ETP liveblogged the debate tonight with Glynnis MacNicol and John Carney. You can find all the good stuff through the link (we blogged it using the neat-o liveblogging software from Cover It Live) and it's terrific. We may not have had the insane clicks of the Gawker liveblog (54,791 views and counting) but we did have some awesome guest-commenters and some choice Tweets from our Twitter friends. So there!
More to the point, here are some takeaways, in no particular order:
(1) McCain wouldn't look at Obama. Not once. A lot of people have opinions on that (he's rude; he's dismissive; he hates Obama, and if he'd looked at Obama he would have exploded) but either way, since it was not-normal behavior, it was noticeable. Also, there was that smirk.Mitt Romney knows it well.
(2) Obama was a little passive. This was exemplified in his frequent agreement with McCain (dude, you don't have to say "John is right" for every "Senator Obama doesn't understand"), but also in his reluctance to interrupt (or interrupt McCain interrupting), combined with deference to a pretty passive moderator (oh, was Jim Lehrer there? I hadn't noticed). While he did land a few blows (Spain!) he didn't take the offensive here, not by a long shot.
(3) That said, Obama looked presidential. He was calm, composed, measured, and in command of the facts (or in other words of Adam McKay, "one icy mofo"). Though "I have a bracelet, too!" was a bit of a cringe.
(4) There was no mention of Palin. The closest Obama came to mentioning Sarah Palin was saying, "That's why I'm glad I have a super-experienced VP like Joe Biden." Maybe a bit too subtle? D'ya think? In the meantime, Biden was widely available for post-game interviews, while Palin was...not. Instead, the McCain campaign sent out Giuliani. Campbell Brown, I hope you were watching.
(5) McCain set the agenda. Personally, I think that McCain owned Obama up there. Not everyone agrees with me, nor does that necessarily mean that ultimately makes a difference. But still, that meant that McCain got to dictate what was discussed; Obama was largely responsive.
(6) All that said, swing voters broke for Obama. It's true! So who knows.
There's more — much more! Pakistan, Afghanistan, economy, oh my — but that's what the liveblog is for. Go read it — okay fine, skim it. There's some pretty smart stuff, especially from Glynnis and John, and our smart commenters. Be enlightened! And we'll see you on Thursday for Palin v. Biden. Rawr!
Liveblog! Obama vs. McCain And The Debate That Almost Wasn't [HuffPo/FishbowlNY]
Unrelated, I guess:
Figure Out Who Won The Debate [HuffPo Media]