always the right names). My opinion of him went back up a little.
Both looked presidential and I think the debate was a draw, which means it was a net win for Obama. He had to cross the “president” threshold and I think he did that. Like Kennedy in 1960 or Clinton in 1992, he stood his ground against a much more experienced candidate and ended up looking good.
What will people take away from this debate? Since it was a draw and there were no major gaffs, the takeaway moment might come down to what appears on SNL. How will SNL remember this debate? Some ideas:
- Barack Obama’s repeatedly saying “I agree with Senator McCain.”
- John McCain’s repeatedly saying “Senator Obama just does not understand,” like he’s scolding a child.
- Jim Lehrer begging the candidates to talk to each other for the first half hour. Obama eventually did, but John McCain didn’t look at Obama for the whole 90 minutes. He clearly does not like Obama. I can see Darrell Hammond doing a whole skit with his back turned.
- Dueling soldier bracelets. Easily the silliest moment of the night.
- Who Would Kissinger Talk To? America’s newest game show.
Your debate reaction?