I'll give my 4 readers a more detailed analysis later, possibly today, but I wanted to draw your attention to the major themes of the debate:
1) McCain focused everything he had into making Obama seem totally inexperienced. How many times did you hear "He doesn't understand _____________________."
Not a terrible strategy. Complete fabrication, but he did a good job of repeating that phrase over eight times. It was almost the start of every answer. Sorta like the premise that "there is no bad publicity," if you repeat something enough times, the public will not only remember it, they'll mark it down as Gospel.
2) Obama strived at "being the better man." He constantly said "John is absolutely right." I wish I had been on the debate team that helped prep them, since I could have helped them avoid John's primary attack ad today. I would have amended it to "John is half-right, or partially right." The good news is, it played well with all demographics--I think McCain's campaign realized that, which is why they are spinning the phrase today. Obama looked like a guy willing to reach across the aisle...stealing a perceived McCain strength.
3)Obama's first response was directly into the camera. The whole thing. It was very personal, and really set the tone. It was like he was in my living room talking to me. Part of me wished he did it more, part of me was glad he didn't over do it, and diminish the power it wielded.
54 minutes ago