I had heard a lot before the debate about how Bob Schieffer was in the tank for McCain, but in the aftermath everybody seemed to say that he did the best job of the three moderators and I think I'd have to agree. The trouble is, being a good moderator means getting the candidates to argue, so for me it was like eating spinach (not that I hate spinach—more like eating bean sprouts) to watch it.
McCain has obviously been coached to look at the camera and try to smile, but at times he forgot himself and lapsed into grimacing and sneering. Obama looked snarky at times too as he listened to McCain. He looked tired, a little shiny, with bags under his eyes. McCain in his funeral-home makeup actually held up well in comparison.
I was pissed that Obama had to spend so much time responding to McCain's BS attacks about Ayers and ACORN. I guess keeping him on the defensive like that was a win for McCain. McCain was really aggressive and interrupt-y. I don't know if that will play well or not—it is what his base wanted him to do. He repeated the lie that Obama wanted to raise taxes on households making $40-something-K/year, when the actual minimum income at which the tax increase would kick in is $250K. Obama had to spend precious seconds debunking that for like the 487th time.
I found McCain's reply to the health care question hilarious. He feels the pain of families that can't afford healthcare, so he's going to put their medical records online. Not that this wouldn't be a good idea, but he didn't explain it well enough and that alone is such a weak answer to the health-care crisis that it sounded like a nonsequitur. Then he went on to say that he'd add nutrition and fitness programs in the schools, as if making kids lose weight will give their parents coverage for cancer. McCain seemed to get more airtime in this debate. Let's hope it was the rope he needed to hang himself.
Finally, I liked what Obama said about abortion. I don't usually agree with Will Saletan, but he covered that part of the debate pretty well here.
Well, now I feel like a good citizen. That's over for another four years.
ETA On another topic entirely, I'm loving Upside-Down Dogs. Thanks, atabei! And while we're on the subject of animals, I finally got Muppet to eat her food. Let's hope that's settled.