Flipping back and forth between CNN and MSNBC, it seems on the whole a consensus is forming among the bobbleheads that this debate was not a “game changer.” McCain needed a “decisive win,” Wolf Blitzer says, and he didn’t get it.
McCain was less dismissive of Obama as in the first debate — I don’t believe he said Obama “didn’t understand” this time — but he still seemed condescending, and I don’t think this is helping him.
Taegan Goddard gives it to Obama.
Tonight’s debate wasn’t even close. Sen. Barack Obama ran away with it — particularly when speaking about the economy and health care. Talking about his mother’s death from cancer was very powerful. On nearly every issue, Obama was more substantive, showed more compassion and was more presidential.
In contrast, Sen. John McCain was extremely erratic. Sometimes he was too aggressive (referring to Obama as “that one.”) Other times, he just couldn’t answer the question (on how he would ask Americans to sacrifice.) And his random attempts at jokes (hair transplants?) were just bad.
Update: From the Right — Andrew McCarthy at The Corner —
We have a disaster here â€” which is what you should expect when you delegate a non-conservative to make the conservative (nay, the American) case. We can parse it eight ways to Sunday, but I think the commentary is missing the big picture. …
…Now, as the night went along, did you get the impression that Obama comes from the radical Left? Did you sense that he funded Leftist causes to the tune of tens of millions of dollars? Would you have guessed that he’s pals with a guy who brags about bombing the Pentagon? Would you have guessed that he helped underwrite raging anti-Semites? Would you come away thinking, “Gee, he’s proposing to transfer nearly a trillion dollars of wealth to third-world dictators through the UN”?
This view of Obama is a complete fantasy, of course, but let’s go on …
Nope. McCain didn’t want to go there. So Obama comes off as just your average Center-Left politician. Gonna raise your taxes a little, gonna negotiate reasonably with America’s enemies; gonna rely on our very talented federal courts to fight terrorists and solve most of America’s problems; gonna legalize millions of hard-working illegal immigrants.
McCain? He comes off as Center-Right .. or maybe Center-Left … but, either way, deeply respectful of Obama despite their policy quibbles.
McCain was hardly “deeply respectful” of Obama.
Great. Memo to McCain Campaign: Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn’t; someone is either disqualified as a terrorist sympathizer or he’s qualified for public office. You helped portray Obama as a clealy qualified presidential candidate who would fight terrorists.
The plain fact is that Obama is no terrorist sympathizer, and I think the American people finally are getting a close enough look at him to know that. However, they are also getting a close enough look at McCain to know he is an asshole.
If that’s what the public thinks, good luck trying to win this thing.
With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I’m dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?
What the Right is missing is that the rest of the country, finally, is moving on from the fantasyland they live in