Despite the hype, tonight's debate covered familiar ground, with less tension than the last debate. If this was McCain's night to change the conversation, he changed nothing, or lost ground, looking more tired and less competent than the last debate. Obama seemed more confident and relaxed than last time out. The format did not seem on its face to favor either candidate, except that it led the candidates to talk about the types of issues that work for the Obama campaign.
The discussions were more civil than one might have expected, although McCain's body language was often quite negative, and he seemed angry to me. I was surprised that McCain has so heavy on the ready on day one talk, given the fact that he has put Sarah Palin so close to the presidency.
I thought the health care discussion were more accessible to the listeners than the earlier debate. Obama did a much better job to sounding as though he would make the US more competitive. I was surprised that McCain criticized Obama for saying nuclear waste should be safe. Wow. Is that really a controversial position?
What was not discussed? Guilt by association apparently not a hot topic.