Reacting To The First McCain/Obama Debate

Here’s my take: in the economic section, Obama very narrowly won. On the foreign policy section, McCain won. In the end, the dynamics of this race won’t change. McCain didn’t do what he needed to do to take Obama out, but Obama didn’t do anything to take down McCain either. McCain had the best lines of the night, especially on talking to Iran. However, the foreign policy part of the debate was overshadowed by the economic parts, which gives the narrowest advantage to Obama.

Overall, the quick reaction from the punditocracy seems to be that McCain knocked Obama off balance. To an extent, that’s right. In retrospect, I may have to revise my opinion of this debate…

Bill Kristol thinks that McCain got under Obama’s skin. I’m going to have to watch parts of this debate on YouTube again… I saw some of that, but perhaps not liveblogging the debate caused me to miss some crucial details.

Over at The Corner, the contributors are saying that McCain won. I don’t see this as a clear win, but I could see this as a narrow McCain win.

At NRO’s Campaign Spot, some data that independents weren’t wooed by Obama. I think that Obama’s demeanor hurt him, even though he did well at the first part of the debate.

I consider Megan McArdle to be one of the most lucid Obama supporters out there. And she has a lot of good things to say about McCain tonight. That’s probably a sign that Obama didn’t win.

Another Obama supporter, Ann Althouse seems pretty harsh on Obama as well.

I think that as much as Obama “won”, he won by not totally losing. This wasn’t a game changer, but I’m starting to think that McCain probably won on points, especially looking at the reasonable Obama supporter’s reactions.

If you think that the prediction markets are any guide, then McCain won tonight, as Obama’s “share” price went down throughout the debate. Then again, Obama still retained his lead.

Frank Luntz on FoxNews and his focus groups give an edge to Obama.

In the end, McCain probably did win the debate, but Obama didn’t lose, which still gives Obama the lead. Still, remember 2004. Kerry won the debate, but ended up losing anyway. Looking back, I do think that McCain got under Obama’s skin, and it showed. There are two more debates to go, plus the Palin/Biden dustup. This race ain’t over, not by a longshot…