Why do news organizations immediately go to someone in each of the opposing camps and ask their opinion on how the debates went? Are they expecting one of them to go, "Well, shit, my guy totally fucked up and I gotta say, after listening to his opponent, I'm gonna switch sides." No. Their guy could have shouted out, "I'd suck Bin Laden's balls!" and they'd still say he won. What's the point? The same goes for the commentators on staff. Really, Pat Buchanan thought McCain won? I am abso-fucking-lutely shocked. I want someone to give me a honest assessment.
OK, I'll tell you that I think Obama won, but I'm biased. So, read this with a grain of salt.
Obama did win, but only by the skin of his teeth. He wasn't strong going into the first twenty minutes of the debate - he seemed to be treading water. I think there were a ton of opportunities to attack McCain, but he let them all slip away. McCain on the other hand, may not have beat Obama, but he came away with a great success - he didn't lose the entire election, which was the direction he was heading in this week. He put his campaign back on track after this odd "senior moment" of the non-suspension campaign suspension and swooping into Washington with enough political theater that House Republicans could stage their revolt. (OK, they probably would have revolted anyway, but McCain's presence sure as shit appeared to be the catalyst) and the whole will he or won't he suspense about attending the debate at all. Not to mention pissing of David Letterman - which may actually have caused more lasting damage than anything else. Who wants a national personality with a nightly show seen by millions of voters crapping all over you Monday through Friday from now until the election?
So, no real fireworks. They both got in a few jabs and both stumbled. Obama benefitted from finally finding his footing and strengthened during the last half hour - which may have swayed my thinking he won. But it's next Thursday's debate which will be the fun one. Palin v. Biden. What kind of shenanigans will the McCain campaign pull to deflect from that? Will he pull her and put Rudy in her place? Hmmm...