Not to harp on facial expressions but Democrats are absolutely giddy (and sometimes irate) over the way McCain presented himself during tonight's debate - everything from his eye rolls to his cadence.
A Democratic researcher spent the evening counting the Arizona Republican's blinks, and tallied more than 3,000 during the night's affair -- three thousand blinks in a 90-minute time span. They even compressed a 30-second clip of those blinks into a nine second video.
Meanwhile, another Democrat sends over the clip of McCain in a "deer in the headlights" look when Obama was discussing his tax policy
Maybe the most damning could be when the two candidates debated the topic of abortion and McCain felt compelled to gesture 'quotation marks' when discussing exemptions for a mother's health.
These may seem like cherry-picked moments of confusion, rage or disdain. But they seem to have left a remarkable impression on the voters. For starters, polling showed people leaving the affair with a more unfavorable opinion of the Republican nominee. Here were Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg's findings.
Before the debate: McCain: 54 favorable / 34 unfavorable, Obama: 42 favorable / 42 unfavorable.
After the debate: McCain: 50 favorable / 48 unfavorable, Obama: 72 favorable / 22 unfavorable
But mainly, the facial expressions convey a lack of calm that everyone from average voters to seasoned political observers say is a damaging trait for a presidential candidate in the midst of an economic crisis.
"I thought McCain swerved off track," said David Gergen on CNN. "He got over-emotional about it. He looked angry, and it was almost like an exercise in anger management up there for him to contain himself."
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