That was some debate we had last week. I know Dac was really looking forward to it and was bummed when it looked like McCain might not show. The blogosphere has been abuzz about it, and the verdict is in!
McCain won even before the debates began! This is according to the McCain campaign which took out ads declaring victory during the day on Friday. They put money on it. That's confidence right there.
David Broder agrees. He calls McCain "the Alpha Male" for his domineering style and Obama's constant refrain that McCain was "absolutely right."
No McCain sentences began with a similar acknowledgment of his opponent's wisdom, even though the two did, in fact, agree on Iran, Russia and the U.S. financial crisis far more than they disagreed.
But wait, former Bill Clinton adviser and McCain-supporting, Fox News contributing analyst Dick Morris says Obama won because he more effectively spoke to the needs of the American people than John McCain did. Morris was on Sean Hannity's show when he rendered his judgment, and Hannity disagreed with Morris, saying Obama demonstrated too much book knowledge.
I can see where he's coming from. Who needs book knowledge when you have blog knowledge?
Of course, as Marc Ambinder effectively points out, Obama's mainstream, normal image is the reason he can claim victory, but TownHall says McCain handily defeats Obama on foreign policy and the bracelet moment for Obama was "unbearable."
So it was a tie. Dan Balz at the Washington Post thinks so. Even as I type this blog a consensus is emerging that McCain won the foreign policy debate and Obama won the domestic economic debate. The Wall Street Journal agrees.
Then there's who's winning the debate over who won the debate. That battle continues to play out. The New York Times reports that both campaigns were launching attacks moments after the debate ended in an attempt to convince the country that their side had won.
In summary, McCain won the projecting confidence at 72-years-old foreign policy debate, while Obama won the hey, he actually sounds like he knows what he's talking about economic debate. Of course, Obama's inability to remember McCain's first name cost a few points among hardcore Republicans, but then McCain's refusal to high five at the end is sure to have a negative impact on youth voters, and on the crucial issue of note-taking, Obama was the clear favorite. Lincoln and Douglas have nothing on these guys.
All of this presidential debate judgment will be short-lived, however. It's already past time to start predicting who will win the vice presidential debate this Thursday in St. Louis. Clearly Biden and Palin will win, and it will be too close to call.
I can't wait.