Writing this before I watch or read any commentary on the debate.
Brandy thinks Obama absolutely crushed. I think he did very well as well. I think he looked more Presidential, had a better command of his thoughts and positions. Also, McCain was clearly just attacking over and over to try to make a dent. Obama, aside from a few attacks which were probably unnecessary, stuck more to talking about what he would do and what he thought. McCain on the other hand spent most of his time on the attack. It seemed weak.
However... while Obama may have "won" on style and substance... I don't think McCain "lost". He did OK. He stood his ground. He babbled a little. But he didn't have any major screw ups.
Neither did Obama.
My initial impression is that this will not change the mind of ANYONE who already had made up their mind in this race. Will it sway some undecideds? Maybe. Probably in Obama's direction. He just looked more in control. And these things are rarely about what they actually say, but more often about general impressions left.
But I don't think it will be a huge effect. Of course, in looking at polls, it will be impossible to separate the effect of this debate from the events of the last week. So we may never know.
But I think the momentum was in Obama's direction before this, and this does not change that.
Now, time to start watching the spin.
And then maybe go to the grocery store with Brandy.
Pundits have been saying that it was a draw or maybe a slight edge to Mccain on the debate. Polling has shown otherwise though 51% on CNN giving an edge to Obama vs. only mid thirties for Mccain. I think a lot of it had to with tone. Mccain in every question was either, not answering the question and giving a campaign speech or trying to turn into an attack on Obama and couldn't give Obama credit for a single thing, nothing. Obama on the other hand tried to address the questions without turning it into attacks and whenever Mccain said something he agreed on, he just flat out came out and said so. I think that tone earned Obama a victory in peoples minds notwithstanding what the pundits thought of the styles. I think indepenedents are honestly tired of hearing the Mccain style attack rederick and probably welcomed Obama's far more conciliatory and problem solving tone.
I think we'll talk about this a bit on the next podcast, but the most significant result I've seen so far is not on the "who won" numbers, but rather on the "are they ready to be president" question. Obama's numbers are still lower than McCain's, but they went up by a HUGE amount comparing pre- and post-debate numbers. This might end up being like Reagan's debate with Carter in 1980. Reagan didn't "win" but he showed enough people that he was a credible person when placed next to Carter that suddenly many people were comfortable voting for him who would not have even considered it previously.