8:50 pm Going to watch on MSNBC, I think
9:00 pm McCain shook Obama's hand.
9:02 pm I must say, I don't like it when Obama goes "aaaaaand".
9:04 pm McCain thinks economic crisis can be solved by energy independence. No. That fixes a different problem. That said, I think McCain answered the first question better.
9:07 pm Meg Whitman – Ms. Ebay – for Treasury Secretary? Seriously?
9:09 pm Answer the question, Barry.
9:10 pm "Senator Obama and his cronies"? McCain doesn't realize that Fannie and Freddie Mac were not the catalysts that startefd this economic problem.
9:14 pm I like this format in that looking at the camera and speaking directly to the American people isn't even an option.
9:16 pm Hmmmm. Some cross-section of America this audience is. They're all bald.
9:21 pm $3 million for an overhead projector for a planetarium in Chicago? I call "bullshit" on that. I guess we'll find out from Factcheck.
9:25 pm I like Obama's JFK/moon reference.
9:36 pm McCain is just LYING about taxes. Obama is NOT going to raise taxes except on the uber-wealthy!
9:40 pm The instapoll track lines of uncommitted Ohio voters really don't like McCain. Even the rightwing pundits like Gergen are liking Obama more (or hating him less).
9:43 pm McCain is kind of rambling.
9:47 pm Obama won the green question. McCain apparently can't see all the red and green lights, so he wants Brokaw to wave.
9:55 pm Boy, McCain's health care sucks. Obama's rebuttal was good. It's very hard for Obama to put his plans forward when he has to undo what McCain says first.
10:01 pm Haha. Obama: "yeah, I don't understand. I don't understand why we went into Iraq". Nice.
10:06 pm Okay, if he says "my friends" one more time…..
10:08 pm Cosovo. We went in as peacemakers and ended up as peacekeepers? Is there, strictly speaking, a difference? Wow, is McCain rambling. I guess that's the McCain doctrine: address genocide, but only if we can win.
10:12 pm If I understand McCain correctly, he won't attack bin Laden in Pakistan.
10:14 pm Obama brings up "Bomb bomb bomb Iran". Nice. McCain says he was joking with a veteran. Uh, I don't think so. Wasn't it in front of a group?
10:18 pm This whole Afghan foreign policy exchange is enlightening. I think Obama is killing McCain here. McCain suggests the surge in Afghanistan. Funny, the NATO commander and (I believe) even Petraeus says the "surge" won't work there.
10:22 pm On the other hand, I don't think Obama is doing well on the Georgia/Russia question.
10:26 pm Oh, lord. Another talk about "preconditions" for negotiating with Iran. I hate this.
10:30 pm Amherst, NH asks a zen-like question. I'm not sure Obama is answering the question, but then again, I'm not sure the question is answerable. "What don't you know?" McCain answers, in effect, that he doesn't know what he can't anticipate. Well, yeah.
One things that strikes me about this, is thinking about Palin and how much she is a lightweight compared to even McCain.
10:34 pm It's over. Well, they both did well, but I think Obama won. McCain seemed doddering at times.
10:45 pm The policy wonks at CNN seem to think Obama won. Even partisan ones like Bill Bennett (who thought McCain was "fine" but didn't do enough).
UPDATE: Well, some factchecks are coming out. From Politifact:
McCain said that 13 million people "make a living off eBay". That's way off. We hate to nitpick apparent misstatements, but this one's a doozy — 1.3-million is the number of peopleworldwide who make some money off eBay, according to a 2006 A.C. Nielsen study
As of 2003, some 20,000 Americans made their living off eBay, company executive Jim Griffith told a Colorado newspaper at the time.
McCain's reference to Obama as "that one" rubbed some people the wrong way. It didn't bother me that much.
I thought that Barack Obama won the “visuals” of tonight’s debate. He looked younger and more vigorous, of course, but, in addition, John McCain did too much moving around. He seemed focused on addressing a “town hall,” as he has done so well over the years. But in reality, as Obama seemed quicker to appreciate, the audience tonight was in the television land. To them, McCain’s movement must have seemed a bit aimless.
On substance, I thought the debate was fairly even. McCain came across better on economic issues than he has in the past, but still struggled at times for the fluency (or perhaps glibness) with which Obama is able to address these matters. In any event, I suspect that, whatever the quality of McCain's debate performance, he’s going to take the fall for the economy.
Obama was pretty much gaffe-free (though not lie-free). He was a little arrogant at times, including in his obvious disregard for the rules of the debate, but not to the point where it’s likely to cost him in this environment.
A win on the visuals and at least a draw on substance (if that’s a fair assessment) is a win for Obama at this point. So tonight he moves a little closer to the presidency. I continue to believe that voters will subject him to one more round of serious scrutiny when the debates are over. Tonight’s performance marginally enhances his chance of surviving that scrutiny, which was already pretty good.
And from the rightwing The Corner, Andy McCarthy speaks to his colleagues: