Kevin and I TiVo'd this debate like the others. I thought that McCain did better at this debate than in the first debate (which was dreadful.) Unlike most of the bloggersphere I think that McCain did better than what they think. Both candidates often avoided the questions - that really annoys me. But I thought McCain did a good job at answering the questions without sounding deranged (and completely ancient.) He was strongest on foreign policy, and on his voting record. Weakest on the economy - I mean why must we renegotiate the principle on mortgages? Isn't that socialism? Supply and demand will determine the cost/ value of a home. Where people need help from govt is renegotiating the terms of the repayment not the amount of the loan. (Why should taxpayers essentially "buy" down market values simply because people paid too much for their homes?) I also don't like his health care plan - really awful.
I also think, again contrary to most of the pundits, that Obama actually came out weaker in this debate than Debate #1. Debate is not his strong point. He is much more comfortable with speeches and lecturing - the comfortable "professor" approach. Again - as I pointed out after the DNC - I get the overarching themes of an Obama Administration - but please give me specifics. I thought he did good on Health care.
Both he and McCain were merely average on the economic woes.
So I went into Debate #2 leaning in favor of Obama. If I was deciding my vote solely on Debate #2 I would be undecided, and be seriously giving McCain a second look. (I know - gasp, shock horror, gasp, gasp.) But I want more from Obama - give me details. Here's what I would like to see in Debate #3- Obama - strong, calm with respect to foreign policy. Don't be afraid of sticking up for USA interests. USA foreign policy should not be governed by a delusional popularity contest, but about putting USA interests first. (Everyone else does that so why not the USA?) I think Obama would also win kudo's from me if he could balance out the optimistic dreamer side with some reality. Is govt the solution to every aspect of our financial woes? Realistic answer - no. We are going to have to feel some more pain people before things come right.
Bottom line: McCain is not out of the race yet. Don't count him out. (Now if he could get rid of that awful Palin woman he would be a serious candidate.)
My ballot has arrived - I have signed up for the mail in ballot mainly because of the convenience, and also because I am quite suspicious of our auto correction devices (electronic voting machines.)
Can't wait for the next debate. Bring it on.