Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Advantage Obama

Noam Scheiber has one of most cogent wrapups of last night's debate:

By contrast, Obama really benefitted from his years as a law professor. He was fluent and very much at ease walking and talking at the same time. He had a professor's knack for making eye contact and maintaining it while he walked a questioner through a multi-step response. And his answers were much more concrete and intuitive than I'd ever heard them. It's as though it took fielding questions from ordinary people to remind him of this latent professorial talents.

And Sullivan's Liveblog capture the view of the carnage.

This was, I think, a mauling: a devastating and possibly electorally fatal debate for McCain. Even on Russia, he sounded a little out of it. I've watched a lot of debates and participated in many. I love debate and was trained as a boy in the British system to be a debater. I debated dozens of times at Oxofrd. All I can say is that, simply on terms of substance, clarity, empathy, style and authority, this has not just been an Obama victory. It has been a wipe-out.It has been about as big a wipe-out as I can remember in a presidential debate. It reminds me of the 1992 Clinton-Perot-Bush debate. I don't really see how the McCain campaign survives this.

I missed the first few minutes. Was getting back from a trip from CVS paying for $50 for name brand meds for my son (so Obama's words on rising co-pay's rang true and how small companies get screwed in terms of health care premiums) so I missed the initial presentation of McCain's "Hail Mary" to bailout homeowners.

McCain's performance was limp and pathetic and strained, sort of an aging Beavis. More of the "I know"/"I understand" language that hurt him in the first debate and the gleeful creepiness of the "That One" remark. Oh to see McCain speak without the influence of nueroleptics dampening his emotion. I guess this is about as un-glued as we will see him.

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