McCain has decided to attack whenever possible and place Obama, if possible, on the defensive. This is going to be a long debate. Obama is doing well and keeping his usual cool. McCain, 30 minutes into the debate, is attacking on every response since first question.
Bob Schieffer threw the ball in the air and McCain started the most daring of misdirected comments and attacks. Now he is implying that somehow Obama has been attacking the total crowds at his rallies.
Now it’s ACORN and Ayres. Now it’s ACORN and Ayres all the time.
Now it’s running mates: Why yours and not his? Obama talking about Biden. Lots of detail in this response. Nothing about Palin. SMART. Back to economics within the question.
McCain is now on Palin: Role model for women. Reformer. Much of the same talking point we’ve heard. Now he’s hitting hard on the ‘special needs’ families. She’s brought new people to the political process.
More after the debate. Can’t listen and keyboard at the same time.
[Update] This was by far the most the most animated of the debates. Obama was even cooler and even more collected than the other 2 debates.
I believe this was the most angry McCain has been. He did make one error, as is being pointed out on the networks, McCain’s comment that the ‘health of a woman’ clause in anti-choice was merely an effort to make the legislation meaningless.
You cannot say that a woman’s health was meaningless. I believe he just blew off a lot of female votes who had been undecided. Was this McCain’s best debate? In general, yes. As a set piece he did better. The direct camera angle finally gave McCain an ‘attractive’ platform. Are people looking for an angry, sarcatic President? If they are then McCain had a very good night as he was both.
One point of the Obama performance: He made three mentions of sacrifice, duty and public service. This was a key point of his tuition proposal. He also said more than once, within the inferences of his answers, that many of his goals could not be achieved within his Presidency. He was calling for committment on many topics.
As a long time advocate of Long Term Leadership, I liked Obama’s refrain. I didn’t hear any of that from McCain. That’s a shame for this campaign and for American politics.
UPDATE 2 (from Pamela): The debate transcript is here.